Devious Inc
Hella Fresh Films Director's Statement

hella fresh films is a Bay Area Film Production Company led by Samantha Sullivan and xuxE. hella fresh films is committed to making funny, fearless, and fabulous shorts and feature films. Projects include "Spaceman" (short), "Homeless Love" (short), Devious, Inc. (feature). An up-coming short in collaboration with Ladyfriend Films is currently in post-production and a children's holiday adventure musical (feature) is in development.

In the film Devious Inc., I'm telling a grown-up fairy tale about the pursuit of pleasure, a kind of live-action cartoon for adults. Pleasure comes in so many shapes and sizes. There really is not much logic to it - things don't have to make sense in order for them to feel good. So it seemed perfectly natural to explore this idea within a fantasy, fairy tale world where fashion grows on farms and fetish escort agencies are publicly traded corporations who are awarded huge client contracts by competing in zany contests.

The line between acceptable pursuits and taboo pursuits is quite blurry, so i did a lot of research on fetish types and motivations as a way to explore some of the paths to pleasure that are viewed as the most deviant. But the more you examine the so-called extremes, the more similarities you find across all different pursuits of bliss, whether it is sexual gratification or any other kind of pure satisfaction. And what's also similar is the conflict and struggle when someone or something stands between people and their passions.

Making this movie was itself a pursuit of pleasure - we had no money whatsoever, but I still absolutely wanted to make myself, the producers, and the rest of the crew laugh and have fun - so that making the film would be a great experience no matter what the outcome. I love absurd humor and music and campy cult movies, so the crazier and funnier we felt as we progressed, the more it felt like we were on the right track and right at home in our genre. We shot the entire film in 15 days, and there were no cut scenes or characters, in fact we were often filming renegade style on the street, not stopping for meals, asking crew to fill in for cast members who didn't show up, and just generally delirious from lack of sleep, so I tried to feed off of the atmosphere of absurdity and insanity as much as possible.

The hardest part of making Devious, Inc., was tackling big ambitious goals without any resources. Everything from writing and recording the songs, to choreography, animation, achieving all the stylized looks, including fantastic drag ensembles, working with kids, special effects and shoe plants, just to name a few, seemed like impossible challenges that we somehow worked out one by one. Everyone advised us to start small for a first feature, and make a film with two people chatting in a café, or something along those lines. But instead we decided to beg, borrow and steal to make this film as true to the fantastical ideal as we possibly could. I know that directing this film was probably the most fun I've ever had, and also the hardest work, but to me it just proves that when you stay true to your passion, letting nothing stand in your way, your dreams really can come true.

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