“What do you tell someone who is crying because they are dying of cervical cancer? You can’t tell them, you know, ‘It’s going to get better. Time will heal.’ You don’t have any of these canned answers to tell them. … [We said] to her, we’re going to show this to as many people as we can and your story is going to save lives. And then she smiled. That was the only smile that she gave us during that last interview. … The only thing that she had left was [that] her story, her message, could save lives.”
- Frederic Lumiere
This excerpt is from an interview with Frederic Lumiere and Mark Hefti, producers of the feature-length documentary Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic. The interview is meant to give Parents PACK readers a peek behind the scenes of the making of the film, which tells the powerful story of five incredible women whose lives were forever changed by human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer.
During the interview, Lumiere and Hefti open up about filming the emotional documentary, getting to know the women featured, and the impact of the women’s stories on their own lives.
Watch the full interview, or view the parts of the interview of interest to you:
What is the most important thing people need to know about HPV?
Mark states, “What I think people should know is that it is so prevalent. Almost everybody has HPV or will get it at some point. And, so because of that there shouldn’t be a stigma behind that if somebody has HPV. “
Hear both men’s responses »
Was there something about HPV you were surprised to learn?
Frederic begins, “Well, yes there were a lot of things I discovered that were surprising to me. . . . I really knew nothing about HPV before I made this film. . . . Then I started thinking but wait a minute, in my 20s and 30s, you know, there is a very good chance that I could have been a carrier of something that I had no idea existed and cause cancer — six cancers that is.”
Listen to the rest of the response »
What do you hope people take from the movie?
Mark compares the opportunity for change around HPV to the change that happened around breast cancer. Frederic discusses the generosity of the people who shared their lives in the film to benefit others.
Listen to why Frederic implores the audience to watch the film »
Over what length of time was the documentary filmed to enable you to capture Kelly’s entire story?
Frederic and Mark discuss the timeline for developing the film and their goals with Kelly’s story »
In your final interviews with Kelly, did you tell her that her story was going to make a difference and how did she react?
“The last scene is very close before Kelly died. It was just a few days before. . . . We called her and said, ‘Kelly, we really want to come and see you and say good bye. We weren’t going to bring the camera.’ . . . She said ‘If you’re coming back, you bring your damn camera. I really want you to film this.’”
Listen to more about Kelly and the last interview with her »
Did you set out to capture different aspects of life after an HPV diagnosis, or did each story just happen to show that?
The producers disclose that they actually followed eight women’s stories, and one of those not included in this film will be the subject of a future film. They also discuss the reasons for sharing the particular stories they included as they relate to different stages of and experiences with the disease, as well as the choice of Vanessa Williams as the narrator.
Find out more »
In retrospect, is there anything else you wish you were able to capture or include in the film?
“The toughest thing is to not tell someone’s stories that you filmed,” says Frederic as he explains the focus that was necessary to make the story manageable to tell. Both men discuss other aspects of the HPV-related story that could not be included, but which they wish they could have explored in more detail.
Hear the other topics on their minds »
How has this project influenced or changed you personally?
“Once this friend, and Kelly became our friend . . . is gone, we are left with the pieces . . . of her story and we have to put that together to honor her and do right by her story and that’s incredibly difficult . . . because she’s not there,” says Frederic.
Mark adds, “And one of the other things , . . . you go through it live as we are interviewing Kelly and watching her deteriorate, and you see that, and it’s bad enough watching it in person — it’s horrible — and then you have to go back and . . . reliving it again over and over again. It’s a lot of pressure knowing that this is going to be this person’s legacy and their last word is there forever for people to see.”
In addition to discussing how the project affected them personally, they also discuss how their careers have changed and how this project has been very different from anything they have ever done.
Listen as Frederic and Mark share their own experiences »
As a special opportunity for Parents PACK readers, the Vaccine Education Center has partnered with Lumiere Media to provide free viewing of the entire 80-minute documentary. To enjoy this special opportunity, click the button below.
After watching, learn more or find out how to join the producers’ mission of telling this story by visiting hpvepidemic.com.