Grace Note

Denver, Colorado | Film Short

Romance, LGBTQ

Shannon Massey Smith (she/her)

1 Campaigns | Colorado, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $5,711 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

89 supporters | followers

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LGBTQ+ people are more than plot devices & repressed period pieces. We are charming musicians, bubbly authors, and well intentioned friends. This is for everyone sitting in front of a screen searching for themselves. Grace Notes is full of the charming levity everyone needs in these trying times.

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
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Mission Statement

I've spent my entire adult life working in the entertainment industry. I have seen how marginalized creators, and particularly women, are treated. I want to uplift and amplify those marginalized voices and create a safe space to make everything from radical feminist art to fluffy lesflicks. -Shannon

The Story

Meet Amara, a bubbly lesbian romance author looking for a romance she doesn't have to write.


And Mik, a non-binary songwriter too focused on their career to find love.


Amara meets Mik on a dating app. She's nervous but excited for their first date.

The only problem? Mik has never used a dating app.

Thankfully, Mik is intrigued, both by the mystery and Amara.

Their search for an explanation takes them across dimensions as they discover a genuine connection and mutual interest. 


From the writer

Hi, I'm Jax, an autistic, non-binary lesbian and I love lesbian* romance. For me, it's the perfect escape from the harshness of the world. While there's no shortage of excellent lesbian books, finding similar content in film is a challenge. That's why I'm a screenwriter and not just a novelist. I need a steady supply of happy, cute, realistic lesbian content, especially after the past year and change.

Grace Note began as a writing prompt from EP Anthony Pittore. Write about a first date and include a mystery and a lie. So I did. Mik and Amara were remarkably easy to discover on the page. But the real magic happened at the table read as Erin and Emily brought these characters to life. 

This story is a moment in time between two people who need a little help finding each other. My hope is their spark gives you a boost whenever you need one.

* Why the asterix? Because there are many definitions of lesbian. In the case I'm using it to define the story content moreso than the characters. Women (or non-binary humans identifying with the label) falling in love with each other, whether they identify as bi, pan, lesbian or something else.

From the director

Girls To The Front! Productions name is a nod to Kathleen Hanna and the Riot Grrrl Manifesto. Our goal is to uplift and empower marginalized creators, particularly women (and non-binary individuals). We want to foster a safe space where our cast and crew can create and thrive without some of the typical fears you have as a marginalized creative walking onto set.

We have to consider everything from "will the makeup team know how to work with my hair/skin tones?" to "am I going to be harrassed by people because of my gender (or precieved gender) identity?" and everything in between.

GTTF! is commited to those questions never being asked on one of our sets. Grace Note is no exception.

One thing we're proud of with the Grace Note production team is we're predominantly LGBTQ+ women and non-binary individuals that are well regarded in our respective fields.

With the talent we have both in front and behind the camera this film has the potential to be award winning.

Where does the money go and why do we need it?

Our budget is $5600. Which might seem like a lot but it's really not when you break it down.

About $3725.00 goes to cast and crew paychecks. We're all working for reduced dayrates on par with union scale.

Kimman Harmon DP - Her typical dayrate is closer to $4500 as is normal for someone that's been in the industry for nearly 4 decades. She's offered to shoot Grace Note for $1200. She's worked with icons like Oprah and Warren Miller, and is a regular collaborator with channels like Discovery and PBS.

Kelly Kramarik, production sound - Her typical dayrate is $800, she's doing sound for us for $500. She regularly collaborates with Starz and has a masters in recording arts.

Cory Taylor Bryant, Hair & Makeup - Cory has been featured on networks ranging from CNN to SyFy and MTV to the NFL Network. She is an award winning HMU artist that has graciously reduced her rates for us, typically her rates are closer to $500 for straight beauty and $750 for more intricate work. The $350 goes to Cory and an assistant to get our cast camera ready.

Evelina Mikeljohn, BTS photography - Evelina is a Denver based photographer that does a lot of work in the fantasy, cosplay, and larp scenes. Her indie rates usually start at $350. She's dropped her rate to $250 for us. It's important to document this process and we want to give our contributors some cool Behind The Scene's shots. She got a photo of our director, Shannon Massey Smith, dabbing in a full body greensuit on the last set they worked on together. Would you like to see it? Contribute at the quarter note level or above and we'll include it as a special bonus!

Shannon Massey Smith, Director/Producer - Shannon discounted her dayrate from $800 to $125 because this project isn't about money for her but helping to bring these characters to life. She has helped clients win hundreds of awards, presteigious fellowships, and you've probably seen something she worked on various streaming platforms or in the theatres. She's been working in the industry since the Titanic swept the oscars and looks forward to many more decades to come.

Jax Meyer, writer - We want to pay Jax for writing this awesome script. Industry standard is 1%-3% of the total budget. So we hope to raise $150 for them.

EDITOR, TBD - We have dozens of resume's from unbelieveably talented people that we're going through now. They've all agreed to discount their rates to $250 to bring this to life in post.

POST SOUND, TBD - We have dozens of resume's from unbelieveably talented people that we're going through now. They've all agreed to discount their rates to $250 to sweeten the sound & help bring this to life in post.

Emily Tuñon, Amara Sinclair - You may recognize Emily from her work on Globos Negros as Sophia or AP Bio as Vicky. SAG/AFTRA shoot so we're paying the day rate for a low budget short, $206.

Erin Manker, Mik Jamison - You may recognize Erin from their work on S.W.A.T as Laurisa or The Fosters as Jessica. SAG/AFTRA shoot so we're paying the day rate for a low budget short, $206.

Surprise guest #1 - If you're an American Ninja Warrior fan or love quirky webseries you'll be excited to see this surprise guest. We're paying the 1/2 day rate for a low budget short, $119.

Surprise guest #2 - If you're a fan of I Put the Bi in Bitter you'll be excited for this surprise guest. We're paying the 1/2 day rate for a low budget short, $119.

Travis, our Art director, and Anthony, our EP, are both volunteering their time & skills to this project because they believe in being good allies & supporting other marginalized creators.

Other expenses

Travel expenses - $700. We need to fly Erin & Emily to Denver from LA, set them up with lodging, & give them a small daily stipend. This is all in accordance with SAG/AFTRA guidelines.

Art Department budget - $100. This is the bare minimum we need to ensure we have all props & set dressing needed for the film.

Music rights - $250. This is another instance where someone is giving us a deeply discounted rate to use their music. We have a well known award winning musician letting us use a song for Grace Note. If you want to find out who, contribute at the Half Note or above & you may just find a secret spotify playlist in your inbox.

Craft Services - $275. This covers cast & crew meals and snacks on set and will also help us ensure Emily and Erin's lodging has some meal options for them when they're not working.

Location fees - $225. This covers the location allowing us to film interior/exterior shots & any permits we may need to obtain.

Festival fees - $200. This is the minimum needed to send Grace Note to key festivals before distributing it online via a streaming service.

COVID Safety measures - $125. Almost our entire cast/crew is vaccinated! However we still want to take all the necessary precaustions to ensure that we keep our cast & crew safe during this pandemic.

Additional resources - Money contributed under the additional resources part of our wishlist ensures we can provide free child/dependent/pet care & mental health/wellness resources such as an on-call councelor, nutritionist, & massuse. Regardless of how much we raise here GTTF! always offers these resources, even if it ends up paying for them out of pocket.

Please contribute whatever you can to help give Amara and Mik the happy ending they deserve.


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Additional resources for cast & crew

Costs $1

$ donated here helps us offer free childcare, dependent care, pet care, & health/wellbeing resources

Behind The Scenes photography

Costs $250

Evelina Meiklejohn has discounted her day rate from $500 to $250 for us so we can have BTS photos :)

Art department budget

Costs $100

This will help us with art department shenanigans!

Music rights

Costs $250

We have some talented musicians graciously helping us out with this project, more info coming soon!


Costs $650

Our brilliant actors deserve to be paid. This covers our main cast and two surprise guests.

Travel Expenses

Costs $700

Flights for Erin and Emily from LA to Denver, an AirBNB while they’re here, and a daily stipend.

Director Of Photography

Costs $1,200

Award winning DP, Kimman Harmon, has decades of experience. This is her discounted day rate w/equip.

Production Sound

Costs $500

Kelly Kramarik is a respected sound magician lending her talents to our production.


Costs $125

Our director, Shannon, is working for a reduced rate because she believes in this project.


Costs $150

We want to pay our writer, Jax, for creating this awesome script!


Costs $250

Everything comes together in editing. We want to pay our editor for their work.

Post Sound

Costs $250

Quality sound is important, so we need to pay our post sound editor.

Hair and Make up Stylist

Costs $350

Award winning makeup artist, Cory Taylor Bryant, offered to work at a discounted rate to support us.

Craft Services

Costs $275

A hangry cast and crew is never good! Healthy food and beverages goes a long way.


Costs $225

This budgets for location fees and permits

Festival fees

Costs $200

Festivals allow us to reach a larger audience.

COVID safety

Costs $125

Because we’re in a pandemic it’s important to take precautions and do this safely.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Hello! My name is Shannon Massey Smith(she/her), owner of Girls To The Front! Productions. I'm a wicked gay writer, filmmaker, and single mom. I started GTTF! with the express goal of uplifting the voices of marginalized creators and smashing the patriarchy one film at a time. I have worked in the industry for 20+ years on sets and 15+ years as a ghostwriter and script doctor. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to support Jax in bringing their film to life. 

Hi, I'm Jax Meyer(they/she), novelist and screenwriter, without a cool company name like Shannon. This is my first production (insert squee here) and beyond excited to be working with Shannon. I'm also wicked gay, non-binary, autistic, and a mom-- but not single. My wife and I have been together for 21 years now and have a 6 year old daughter. My focus, whether writing novels, movies, shorts, or TV pilots, is to create nuanced, queer characters, let them do awesome things, and give them a happy ending. If that's something you're also interested in, be sure to follow me because there are a lot more stories on the way!

Current Team