A new-media series that looks inside the dating lives of trans & queer women as they navigate the intersections of desire & identity.
Length: 54 Minutes
Director: Sydney Freeland
Producer: Katherine Fisher
Writer: Jen Richards and Laura Zak
About the writer, director and producer: Sydney Freeland’s debut feature, Drunktown’s Finest, premiered as an official selection of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and was executive produced by Robert Redford.
Founder of Speed of Joy Productions, Katherine Fisher is a producer and activist with over 12 years experience in film and live event production. She is the former Events Director for V-Day and the former Communications and Special Events Director for One Billion Rising.
Jen Richards is a writer & actress, as well as a consultant & advocate focusing on nonprofit management and gender and racial justice who works with national organizations and media projects.
Laura Zak is a writer, actor, producer, and activist. She is the co-creator/writer and star of the webseries #Hashtagand is currently working on the Amazon animated series Danger & Eggs.
Caroline Whitney Smith
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Our goal for Her Story is to develop it into a full 10x30 season. We’re currently meeting with various platforms, networks, and production companies to find the best fit for development.
Funders: Privately/self funded
Release date: January 19, 2016
Where can I watch it? Her Story just screened at LA Film Festival, Frameline Festival and Melbourne Web Fest. Upcoming festivals include the North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.
Her Story is also available to watch online at www.herstoryshow.com
Congratulations! Why did you make your web series?
Accurate representation in the media of the queer and trans communities is limited (to say the least), and we saw Her Story as an opportunity to create quality content about and for our communities in an authentic and nuanced way. We also knew that with the right team in place to tell this story, we could create content that explores universal emotions and truths that the public in general could enjoy and connect with.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this web series?
There’s many reasons to watch, but I think most importantly Her Story offers something for everyone. For those of us in the LGBTQ communities it offers a chance to see yourself and your people represented accurately. For those outside of those communities it can be a window into a world that perhaps you’re unfamiliar with. Either way, the story is very simple, it’s about love, and the series brings you through the obstacles that some of us face on our paths towards finding that love. And best of all it does it in 6 quick episodes of 10 minutes or less.
How do personal and universal themes work in your web series?
Her Story deals with themes of love, prejudice, disclosure, and friendship which I think are all universal and personal themes. Our goal when we created this series was to give voice to these themes and to do so in a way that both allowed people who have otherwise felt disappeared to finally feel seen, while also presenting situations and experiences that anyone can identify with.
How have the script and web series evolved over the course of their development and production?
The series started off as a very small production, however as more incredible people signed on (Sydney Freeland, Bérénice Eveno, Eve Ensler) the stakes were raised and we decided to go all out and make this as high quality as possible and expand our reach as far as our budget would allow. The script changed slightly during this process, however for the most part the story, characters, and themes of the series remained the same.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The feedback that we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive and that’s from both within and outside of the LGBTQ communities. Since we approached the filmmaking process with an eye towards authenticity and having LGBTQ representations both in front of and behind the camera, what we ended up with was a series that really has struck a chord with a lot of people and really shows the power of having diversity on sets. When people are a part of telling their stories you see that in the finished product and people respond well to that.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
We expected more negative reactions to be honest just given the subject matter, so the major surprise was really that the feedback was so weighted towards positivity.
What are you looking to achieve by having your web series more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
We just wanted to ensure that everyone who can see this series knows about it and has that chance to watch. It’s the same reason why we released it for free, we want people to have access to this work and these stories regardless of their age, income, and location and the more sites like www.wearemovingstories.com that help us get this series out there, the more of an impact we can make.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this web series' message?
Since the series is released for free online the main thing we need at the moment is just people to spread the word, to get it out there, to prove to larger platforms and networks that this is content that the people want.
Our ultimate goal is to make Her Story into a full 30 minute per episode series and the most effective way to prove that we’re worth a larger company taking a chance on us is to show the numbers of people who support this work.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this web series to have?
Our hope is that people in our communities will leave the series having felt seen and represented accurately, and that people outside of our communities will recognize that we’re all way more similar than perhaps they thought.
What we made is a love story, if the audience can leave Her Story simply having rooted for love and not necessarily thought about who that love was between, then we will have succeeded.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this web series?
There are numerous questions that I think this series brings up for people and too many varied experiences that people are bringing to this series to narrow it down to one question. What I will say though is watch the series, and while you're doing so pay attention to what questions come up for you, and then have conversations with people around those questions.
The bigotry and homophobia and transphobia that is putting a lot of us at risk will only begin to go away when people start to communicate and try and understand the things that they don't understand.
Would you like to add anything else?
Her Story is eligible for an Emmy this year for Best Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series. If you're an academy member and love our series please consider voting for us!
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Sydney Freeland is currently in pre-production on a Netflix feature Film entitled Lainey & Deirdre Rob A Train.
Katherine Fisher is in pre-production on a short film, Ink, directed by award winning writer/director Rosie Haber as part of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women.
Laura Zak is currently working on the Amazon animated series Danger & Eggs, and Jen Richards just wrapped production on the MACAIDSFUND series ‘Trans102’
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela