Oh hiiiii! Yes, that's right -- our fundraising campaign for Freelancers Anonymous on Seed and Spark is now live!
Why have a fundraising campaign, you may ask? Wellllll, we're looking for that final push for marketing, film festivals, music licensing, and whole lotta stuff for post production. Help us make the best movie we can!
The campaign can be found HERE.
So honored and proud to have been part of the writers' room for season 2 of a digital streaming series...
More details to come as things develop, but for now enjoy this picture of me slumped over my computer, thus proving why I will forever have back problems.
Comedy ‘Freelancers Anonymous’ Gives Visibility To Women & The LGBTQ Community In Tech
October 3, 2017 at 10:00 am
(original link: http://girltalkhq.com/comedy-freelancers-anonymous-gives-visibility-to-women-lgbtq-community-in-tech/)
We’re all about highlighting media that puts women’s voices at the center. We love it even more when we see film and TV content that becomes a vehicle for intersectionality, discussing important topics that seek to dismantle patriarchal norms and create space at the table for those who have typically been excluded from the mainstream.
We’re also passionate about supporting the work of female filmmakers, at a time when studies show women made up only 7% of directors on the top 250 grossing films in 2016, and that is a DROP in number from the previous year. San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television in film also found that women accounted for 13% of writers, 17% of executive producers, 24% of producers, 17% of editors and 5% of cinematographers. In a nutshell, nowhere near equal.
And it’s not as if female filmmakers and entertainment focused on intersectional issues don’t exist. A new feature film currently in production in Chicago called ‘Freelancers Anonymous’ is an example of exciting new content that is offering audiences something different than the tired mainstream Hollywood “white, male savior” trope. It is a fast and fun comedy that highlights the LGBTQ community and women in tech.
‘Freelancers Anonymous’ is directed by award-winning Spanish filmmaker Sonia Sebastian, produced and written by Amy Dellagiarino and Lisa Cordileone. It featured a top notch cast, including Alexandra Billings (‘Transparent’), Jennifer Bartels (‘American Woman’/Paramount Network) and Mouzam Makkar (‘Champions’/NBC) among others.
The story follows central character Billie who hates her job and is desperate for a change. So she quits a few months ahead of her wedding. When she breaks the news to her fiance Gayle, things don’t go exactly as planned. Billie meets a ragtag group of women who are also looking for employment, and is struck with the idea of cultivating their skills to develop an app for freelancers.
Described as “a lesbian comedy of errors” in a press release, ‘Freelancers Anonymous’ is part of a brand with a narrative story that will crossover and integrate on multiple platforms for a unique and engaging experience. The filmmakers wanted to make a film that not only reflected their own real life experiences, but also gave visibility to women and the LGBTQ community working in STEM industries.
“It all started when Amy and Lisa realized how much they hated their day jobs. Seriously. They sucked ass. So, they wanted to make a movie about it. Then a funny thing happened. They met Sonia, a passionate director from Spain who’s made some funny movies too,” said a description on the film’s website.
“What if we can actually affect change and close the gender gap in the workplace by crossing the lines from story to usable technology, and support women and the LGBTQ community working in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) industries?” it continued about its mission.
With the recent furor surrounding the controversial leaked Google Memo by a former male employee who thinks women are not equal to men, as well as numerous viral stories about sexual harassment and the dominant “bro culture” still existing in Silicon Valley, centering the voices and lives of women in tech couldn’t be more important right now.
Statistics show women hold only 25% of computing jobs, own only 5% of startups, and earn only 28% of computer science degrees, it’s clear there is a need for change. A recent study which surveyed 2000 professionals who voluntarily left their jobs found that bullying is increasingly driving LGBTQ individuals away from the tech sector.
“It found LGBTQ employees were the most likely to be bullied (20 percent) and experience public humiliation or embarrassment (24 percent), both at significantly higher rates than non-LGBTQ employees (13 percent). Nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ people surveyed (64 percent) said bullying contributed to their decision to leave their company,” wrote John Paul Brammer for NBC News.
Produced by Full Spectrum Features, the filmmaking team talk about their vision for ‘Freelancers Anonymous’, how they want it to be a a film that sparks challenging discussion about the issues facing women and LGBTQ people in tech.
“The gap in the market for the LGBTQ community and women in STEM industries pales in comparison to our male counterparts. Gender parity has become a hot button issue over the past several years in Hollywood and we are passionate about creating content that fills this gap! Our team’s unique vision is to integrate a narrative across several platforms and create a transmedia company that can engage audiences in new and exciting way. We are eager to create strong and positive representation for the LGBTQ community, as well as women in comedy, women in STEM industries, and female-driven stories,” they said.
In an interview with Screen Magazine, producer/writer Amy says audiences are ready for new types of stories about women and told by women.
“What’s exciting to me about this film is that not only is it a big, silly comedy, but it’s one made up almost entirely of women, mainly focusing on women in tech. I don’t think a lot of people are doing that type of thing right now, and I think it’s something everyone is ready for,” she said.
We’re excited to see the release of ‘Freelancers Anonymous’ and will update readers closer to the date. In the meantime, you can get updates on the film’s website and by following theFacebook Page.
FREELANCERS ANONYMOUS Shoots This Month, Stars TRANSPARENT's BillingsSeptember 19, 2017 by Mike McNamara
The fast and fun new LGBTQ comedy feature FREELANCERS ANONYMOUS is currently shooting in Chicago, and they have lured a Chicago native back home to join the cast of this unique production. Chicago's Alexandra Billings of the Golden Globe winning series TRANSPARENT has joined award-winning Spanish filmmaker Sonia Sebastian (DE CHICA EN CHICA/Amazon) and Chicago producers/co-writers Lisa Cordileone and Amy Dellagiarino (all three pictured left).
A lesbian COMEDY OF ERRORS, written, directed, and starring an ensemble of women, FREELANCERS ANONYMOUS is part of a brand with a narrative story that will crossover and integrate on multiple platforms for a truly unique and engaging experience. "What makes us unique is that we are integrating a story across multiple platforms, from media in film to usable technology, in a way that not only gives visibility to the LGBTQ community, but also invites audiences who would usually be more hesitant to see the world through the lens of a woman who just happens to be gay," co-writer Cordileone told SCREEN.
The Return of Alexandra Billings
This film is also notable in that it marks the return of acclaimed transgender actor Alexandra Billings back to Chicago. Billings was a mainstay of the Chicago theatre scene, anchoring award-winning productions at Steppenwolf, About Face Theatre, the Organic, Northlight and Bailiwick. After heading out west in 2004, Ms. Billings landed on episodes of GREY'S ANATOMY and ROMY AND MICHELLE: THE BEGINNING before getting her break in the role of "Davina" on the Golden Globe winning series TRANSPARENT. Billings is joined by actors Mouzam Makkar (NBC series CHAMPIONS), Natasha Negovanlis (CARMILLA), Jennifer Bartels (AMERICAN WOMAN) and Megan Cavanagh (A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN).
In FREELANCERS ANONYMOUS, Billie #hatesherjob and is desperate for a change, so she quits mere months before getting married. When she breaks the news to her fiancee Gayle, things don’t go exactly as planned. Billie meets a ragtag group of women who are also looking for employment, and is struck with the idea of cultivating their skills to create an app for freelancers.
Behind the Camera
The triumvirate of Dellagiarino, Sebastian and Cordileone have assembled a top-notch production team, which includes Director of Photography Alvaro Martin Blanco, 1st Assistant Director Timothy Farrell, and Production Manager RoseMary Prodonovich. FREELANCERS ANONYMOUS is also being produced by Full Spectrum Features in association with Black Apple Media, who recently teamed up to produce Signature Move, which was released in March of this year.
For co-writer Dellagiarino, "what's exciting to me about this film is that not only is it a big, silly comedy, but it's one made up almost entirely of women, mainly focusing on women in tech. I don't think a lot of people are doing that type of thing right now, and I think it's something everyone is ready for."
FREELANCERS ANONYMOUS continues shooting through October 5th throughout Chicago, primarily in the Andersonville and Ravenswood neighborhoods.
For more about this film, visit freelancersanonymousmovie.com. As this film forges ahead through production... as always, I'll keep you posted!
Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org and Programming Associate for U.S. Narrative Features at the Sundance Film Festival. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.
Ha, yes, I know it's very strange to be positing about a website on a website, BUT THAT'S WHAT I'M DOING! The website for the movie Freelancers Anonymous is now live at freelancersanonymousmovie.com! Come check us out! Sign up for updates! There will be so much more in the coming weeks and months!
Just a little taste of what I've been working on the past few months... Freelancers Anonymous is coming soon -- more info (and a snazzy website!) to follow! STAY. TUNED.
The first official reading of the 90 minute comedy feature "Freelancers Anonymous" is upon us! "Freelancers Anonymous" follows Billie as she tries to balance work plus home life with the "help" of a ragtag group of women freelancers.
Co-written with my partner in crime Lisa Cordileone (who will star in it) our film features one script, two writers, one director and ten plus characters: all women.
BAM! Happy International Women's Day. On it's way to some final revisions, and then upward and onward to pre-production! Aiming for a 2018 release!
Playwright, screenwriter, artist, author and everything in between...