MOVING ON FROM VANILLA

Directed by
Lessa Millet

A light intro to BDSM

Lessa Millet found her way to animation by lack of other means. After graduating from film school in Barcelona and moving to NYC, too broke to afford a camera, she turned to animation as a way of making films that didn't require one. Now she works mostly in commercials and music videos, so making a film about BDSM was a creative catalyst to make something more fun and sex positive.She teamed up with illustrator (and jewellery and homeware designer) Kaye Blegvad who's witty illustrations lend the film its dark sense of humour.

'We felt like a lot of the guides or videos to sadomasochism on the internet were kind of scary, and we wanted to make something a bit more approachable, with a touch of humour, for all the people out there that felt curios about it. I think people still have a lot of taboo around sex, trying things,connecting to their own fantasies, sharing their own curiosity and desire with their partners.We hoped the video would be a light hearted way to break the ice, maybe remove the pressure on something that feels intimidating.'

We felt like a lot of the guides or videos to sadomasochism on the internet were kind of scary, and we wanted to make something a bit more approachable

The process of making the film was pretty lo-fi, with Kaye passing the illustrations to Lessa who animated them in between jobs. The film is narrated by Karley Sciortino, a sex-ed writer and dominatrix. 

'I animated most of it in my living room between jobs. We had a hard time nailing the voice over, after a couple different failed attempts we got my girlfriend at the time Karley Sciortino to narrate it, which  I thought was very appropriate because she is a “sex person”. We recorded it on my phone in her bathroom. The music was made by my friend Grant Cutler, he's so good, I sent him a bunch of Penguin Cafe Orchestra tracks that I liked and he came up with the song we used for the video.'

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