Hi Everyone! It’s been a few months since I last wrote and I wanted to send out an update. I’m happy to report that we’re in post-production on the film and are on track for a Spring/Summer festival premiere. We’ve already heard from a festival next Fall that wants to program us (without even seeing the film!) so we are excited to be off to such a promising start :)
In a few weeks I’ll be sending out the first batch of digital perks, which for some of you will include downloads to other films like Heterosexual Jill. If your pledge doesn’t include that film, you can now rent or purchase it worldwide at www.balletdiesel.com, which is our own VOD platform. It’s also available through our distributor Ariztical Entertainment, iTunes, and Amazon.
Below are some photos from S&M Sally's shoot along with commentary, so you can get a peek into some of the behind the scenes.
I'll be in touch more as things develop. Thanks again for your support in helping to make this film happen!
Michelle and The S&M Sally Team
We shot S&M Sally in only nine days. The script was a relatively short 85 pages, but we had some complex dungeon scenes that included rope suspension, fireplay, and electric play. Our shoot was fast-paced but we got everything we needed, and I’m very happy with how it all turned out.
For three of those days, we shot in a real full-sized dungeon, which consisted of one main room and a half dozen smaller themed rooms, as well as a snack room (yes, people eat snacks in dungeons!).
This pic is from one of my favorite rooms, the Purple Room, where we shot both our fireplay and electric play scenes.
Here we are doing electric play with a violet wand. We had a purple handheld lightpad that our gaffer followed the wand around with off-screen to accentuate the natural purple light.
If you hold the wand a little bit away from your skin, the electricity will jump that gap and make a shocking noise. It looks pretty cool and even scary, but the setting on the wand was low so it didn’t hurt at all - it was just surprising so I would jump.
Here's an image pulled from the footage -
But as cool as the violet wand was, my favorite scene cinematically was our fireplay scene.
We filmed fire on my back in slow motion with a series of tracking shots. Our dungeon liaison, Count Boogie, was extremely skilled in the safe and proper way to do this. He can do it so lightly that all you feel is nice, cozy heat! (don’t try this at home though!)
Here is our whip instructor Robert Wilson teaching actress Christopher Callen, who plays Mistress Chyenne, how to safely and properly throw a whip.
Ms. Chyenne had a scene where she’s throwing a whip in the air while my character watches and learns, but like the fireplay and electric play, I liked the idea of really capturing this on-screen as opposed to doing some “movie magic” and faking it. Originally I thought we’d need to cast an actress who already knew how to crack a whip, because it can be a specialized skill. But after a couple hours of instruction, Christopher was a pro.
We shot for half a day in a yoga studio.
We had fun, but probably not as much fun as in the dungeon. We just did yoga there.
Here are characters Lola (Shaela Cook, on right), David (Scott Keiji Takeda, on left), and Sebastian (Adrian Gonzalez, in the middle).
As you may know, Lola and David are returning characters from Butch Jamie and Heterosexual Jill. Lola is bisexual, David is gay, and they are both dating Sebastian. Since Lola and David don’t really like each other, complications, competition, and humor ensues.
Here is Dolly Gray (as Melina, on left) and Jen rehearsing for their spork scene.
This scene will (hopefully) make more sense when you see the movie; but for now - this was originally written with a knife, although my writer’s group said it was creepy and suggested doing something funnier, like with a spork. It was a great idea and I think made the scene more interesting as well. However, later I found out that they no longer carry white sporks in stores or restaurants. Apparently they’re vintage now. We found a black spork, but the dungeon aesthetic was fairly dark and I thought a white one would really pop more, so we went online and had to buy a box of 1,000 sporks. They weren’t expensive but as an environmentalist, I know it will be a lifelong commitment to properly utilize them all. But I think it was worth it.
Here’s a pic of Jen and me with a flogger and a pig. This will also make more sense in the context of the movie.
We have another flogging scene in the jail room cell at the dungeon, which was also pretty fun. That scene is a light-hearted introduction to Jill and Jamie's escapades and I mostly thought of it as informational, but my producer, when he first watched a cut of that scene, said it felt “ballsy.” In a way, it was the best compliment I could have hoped to receive about the film. The movie definitely has an innocence to it, a sense of fun and charm that I believe makes it accessible for people. But someone saying it was ballsy, even if he was my good friend and producer, kind of made my day :)