August 4, 2018
ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: CHELSEA BO AND SEAN DRUMMOND
NFFTY has grown into a wonderful community of over 2,500 filmmakers from around the world. Alumni have experienced successes in many areas of the media industry. To celebrate these achievements, we are highlighting NFFTY alumni here!
Chelsea Bo and Sean Drummond are NFFTY alumni who co-founded the production company Paxeros Creative in 2014. Their ethos of utilizing their passion for stories and love for the people they work with is present in every video they craft, whether branded, music video, documentary or narrative. Drummond acts as head producer and Bo as primary director. In the past year, they have worked with Doritos for a nationally airing commercial and with ARRI and AbelCine for a project titled “Cinematic Self-Portraits.” They will be traveling to Bhutan in September to film a branded content short for National Geographic Expeditions. For the next six months, Drummond and Bo will be producing a feature-length documentary about conversations surrounding mental health and suicide in conjunction with the non-profit Project Wake Up. This month, the pair will be getting married.
OUR INTERVIEW WITH CHELSEA BO AND SEAN DRUMMOND:
How did you find yourselves partnering with Project Wake Up for this feature-length documentary?
The director, Nate Townsend, brought the fully funded project to Paxeros to produce. [We] all graduated from LMU’s film school in 2014 and although [we] never collaborated while in school, [we] admired each other’s work.
Will the documentary focus on certain demographics in certain parts of the country/the world? How did you decide on these factors?
The documentary will be focusing on four different demographics: Ivy League students, veterans, farmers, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. We chose these four demographics because it shows the range of people suicide and mental health can affect. Mental health is not partial to age, sex, race or class, and it can affect anyone.
What are some challenges you believe you might face during production? What are you looking forward to and are hopeful for during production?
We are very optimistic about this project as a whole because we have an extremely talented director and cinematographer, as well as very knowledgeable and passionate investors who are dedicated to telling a story that will start a very important conversation about mental health. There is an investigative nature to this documentary and we are excited to learn new things along the way and share this newfound information with the greater public.
Why is it important for Paxeros to produce a film like this and what do you hope will come out of the project?
This project perfectly aligns with Paxeros Creative’s ethos to impact, educate and connect with audiences in a positive, altruistic and influential way. We hope this film reaches as many people as possible while enlightening and changing the stigma against mental health.
What are some projects you plan on being involved with in the future and some ideas that you would like to put into motion?
Chelsea just finished writing a comedy narrative ensemble feature film that we’re really excited about! We already have some initial funding, interest from actors and are currently looking for more investors. We will start principal photography in February 2019.
How has NFFTY impacted your lives and your careers as filmmakers?
NFFTY has connected us with a wonderful network of talented peers and friends that we work with on a consistent basis. NFFTY was also our first “festival experience” where we learned how to network and pitch upcoming projects. We’ve taken these skills with us to other important festivals and events, and that experience is priceless.
Do you have any advice to give to younger filmmakers?
Chelsea: My favorite piece of advice is: “Leap and the net will appear.” It’s easy to get carried away in the minutiae of what it’ll take to make your project, start your company or the fear of failing. All of those things can keep you stagnant. There will always be risks in this industry. I’m not talking about physical risks — don’t do anything unsafe! — but financial risks or creative risks. My advice is: go for it! Take that risk and it will pay off. Leap, and the net will appear.
Sean: Be patient, be resilient [and] stay persistent. This career isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.