What would you do if the strip club you worked@ became a brothel?Adapt, fight or quit?This film follows 3 strippers facing this dilemma
What would you do if your workplace engaged in illegal labor practices that violated your rights as a worker?
Would you adapt to it, fight it, or quit?
License to Pimp is a feature documentary about the choices that three San Francisco strippers make as their workplaces engage in illegal labor practices. Strip clubs refuse to pay strippers even minimum wages & actually charge them for the privilege to work. I worked in half of San Francisco’s strip clubs during the 1990s and witnessed how co-workers felt economically pressured to engage in prostitution to make their quotas to avoid being fired. Now as a filmmaker, I uncover current working conditions & try to find out how strip clubs are able to operate outside the law.
- What would you do to keep your job? 16 year old LOLA begins stripping after learning her mother has cancer & needs treatment. When her club increases their fees to $200, Lola can no longer just lapdance. As co-workers prostitute to make their fees, Lola must decide how far she’ll push her own sexual boundaries to keep her job. Lola’s story will be animated to protect her identity. Click HERE to watch a scene from Lola's story in Update #2: What Would You Do To Keep Your Job?
- What would you do to change the system? DAISY ANARCHY goes public about the strip clubs’ illegal activities & demands that the city enforce the laws to uphold workers’ rights. One agency drafts legislation to end the club violations. But a battle ensues as strip clubs & most surprisingly the strippers themselves rally in support of the illegal conditions. Click HERE to watch a film excerpt from Daisy's story (Update #4: What Would You Do To Stay In Control?).
- What would you do to stay in control? MARIKO PASSION quits stripping as the work becomes increasingly sexual. After filing wage complaints against former employers, she can no longer strip in San Francisco. She relocates to Los Angeles and teaches high school while moonlighting for an escort agency. Because the agency takes a 60% of the booking fees, Mariko goes solo. Can she work independently & safely and keep all of her earnings? Click HERE to watch film excerpts from Mariko's (Update #3: What Would You Do To Stay In Control?).
Each woman makes distinctly different decisions yet our collective journeys are woven into one story of strippers negotiating our labor rights within the sex industry.
WHY I’M MAKING THIS DOCUMENTARY:
During the years I stripped, I witnessed management become increasingly greedy as they took more & more of the dancers' tips. Clubs required between $150-$600 per shift per dancer. As women prostituted to pay the strip club pimps, I felt the emotional toll it took on all of us. I am in support of decriminalizing prostitution so that consensual adults can work free from arrest, stigma, + violence. However, if one feels pressured to engage in prostitution to keep her job, that's not sex positive. That's sexual labor that is exploited.
As stripping increasingly gains acceptance within popular culture, more and more women & teenage girls enter this industry and are unaware of their rights & workplace realities. This is why License to Pimp needs to be made & seen.
WHY IS THIS DOCUMENTARY IS IMPORTANT?
This documentary shows how each of the featured women approach various labor violations. The irony is that strippers are in fact entitled to the same labor protections as the average American worker—the laws just aren't enforced. This documentary isn’t about the morality of doing sex work, but follows the paths of women trying to remain within the sex industry on their own terms. Through each worker's situation, License to Pimp offers tangible ways that sex workers try to better this industry so it’s consensual, safer, fair, legal, & less violent.
FUNDING GOAL: $30,000 or nothing.
I’ve been fortunate enough to find talented filmmakers & interns who’ve worked for free or barely anything to get this documentary shot. But this isn't sustainable. Maintaining hi-quality production values & content requires bringing on an experienced crew. We need $30,000 to complete a Rough Cut of License to Pimp. If we miss our $30,000 goal by even a single dollar, we get NOTHING. ZIP. ZERO. ZILCH. NADA. $00,000. So it’s ALL or NOTHING.
USE OF FUNDS:
With $30,000, we can complete a Rough Cut of License to Pimp with each of the women’s journeys laid out.
- We'll review 400 hours of footage and find gems that illustrate each character’s path.
- We’ll experiment with story structure by interweaving Lola, Mariko, Daisy, & my journeys to tell a compelling, unique story.
Lola participated in the film on the condition that her identity wasn't revealed. Her extensive interviews will come to life through animation. We will re-appropriate the visual style of erotic Latino comic books (aka porno-novellas or “historiettas”) and re-tell Lola’s story within a feminist context.
- We’ll complete the storyboards for Lola’s animation.
- The character designer will hand draw the art for Lola’s animation, which will be scanned & be prepped to be animated.
- Using Lola’s actual interviews as the basis for her story, we’ll work with voice actors & replace Lola’s audio.
- The animation crew will then take the artwork & use their magic to create the animatics, which is essentially a mock up of how Lola’s story will play out in screen time.
- It’ll include the dialogue & audio FX.
Successfully raising $30,000 means that our creative team can be…well creative. Instead of fundraising, we can focus on crafting the best possible story.
Make a difference & be part of getting
the Stories of Sex Workers seen & heard!
PRESS DURING KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN:
I discovered LICENSE TO PIMP too late (after Kickstarter ended). Can I still support this film + claim a Reward?
Thanks for wanting to support LICENSE TO PIMP beyond Kickstarter. We still have expenses to complete this film! Email me (himaphiliac [AT] gmail [DOT] com) + let me know what level you'd like to support the project. We'll work something out. But please note: NO more rewards are available for Chriselda Pacheco's photos or the special NYC screening.
How can I get a photo from the "Sex & Judgment" series by former stripper/photographer Chriselda Pacheco?
Please contact Chriselda Pacheco directly by visiting her website: http://www.chriseldapachecophotography.com/#/856_III_The_Eye__/859_Sex_Judgment
PLEASE NOTE: Chriselda donated her photos for the LICENSE TO PIMP Kickstarter campaign. This was a one time offer only. Her prices may now vary so please contact her directly to determine current rates.
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(1) Thanks for helping to get our rough cut done! You have our eternal gratitude for helping to make this Film possible. We'll give a shout out to you on Twitter + Facebook. (2) You’ll receive a newsletter updates on our journey to complete LICENSE TO PIMP.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
All the above PLUS (1) Digital WallPaper from LICENSE TO PIMP. Make it your computer or cellphone’s wallpaper; post it to Facebook; print it out and tack it to the wall. (2) Animatic from Lola’s story in LICENSE TO PIMPEstimated delivery:
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In Addition to the initial $25 pledge, you will also get the entire unedited 8 minute interview clip with Skylar as she talks about not being a prostitute, legal brothels in Nevada, Proposition K (a 2008 San Francisco ballot measure that tried to decriminalize prostitution) & why she'd never work for a pimp.Estimated delivery:
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2 backers All gone!
Everyone who backs this film at $50 or more before the weekend ends (midnight Monday July 9, 2012) will be automatically invited to a private NYC screening after the film is completed. (this includes anyone who's already backed the film to date). After this weekend, invitations will be closed.Estimated delivery:
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All the above PLUS (1) Thanks credited on the film’s website (2) Digital download of the filmmaker’s short documentary HOW DO YOU TELL SOMEBODY THAT YOU’RE HIV+?Estimated delivery:
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All the above PLUS (1) Thanks credited in the Film (2) A naughty holographic photo of Mariko Passion that was art directed by her (this is limited the first 200 backers who pledge $100 or more) (3) Digital download of the filmmaker’s short fictional ENT-HOMO-PHILIA (not appropriate for minors—there’s some sexual content & nudity)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
All the above PLUS (1) Signed Limited Edition Movie Poster of LICENSE TO PIMP (2) Digital download of Lola’s story in LICENSE TO PIMP as a comic book (aka porno-novella aka historietta) (3) Digital download of the filmmaker’s short fictional film JIHAD FOR DEMOCRACYEstimated delivery:
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3 backers Limited (1 left of 4)
NEW REWARD: Chriselda Pacheco has graciously donated 4 stunning photos from her photo series “Sex and Judgment” Limited Edition: $500 each (signed by the artist, unframed, black/white, 18” x 24’) See Update # 10 to see the photos + learn about the photographer who is a former stripper.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
All the above PLUS (1) Signed Limited Edition printed Comic Book of Lola’s story in LICENSE TO PIMP (aka porno-novella aka historietta) (2) Limited Edition pre-Release DVD or BlueRay of LICENSE TO PIMP (3) Digital download of the filmmaker’s first documentary about lesbian and bisexual female sex workers of STRAIGHT FOR THE MONEY (59 minutes; 1994) which was in the 1995 Whitney BiennialEstimated delivery:
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All the above PLUS (1) Super Special Thanks credit in the Film (2) Ever wonder what you’d look like in an animation? Here’s your chance. Get your likeness inserted into Lola’s animation! It might be as a customer, a stripper, managers, her family or friends. It’ll be a surprise! You will need to provide us with some hi-resolution mugshots of yourself. (3) Skype with the FilmmakerEstimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
All the above PLUS Two tickets (for you and a guest) to attend the San Francisco, Los Angeles or NYC premiere screening of LICENSE TO PIMP plus an invite to the before & after party. Lodging & transportation are not included.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
All the above PLUS (1) Associate Producer credit on the Film (2) Invite for you & a guest to the private Sneak Preview screening of LICENSE TO PIMP. (3) Party! Two tickets (for you and your guest) to attend the World Premiere screening plus an invite to the before & after parties. Lodging & transportation are not included.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
All the above PLUS (1) Executive Producer credit on the Film and in all promotional and educational outreach material. (2) Sit in on a day’s editing session. Lodging & transportation are not included. (3) Invite to the Fine Cut screening NYC. Lodging & transportation are not included. (4) Dinner with the Filmmaker & crew in NYC. Lodging & transportation are not included. (5) PARTY! Two tickets (for you and your guest) to attend the World Premiere screening of LICENSE TO PIMP plus an invite to the before & after parties. Lodging & transportation are not included.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)