HANDBAG - Where are we now?
"You see, I am a fag hag. Fag hags are the backbone of the gay community. Without us, you're nothing! We have been there all through history guiding your sorry ass through the underground railroad! We went to the prom with you!”
- Margaret Cho, I'm The One That I Want book and tour.
It’s almost embarrassing that it’s been SO LONG since I thought of making Handbag, but we know now that it’s a pretty normal journey for an independent film like ours. And happily, we've finished the film! After really pushing for the last few years, and raising all the money ourselves, we’ve found the funds and finished the whole process with the remarkable post-production team who were instrumental in helping us find the story and make a compelling film.
The film has had two beginnings - in 2004, when Monica first stated filming her friends and kids at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and then a restart in 2013 when Monica and Phoebe teamed up to kickstart the process again and get the film finished.
In that time we've raised money through our first Pozible crowd funding campaign to pay for the sections of the film shot in the USA. Monica and a dedicated group of US-based crew filmed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington and New York to capture the pop culture and academic side of the story.
We've also crowdfunded twice more to pay for the Australian leg of the shoot, our Mardi Gras float, and to pay for editing and music. In 2016 we also held a charity screening for the movie, to raise some pesky final funds for licensing and animation. We even had one dedicated fan show up to the screening with $500 in cash to pop in the kitty! Sadly the sounds failed us at the last moment, so Monica was forced to narrate some of the scenes AND sing the backing tracks, but our enthusiastic (and tipsy) audience joined in for the world's first karaoke screening of HANDBAG.
The making of HANDBAG has been a wild and unpredictable rollercoaster of ups and downs, peppered with tragedy, seat-of-the-pants funding, prevailing upon the kindness of literally everyone we know, and a whole lot of laughs. The making of this movie could be a movie all by itself!
Finally, though, we're done. The film is completed and we're happy to be able to share it with you - admittedly via password only as we never did make enough money to clear all our licences.
THANK YOU everyone for helping us to make this dream come true and shine a big bold spotlight on the wonderful women who have helped support gay men through the decades.
What a fine and wonderful group of humans you are!
Monica Davidson, director, Handbag