A Coffee Date with Destiny
When it comes to primetime television’s most homoerotic buddy cop series, it would be hard to find a more obsessed fan than Maria. Black, queer and a lifelong geek with a love for slash fanfiction, Maria’s deepest passion is the show Bay City and the work of a mysterious fic writer who seems to understand what it’s like to feel like an outsider. But in real life, Maria finds little empathy from her best friend Anna. In her opinion, all Bay City represents is another case of network queerbaiting and a distraction that holds back Maria from pursuing relationships outside of her laptop. Maria hopes a trip to the coffee shop that inspired her favorite writer’s newest fic might help her bring Anna into the fold.
The characters of If This Is Wrong are the women you find every day in fandom communities. They come from different walks of life and different points of view. They come to fandom and the numerous communities within fandoms for a host of personal reasons. They talk about the variety of issues that stem not only from the subject of their admiration but also from how one another are treated. And for too long has that perspective been absent from the larger narrative. This is a story about fandom from a fangirl’s point of view.
By taking on the world of slash fanfiction, this film explores how people connect and explore themselves and their world through fictional characters and their trials and tribulations. For many women, fanfiction is an opportunity to reshape these fictional worlds for themselves, using these characters as fuel to not only create new art but also fascinating explorations into intimacy. This is a story by fangirls about what fanfiction means to them.
Even though we’ve begun to see TV embrace more diverse casts, fandom trends – and discourse around these trends – have been resistant to change. Fangirls of color have always been a part of the fandom community yet their presence is seemingly invisible. And when they speak up, they are often met with resistance from other fans. For all of us involved we see this film as a great opportunity to show a queer black woman who fully embraces herself and her love of slash and to showcase the fact that women of color are fangirls too. This is a story about the reality of being a fangirl: we come from all backgrounds.
In mainstream media, the word “fangirl” still brings to mind sexist stereotypes without thought to what it is that connects women to this world. Slash fanworks have faced especially sharp criticism, often begging the question of sexual fetishization. Portrayals of women that enjoy slash content are cast then as a subculture ultimately driven by cis white men. But as sales of comics and movie tickets continue to surge thanks in large part to female audiences, both fandoms and the media continue to pretend that women are not interested or that their interests are tainted. It is time for our narrative to be told in our own voice.
We invite you to help support a project that celebrates the passion, creativity and complex emotional lives of women. Whether you love fandom, slash or women of color letting their freak flags fly, join us it making a film that tells our story by donating, sharing this campaign and getting involved. If this is wrong, well frankly we don’t wanna be right!
Director & Cowriter: Chelsea Woods
Chelsea is a writer-director from Los Angeles, California. A longtime geek, she first caught the fandom bug via Lord of the Rings fics on fanfiction.net and cut her teeth writing fics on LiveJournal and Archive of Our Own.
Chelsea began her career in film and television working on director Ava DuVernay's second feature, Middle of Nowhere, and continued to work in production on television shows including Touch, Criminal Minds and Jane the Virgin. In 2015, Chelsea was one of the ten participants of AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women where she wrote and directed Fog. The short is currently on the festival circuit where it has screened as a part of the official selection at LA Shorts Fest, St. Louis International Film Festival and other festivals around the US. Chelsea is currently in post-production on a documentary short on Instagram and native advertising titled #HowToBeABadB*tch.
Editor & Cowriter: Franzeska Dickson
Franzi has been in fandom for over 20 years, doing everything from lurking to vidding to serving on the OTW board. She was introduced to fanfiction through the X-Files and Usenet, moved on to Rurouni Kenshin and Yahoo Groups, joined more tiny Yuletide fandoms than she can count on Livejournal, and helped write the ToS for the Archive of Our Own.
Franzi fell in love with editing through fandom and joined the indie film co-op Scary Cow, where she edited the Passover comedy The Ten Plagues. She is now completing her MFA at the American Film Institute Conservatory.
Producer: Kate Chamuris
Originally from Bucks County Pennsylvania, Kate Chamuris is a Los Angeles - based producer, director. She most recently created and directed the original series BREAKFAST IN BED that premiered at SideWalk Film Festival and is currently having its festival run. Kate utilizes her experience as an account and project manager at worldwide and boutique advertising agencies to package and market independent films.
Currently, she is directing the short film, A SARI FOR PALLAVI, which is based off a top ten finalist play from the Samuel French OOB festival. Her upcoming films in development are the feature film adaptation of Danielle Sepulveres’s memoir LOSING IT…THE SEMI-SCANDALOUS STORY OF AN EX VIRGIN and LINE, the debut feature film from AFI directing fellow, Jeremy Merrifield. Kate received her BA in Communication Arts (Film/TV production and Advertising) from Marymount Manhattan College. Occasionally she will act when the story compels her. She will be starring in the horror film NIKKI produced by LOCOfilm in the fall.
Fun fact: Kate's first gig out of college was playing DAPHNE BLAKE in the AEG Themestar production of "Scooby Doo! Stagefright - Live on Stage" across the US and UK.
Composer: Erica Awai
Erica Awai began creating musical compositions at an early age. She has over 16 years of combined formal training in music theory, production and performance. She is currently in the process of completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music for Visual Media at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA.
Composition is her focus and her passion. Additionally, she is highly proficient in mixing, music editing, sound design and voice acting. She has experience working with numerous forms of visual media, including live action film, 3D and stop-motion animation, and mobile and PC video games.
At the world-renowned AFI Conservatory, a dedicated group of working professionals from the film and television communities serve as mentors in a hands-on, production-based environment nurturing the talents of tomorrow's storytellers. The Conservatory is consistently recognized as one of the world’s top film schools.
We have a rare opportunity to make a film about fandom with the backing and legitimacy of AFI.
Where's the Money Going?
AFI productions are no run-and-gun situation: we have the proper permits and contracts, and doing things right takes money. A film like this typically costs $20-30,000. Here is a budget breakdown of a similar AFI film with a budget of around $22,000:
- June 2017 - Filming
- July 2017 - Picture editing
- August 2017 - Sound editing, color grading, other post production
We will film in June 2017. Picture editing will take one month, followed by sound editing, color grading, and other post production work. Once the film is completed and submitted to AFI, we will have a premiere on campus, probably towards the end of 2017.
Risks and challenges
This film is a degree requirement for some of our crew, so it will be completed by the end of this year.
Our greatest challenge is making sure that we can execute our vision as closely as possible and to do that we need your support. Please share this campaign. The world of fandom is vast so the more people that we can reach will ensure that we're not only making a film for fellow fans but also a film that is truly representative of us all. Our ultimate goal is to create something that helps forward more inclusive representation on screen.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)