Los Angeles, California | Film Short

LGBTQ, Satire

Shaina Rose Woolley

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $8,590 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

189 supporters | followers

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Unpack patriarchy in a film that offers fun for the whole family! This is a film intended to make you smile that centers nonbinary filmmakers telling a light-hearted story to move past the tropes of queer media. We are mixing the silent film era, the 50's, and queer joy to bring you SWOONTOWN.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

We are a collection of predominantly queer filmmakers committed to queer representation both on and off screen. Our story is a direct challenge to the non-inclusive, heteronormative stories that are told over and over again in this industry.

The Story

Yes, we are raising money for Swoontown during the pandemic! This is a scary and isolating time we are living in. We all need more joyful, inspiring content to contrast the bleak news reports. So many of us have turned to television and films to make us feel less alone and more understood. Creators everywhere are struggling with how to continue to tell stories that offer hope and inspiration when the world needs it most... but we are always having to hustle for the funding even before these unprecedented times. So, we refuse to be deterred. All we can do is move forward. Before the pandemic hit, the point of Swoontown was to bring all people joy. So, we think now, more than ever, it is important Swoontown is made as soon as it is safe to resume productions. We promise, with every update and step toward the finished and ready-to-view film, we will bring you a little more joy. 

Queer representation is finally en Vogue and we must seize the moment. Of the limited representation we have, it almost always and exclusively deals with coming out, heartbreak, familial rejection, or some other form of trauma. While these stories are undoubtedly important, we deserve so much more than heartache when it comes to seeing ourselves on screen. While it is amazing to see more trans stories being told, there is little to no representation of nonbinary trans people. A lot of queer representation is meant to illuminate the harsh realities of the queer experience to a cisgender and straight audience. Swoontown is different. It’s time for a queer, romance, adventure starring two nonbinary actors!



Swoontown is a film made by queer and trans people for queer and trans people. It’s an opportunity to laugh at ourselves and all the past versions of ourselves we’ve experienced in trying to figure out who we are. 

Swoontown is a critique of the gender binary and how absurd it is we are expected to check one of two boxes: male or female. The gender binary pervades the queer community, which then becomes a microcosm that mirrors patriarchy, heteronormativity, and binary ways of existing. There are more genders than male and female and there are more queer presentations than butch and femme. So, what about all of us queers somewhere in between? When you start thinking deeply about the performative nature of gender you will probably realize you don’t fit strictly into one box. And why should you even want to? We are all complicated, layered, and wonderfully unique! 

Swoontown hits these themes to encourage everyone (in and out of the queer community) to think deeply about how patriarchy has informed the ways we present ourselves and the roles we take on in relationships. It does so through humor, a stylized aesthetic, and a light-hearted storyline. While one intention is to encourage the critique of patriarchy, it is just as important that we make you smile! 



Because queer stories are valuable to our society and they deserve high production value. This is a film where queer creators are taking charge of writing our own narratives in the way we want to, we need to build community and support eachother. Together we can create unique, cinematic stories that center nonbinary filmmakers in a way that has never been done before. If you read all the way to here, then we’re guessing you also read why this film matters. We are going to create a really beautiful film, we just need your support to get there!


We will submit the film to independent film festivals and hopefully travel around the country and even possibly the world! We are so excited to get this film to audiences around the globe and make an impact with Swoontown. There will be screenings in LA at arthouse theaters and private screenings. It will also be available for viewing by link if you contribute to the campaign starting at the $10 level! 

Swoontown is currently in pre-production! That means we have a script and all the key crew roles filled: producer, director, cast, director of photography, production designer, gaffer, makeup, hair, composer, and editor! We are currently looking for a location for the film, workshopping the characters with the actors, coordinating with peoples schedules, and preparing all the paperwork that needs to be done like get film permits. Our plan is to raise $10,000 so we can pay for all the things we just listed and shoot in June (or whenever possible due to COVID-19)! We are hoping to be fully edited by August and then start submitting to festivals at the end of summer 2020! So, depending on what level you contribute, you could see the film as early as August (if all goes to plan)! WE ARE SO EXCITED!



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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Food and Travel

Costs $500

We gotta keep people well-fed on set. This is mandatory on a small passion project.

Cast and Crew Salary

Costs $2,500

That's cheap!

Camera Rentals

Costs $1,000

Can't make a movie without a camera and lights!


Costs $1,000

This movie is all about the LOOK.

Production Design

Costs $1,500

This movie is all about the LOOK and the PROPS.

About This Team



(they, them, theirs)


In addition to being the writer/director of Swoontown, Shaina works at Seed&Spark supporting the education department and as the Executive Assistant to Emily Best. They are a production designer, photographer, and run a queer circus! They graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts in 2017 then went off to be a camp counselor for trans kids at the best summer camp in the world, Camp Tawonga! After a brief stint on a farm, they returned to LA to focus on bringing positive, colorful representation to the queer community. They also love cartoons, the ocean, and tangerines! 


(he, him, his)


Luke is a writer and director based in San Francisco, CA and originally from Jacksonville, FL. He is a graduate of USC film school. Beside’s being a merit tuition scholarship recipient, Luke was USC’s nomination for the 2016 Princess Grace Award, and one of the first students to be awarded a Jaunt VR Grant for his senior project which was also featured in the annual USC First Look showcase. After graduating, Luke worked on the award winning documentary, Gay Chorus Deep South which inspired him to continue to tell stories that celebrate otherness, especially those from his own LGBTQ+ community. His award winning films have been featured at more than twenty international film festivals, and gathered over half a million views online. Luke has been telling stories and putting on elaborate productions since he could first walk and talk. He attended a performing arts high school for theater and served as the State Representative for the Florida Thespian Society before he went on to study acting at Boston University for two years. At the age of twenty Luke took a twelve year hiatus from writing, directing and acting to pursue an unprecedented classical ballet career, for having started so late, with San Francisco Ballet and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.



(they, them, theirs)


River Gallo is a GLAAD award-winning Salvadoran-American filmmaker, actor, writer, model and intersex advocate, born and raised in New Jersey. They are a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Experimental Theatre Wing and the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts MFA program. "Ponyboi," their USC thesis film which they wrote, directed, and acted in, is the first narrative film created by and starring an out intersex person in cinema history. Produced by Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson, Ponyboi premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. River will act in the upcoming series “Love, Victor” on Hulu, a spinoff of  the film “Love, Simon”. They have also worked in the branded content space partnering with Birchbox Beauty, NYC Pride, and French fashion house Maison Margiela. In 2019, River received the ‘Rising Star Award’ at the GLAAD Media Awards, were named one of the “Most Exciting Queer People to Follow” by Out Magazine, and made PAPER Magazine’s list of “100 People Taking Over 2019”. River is the CEO and co-founder of Gaptoof Entertainment, a multi-media production house in Los Angeles, which focuses on intersectionality and creating inclusive spaces for POC, LGBTQIA+, and womnxn narratives.


(he, him, his)


Chandler Desforges is a cinematographer based in Los Angeles, CA.  After graduating from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, he embarked on a number of ambitious projects, including a soon to be announced, Netflix Original Documentary that has taken him to 14 states and the UK, a pilot that balances comedy and drama to paint a more realistic picture of the modern queer experience, and a documentary about the gay rights movement that took place in San Francisco in response to the AIDS crisis. He is very passionate about new paths and forms for the future of queer cinema.


(she, her, hers)


Taylor Blake, born and raised in Burbank, CA, is a 22 year old multi-instrumentalist and composer. Since age 10 she has played woodwinds, guitar, bass, and drums in various bands. She is currently studying in the CalState Northridge Jazz Program to earn her saxophone performance degree. Taylor is passionate about the jazz tradition, along with many other genres of improvised and experimental music. She strives to make music that is beautiful, ugly, and touching to her listeners.



(she, her, hers)


Johnna J Perez is a 24 year old, LA-based, published makeup and effects artist, who is extremely passionate about helping people feel confident in their skin.

Her interest in beauty and fake blood started around age 16, but she got her professional start after attending EI School of Professional Makeup. She dove straight into freelancing, and has since had the opportunities to work on a multitude of music videos, advertisements, photo shoots, weddings, trade shows, events, and has been Key Make Up Artist on 2 independent films.

Her favorite part about her job is getting to collaborate with beautiful people (all of which are dynamic and unique!) by turning them into art. 

(he, him, his)

Native - First Nation, French Canadian, LA resident since 2012. I received my BA in Art with an emphasis in sculpture and design (2006). I am currently working on a sculpture exhibit exploring the different identities we evoke as First Nation Innu Tribe. I have been working with hair as my medium for over ten years (2009), and found my true passion in the salon working with creative color and color theory.  


Hair styling, cutting shapes and color application comes very naturally to me because it involves creativity and working with my hands.  Lately, I have been known for my foiling technic of highlights, lifts for a lighter natural look, balayage, and lowlights, but I often do overall creative color.  I  continue to educate myself in the newest color techniques and products offered to keep up with the latest trends. I use Goldwell color and my favorite schools are Vidal Sassoon and Davines. 

Current Team