Holiday Help Desk: A Queer Christmas Short Film You Probably Don’t Know Exists
I know we are all very excited Season of Love is out. We can finally enjoy our first-ever queer Christmas movie. Last year, I did discover a queer Christmas short film with two women, but I found out too late to tell you about it. This holiday season, I do want you to know that there is a 15-minute short film called Holiday Help Desk. It’s cute, so if you need more after Season of Love, this might be fun.
What is Holiday Help Desk about?
What is the
story about? Lauren Windsor and Christina Wu both have to work on Christmas Eve.
When Christina calls IT for help, she and Lauren hit it off over their mutual
disappointment in dating and a love of movies. Christina finally gets off work
and asks Lauren on a date, but Lauren still has to work. Is that the end? Nope…
Hillary Esquina, who wrote Passage, wrote the screenplay for this short film. It stars Shannon Leigh Reeve (whom you will also see in Passage), Rachel Lin, and Rich Sab. Chelese Belmont directed it.
Where can you watch
Holiday Help Desk?
released on Christmas Eve 2018. This is why I found out too late and why you
may have missed it too. Well, this year, it’s available for rent and purchase
on more platforms, so it’s easier for you to watch.
It’s available for rent and purchase on Vimeo. If you buy the short film, you also get to watch the bloopers. If you’re like me, you’ll love those; people tripping and messing up what they are trying to say. Actors, they’re just like us! Who knew?
You can find Holiday Help Desk for rent and purchase on Amazon Prime too. I don’t know if the bloopers are available there too.
LesFlicks is a subscription-based platform from the UK. The subscription costs €5.37 per month or €53.80 per year. There is a 14-day free trial. On this platform, you can also watch The Date (which you can also watch on Amazon Prime and Tello) and other wlw series and films.
2019 ClexaCon Friday with Wynonna
Earp and many others
In this blog post, I talk about the things that I have seen and experienced on the first day of ClexaCon 2019. Last week, I talked about the panels by and on BiPositive Podcast, Nicole Pacent, Queer Representation in Burlesque, One Day At A Time, and Avalance. This week, I discuss some of the other fun things that happened on 2019 ClexaCon Friday. I have added a video that I recommend watching if you want the full experience (don’t forget to subscribe!). I hope you enjoy it!
2019 ClexaCon Friday: pressroom
interview with Jes Macallan
After the Avalance panel, which ended on an emotional note as you may have seen, Jes was scheduled to come to the pressroom for an interview. But we all knew that she needed some time to recover, so we were just waiting there for her to show up when she was ready. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait too long, and she was happy and upbeat when she entered the room. She blew me away on stage during the panel, and she did it again in the pressroom. That woman is truly something special! Fun fact: on her way to the pressroom, she chatted with Katrina Law, who crashed her panel with a ‘Nyssara 4 life’ shirt.
interview, I meant to go to the Earper meetup. As I was on my way, I met some
lovely people who follow me. They actually just came from the meetup and told
me it was over. Oh well, that happens with these busy schedules. I guess we
turned it into a micro meetup?
2019 ClexaCon Friday:
pressroom interview with Amber Benson
I said that Jes was one of the two biggest surprises for me this con. The other
one was Amber Benson. She has humor, and she is opinionated. She understands
how everyone felt about Tara’s death in Buffy and how that death falls within
the ‘bury your gays’ trope. Also, she explains how the team behind BTVS has
learned from it.
have to wait, and the interview starts in a rather rushed way. Amber came in
five minutes early, and so I walked over her to talk to her after setting up. I
found out her boyfriend really likes stroopwafels and so I gave her one to give
it to him. I later heard she ate half of it too and loved it, ghehe.
2019 ClexaCon Friday:
pressroom interview with Wynonna Earp
interview with Wynonna Earp was rescheduled to a later moment. All of a sudden,
the room was PACKED. I mean, there hadn’t been that many people all day.
Because I had just interviewed Amber, I still had my front row seat. How very
lucky I was!
it to be crazy with questions since it was so crowded all of a sudden, but when
the interview started, I indicated I had a question and immediately was granted
permission to ask it! I said this on Instagram too, but it felt like a moment
of growth for me. Last year, I was in the back, observing more than joining.
This year, I opened the busiest interview of them all!
I asked Kat
about Pooched, and her response was so lovely. I don’t know what I was
expecting but not that she thanked me for asking about it.
2019 ClexaCon Friday: film festival
interview with Wynonna Earp, I had to run to the film festival part of the con.
Friday evening, there was a social event with the filmmakers. The filmmakers
were showing their films or the first episodes of their upcoming web series,
such as Passage and BIFL. Also, there was a sneak preview of Good Kisser.
As you may have seen, I reviewed Good Kisser a few weeks ago, and at ClexaCon, I was able to interview the cast. At the mixer, I introduced myself to the cast so that we already knew each other before the interview on Saturday. That makes things slightly more comfortable!
TWENTY The Web Series
TWENTY The Web Series was also present. Last year at ClexaCon, I saw Lily Richards a few times, but it was at the uncomfortable moments such as the restrooms, so I ended up not talking to her. That was my one big regret from ClexaCon 2018, so when I had the opportunity again, I made sure to tell her how much I loved the show.
I ended up talking to Lily and Caitlin for a while, and they agreed to do an interview with me. So, the next morning at 9 am, we were already working together. That was special! I can’t tell you precisely when you will see this interview, but I promise you within the next few weeks.
The event had a little red carpet event, so I have some BTS videos and photos for you in the video. The first one is actually Lily and Caitlin, and the red carpet still had to be sorted out😉
Emma, who wrote and directed the short film The Date, was also at ClexaCon. A few weeks before ClexaCon, she and her co-writer Hansof stayed at our house because The Date was showing at the Amsterdam LGBTQ film festival. So, I wanted to catch up with her on camera to find out what the screening was like. Because of the One Day At A Time panel, not a lot of visitors came to the film festival but the ones who did show up gave a great response to the movie. I loved hearing that others enjoy this short film as much as I did!
More ClexaCon 2019 Friday coming
Saturday, I had two exclusive interviews and a cool pressroom interview with
ODAAT, visited some fun panels, recorded at the red carpet event, and visited
the Ascension party. I will tell you all about it in my next blog posts!
meantime, you can read these ClexaCon blog posts (with videos!):
Traveling to ClexaCon 2019: Delays, speed friending, and badge pick-up party
All I did Wednesday, April 10, was traveling to ClexaCon 2019. The flights took a little longer than expected, but I did manage to arrive Wednesday evening, so that I had the full Thursday for exploring Las Vegas, picking up my badge at the pick-up party, going speed friending, and meeting friends. For those of you who were unable to attend ClexaCon or want to relive the weekend, here’s how the pre-ClexaCon activities went!
PS I recorded a vlog during my travels, which I recommend watching to experience the ClexaCon festivities better. You can find the video below this image.
Traveling to ClexaCon 2019 from The Hague, The Netherlands
As you may know, a crowdfunding campaign was created to get me to Las Vegas. As a result, I was traveling to ClexaCon 2019 in April. The trip to the con did not go that well, unfortunately.
It started in Amsterdam with a United Airlines software problem. I had to wait for 2.5 hours before I could finally check my bag, which they had to do manually. UA delayed the flight for two hours so that everybody could be on it. Consequently, I missed the connecting flight that would take me from Chicago to Las Vegas.
Traveling to ClexaCon 2019: Standby
When I arrived, they told me I was on a flight to Las Vegas the next morning, so I would have to stay in Chicago that night and only arrive in Las Vegas at 12:30 pm. That would be a total bummer, because I wanted to explore Vegas in the morning, take it easy on the jetlag, prepare mentally, and join the pre-con activities at 2 pm.
After asking, for an alternative, they put me on standby for a flight leaving that night. As it was somewhere around 4 am my time, I could not process things anymore. My mind just stopped working, so I simply stared at the screen showing the seats on the plane.
A white seat appeared after about an hour, so I ran to the desk asking if a seat was available. It was! All of a sudden, I had the golden ticket in my hand. Bye, bye Chicago; hello Las Vegas! At 10 pm, I was finally at Tropicana. That was four hours later than planned but still Wednesday evening!
Exploring downtown Las Vegas
Thursday morning, as planned, I went to downtown Las Vegas to explore the Fremont Street Experience and the hotels there. This was something I wanted to do for years, but somehow, I was never able to go there on my previous three visits. I had a blast walking around, and I especially enjoyed all the fun graffiti and signs.
After a quick nap, I thought it would be a good idea to visit the speed friending. Traveling by yourself to such a big social event can make you feel lonely, you know? That’s why I always recommend going to speed friending when people ask me.
Last year, it was an immensely popular activity, and indeed, this year they moved it to the main panel room so that all participants could sit. We had to answer random questions about our favorite TV shows, our job, ClexaCon, and stuff like that.
They told me I first had to get my press pass, so I actually already visited the pool party a little bit before speed friending. Last year, there were huge lines to get your badges, but the logistics were much better this year. The line looked very long, but it only took me 10-15 minutes. Also, I got to stare at some unicorns in the pool while waiting, so it wasn’t that bad.
After speed friending, it was time for the pool party. I was a little hesitant, though. I remember it being a little overwhelming last year, traveling by myself. The only reason I stayed so long the year before was that it was where I met my fellow Dutch press buddy Immy. This year, all the people I was supposed to meet were vendors and filmmakers, so they were busy preparing their booth or visiting the creative lab.
I was sooooo happy when I finally got to meet Lanie and Avon from Beyond Clexa www.beyondclexa.com. We met online a few months after ClexaCon, and they were the first ones to donate to the crowdfunding campaign that Emma (writer/director The Date) created for me. It meant a lot to me to see them IRL finally.
Avon and Lanie invited me to their booth, where they were still unpacking, and we talked for a long time. I did go to the pool party for a few moments to look around and meet some people. Still, Beyond Clexa’s booth quickly became my safe haven for the weekend. I ended up staying there talking to multiple vendors until that room was closed off and all the vendors had to leave.
I was supposed to have dinner with Emma and some of her friends somewhere on The Strip. However, my jetlag was giving me a hard time. Around 7 pm, I could barely function anymore. Socializing just wasn’t something I could do. I decided to go back to Tropicana (see, I did try!) and grab a bite on my way back to the hotel. Friday was going to be crazy so giving in to my jetlag was probably a good idea.
The Date: The New Lesbian Short Film You’d Hate to Miss
I watched a new lesbian short film called The Date and I can’t wait to share with you how awesome it is and how soon you should watch it. It is the happy modern love story we have been waiting for. I have seen many short films this past year but none of them made me feel as happy as this one did.
Okay, I am coming out right from the start: I am biased. Writer and director Emma contacted me online to talk about the movie. We had some fun conversations and were able to meet at ClexaCon London. I now call her my friend and naturally, you want your friends to succeed. So, there you go, that is my bias.
However, do you know how sometimes friends ask you to share something and you’re not really a fan but you share it anyway because that person is your friend? Well, that was completely not the case with this film, fortunately! I tweeted about the Indiegogo campaign quite a few times and was happy to see the movie got funded 113%.
The reason I wanted this crowdfunding campaign to succeed is that I was able to receive a sneak peek of some footage and I could immediately tell it was the good stuff. I knew this short was going to be of good quality if they just had the funds. Can you imagine how nervous I was when I was finally able to watch it?!
By the way, it is not just Emma’s work. Hansof Waller was a great help writing the script.
The Date’s promise to you
“The Date is the story of two women looking for love in the dating world of the 21st century.
Lizzy and Olivia might be total opposites when it comes to careers and dress sense BUT they do have one thing in common… They both swiped ‘right’ on each other. After swiping right, the two hit it off almost immediately but there’s still one thing left to do: meet.
In this day and age, where meeting new people happens mostly online, we wanted to write a story about the good relationships that come from online dating.
Our aim is to also have real interviews at the end, with couples who have met on dating apps and are the happiest they’ve ever been.”
The first thing I liked about The Date: the dialogues
The dialogues in this short film are sooooo good. You know how some short films try to be as artistic as possible and make the characters say these really special lines to showcase how intellectual the creators are? That is not the case in The Date.
The Date shows the date you can have. The characters make the jokes you would make. And they have the exact same insecurities as you and me. Is this next date going to be as bad as the previous one? Will she be who she says she is? Will she be a serial killer? Am I going to be stood up?
Nope. This is a happy movie. You know, the one we do not always get.
The second thing I liked about The Date: the chemistry
What can I say about their chemistry? You will feel it. Big time. And you will want them to end up together.
The third thing I liked about The Date: the happy feelings
The Date reminds me of when my wife and I just started dating. We often went clubbing and loved dancing together. So, seeing their first date start with dinner and end with dancing brought back so many good memories.
My wife and I actually watched this movie together. I sometimes looked at her to see what she thought of the movie and she had happiness written all over her face. She even grabbed my hand at one point. That is how this movie will make you feel.
By the way, her review of The Date: “Is this it?! I hate short films. I want to see the rest of the story!” 😉 I think that if you have accomplished that as a short film, you did something right. Over the past year, I have seen some shorts that I wished had been shorter, so…
The fourth thing I liked about The Date: the editing
The editing tells you there is a highly skilled team behind this movie. I do not want to give anything away but the keyword here is delayed gratification. You will get it when you watch it.
The fifth thing I liked about The Date: the credits
So, the credits actually play an important part in this movie. The movie is 9.5 minutes long and the credits are six minutes long.
You will want to stick around for those six minutes because, in these credits, you will watch videos of real couples who met online. They tell you how they met and how happy they are.
How brilliant is it to have actual people from our community participate in the project?! I greatly appreciated it and I loved seeing some familiar faces and names. It really takes a village to make such a project happen!
Where can you watch The Date?
Because the movie had a successful Indiegogo campaign, that page will continue to be open. That means you can still buy the perks that will grant you access to the movie before release. This way, you can support their project AND you will have the movie ASAP. Sounds like a good plan to me!
In addition, their plan is to make a festival run before releasing the movie to the public. That means that if you want to see this movie ASAP, you will have to visit a film festival near you that will show this movie. Consequently, it would be wise to follow the movie on social media to see when and where this will happen. This is their Twitter account and their Instagram page.
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