Seattle, Washington | Film Short

Drama, LGBTQ

Norma Straw

1 Campaigns | Washington, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $15,571 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

49 supporters | followers

Enter the amount you would like to pledge


This film explores the nuance of human experience in relation to the body, gender and the unexpected realities of trying to be yourself. It is inspired by the life of Jodi Jaecks, a cancer survivor who wanted to swim. Funding will support production of this film, scheduled for early 2018.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

This film is born from queer and allied community. The writer/director is a white lesbain. One of the lead characters is an African-American trans-masculin person, the other lead is a white lesbian. The majority of the cast and crew are people of color and/or queer & trans & gender non-conforming.

The Story

TOPLESS is a narrative short film that follows two strangers as they undergo breast removal operations for very different reasons. Jules has cancer and needs a double mastectomy. Harrison is physically transitioning from female-bodied to male-bodied and needs top surgery. Their paths cross months after surgery as they are both swimming, topless, in a public pool and one of them is asked to cover-up or leave. It is inspired by the true life expereinces of Jodi Jaecks.  For more information on this story click on the link to the LA Times coverage on the incident.  


Jodi Jaecks in real life. Jodi is cast as the lead character Jules. 


Mitch Mitchell in real life. Mitch is cast as the lead character Harrison. 





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

Get Crafty!

Costs $300

Want to get crafty? Help feed our hungry cast & crew with snacks and meals during production.

Hard Drives

Costs $300

Help us preserve our footage with a safe and secure hard drive from G-Technology.


Costs $750

This will be the primary location at which we shoot TOPLESS.

Director of Photography

Costs $1,500

We need a great DP to make TOPLESS look great!


Costs $1,500

Post-production isn't complete without a steady-handed editor!

Production Design

Costs $1,000

A production designer will help us create authentic and powerful sets.


Costs $750

This covers the rental fee for a top quality digital camera.

Festival submission fees

Costs $500

Short films are best viewed on big screens at film festivals.

Key Grip

Costs $500

An essential part of the camera crew.


Costs $500

A key member of the camera crew. They bring the light!


Costs $1,250

Everyone must dress the part! Prosthetics will also be used in this project.

Production Assistants

Costs $500

Production assistants are the backbone of any film shoot.

Location Sound

Costs $1,000

Can't make a good movie without good sound.

Gas and transportation

Costs $350

Helps us get gear, talent and crew to and from set and legally parked.


Costs $2,000

We've got our eyes on some amazing actors and we can't wait to hire and pay them what they deserve!

Film Score and Original Songs

Costs $1,500

Great movies have great music! And we LOVE Grace LOVE!

Production Supplies

Costs $600

You can never have enough gaffe tape on set!


Costs $500

Renting a high quality set of lenses will make a beautiful image.

Make-up Artist & Supplies

Costs $1,000

A make-up artist and proper supplies will help create a believable look for each character.


Costs $1,000

A team of good eggs pulls together all the details and keep us on schedule and on budget.

Meals for Cast and Crew

Costs $700

Keep the cast and crew fueled with more than donuts. Veggies and protein for all!

Assistant Director

Costs $1,000

The AD sets the schedule, manages the set and keeps the trains running on time and on track.


Costs $1

Leading the cast and crew to execute the creative vision and intention of the script.

Still Photographer

Costs $400

A set photographer will capture candid images behind the scenes of the set, cast and crew.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team



Norma has worked as a writer/producer/director on over 100 episodes of nationally broadcast TV, primarily educational children’s shows such as HIP HOP HARRY (Discovery Kids) and BIZKIDS (PBS), receiving two national Emmy nominations for Outstanding Children’s Series. She produced the narrative feature film EVERGREEN which premiered in dramatic competition at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. She is also a life long civic activist and community builder committed to social justice and environmental stewardship.  She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and a gubernatorial appointed trustee for Washington Filmworks. View her portfolio here: 

Brad - Headshot.jpg


J. Brad Wilke (@jbwilke) is a co-founder and principal of Smarthouse Creative. Brad holds an MBA from the University of Washington's Foster School of Business, a Master of Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington's Department of Communication, and a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Brad designs and executes digital, social media, and film distribution strategies for Smarthouse’s clients. Brad is also the founder of Wonderstream, an adjunct lecturer in digital marketing & film, as well as an award-winning filmmaker, produced feature-length screenwriter, and artistic director of the Portland Film Festival.

59202_629847447030536_1458034992_n (1).jpg


Santhosh Daniel is a writer, producer and creative consultant specializing in strategic communications, social enterprise and independent media and arts.  He is the founder of the creative collective, Compound, and co-founder of Projector, a social innovation and storytelling media initiative. He serves on the Board of Directors of California Humanities and on the board of Found Sound Nation. He has also served as a panelist and advisor for arts and media funds, including the San Francisco Arts Commission, European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs, California Documentary Project and Headlands Artist Residency. He has a B.A. in English from the University of Washington and an M.F.A. in English from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.




Ryan is a marketing and operations executive bringing 20 years of experience driving revenue growth and expansion in the internet, healthcare and lifestyle spaces. As a key member of the marketing team at HERE Media he drove marketing initiatives for key brands including Advocate & Out Magazines,, and Here! Networks. Orchestrating strategy, planning, logistics and execution of consumer and industry events representing all Here Media brands in order to deliver on sales objectives and sponsor goals. 


Stephanie is a catalyst. From running operations for a commercial production studio to throwing a killer party she brings people together with style and substance. After 10+ years in the Los Angeles area she is delighted to be back in Seattle and re-connecting with the local arts and social justice communitues. 


In addition to hundreds of commercials and music videos for the likes of Pixies, The Replacements, and Mudhoney, Lulu's narrative work includes RENO 911! (20th Century Fox), THE YEAR OF MY JAPANESE COUSIN (PBS), and SPARE ME (SIFF Fly Film). Her documentary work includes the THE MEANING OF FOOD (PBS), and HYPE, which screened at Sundance in 1996.  When not making films, she plays guitar in the seminal Seattle punk band Fastbacks. View her work here:




Current Team