Clea DuVall Explains How She Captured Being Young And Closeted For The New Tegan And Sara Series High School

Clea DuVall is an accomplished multitalent who has been contributing to the entertainment industry for years, both in front and behind the camera. The Happiest Season filmmaker is once again in the director’s chair for the new Freevee series High School, where she’s serving as both director and producer. And DuVall recently explained how she captured being young and closeted for the new Tegan and Sara series.

High School is an adaptation of Tegan and Sara’s book of the same name, which is all about their experience as young queer people in the 1990’s. I had the privilege of speaking with Clea DuVall about her work directing and producing the coming of age tale, which follows as the recording artist twins come to terms with their identity. As you can see in the video above, she mentioned how cinematography helped to give us a deeper look into characters, saying:

Carolina Costa and I, who is my DP, we really wanted to create a visual language for the POV’s. And we had very specific rules about how we would shoot the characters when we were in their POV, and certain things we wouldn’t do. Because we wanted the audience to feel as close to the characters as possible. And as much in their shoes as possible. Visually, not ever starting a scene before the character is in it. Not showing anything that the character wouldn’t see. So to really create the sense of being with each character.

Talk about some specific camera work. High School often puts us with the POV of one specific character, including Tegan and Sarah (played by Railey and Seazynn Gilliland respectively) and their loved ones. And in order to show the quiet pain of being a closeted young person, the cinematography reflected the intimate, somewhat claustrophobic nature of being a LGTBQ+ teen coping with their identity.

Clea DuVall as a queer woman herself, who has been bringing LGBTQ+ stories to the screen for years, both behind and in front of the camera. This includes groundbreaking projects like But I’m a Cheerleader and Hulu’s Happiest Season, as well as TV shows like Veep, The Handmaid’s Tale (where she appeared in the Season 5 premiere), and American Horror Story. And since DuVall also has a friendship with Tegan and Sara, there was perhaps no one better to bring this queer coming-of-age story to life on the small screen.

Luckily for both TV watchers and the countless fans of Tegan and Sara, they can see Clea DuVall’s work on the new Freevee drama shortly. High School will premiere on the Amazon affiliated streaming service on October 14th, with four episodes for those who enjoy a good binge-watch. After that, future episodes will debut weekly on Fridays. In the meantime, check out the TV premiere list to plan your next binge-watching experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.