The Emmy-nominated docu-series Gaycation, in which Ellen Page and her best friend, Ian Daniel, set off on a journey to explore LGBTQ cultures around the world, has dedicated an episode to the Orlando community in the aftermath of the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.
“We’re here because we just want to see how the community is feeling and dealing with this and just be here for those who feel like they want to share their story,” Page said in an interview with IndieWire.” The duo stands beside police tape outside Pulse night club, the site of the deadly shooting that took place on June 12th of this year.
GAYCATION, a flagship series for Viceland, Vice Media’s television channel, is the epitome of investigative journalism as it seeks to put the victims’ stories at the forefront and tell untold stories. The show furthers Vice’s goal of breaking the deadly cycle of uninformed journalism. In the first season, Page and Daniel told stories from Japan, Brazil, Jamaica and the U.S.
Gaycation’s Orlando special premiered this Wednesday on Viceland, and IndieWire spoke to the best friends and co-producers about shooting the tear-jerking episode.
When asked how he dealt with emotion while interviewing, Daniel told IndieWire, “It’s a matter of when do you need to show strength for your interviewee and when is it appropriate to have your own moment?… We definitely were taking it personally on some level, because it was about the LGBTQ community and marginalized communities, and that’s really what our show is about.”
Given that the Latino community was hit hard by the shooting, Daniel and Page wanted to focus on their stories. “We wanted to hear from the community and to learn ourselves from the community,” Page said. “It’s so heartbreaking in the interview with Nancy Rosado when she says people couldn’t identify their loved ones because the hospital officials were butchering the names.”
Daniel adds, “Our first intention is to tell stories in a deep way and not just do sound bytes and splashy interviews and sensational conversations.”
The duo say they are “expanding horizons on every level” each episode. They have added more diverse members to their team, which include people of color and more LGBT and queer people. “Our team is also becoming more expansive and has more viewpoints and more opinions,” Daniel said.
Page noted that her coming out has allowed has helped her creative self, and that the show is a reflection of that.
Gaycation came to be when Spike Jonze, a close friend of Page’s, informed her that he and Vice were creating a TV network, asking her if she had any television ideas. After Page met with Vice, the show was materialized. When Spike suggested she get a partner, Page immediately asked Ian to join her.
The full episode of GAYCATION Presents: Orlando is available here. Season 2 premieres Sept. 7 on Viceland.