It's the stuff stories are made of, which is kind of perfect for the story of Bottom Little Theatre itself and the making of: an angel backer who wishes to remain anonymous swooped in at the 11th hour and pledged a donation to exceed our Kickstarter goal!! (And for the record, it's not Trish or Ang, who are entirely out of cash at this point.) We are humbled and grateful that this project will go forward as it should into post-production. We can't wait for you to see the whole season; and yes, even next season! But one thing at a time.
Thank you for continuing to support #womenfilmmakers. We still need your love and support!
In celebration, here's a rough cut of the title sequence:
Thanks to our fans and supporters and the cast and crew for donating and spreading the word about this fantastic project, we reached our Kickstarter milestone of $5,000! We promised the full video of a scene from Bottom Little Theatre, "Make it Rain on Your Hoes."
For your viewing enjoyment, here is the scene that left the BLT live audience speechless...
We just need $2285 more to reach our Kickstarter goal in the next 10 hours! Thanks for your support!
Go to Kickstarter here to share and donate!
Once we had a script, the semblance of a crew (it grew as we went), and a place to audition (thanks, Gateway to Dreams STL), we needed what was maybe the most important element of our show: two leads with acting chops and chemistry. Here's the moment we knew Kat Burstein (auditioning for the artsy, quirky "Ariel") and Jess Gillard (auditioning for pragmatic, talented "Kath") were our perfect leads:
Actresses that auditioned for Bottom Little Theatre thanked us. "For what?" Trish and I asked. "For not asking us to take our shirts off." Trish and I laughed, but they didn't laugh with us. Instead, they told us that they are asked more often than not to take their shirts off. Which led to another thank you. "Thank you for creating roles for women that aren't just the hot girlfriend, eye candy, or the murder victim."
We've been encouraged by Geena Davis' non-stop campaign for equal opportunities for women on-screen, off-screen and behind the camera. As I indicated in my last post (see below), the main way we've addressed this crisis in arts, especially theater and film, is through humor. In Bottom Little Theatre, the two people with the most influence (Nick Bottom=power and Kelly Buffet=money) are male...and fairly clueless. While BLT pokes fun using these harmless characters, we are also pointing out common obstacles that people--particularly women--in the arts deal with. It is hard enough to make a living in the arts (another main point brought out by the BLT script), but dealing with an uneven playing field is enough to break your spirit.
In a recent interview, Hollywood director Martha Coolidge (Valley Girl, Real Genius and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge) told Deadline that there is, "'explosion of female directors coming up' but [she] worries that many of them will be discouraged from joining the ranks of directors because of the widely held belief that there are limited job opportunities waiting for them."
We have more to say and many ideas for season 2 of Bottom Little Theatre, but we are at a crossroads. We have five days to make a go of finishing season 1. If you agree that everyone has a valuable contribution to make in the arts, regardless of their gender, help us reach our Kickstarter goal and champion women in the arts!
Yes, this is an original song (rap, even) featured in Bottom Little Theatre. Some background: our protags "Kath" and "Ariel" [Jessica Gillard and Katharine Burstein] get involved with a community theatre ["Bottom Little Theatre," run by "Nick Bottom" played by John O'Hagan] who is producing The Rainmaker. "Nick" discovers that they are out of money and cannot buy the rights to the play about a big talker who comes into a drought-plagued small town promising to bring rain and piques the interest of a "spinster" (because she's probably like, twenty-five, and unmarried *gasp* and her all-male family is obsessed over this horrifying fact). So "Nick" decides that BLT shall do a "musical version" ["There's already a musical version," Kath points out. "It's called 110 in the Shade." Nick doesn't believe her.] called The Rainteaser: A Musical in Three Acts.
This ridiculousness, coupled with the ridiculous (though not to be taken lightly) misogyny ["dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women"] of rap music that is seeping into--or reflecting--every day life, inspired one of three musical numbers in our film, "Make it Rain on Your Hoes."
At this point, you may have some questions. You may have many. Let me offer some answers.
WHY did you write that song [Since you claim this is a female-driven, positive show]??
1. Because it is hilarious.
2. Because addressing serious, ingrained social issues is sometimes best done with humor.
3. Because it illustrates that wherever [in business, in the arts, in academia, in social circles, etc] women are trying to make headway, we come up against ignorance that is so ignorant, the ignorant are ignorant of just how ignorant they are. "Kath" and "Ariel" grapple with this ignorance in many members of the community theater at different levels, but particularly from "Nick Bottom." He is generally harmless, but having people like him who are in a position to make a positive difference, but who are *ignorant* can be especially frustrating at the very least.
HOW did you write that song?
1. I looked at the lyrics for the supremely misogynistic "Make it Rain" by our friend Lil Wayne. Instead of crying like I wanted to do, I spoofed it.
2. I handed the lyrics over to Darin Pierce (who coincidentally plays "Kelly," the composer in the show who writes and composes "Make it Rain on Your Hoes" for Nick Bottom's "The Rainteaser.") Darin totally got it, being that he is not one of those ignorant ones. He not only made it a rap, but he made it small-town country sounding. I don't even know how it's possible, but he did it. Just the music without the lyrics is hilarious. But the two together? Wowza! (See below)
WHAT happened when you performed that song?
Being that it's a musical number, we had sound, choreography, costumes (including dancing cows. Eat your heart out, Lily Wayne), and props (read: gardening hoes, not ladies of the evening) to deal with. But none of those things caused any problems. It was pulling all those things together and having incredibly talented Hunter Hoffman (too talented?? You decide) as "Skyflirt" perform it all the way through that was the issue. The cast had to perform the whole number, since we were filming it as a live theatrical performance in front of an audience. At the end of the full song and dance, a crack of thunder shook Alton Little Theater, where we were shooting.
We jumped up and down and cheered, chanting, "Our rain dance worked!" It was a spectacular moment!! It could not have been better planned and we were incredibly proud of ourselves. That was before the lights went out and the dressing rooms flooded and we had to go home for the night and reshoot everything bright and early Sunday morning when everything was repaired. #Truestory.
Our takeaway? Mother Nature has a "sense of humor" about misogyny, too.
To see the whole video of "Make it Rain on Your Hoes," help us get to $5,000 in our Kickstarter campaign! Yes, we are holding it ransom, but actually the whole project is being held ransom by post-production costs. We need just $7285 to finish the show. If we don't get it, no hoes and no BLT!
Thanks for your support of our film project!
Writer/Co-Producer, Bottom Little Theatre
Visit our Kickstarter here!
Amazing filmmaker Gabe Sheets paid a visit to the BLT set (Alton Little Theater) over the weekend. We were supez enthused that he produced this awesomesauce vid for us. [Sorry for the excessive (outdated?!) Urban Dictionary terminology, but when you meet our character "Chip Lawsen", you'll understand!] Anyway, enjoy the video!
Thanks to Mitch Berry ("Stagehand 2"), our project was featured on SIUE Global Village Spring 2015 Episode 3! Find out what Ang and Trish really think of each other and how some of the actors feel about being part of this project. Our segment starts at the 2-minute mark. Enjoy!
BLT is starting to come to life...
We were beyond encouraged by the talent that showed up for auditions which were held at Gateway to Dreams in Chesterfield Mall over the weekend! It was pretty great to hear the enthusiasm for the script and see the actors find special moments and funny details in the characters. We're one stop closer to bringing you this entertaining story. Go meet our cast here; and stay tuned for some fun notes on our equally incredible crew!