Set in 1992, Acid Test follows a teenage girl’s rebellion inspired by Riot Grrrl music, dysfunctional family, and LSD as she turns 18 and faces adulthood.
Principal photography finished in June and we entering the final stages of post-production! We need $7,500 in finishing funds to hire a sound designer, a visual effects artist, and color grader.
Click HERE to check out our Seed&Spark crowdfunding campaign and read more below!
Based on true events (or my memories of being a rebellious teenager) this is a highly personal story that I’m excited to share as my feature film directing debut! As a teenager in the 90s, I vividly remember the mind-blowing experience of watching Bikini Kill on stage and the Riot Grrrl revolution; a movement that was aggressive, unapologetic, energetic, punk, and feminist. Now called 4th-wave feminism, the music inspired me to speak my truth, claim my power, fight for equality, and pursue my dreams.
Over twenty-five years later, many of the things the Riot Grrrls were fighting for are still, unfortunately, relevant. The movement itself was fraught with its own issues, similar to mainstream feminism, and the political landscape since 2016 seems to be both radically different than 1992 yet also wildly similar. Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign serves as a backdrop to Jenny’s coming-of-age story and reinforces the political themes of the movie.
Look ma! I kept my old shirt and used it in a movie!
Other themes include writing and memory, inspiring a kaleidoscopic approach to our visual aesthetic: layered images, jump cuts, visual and audio overload. Fragmented storytelling contrasted by contemplative moments of silence and continuity. We represented the beauty and fear of this pivotal moment in one’s youth with in-camera practical effects during production that we plan to enhance in post using digital effects. For our soundtrack, we’ve already licensed songs from contemporary (and local!) punk bands who also performed for our concert scenes during production. In addition, a layered and sophisticated sound design will elevate these artistic visuals.
In every way, Acid Test is an revolutionary film, in concept and approach. We raised our production funds through our fiscal sponsors From the Heart Productions and the Houston-based non-profit Fresh Arts. This is an unusual fundraising approach for scripted features, more commonly seen in documentaries, but because of our artistic, political, and educational goals, it was the perfect fit instead of traditional investors for a film like Acid Test.
With a female lead of Mexican descent, our story showcases much-needed diversity on screen as part of a need in the film industry and film market for more diverse content. We are also showcasing that diversity behind the camera: as a female writer director, it is vital to me to be part of the changes needed in my industry in hiring women and people of color in crew positions. We are so proud to have over 70% of our cast and crew being from these marginalized communities, we had several key positions held by women including our Director of Photography Kerianne Parker, Assistant Director Anna Tran, Line Producer Hillary Felice, Wardrobe and Locations Courtney Sandifer, Script Supervisor Kristin Massa, Makeup & Hair Amore Monet, and we had a number of women in the camera, grip, and electric departments. We are committed to maintaining this 70% standard as we finish post-production.
Our cast and crew were entirely from Texas and we partnered with Houston Community College (HCC) to train 20 students on our set to gain valuable professional experience while also earning credits toward their degrees. We continue to offer internships to students interested in post-production.
We are approaching our Seed&Spark crowdfunding campaign with that same revolutionary spirit, focusing our campaign around an amazing event where people can partake in the Acid Test Experience for themselves!! The night begins with a VIP dinner with Jenny’s family followed by a concert featuring local Houston bands, and a multi-room exploration of the world of Acid Test and the characters within! It’s gonna be a trip! **must be 21+ to attend.
For those of you not able to attend, we also have an amazing set of perks to partake in with all kinds of merch to show your support for Acid Test and everything we’re doing!
Remember, the #1 easiest (and FREE) way to support us is the SHARE the campaign on social media and IRL and encourage people to contribue.
For anyone who would like to receive a TAX-DEDUCTION for donations over $200, please email me directly or click on the links to our fiscal sponsor From the Heart Productions or if you’re a Houston local, you can donate to our Fresh Arts project!
Please join me in the revolution of #ActivistFilmmaking by contributing to Acid Test! You are helping to change the way we make movies and the movies we make!
Finally, you can watch the short that started it all! Our feature is adapted from our award-winning short film that you can WATCH on Seed&Spark here!
We had an incredible run with the short film screening at wonderful festivals like Austin Film Festival, BendFilm in Oregon, Snowdance in Germany, Victoria TX Independent Film Festival, Houston Latino Film Festival, Literally Short Film Festival, and being selected for both the Women in Film and Television International Short Film Showcase and the Austin Film Society Shortcase!
It’s really incredible to be finishing up our journey with this story with Seed&Spark, our partners in our very first crowdfunding campaign!
Thank you so much for your support, whether you’ve been following us since the beginning or are new to the rebellion!
–Jenny Waldo Writer/Director, Acid Test
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