LESlieVILLE was written in the fall of 2010 after I (Nadine Bell) was dumbstruck with awe at the quality of Venice – a show all about lesbians and yet made by straight soap actors. I was delighted and inspired by actor/writer Crystal Chappell and what she was doing for the lesbian community because she cared that our voices and stories needed to be told distinctly and honestly.
I’ve been online since the mid 90′s when Xena, that wonderful Warrior Princess, made my head tilt to the side and say “Hmm, what goes on here?” It was because of that campy and incredible-that-it-ever-even-existed show that I found the online lesbian community.
Though I only ever lurked in the shadowy corners of fandom I was raised from a wee baby dyke to a full grown lesbian woman by that online lesbian community. Fanfic writers turned original fiction authors, those wonderful souls that uploaded clips and videos of gay characters from shows and movies I had NO access to otherwise (the days before YouTube), and the forums and fan sites that supplied all the images and screencaps a gay girl could ask for (the days before Tumblr), all of these anonymous online beings gave me the stories and stereotypes, the romantic cliches, and cultural history that I knew were missing from my offline life.
Many years later, after a healthy dose of life experience, I wanted to give something back. I wanted to write a story and film it and share it online with the community that gave me so much for so many years.
I wrote LESlieVILLE to a song my friend Helena had written for me many years earlier. The song will be available for download at the end of season one. It’s beautiful, heartbreaking, and I love it. For me the story never would have been written without that song propelling me forward.
I rallied my circle of gay friends and Ainsley Kendrick and Dian Miguel were the first to join the LESlieVILLE Team, followed shortly thereafter by Michael Reynolds. The four of us had many a meeting throughout the planning stages and I never would have started this project without their help, support, and kicking me to go forward. This project simply would not exist without them.
Simon Evans and Stephen Leck worked with me at The Space Channel for several years and when I said I wanted to produce my own series both were ready and willing to help me in any way they could. Simon came on as Head Audio Mixer and Steve is our Lead Editor. We always talked about making something funny together, and LESlieVILLE is the very definition of a rom com, but I hope I can make more stories with these guys – they are two of my best friends in the world and I was so happy to have their help.
Through pre-production and development I was fortunate enough to be connected with Jason Leaver, the creator/writer/director of Out With Dad. That series would have been so perfect for me when I was a young teen girl needing to come out but not wanting to. I was, again, stunned and elated by the quality of the storytelling and production of such an important gay storyline. I helped out a bit on Out With Dad and Jason offered to help me on my project. I’m constantly reminded how lucky I am that I met a Cinematographer who understands my wild hand gestures and sound effects in place of words. He takes what’s in my head and makes it a reality and I am forever thankful to him for it.
My sister, Emma, has been with me every step of the way since the first page of script to casting to making this site. Her constant suggestions, support, enthusiasm, and delight have made this entire experience a thousand times more bright and beautiful. My sister is my biggest supporter and my biggest fan and I love her for that.
And, of course, nothing in the last five years of my life would have been possible without Russell Winkelaar.
He’s my best friend in the world and my partner in all things.
He’s the Gabrielle to my Xena (without the lesbian subtext).
He’s my Family.
No words can thank him enough for all that he’s done for me and been to me.
And that’s the story behind LESlieVILLE.
We hope you enjoy it!