Saturday, September 08, 2012

Writing novels & making films about gender!

Hello! :-D

As many of you know, I have been writing a novel this summer about Pope Joan - the woman who in the 9th Century, disguised herself as a man and eventually became Pope. There is much debate whether Pope Joan really existed or whether she was a creation of post-reformation Protestants trying to ridicule the Catholic Church by saying that the institution of the Papacy was flawed and the fact that a woman made it to Pope proved this. (Personally, I think that a woman making it to Pope would be a great advertisement for the Catholic Church so that argument doesn't work for me!)

I do believe that Joan existed and like those who have written novels about her before me, I am fascinated by how she did it and all the questions about 'gender' that arise from considering how she lived as a man for over 20 years. 

But this is not the first time I have written about gender and examined the concept closely. In 2009, I wrote a short film script that challenged the idea of gender in an extreme but comedic manner. Whenever I talked to people about this script, they would be fascinated - it did not seem to matter how old they were, what religion or ethnicity they were or what sexuality - the idea for the film always provoked great interest and enthusiasm. So finally, in 2010-2011 I filmed and edited it. 

The film Caravan Sight is a comedy-drama with great characters who bring the debate to life in the most unexpected manner. Here is the film. I hope you enjoy it. 

I would love to get your feedback. Particularly those of you who are not from the UK - it will be of great interest to me to see whether the comedy works with a non-British audience! 

Very best wishes to you all

Rachel Dax

Friday, August 24, 2012

Film & Novel

So it's been a busy summer and I've had a great time. I really enjoyed filming and editing Planet Love and it got over 13,000 hits on 'One More Lesbian' media site within 2 weeks, which was so exciting! Now I am lucky enough to have it featured on 'LezReel' - another really great lesbian film website. It's fantastic to get so much exposure for this lovely little film that we all had such fun making. If you haven't had a chance to watch it yet then take a look - it is more than worth your while!

Since I released Planet Love I have been trying to get back into writing and finishing my second novel The Legend Of Pope Joan. Making the switch back to writing from filmmaking was tough but eventually I got back into the groove and I have nearly finished the main draft now. I am so excited about this novel. I originally wrote it as a play a few years ago and really liked what I created, but turning it into a novel has been a true revelation as the the story has demanded all sorts of twists and turns that I had not expected and the 'Joan' I am left with is far more complex than the one I started with a few months ago.

What has also been interesting about this process is that my character cannot be defined as male or female, straight or gay or even bisexual - she is far more complicated than that and goes beyond all labels and definitions. It has been remarkable discovering her for she has demanded to manifest at one moment in one manner and in the next another and has shocked me on several occasions!

I think this novel will really surprise my audience. Particularly those who have read and enjoyed my first novel After The Night which is a sweeping lesbian love story. It is so totally different in every way. But what I hope is that the story of Pope Joan I am writing will intrigue and fascinate people as much as it has me. For, after all, what kind of personality would it have taken to really get away with living as a man and climbing to the highest seat of power in 'Christendom'? To me, she must have been far more complicated than just a straight woman who dressed up with the help of her lover - I think it would have taken far more than donning a robe and cutting her hair short to live like as a man for over 20 years and I hope that my version of her tale will reflect that.

Anyway - my hope is that this novel will be available to buy through Kindle and Smashwords in the early autumn and I look forward to the debate that will ensue. For one thing is for sure it will challenge every one who reads it whether straight, gay or bisexual, and whether religious, agnostic or atheist!

Can't wait for you to read it - watch this space :-D

Monday, August 06, 2012

Planet Love Premiered on OML

Hello lovely people!

I am very excited to announce that Planet Love is now premiered on 'One More Lesbian' - The Lesbian Media site and has already had over 1300 hits in less than 8 hours. Now that's what I call AMAZING!
Do take a look at the film it has turned out so very well and we are all very please with it.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Planet Love Film Shoot

On Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th July 2012, we shot my short film Planet Love. It was a fantastic weekend full of fun and laughter. Both the actors - Amelia Gildea and Engel Angelica - were excellent and my trusty crew were amazing.

I love being on set. I love the buzz, the excitement and the complexity. I love seeing what I visualised in my head as I wrote the script coming to life on the screen and then all the extra surprises that come with shooting. A filmmaker called Vivian Mainwaring once said to me 'The film that you shoot is not the same as the film you write and the film you edit is not the same as the film you shoot...' and he is absolutely correct. Although much preparation goes into the film in advance, when on set new ideas about both performances and shots arise. Some things that have been planned do not work and many things get taken out and added in. Chemistry between actors affects the tone of the piece as do the light and the weather conditions. That's what makes it fun and scary!

Now it is time for the edit which as Vivian says brings its own new elements! Yesterday I started organising the rushes in Final Cut Pro in preparation. This takes forever but if it isn't done, it is impossible to find anything and then the whole edit becomes a total nightmare. The footage we have captured looks fantastic and I am really pleased with it - brilliant camera work by my cinematographer Victoria M. Morton and lovely performances. We may even have enough to make two versions of the project (watch this space for more news on that possibility).

If you want to see more images from the project, do take a look at the gallery on the Planet Love page on
You can also support us and find out more about the project on Twitter
and on Facebook where you can see even more images from the shoot and 'LIKE' the page :-D

I hope to have the project released by August 2012 when it will be featured on 'One More Lesbian' Media Site.

Look forward to showing you the real thing


(All Photographic Images by Zennis)

Monday, July 09, 2012

Well. It is finally here. It is the week before my next short film shoot. This occasion is quite monumental for me because it is my first time on set since getting sick and nearly snuffing it etc.

Pre-production is always quite nerve wracking. Making a film is alchemy, and everything that can go wrong usually does. In fact it would be very weird if it didn't. How any of us ever pull it off is a miracle in itself, I think! But I hope to have something quirky, sexy and memorable as the end result :-D

Today I am converting my final shot list into a 'storyboard' which is always a laugh given that I cannot draw and even my stick people look like they've been done by a 3 year old. But storyboard I must or the cinematographer will have no idea what I want the film to look like.

'So what is this film about?' I hear you cry... Well I'm not telling you! LOL! In fairness, though, I will reveal the following details: It is just under 3 minutes long. It is set to music but it is not a pop video - it is a story/film. It has lesbians in it and yes, they will be frolicking in the sheets! (What more do you want?!).

For those of you who are interested in my work as a novel writer... I am on the second half of part 3 of 'The Legend Of Pope Joan'. I had hoped to have finished it by now but my film work has temporarily taken over, but it should be done by the end of July and released by the end of August if all goes to plan.

For those of you not familiar with what I do - I am a 'Storyteller' in that I write, produce and direct film and theatre and also write novels (and sometimes act, and sometimes take photographs but try to avoid drawing ;-)...) oh yeah and that other thing that pays the bills - I teach! Here is the link to my website where you can watch my first few films and find out more about my first novel 'After The Night' -

I will post some images of the film shoot at the end of the weekend. It will be premiered and specially featured on the 'One More Lesbian' media site so I will put up that link once it is ready.

Best wishes

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I finally got round to editing this 1 minute scene from the test footage I shot in 2010 for my 'Banned Girls' feature film back in 2010. Take a look it's very sweet but sorry about the noisy sea!!
all the best

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lovely Review!

Hey Had a wonderful 5* review of my first novel 'After The Night' on "God, I loved this book. It will definatly become one of my all time favorites.Finished it in one day because I couldn't put it down. I love stories about strong women, and this one had one of the best. Officer Jean MacFarlane took my breath away. By the time I was finished with the story, I was in love with her. Great read. Glad I got it." When you write a love story and someone falls in love with one of your characters then you must be doing something right! :-D

Thursday, March 08, 2012

It is always nice to have a good review and this little one popped up on 'Good Reads' website for my novel After The Night set in a British prison in 1960.

"This book is so well written in the pulp fiction style of the 50's & 60's that I had to double-check its publishing date (2011). It is inspired by the 1956 British film "Yield to the Night" (called "Blonde Sinner" in the US). The story provides a good look at societal prejudices of the 1950's and 60's."

Very pleased that people are enjoying the novel. If you haven't bought it yet the link is:

If you have read After The Night and enjoyed it, I would be eternally grateful if you took 5 minutes to put me a review on Amazon UK or US (or both). It really does create customer confidence. :-D

Many thanks and best wishes to you all

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Another lovely review for my novel After The Night. This one is from 'les-fic' reviewer 'Salem West' on her review site 'The Rainbow Reader'. Great to be getting all of this amazing feedback.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

My novel After The Night just had the most amazing review on Amazon UK that was so lovely it made me cry...

"5.0 out of 5 stars 'After The Night' by Rachel Dax, 14 Jan 2012
By hazeyfantasey (Devon UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: After The Night (Kindle Edition)
I read 'After The Night' a profoundly moving first novel by Rachel Dax cover to cover. I was completely immersed in the lives of these women. I actually cried at one point, (not wanting to give too much away). I loved all the characters each with their own story; the fascination for me was I felt I had known each and every one of them. The pace of this story is excellent and there really is so much to love.
I don't want to make it sound sappy, because this book smacks you hard where it hurts the most. Really if you can't think straight... this is the book for you, with a reference to Radcliffe Hall, the characters include an adorable old Suffragette Campaigner that broke my heart, a mother from hell, the complexities of coming to terms with who you are and Family expectations. This book takes us on a journey with Leah which most of us know only too well.
But for me it was Jean with her unique people management style and sex appeal that simply leaps from the page. I adored that unique quality of being too sexy for their shirt and not knowing it... Jean is so appealing. I wanted to grab her by the hand and take her home. I loved this book and can't wait for more from Rachel Dax. After The Night"