Roller derby is an all-volunteer, skater-operated contact sport. Nobody gets paid to play (in fact, these women pay dues to skate). The Women's Flat Track Derby Association has a great, short video outlining how the game is played.
Not only does our film give you inside access into the world of roller derby, we're also giving you an up-close-and-personal look at the women who rock the sport.
SUZY HOTROD is a roller derby icon and the longest continuing skater of Gotham Girls, New York City's roller derby league. She's co-captained Team USA, she's won multiple national championships, and she's even appeared in ESPN's Bodies issue. We're following Suzy in her 15th season as she continues to compete at an elite level against women half her age — all while mentoring the next generation of Junior Derby skaters.
We're also following EVILICOUS, a skater in her 14th season. Evil is a new mom who's facing all the challenges of parenting while fighting to get back to skating competitively after a difficult pregnancy and delivery.
You'll also meet CAPTAIN SMACK SPARROW, a relatively new skater who's finding her groove in the sport and growing friendships within the league. Sparrow found derby to be a supportive community and a great workout after going through major weight loss. She's skating hard and taking life head-on as she prepares for her wedding halfway through the season.
Who We Are
Hi! Directors Amy and Cassie here. Thanks for dropping by. We're really excited to share this project with you and — with your help — the world.
Director CASSIE HAY has been working in TV and film for nearly 20 years and skated for Gotham Girls Roller Derby as Haulin' Cass. She personally knows the ins and outs of the game and many of the women who dedicate so much to the sport. She wanted to tell the story of the real women behind the larger-than-life characters, highlighting the challenges they face as under-appreciated athletes and businesspeople, as mothers, as being the sex that's often measured against insane appearance yardsticks, and as complex individuals who knock each other down to build each other up. She knew she had to tell this story.
That's where Co-Director AMY WINSTON comes in. Cassie's little sister has worked in the creative field for nearly a decade writing for and managing ad campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the world. She knows how to tell a strong story that inspires and entertains — and she knew people who were willing and able to help bring this story to life.
So, we joined forces — and resources — to form a supergroup of a team that's passionate about telling this story and determined to do whatever it takes to make it happen.
Where We Are In Our Project
We've already hit the ground running. We pulled together some of our own money to finance our first shoot and to cut a trailer, but we need your help to cross the finish line. Here's a look at our full project timeline:
In order to meet this ambitious timeline, we need your support! We're applying to film grants, we're seeking private investors, and we're reaching out to the world through Kickstarter. Here's a breakdown of our budget and an idea of how your support will help us get this film made:
We’re giving you some pretty awesome rewards for your help:
- You can get access to our production blog with updates on our progress, behind-the-scenes content, outtakes, and more.
- Snag a sweet, sweet Suzy Hotrod enamel pin
- Score some badass temporary tats from LoudMouthInk
- Get digital access to the film when it’s ready
- Get a hometown screening with us and Suzy Hotrod, herself.
- Plus, a whole lot more...
Why It Matters
2017 was an important year for women. Tired of being marginalized and ignored, women banded together to fight against sexual harassment, speak up about the wage gap and demanded to be recognized as equals. While we continue to see industry after industry face the pressure to make positive changes, little attention has been paid to the world of sports.
In sports, women have never been the main event: routinely underpaid and largely underrepresented. 40 percent of all sports participants are women — but only four percent of sports media coverage is dedicated to those sports. And roller derby — a female-first contact sport — is now one of the fastest growing sports in the world.
There has never been a better time to tell this story which is relatable to so many different demographics, including women, athletes, fringe cultures, and more. We have the opportunity to tell a multifaceted story of independent, modern women who choose to live life on their own terms.
As two women filmmakers who have spent their careers in male-dominated industries (film and advertising), we're uniquely suited to tell this story of strong women who follow their dreams, regardless of sacrifices and challenges.
We hope you join us! And follow our story on
Risks and challenges
We're running on a very tight schedule to submit the film to the festival circuit this fall. With your support, we'll be able to cover our expedited post-production schedule without sacrificing the quality of the film.
The bottom line is that we're already committed to making this film, having completed 25% of production. We're determined to tell this story and do it the right way. And we appreciate your support in getting us to the finish line.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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