Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Peeking inside the Changing Room

Yesterday I went to see the premiere screening of Changing Room, the first short film by my friend Holly Million (n�e Kaslewicz).

It's a comedy about serious issues. It's mostly about women's body issues and the Western cultural image of "perfection." But it also touches on issues, such as the effects of breast cancer and how toxins in our environment are actually carcinogens that lead to cancer (picture: A plastic surgeon fantasizes about a breast augmentation gone awry).

Holly's been working on this film for seven years I think (I remember reading one of the earliest scripts in 1999, I believe). Back in 2000 she asked Flux51, my former design company, to produce some props for the film.

We made fake magazine and catalog covers that parodied the sort of image-peddling publications we are all-too familiar with these days. G skewered GQ by featuring a picture of a woman whose dress had a dramatically plunging neckline. Veronica's Secret featured a model with an impossibly small waist (and was also a nod to Holly's longtime friend Veronica, although not intended to infer that she looks like the overly dramatized photo). And the San Francisco Conical was a bosom-buddy to the well-known daily newspaper. Yes, on these parodies, all puns were definitely intended.

I'll have to dig those files out sometime and post the designs.

During the screening, I was surprised that I even teared up a couple times. Not so much because of the messages, although I admit they're powerfully important, but because there was so much of Holly's personality and her own personal experience up there on the screen.

Interestingly, I had a more personal reaction to the story not because of the struggles of the characters, but because I know several of the real people behind the characters. I know that parts of the story are true. At the same time, I was incredibly proud to see how well it turned out as a piece of film, how much Holly had accomplished, knowing how very long she's worked toward its completion.

In fact, during the brief question and answer period following the film, I marveled for the first time about something I've always known about Holly, but had never realized in such fullness until that moment. She is a true renaissance woman. Fundraiser, filmmaker, nonprofit director, writer, editor, wife, friend, singer, surfer, and assuredly dozens of other things I don't even know. And don't even think about going up against her in Trivial Pursuit. Not to mention any game that involves knowing tons of movies! She'll whip even Ebert's fat ass.

Holly's got numerous other film projects planned, but Changing Room's not just going on the shelf. The plan has always been to show the film to women young and old, but especially in classrooms, which is why it runs a short 25 minutes. If you know any teachers or school districts that might be interested, please contact Holly.


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