Lipstick Productions’ debut film, 5 More Minutes, Please?!… is set to drop ladybombs on our asses tomorrow. One of only two all-girl film productions releasing films this season, it’s also the first European women’s crew since Chunkyknit called it a day several years ago. Turns out it wasn’t even supposed to be this way. We caught up with the Big Mama of Lipstick, Conny Bleicher, for a little more info…
Are you the big mama of this project?
Yes, I am the big mama.
Good good. Tell us how the project came about. From the idea you’d like to give it a shot to it being ON.
It was pretty spontaneous. I had a meeting with Viola from Sista Sessions and we have an association for the event and we met at the bank to set up a back account and after the meeting we thought now we have an association we could do more for the girls. And then she came up with ‘why shouldn’t we do something with filming’? because together with Julia [Baumgartner] we had this JUSTyrol and we did little clips and we said why not do it on a bigger scale? I thought about it for a week and I decided “yeah, why not do it like a real production?” But we wanted to start it a bit smaller and it just happened to grow as big as it is now. I just started to write down the concept and then we got some good sponsors on board and then it was on.
You mentioned a ‘concept’. What concept did you have in mind for the film that you wanted to show?
The concept was just to have a platform for the girls to go riding together, to go shooting together and make a whole movie and to go on trips together. Yeah, that was kind of the concept.
It’s mainly Europeans in your crew. Did you think that such an opportunity for girls was lacking, at least over here?
I think it was lacking, definitely. Nowadays it’s just Peep Show since three years of something, and then there’s the project of Cheryl [Maas] and other stuff, but like all girls together? I think there’s none in Europe anymore, since Chunkyknit.
It seems to just be you and Peep Show this year making all-girls’ productions this year. Why do you think that is, as obviously there’s a lot more girls snowboarding but not as many girls’ productions as there were 2 or 3 years ago…
I think it’s pretty hard because the winter seems always really long but then you have to do competitions and you go on trips with your sponsors and all of a sudden the winter’s over and sometimes there’s a lack of time to go filming the whole season. And it’s also hard to get the girls together… so it’s really hard to get them all on the trips.
You said the sponsors seemed pretty receptive to the idea…
They were. We had a pretty tight budget but it was planned as a small project, and it was. It just turned out really well, the feedback and everything, and we have a really good film director I think. She did an awesome job. Yeah, the budget was Ok but you can’t compare it all with other productions.
Who did what for the film behind the scenes?
I’m the organiser, the producer. Sophie Morawetz was the film director – I hadn’t seen the film before it was done [laughs] so… I really like it but riding-wise I maybe would have put some other stuff in but it’s all good. And that’s pretty much it.
And who did the filming?
I wanted to go with Sophie and Ryan Smith, he used to film surfing. He was on the first trip, to Helsinki, and then I got an email – yeah, he’s out. He wants to film some skiers or whatever. And he was already planned into other trips , but he told me he has some other guy who’s really good [laughs from all the girls]. I couldn’t go with anybody else, the next trip was in like 1 week, so I said Ok I go with this guy [“Loch Ness” cackles Basa]. And he was just a retard – not personally, but he has no clue about filming snowboarding, and we had him on 2 main trips! When I saw the footage then I was just shocked. So basically the whole season I was looking for good filmers, and that was the biggest challenge for me. Sophie was there but then her camera broke… it was a mess.
I guess you learned a lot from kind of jumping in feet first.
Head first down. On the floor, straight [laughs]. Yeah it was really hard, and I was sometimes really frustrated because I wanted to do more trips and I was just asking any filmer, but when it was snowing all filmers were occupied.
So how did you figure out which riders you wanted to have in the film?
[“Just the awesome ones,” pipes in Basa Stevulova.] I first wanted to have a project just with Basa [laughs] Just her, naked, dancing, partying and a bit of snowboarding… But then I thought for sponsors I need more riders so I thought Ana [Rumiha] would be good for cleaning… [laughs] No actually I wanted to go with the Europeans and my friends – like those girls [Basa, Ana, Urska Pribosic] from the east, and south Europe, and Austria. I asked around and saw who was down for the project, that’s the most important one to get the feedback and the commitment.
Challenges aside, what were some of the real positives you took from the experience?
There is nothing. [Laughs] It’s positive to paint all people red at the premieres… No, positives for sure is the outcome. [a long long, dirty conversation about ‘out come’ ensues, capped with bizzare talk of anally bleaching – don’t ask] No, the positive things were when a trip was organised to have the girls together on a trip was just good, and then the best was to have the trailer and see what came out of the whole season, and now in the end I’ve seen the film – I couldn’t change anything when I saw it but it’s just amazing. I love it, and it’s good to have it and now the experience to run another season.
You mentioned you didn’t have much influence in the editing. How were you feeling before the first premiere?
Fuck, I was nervous. I saw the movie one week before the premiere. My boyfriend called me, I was still in work and he told me a package had arrived. I asked if it was a DVD. Yes, it is. And I just had to go home to watch it. I was wet all over, I had a beer, it was empty in 2 minutes and I was lie “Oh it’s amazing, I like it!” Yeah, it’s good.” It was exciting. And when it came time for the premieres either I hide or I drink [laughs].
How did the first premiere go?
It was awesome. It was in Grenoble at the film festival and the crowd was loving it, there was such good feedback and it was packed. We won this ‘Coup de Coer’, a special award from the jury for the best new movie. That was really good.
And you’ve done a couple more premieres now?
Yeah, we’ve been to Innsbruck which was also packed – 400 people and the club was full and we had really good feedback. Pretty surprising and positive.
Did it exceed your expectations for your first year?
Yes definitely. I never expected it like this. I mean it was a really small project, I was at work – because I do it in my normal work time: my boss allows me to do that – so I thought it’s a really small project just for the girls and now it turns out that the trailer has already 35,000 views on Vimeo, which is awesome, so I’m more than surprised.
How’s it being distributed?
It’s distributed online, probably after the Ljubljana premiere, via the Onboard/Cooler/Mpora network and our website.
I’m gonna ask you to sell it now. Cause there’s a ton of video content on the internet that goes up every day… Why should people watch 5 More Minutes, Please?!
Boobs! You can see boobs! You should watch it till the end, till the very end, there’s a strip by Ana… No for sure you should watch it because it’s the only European girls movie, I think it’s fun to watch, it’s good riding, it’s just fresh and fun. Watch it and you will see.
And do you plan to do another one this season? And iron out some of the problems you encountered this year?
Yes! We do. So we have to go and have a meeting. I want to have fixed filmers, maybe with a contract so they don’t just go to shoot skiers. I learned from my experience, and I cannot run this on my own anymore so I want to have Ana on board to help. I’m about to put the concept together and I think I’m going to send it out next week to the sponsors, and then we’ll see how it turns out and how they like it., and how they liked this year’s movie and if we have support we’re gonna do it next season. I hope so.