Director Emma Seligman discusses Bottoms

Director Emma Seligman discusses Bottoms

September 10, 2023 A DGA Membership Screening Q&A in New York

In an outlandish scheme to experience sex before they graduate, two queer high school students start a fight club in Director Emma Seligman’s comedy, Bottoms.

Seligman’s film tells the story of best friends PJ and Josie, two gay teens who take the unusual approach of launching a high school fight club in a plan to meet girls and lose their virginity. They soon find themselves in over their heads when the most popular students begin to beat each other up.

On September 10, after the DGA membership screening in New York, Seligman discussed the making of Bottoms during a Q&A moderated by Director Gene Stupnitsky (No Hard Feelings).

During the conversation, Stupnitsky called finding the right tone the main job of directing and Seligman agreed.

“I think tone is always like the hardest, especially for comedy. You’re like, ‘Which joke pushes this above the limits of this world? How much should we care about the characters before it starts to become like a drama?’ I stress about tone more than anything. You’re the only one that’s like, ‘No this is starting to feel totally off.’ We started out even more absurd and just tried to balance it as much as possible grounding the characters. When we were in the edit, that’s where I had the final thoughts of, ‘OK I love this joke, but it makes us like now we’re in a farce and we’re not grounded anymore. So, we gotta’ get back down to our version of reality.’”

Seligman’s other directorial credit is the feature film Shiva Baby, which earned her a DGA Award nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Feature Film in 2022.

Seligman became a DGA member in 2022.


Q&A photos by Marcie Revens – Print courtesy of MGM

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