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S(her)lock: The Web Series is a feminist, LGBTQIA positive take on Sherlock Holmes and the characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
S(her)lock: The Web Series is a feminist, LGBTQIA positive take on Sherlock Holmes and the characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
178 backers pledged $6,056 to help bring this project to life.

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Living in 1990’s Boston, Sherlock Holmes investigates domestic cases with her companion, Dr. Johanna Watson — only the public has no idea! “Inspector” Lestrade claims credit for all her greatest accomplishments.  Can Holmes and Watson foil their foe and reclaim credit for their work?  Find out in this six episode web series launching in 2015!

Update #1: "Myra"

Update #2: "Yo, Holmes!"

Update #3: "You Know The Place"

 Update #4: "These Dancing Men"

Why Sherlock Holmes?  Why Not Create An Original Character?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created one of the last mythic characters in English Literature. True mythology endures and evolves.

Creating a new character would still be in the shadow of Holmes.  We're stepping out of his shadow by claiming it as ours.  It's a more effective method of de- and reconstruction.

If you look at modern television, nearly all procedures are Sherlock Holmes. A brilliant male protagonist with a "photographic memory", "amazing deductive skills" and "an oddball, not a team player" attitude.  Then there's the female sidekick, who's there to log their encounters and be his mental soundboard.  House.  The Mentalist.  The X-Files.  Castle.  All derive from Sherlock Holmes.  Even Sherlock Holmes is a take on Poe's Dupin.

Why not go right back to the source material and play with that?  By exploring femininity via the character, our production team can honor Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's canon while producing a totally fresh narrative.

With a Transgender Woman as Watson?

Lucy Liu is already the cisgender woman version of Dr. Watson (and she's amazing at it).

Feminism is not feminism if it's trans exclusive.

Our production team loves Lisa Bunker, and we know you will, too, once you see her with Helen Davies. They are our perfect Holmes and Watson.

With a Sister?

Myra Croft-Holmes is indeed Sherlock Holmes' sister. We want to explore female relationships on the show through all manners of sisterhood.

And a Mr. Hudson?:

Gender-swapping goes both ways. We intend to cast a male drag performer as Mr. Hudson. This will give us the chance to play with the similarities and differences between the trans and drag experiences (without getting all lecture-y about it).  It's also a way to play homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle sometimes calling the housekeeper Mrs. Hudson, or sometimes calling her Mrs. Turner.

Set in the 1990's?

No smart phones.

Most of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories take place in the 1880's and 1890's. Our production team thought updating the canon one hundred years would be a fun way to modernized the material, while not directly copying the three existing Set-In-2015 modern adaptations (Elementary, BBC's Sherlock, and New Paradigm's Watson and Holmes).

What Are Your Plans For the Series?

S(her)lock originated as the production team's senior project at the University of Southern Maine. A majority of us graduate in May 2015.

The day after we graduate the production team goes into pre-production mode. Our goal is to film six episodes by September 2015, and release them to our backers, one episode per month, starting in November 2015. 

The episodes will range from eight to twenty-two minutes depending on the length of the source material. We plan to use onlythe short stories, not the novels.

When the first six are done we hope to drum up enough press and support to do another six episodes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote fifty-six short stories; in a perfect world, we'd get enough funding to adapt all of them.

MEET THE CAST AND CREW

Kate Tracy (Writer/Director)

Kate grew up in “Green Acres” meets “The West Wing” on a sod farm in Maine. Her mother named her after Katharine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy. She studied Greek Mythology as Simmons College before absconding to NYFA in 2009, where she wrote a screenplay based on her experiences working for the Democratic Party. In 2011, she graduated from the VFS’s Writing for Film and Television Program, and in 2015 graduates from University of Southern Maine with a BA in Media Studies.  She has PA'd on "Anatomy of the Tide", "Lexus Short Films", and "Night of the Living Deb".  Currently, Kate's on her heroic journey to be – and write – Wonder Woman.

Kirsten Chapman (Writer/Producer)

Kirsten grew up the city of Muncie, Indiana.  After moving to a small town in Maine that consisted of two major intersections, she went on to study photography at Chester College of New England.  In 2016, Kirsten will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Media Studies from the University of Southern Maine.  Currently, Kirsten is pursuing photography, and figuring out exactly what she wants to do once she graduates

Benjamin Joseph (Director of Photography)

Originally majoring in music, Benjamin found his true passion for film, and all that it had to offer, by picking up a camera and exploring the Adobe Master Suite.  He intends to stake his claim in Portland, Maine via a series of film projects ranging from tourism videos to documentaries, and someday blockbuster cinema.   In 2015, he graduates from the University of Southern Maine with a BA in Media Studies.

Helen Davies (Sherlock Holmes)

Helen Davies is from the UK. She came to Maine for a year’s study as an international student at the University of Southern Maine in order to complete her degree at the University of Leicester. This is her first major project for film, and she is excited about how much the experience will teach her. From the age of ten she has been a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories and various adaptations thereof, as well as in general being quite nerdy when it comes to detectives. Her favourite Sherlock Holmes to this day is still Jeremy Brett (and probably always will be). In her spare time, she reads and writes for her own pleasure.

Lisa Bunker (Dr. Johanna Watson)

Lisa Bunker has been program director of WMPG, the student/community radio station at USM in Portland, for twelve years. She also composes a weekly crossword puzzle for Dig Portland. At various times she has gotten geekily intense about novel-writing, classical piano, jazz bass, comedy, chess, eight-ball, a 1980's video game called Arkanoid, and who knows what else. Her fondest (and oh-so-modest) ambition is to revolutionize the English language by getting enough people to start using the set of gender-neutral pronouns she invented (vo/ven/veir/veirs/venself) so that they become standard.

Joshua Cohen (Inspector Lestrade)

Josh is a third year marketing major at University of Southern Maine.  When not learning how to sell products, he learns how to sell himself as an actor.  He has been seen on the USM Mainstage Productions "The Cripple of the Inishmaan" and "Bus Stop".  Catch him next semester in "An Evening With Christopher Durang" and "As You Like It."

SOCIAL MEDIA:

PRESS:

Notes!

[1] We're casting for Mr. Hudson! If you're a drag performer in the New England/Boston, or heck even New York City, area, please hit 'contact me' with your resume and video of your work!

[2] In the original video, we stated that Sherlock Holmes has never been portrayed as a woman.  We have since corrected that error and edited the video.

Holmesian essayist, Howard Ostrom, has alerted me that my Google research and other Holmesian experts (looking at you, A.R.) are incorrect.

The Simpsons Already Did It. We are not the first to bring a female Holmes to life. It doesn't change our message: we want to create a feminist, pro-women, pro-LGBTQA version of Sherlock Holmes.

Moreover, we're not here to compete with our fellow ladies. We encourage you to read Mr. Ostrom's essay and seek out those adaptations. I researched as many Holmesian adaptations as I could get my hand on; and I did not discover his research until it was brought to my attention.

If anything this is a real life example of what our Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson will face every day. Their good work will go unnoticed, while their male counterparts get all the glory.

Risks and challenges

And now, for the most important question:

Where's the Money Going?

Each episode, depending on our total funding, will cost about $2000 to $5000 to produce. That money will break down first and foremost into paying our cast and crew.

For example, "Copper Beaches" has eleven characters. So that would be eleven actors, and we'd all have to pay them a day rate of at least $15 an hour for twelve hours of work. That's $180 a day, and $1980 for just cast.

The rest of the money will go to crew for similar rates and reasons. Because it's set in the 1990's, we're going to have to allocate a larger portion of the budget to costumes, hair/make-up, and sets.

Sherlock Holmes works both as an "arm chair" detective, someone who can solves her cases from 221B Baker Street, or as a "on-the-scene" detective. We believe this will help with controlling locations: on a smaller budget of $5,000, we can center everything around 221B Baker Street; with a larger budget, we can take Sherlock and Watson outside.

In an ideal world we would have a five week turnaround on the episodes: two weeks of pre-production, a week of filming, and two weeks of post-production. In reality it could take longer, because we are going to shoot when the locations and actors are available this summer.

We had hiccups with the Kickstarter video. On the second day, our hair and makeup person didn't show. Instead of freaking out, Kirsten and Kate put their minds together. They came up with the hair-curlers on set, and rewrote the scene in actor holding. Ben called his hairdresser, who was able to run over for us. We made it work. Those are only some of the small things that happen on set. Everyone rolled with them.

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    "Thank You" shout out on our Social Media Platforms: tumblr, twitter, and Facebook.

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    An iTunes voucher for the digital download of the FIRST EPISODE, plus:

    - "Thank You" shout out on our Social Media Platforms: tumblr, twitter, and Facebook.

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    NEW STRETCH REWARD:

    "Choose Your Own Episode"

    We have selected all but one of the six short stories we're adapting! You'll receive a survey asking for your favorite stories! Help us choose the last one!

    Also included: iTunes voucher for first episode, and a Thank You on Social Media.

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    An iTunes voucher for the digital download of FIRST THREE EPISODES in Full HD,

    Plus:

    "Thank You" shoutout on our Social Media Platforms: tumblr, twitter, and Facebook.

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    An iTunes voucher for the digital download of ENTIRE FIRST SEASON in Full HD,

    A 5x7" print of "The Dancing Men" by A. R. Caballero,

    Plus:

    "Thank You" shout out on our Social Media Platforms: tumblr, twitter, and Facebook.

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    A print-to-order t-shirt with our S-her-lock custom design by A. R. Caballero,

    Plus:

    "Thank You" shoutout on our Social Media Platforms: tumblr, twitter, and Facebook.

    A 5x7" print of "The Dancing Men" by A. R. Caballero.

    An iTunes voucher for the digital download of ENTIRE FIRST SEASON in Full HD.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    An associate producer credit,

    Plus:

    "Thank You" shout out on our Social Media Platforms: tumblr, twitter, and Facebook.

    A 5x7" print of "The Dancing Men" by A. R. Caballero.

    An iTunes voucher for the digital download of ENTIRE FIRST SEASON in Full HD.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    NEW STRETCH REWARD:

    A prop from the set!

    Take home a piece of "S(her)lock" for your Holmesian collections. Will include a authentication certificate, signed by the whole cast and crew.

    Also includes:

    "Thank You" shoutout on our Social Media Platforms: tumblr, twitter, and Facebook.

    A 5x7" print of "The Dancing Men" by A. R. Caballero.

    An iTunes voucher for the digital download of ENTIRE FIRST SEASON in Full HD.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    "Murder Victim" treatment: a walk-on role as the dead body for Sherlock's latest whodunit,

    Plus:

    "Thank You" shout out on our Social Media Platforms: tumblr, twitter, and Facebook.

    A 5x7" print of "The Dancing Men" by A. R. Caballero.

    A print-to-order t-shirt with our S(her)lock custom design by A. R. Caballero.

    An iTunes voucher for the digital download of ENTIRE FIRST SEASON in Full HD.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    An executive producer credit,

    Plus:

    "Thank You" shoutout on our Social Media Platforms: tumblr, twitter, and Facebook.

    A 5x7" print of "The Dancing Men" by A. R. Caballero.

    A print-to-order t-shirt with our S-her-lock custom design by A. R. Caballero.

    An iTunes voucher for the digital download of ENTIRE FIRST SEASON in Full HD.

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Funding period

- (30 days)