About this project
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'Dressed As A Girl': D.R.A.G. pulls off the wigs, wipes off the mascara, and reveals the true faces behind East London's much talked about 'alt-drag' scene.
Following in the footsteps of Paris Is Burning and The Cockettes, 'D.R.A.G.' shines a spotlight on London's very own glittering and queer sub-culture.
With over 4 years of footage documenting many of the events and performances the stars have staged: from their involvement in Glasonbury's first gay venue, The Downlow; to staging a ball at The Royal Opera House or raising money for their friend's new breasts at the 'Boob-A-Thon'. D.R.A.G. is visual feast and testimony to the creativity of contemporary gay night-life. But this movie is so much more than 'tranny dance routines'. When the mud is scrubbed from the heels and the glitter is washed from the beards we get to know the real people behind the stage artifice.
At once united and divided, a group struggling with identity and acceptance; ambition and ego; success and disappointment; the euphoric highs and the devastating lows. Real people in a seemingly superficial world discovering where true friendships lie. Modern gay life has it's pitfalls to which all our stars are prey and like us all, they find ways to survive. And, amongst the gender re-assignment, struggles with HIV and battles with the mainstream: an unexpected love story.
D.R.A.G. introduces us to the stars of London's alt-drag circuit. Jonny Woo, scene trail blazer who bought an energy back from NYC in 2003 to Shoreditch to give birth to a new drag army. John Sizzle; wit and reluctant 'drag superstar'. Amber Swallows; a lady with a 'secret'. Holestar, self-professed Tranny With A Fanny; Scottee. award-winning provacateur. Pia; modern day gender-punk and Ma Butcher, D.R.A.G's much loved 'hot mess'.
In addition to all this, the film will have a soundtrack sourced from artists working in and around London who have a relationship to the film to enhance the authentic experience.
HELP TAKE D.R.A.G. TO THE WORLD
Four years of live footage and interviews makes the team of D.R.A.G. wealthy in terms of material but up until this point all filming and sound has been done for free with our own or borrowed equipment. Editing this much footage takes a good three months with expertise and equipment we do not possess and is not cheap. We need your donations to give us the capital to make the documentation of a modern british phenomenon possible.
WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
Our target of £10 000 won't cover everything but what it will do will enable us to cut together the first draft of the film and help Colin, the director, piece together these amazing stories. Sound needs dubbing and the visuals need grading. Some old cameras have been put to good use but need some help in the final stages. We need our film to look as amazing as possible so that festivals and cinemas around the world will want to share our vision and take it to a wider global audience.
PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY
From a team of characters unafraid of stripping on stage and parading around in outlandish clothes we should not be afraid of asking for some help now. So PLEASE HELP US WITH YOUR CASH. Whatever you can give we will be thrilled with. £10s or £20's all add up; but if you think that £50 or £100 is actually not a huge amount to you, to us it will make a massive difference and will encourage others to do likewise. If you are really inspired and want to make a serious donation WOW! Drop us a line and we'll talk about what we can do in return.
Below are some more basic stats, but that's it. WE NEED YOU. If you need more persuasion just watch our trailer again, turn up the volume on our original soundtrack, stick on your heels and join the party
HOW THE WORD 'DRAG' CAME ABOUT
In Shakespeare’s day, actors played all the female roles and many of his plays featured cross dressing. In fact the term ‘d.r.a.g.’ refers to his stage direction ‘DRessed As a Girl. (This isn't the definitive origination of the term, but we like it)
MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Length: A 90-minute version intended for theatrical release and a TV hour version. Intended slot: International film festivals and specialist festivals. International theatrical distribution through specialist distributors selected territories with the intention of self distributing in the United Kingdom. Comprehensive Home Entertainment/Digital/VOD distribution with a focus on thematic platforms/channels.
Date of Production: Filming commenced in the summer of 2009 when our stars performed at Glastonbury and principal filming has completed recently at Hackney Empire where Jonny and his entourage performed their last ever ground-breaking famous Gay Bingo in front of 2000 fans.
When will you see it?
We are aiming to premier the film at a leading festival such as Berlin Film Festival or Sundance or a UK festival such as Sheffield Doc. Realistically this will be late 2014, early 2015.
Executive Producer Oscar nominee Mike Lerner has been producing arts, travel and popular culture documentaries for twenty years. In 2011 his documentary Hell and Back Again won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival and was Oscar nominated. Recent films include 'Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer' and 'A Whole Lott More'.
Director Colin Rothbart is a London-based freelance producer and director of documentary programmes and prime time factual entertainment with nearly 20 years experience. He has produced programmes for all the major UK channels and worked for most big production companies. this is his first foray into film.
Sales Company Stephen Kelliher Head of Sales and Marketing at Bankside Films successful titles include 'The Pillow Book', 'Chopper', 'Lantana', 'A Good Woman' and more recently 'You Instead', 'Trishna' and 'ill Manors'
Producer Chris Amos has a long history in media including editorships at The Sun and Bent magazine. He recently transformed leading London gay venue Manbar into a huge success story. He is passionate about this project and is your point of contact for further involvement.
Please contact Chris Amos if you wish to invest larger sums of money in the production or talk business.
Tel: +44 (0)7879 816369 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Risks and challenges
'Dressed As A Girl' is truly a project with community at its heart. Friends who believe that they are part of something special and that their stories can inspire others just as they have been inspired by films such as 'Paris Is Burning'. They believe 'drag' as an art form is fluid and progressive and is a place for freedom of expression.
A lot has been achieved with hardly any cash. To move things forward we need the capital. We intend to do further fundraisers after this one to maintain income so the project can be finished and we hope that when we have a strong offline cut of the film, investment and support from the industry or sponsors will be easier to obtain. If not, the team behind this are determined that the final product will reach distribution, even if it takes a little more time. As mentioned, we will have an original soundtrack and intend to tour with the stars to help raise the film's profile and funds. We have already begun discussions with distribution companies and festivals and the completion of this next stage will mean that we can talk confidently to the people and organisations who can make the journey come to fruition. Please join us.
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