E is for:
When a Black Queer Non-Binary barista/street medic who just moved back to their southern hometown realizes they’ve connected to an alternate version of themselves in another timeline, it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “You’re just talking to yourself.”
Mission StatementOur story is one about seeking out community and inclusivity. We honor this with our choices of cast and crew. Our team consists of people of color, LGBTQ+, and more than a few female, non-binary, and trans individuals. They offer not only technical expertise but life experience to infuse into E.
About The Project
"E is for is a non-linear black queer scifi feature film inspired by the works of Octavia Butler and Ursala K. Le Guin. It’s a story of Recovery and Self-Love as Revolution, Community and Quantum Physics. And also a deeply personal story, as biopic as one can get in a genre piece.
This film is for the Black kids, the Queer kids, for the Nerds, and the misfit outsiders who want to find themselves and the place they belong. It's a Reclamation. And we’re excited to share this story of hopeful rebellion with you."
WINNER OF 2020 SouthPitch: Narrative Open-Call: as selected by the jury, receiving an unrestricted $2,000 grant for the project from the New Orleans Film Society as well as a $40,000 post-production package (to include post-production consultation, online conform, and Full Digital Intermediate color grade) from Kyotocolor.
E is For: is an incredibly personal story of discovering and solidifying one’s identity. It is intimate, emotional, compassionate, and even brutal at times. Its narrative framing, within a Science Fiction (SF) structure where alternate realities not only exist, but sometimes connect, serves to highlight the struggles and triumphs of a Black queer, non-binary person fighting for themselves and the ones they love.
E pulls no punches, it is unabashedly autobiographical, MJ Eastin wrote from a place of true struggle and vulnerability, all the intersections where their life has converged to form the storyteller they are today. The script is a send-up to recovery, to revolution by way of self-love, community, and the power of SF narratives to carve out space for conversations we need to have in order to make the world we live in a better place for all.
Intimate Science Fiction and self-contained character driven dramas from Directors Kelly Riechardt, Julia Hart, Mike Cahill and Andrea Arnold,have heavily influenced the look and feel of our story.
We have chosen 1.33:1 as our aspect ratio and the RED Weapon as our camera. This framing was carefully considered and ultimately decided on to convey a more intimate feel. The two protagonists are the same yet different. This aspect ratio will help communicate this by allowing for tall open scenes as well as a claustrophobic sensibility. Duality and juxtaposition treated with equal respect. Vintage Zeiss primes with natural wear and tear will be our primary glass. Their imperfections will assist us in achieving our lived-in feel for southern landscapes, both the mental and physical.
Principle photography is set for December 2020, where varying shades of blue will dominate. The addition of pink as a key color speaks to the traditional idea of binary when concerning gender. The hero of the story comes with their own pop of color, bright yellow. Among other meanings, yellow denotes clarity and wisdom, ideas that E is attempting to imbue to Eleanor throughout the film.
[SYMBOLS AND MOTIFS]
The story is set in Upstate South Carolina, a former textile capital of the world. Textiles as armor, modes of connection and in some cases, as imprisonment bind characters together. Within the film the idea of string and by extension, string theory creates a tapestry of diverse characters and consequences underlining its visual subtext.
We have chosen a pace that is reflective of steady breathwork. An inhale and exhale, following the breath all the way out, even when it’s difficult. There are gut punch adrenaline pulsing moments pushing the story forward but there is also recovery.
We’ve attached an incredibly talented black queer female musician who will be melding elements of soul and ambient electronic tones to what will be a very sparse film, sonically. Where there is music featured, we’re making it count.
Sept 15th 2020 - Script Lock
Oct 15th 2020 - Cast and Crew Locked
Nov 6th 2020 - Budget Locked
Dec 4th-Dec 18th 2020 - Principle Photography
Jan-April 2021 - Post Production
May 2021 - Cast and Crew Premiere and Festival Release
Rapid Testing three days before, paid for by Production. Temp checks administered every day upon arriving to set. Full PPE on set until camera is ready to roll and only then will Cast remove masks. Masks for Crew will remain on at all times with the exception of lunch. See below. There will be a maximum of ten people on set at once and only necessary crew will be allowed to remain in small spaces. Hand washing stations and hand sanitizer will be provided. Lunch will be single-use individually wrapped and socially distanced. Cast and crew are required to quarantine on their days off in between shoot days. No bars, parties, or clubs during the window of booked time on this production.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND CONSIDERATION. LETS TELL BEAUTIFUL STORIES TOGETHER.
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About This Team
MJ Slide Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Lead Actor
MJ Slide (They/Them) is a Black Queer Non-binary multidisciplinary writer/artist and creative professional with a concentration in Film Production and Editorial.Their background spans almost a decade of setlife and story development in the commercial and narrative realm. They directed their first short at 14 and never looked back, writing and directing their first feature film at age 22 and optioning two feature scripts to production companies. MJ is a voracious reader of Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction and periodicals like Tin House and Emergence Magazine. When not on the clock, you’ll find them bumming around town with an analog point and shoot, hanging out with friends, and mucking about in the kitchen crafting coffee mocktails and vegan comfort food. When all is said and done, They simply want to tell good stories with good people. Power to the People.
Rebecca Isbill Davis Co-Writer/Director
Rebecca Isbill Davis (She/Her) is a filmmaker based in Greenville, South Carolina. Since graduating from Bard College in 2004 Rebecca has worked in various levels of film, from the production and camera departments of feature films in New York, to working in whatever capacity required for no-budget shorts released by the local indie film scene of Greenville. She directed the cyberpunk short film Future Flu in 2017, which was shot in Seoul, South Korea in Korean and appeared in 4 film festivals. Rebecca’s passion is “Science Fiction without the Whiz-Bam-Pow,” preferring the “what if’s” of speculative fiction to shiny special effects. In addition to filmmaking, Rebecca works as an Emergency Medical Technician. She credits her experience in this role for a more robust understanding of humanity and its motivations. Rebecca has recently completed Passage, a short film shot and edited solely by Rebecca, featuring one character, and produced within the socially distanced restrictions of COVID. She is currently in pre-production on E is For:, her feature film directorial debut.