About this project
** 08/20/14 - Very honored to be featured in The Huffington Post for S&M Sally today!
"I like to think there's an underlying theme in my films of living a more authentic life. Once you get over the idea of who you think you are or should be, you can begin to move toward a more genuine and three-dimensional experience."
S&M Sally is a character-driven comedy about people pushing themselves outside of their comfort zone, while poking fun of the insecurities within all of us.
I'm very excited about the prospect of bringing this story to life. I love the way it pushes the envelope just a little further than what we’re used to seeing on screen, the way it expands into a fuller spectrum of queer identity, and how it explores the funny, awkward, and sometimes shifting dynamics that can exist within a relationship. The story resonates with me through the way it shows the universal albeit unconventional journey of imperfect people finding more authentic versions of themselves.
When Jamie finds out her girlfriend Jill has spent time exploring S&M, her insecurities about falling behind in the bedroom push her to propose that they start going to underground clubs. Jamie decides to use the pseudonym Sally so she can stay anonymous but still look like she's using her real name, which apparently she thinks makes her look cool. Identifying as the butch one in a traditional butch/femme couple, "Sally" assumes she will take the dominant role in their escapades, with Jill as her submissive, but Jill has ideas of her own.
Meanwhile, their friends Lola and David start dating the polyamorous bisexual Sebastian, who proposes to have a threesome. They quickly agree without planning to follow through, expecting the other one to back out first so they can save face with their new boyfriend.
A provocative and hilarious ride, S&M Sally details the unexpected journey that happens when your insecurities push you outside of your comfort zone, leading you down a path for which there is no going back.
S&M Sally revolves around four returning characters that were first introduced in 2007 with the feature Butch Jamie, and further developed in 2013 with Heterosexual Jill. While the story to each installment stands on its own, the characters and dialogue bring a unique brand of humor that is distinctive to the series.
Both films won multiple awards on the film festival circuit including Best Feature from the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Best Actress from the Laugh or Die Comedy Festival, and the Focus on Filmmakers Award from the Cleveland International Film Festival. Together they have screened in over 75 film festivals worldwide, and have received DVD, VOD, and television distribution in Europe and North America.
- JILL - Jen McPherson (Heterosexual Jill, Best Actress - Laugh or Die Comedy Festival)
- JAMIE - Michelle Ehlen (Heterosexual Jill, Butch Jamie, Best Actress - Outfest Los Angeles)
- LOLA - Shaela Cook (Heterosexual Jill)
- DAVID - Scott Keiji Takeda (Eat With Me)
- SEBASTIAN - Adrian Gonzalez (August, The Bold and the Beautiful)
- PRINCESS - Shaun Landry (Heterosexual Jill)
- Writer/Director - Michelle Ehlen
- Producers - David Au, Charlie Vaughn
- Production Designer/Co-Producer - David Monster
- Director of Photography - Olivia Kuan
If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, we plan to shoot the film this Fall and take it to film festivals next year, followed by a wide release. We have many key elements in place to start production soon including a great script, a talented cast, and producers well-seasoned in low budget filmmaking.
Funds raised will go toward:
- Camera, lighting, and sound equipment
- Location rental fees
- Props, costumes, and make-up
- Paying our cast and crew
Our Stretch Goal:
Our goal will enable us to shoot the film, which will be a huge accomplishment! However after the film is shot, there will still be work to do. Additional funds raised will go toward:
- Color Correction
- Sound Design
- Marketing and Festival costs
If you like what you see, we hope you will consider contributing to the project in exchange for one of our many perks listed to the right. In addition to working toward our goal, your pledge is a vote of confidence that will be reflected in the total "Backers" tally at the top of the page. This shows other potential Kickstarter backers, festival programmers, press, and distributors that there is interest and excitement for the film.
Last but not least, word of mouth is the best form of advertising! We encourage you to share our campaign link and videos across your social networks so we can find our audience.
We hope you will join us on our journey! THANK YOU!!!!
Risks and challenges
There is always the risk with any film production that a film may be delayed, recast, or ultimately never completed or distributed. Our producers are seasoned in shooting micro-budget films, and we believe that our experience enables us to troubleshoot and creatively solve problems that may come our way. Nevertheless, if the film ultimately cannot be completed due to uncontrollable, unforeseen circumstances, the unused funds that have been donated through this campaign will be donated to the L.A. LGBT Center.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes! If you've chosen a level with both digital and tangible perks, we will fulfill the digital perks as soon as possible. The tangible perks will all be mailed together as soon as the S&M Sally DVD is released.
Since movies often portray the BDSM community as either scary or ridiculous, we understand that some people in the community are concerned about how they will be represented. While any one movie can't accurately portray a diverse group of people, our goal is to flip the expectations that many people may have. This is portrayed through Jamie's character, a newcomer to the BDSM community, and the comedy that arises between the difference of what she expects and what she experiences. The comedy revolves around her perceptions, ideas, and insecurities, rather than placing the joke on BDSM. We believe the film explores Jamie's journey to a depth that would appeal to the kink community, and since we see the world through a newcomer's eyes, we also believe it makes the film accessible to those in the vanilla world as well.
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