Mission StatementNICE GUY marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Lily Yasuda, as she and long-time collaborator Lila Streicher set out to create a bold new vision for Idaho filmmakers through an inclusive, crew-first production experience that prioritizes an equitable pay structure and top-tier talent.
About The Project
WHO'S THAT GIRL?
Hey there! We're Lily and Lila, two Japanese-American filmmakers based out of Boise, ID.
We met a few years ago on a photoshoot for wax encaustic artist Heather Bee (who just so happens to be the Production Designer on NICE GUY), and have since worked with, around, and on top of each other all over Boise. From commercial spots to indie films, we've worked on projects big and small across the Treasure Valley, and have been threatening to make something cool together since the pre-COVID times.
Lila's background is primarily in photography, with an affinity for lush, candid portraiture. She's a frequent figure on many Boise film sets, and has served as a producer for Filmfort (in conjunction with Treefort Music Fest) since 2019.
Lily is a writer (with occasional production tendancies) whose fascination for small, human stories is overshadowed only by her love of spreadsheets and showing up on time. She wrote, produced, and starred in the feature film LIKE LOVE, which was funded on Seed&Spark and released on Amazon Prime in 2021. NICE GUY marks Lily's first time in the director's chair, and she is thrilled to be collaborating with Lila on this passion project.
ABOUT "NICE GUY"
NICE GUY is about a young woman struggling to extract herself from an awkward hookup.
Set in a sleezy motel room, the film follows a GIRL (Andie Morgenlander) and BOY (Kirk Koczanowski), as they stumble through the drunken niceities of foreplay. What starts as a fun, consensual encounter slowly morphes into the sticky, zero-chemistry awkwardness of a bad first date.
We see the girl's desire to leave played out in a fantasty sequence in which she stops the makeout sesh and tries to put on her clothes and go home. However, the more she tries to excuse herself, the harder the boy pushes back. He won't let her go without a REASON ("Are you gay?" / "Do you have a boyfriend?"), and the situation escalates from awkwardness to violence, as he refuses to take "no" for an answer.
Ultimately, the girl is so petrified by this scenario she's played out in her head that she says nothing. She is so parylized by the "what ifs", by the shame of "making it weird", the possibility of making HIM feel uncomfortable, that she chooses passivity for fear of retaliation. A lifetime of being ignored, gaslit, laughed at, scolded, harassed and catcalled has rendered her unable to speak up for herself, even when the stakes are intensley personal.
"LIKE LOVE" AND THE NUANCE OF CONSENT
Lily's first feature film (LIKE LOVE, dir. Michael Wolfe 2020) centered on the unlikely friendship between a boy (Jackson) and a girl (Harper), struggling to find equilibrium in their relationship. A modern take on WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, LIKE LOVE was marketed as an "anti-romantic comedy" that strove to highlight the real-world implications of a genre that glamorizes the male persuit of love, even when the women involved are less than enthusiastic.
Preliminary screenings of the film yeilded a lot of mixed feedback, particularly from male viewers, who claimed that Harper was "taking advantage" of Jackson, since she chooses to have sex with him despite not liking him romantically. This was particularly evident in a pivotal scene halfway through the film, in which Harper and Jackson wind up in bed after Jackson confesses his feelings, and seems to imply that their friendship will end if Harper doesn't reciprocate.
The purpose of the scene was to capture the ugliness of Harper's predicament (Jackson wants to have sex, she risks losing their friendship if she says "no"), but many viewers were confused by the essential premise of the scene, as they found it unbelivable that Harper would stay silent.
NICE GUY is, in many ways, a response to this critique.
It seeks to explain the MANY reasons that a woman -- even one who is otherwise, confident, assertive and outspoken -- would stay silent when confronted with undesirable sex, from fear and shame to physical intimidation, violence and assault. This film isn't trying to point fingers or place blame, but rather encourage a candid conversation about how we view power, gender, and personal autonomy (both in and out of the bedroom).
WHY THIS STORY MATTERS
Mainstream media tends to lean heavily on violence and shock value, often using assault as a plot device or to motivate a sort of "YAAS QUEEN" feminism where the victim gets revenge on a Bad Guy.
This emphasis on "bad guys" (crazed hillbillies with knives, vengeful gangsters, gun-toting lunatics), can overlook or even erase the far more relatable world of misguided, painful or humiliating sex. Most of us have had at least one experience that left us feeling gross, used, or manipulated, often without the vocabulary to explain what went wrong.
NICE GUY seeks to challenge conventional narratives about sex and hookup culture, and encourage viewers of all gender identities to think about how they approach intimacy. We believe that storytelling can reshape how we view the world (and ourselves), and are excited to bring this provocative, timley film to screens big and small.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1. PLEDGE TODAY!
The #1 thing you can do to support this project is scrolling up and clicking the MAKE A PLEDGE button.
Whether it's $5 or $50, your contribution goes DIRECTLY to supporting the production of NICE GUY.
We know your social feeds are FULL of asks for clicks, likes and subscribes, but we believe this project is pretty cool (and hopefully you do too, since you read all the way to the bottom of our launch page!)
From camera rentals and location fees to catering, coffee and gas, this Seed&Spark campaign is what's going to bring this project to life, and we'd sure love if you decided to be a part of our team.
Crowdfunding takes-- well, a CROWD, so once you've made a pledge, we'd appreciate if you hyped us up to your friends, family or co-workers. Maybe you're part of a book club, a D&D group or a bacci ball team. We LOVE reaching new audiences and building enthusiasum for independent filmmakers, so it would mean the world to us if you sent out a few texts, emails, or DMs (find us on IG @niceguy.film) telling everyone how cool we are.
Why let the fun stop here? Keep tabs on the project, see exclusive BTS content, and hype us up to your followers by checking us out on social media. You can find our contacts at the top of the campaign page, or find Lily and Lila on their personal accounts.
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