When you approached your cousin Monica and her fiancée David about filming their wedding and post-marriage lives, what was their initial reaction?
They were incredibly open, particularly Monica and David themselves. Throughout the making of the film, they love having the camera around and seemed to feel understood and acknowledged.
What were their parents' reactions?
Monica's mother, my aunt Maria Elena, was also open. She and Monica were the first people who I sat down to talk about filming. Maria Elena understood from the beginning that there was a bigger picture to why the story needed to be told. The challenge came later on, once we realized what a big part of the story she is, and that it wasn't just about filming David and Monica. She hates having her picture taken, so following her with a camera during a chaotic move was her worst nightmare. So negotiating shoot days was tough; but once the camera was there, she was very open and didn't put up any walls.
What has it been like for Monica and David now that the film is out and playing to audiences around the world?
Monica and David are total hams and they love the attention. During Q&As they keep talking about how much they enjoy being stars and famous, and Monica wants to become an actress. But really, I think they are just thrilled to feel such acceptance from the audience and they've become more bold in asking for what they really want. Right now, the focus is finding jobs, which they've asked for my help with.
Did the film follow the course you imagined it would?
I could never have imagined the course this film would take. HBO was always a dream, and it's still surreal that I'll be tuning in to see my film there in a few days. But throughout the making of the film, I worried that people who don't have a personal connection to disability would not be interested; and that the film industry would consider this too sweet a story, and not serious enough. But the embrace of the film makes me incredibly happy, because it's an acceptance of Monica and David themselves.