Keep in the know with documentary filmmaking

The Power of the People

What's it take to pass a law...money, fame, power? Well, to help pass the Sin by Silence Bills, we wanted to rely on the power of the people! People who have been with the Sin by Silence team since our launch in 2009. People who joined our red flag events and wrote on their flags. People who watched the film and were passionate to make change!

We enlisted all of our networks to step up to do something. Call Governor Brown's office. Sign the online petitions. Join us at the California Capitol to meet with legislators. It took an army of people who simply cared to the do the right thing! The result? Over 7,000 domestic violence survivors, currently in California prisons, have a chance at freedom. It takes the power of the people, indeed.

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The Sin by Silence Bills Pass Into Law

With Sin by Silence, we knew from the very beginning that we wanted to create enough of an impact to free the women of Convicted Women Against Abuse. To create more than just a film, but an impact that went straight to the California Capitol to directly help the women who are featured in the film. Our dream finally is coming true with The Sin by Silence Bills (AB 593 & AB 1593).

“I’ve worked on a wide variety of issues, but there is none
that is more dear to my heart than the issue of incarcerated victims.
After watching the moving film Sin By Silence,
I decided that action needed to be taken.”

- Assemblymember Fiona Ma

Both bills were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown and went into effect on January 1, 2013. This is a historical moment in the anti-domestic violence movement as California is the only state in the country to have these unprecedented laws to give incarcerated survivors the opportunity to be heard and have another chance at justice.

AB 593 will do two things: it will allow victims of domestic violence whose expert testimony was limited at their trial court proceedings to re-file for a writ of habeas corpus to allow this expert testimony to weigh in on their defense and it will also give victims more time to receive legal representation by deleting the sunset date currently in statute.

AB 1593 will give victims who have suffered Intimate Partner Battering (IPB) a chance to present their evidence in an effective way during the parole process by giving great weight to any information or evidence that proves the prisoner experienced IPB and its effects at the time the crime was committed. This bill will also require that the information delivered to the Legislature relating to IPB, will be in specific and detailed reports.

Click here to find out more about how the Sin by Silence Bills came to life >>

The Power of Kickstarter


To Kickstarter or not to Kickstarter, that is the question!

Your storyline is crafted. You have your productions or outreach goals laid. But, should you take the leap and join the masses on Kickstarter in hopes that your project becomes the next "Veronica Mars" level of funding?

In a recent NY Times article, Perry Chen, one of its founders stated, “This year marks the year that we’ve seen Kickstarter enter the real world in a number of ways. At the Tribeca Film Fest, there are a dozen different Kickstarter-backed films, there’s an installation at the Whitney Biennial that was a Kickstarter project and we just had our birthday party at a Kickstarter-funded restaurant.” So, how can you make sure your campaign will be a success? Strategy!

Kickstarter utilizes the power of fundraising energy with an all-or-nothing situation. You set a fundraising goal and a timeline (up to 90 days), and if the goal isn't reached in the time allotted, you get nothing. So, what do successful projects have in common?

  • Do your homework! Follow a few projects to see how they've worked. Check out there video pitch. Review that funding tiers and rewards. We saw that as projects neared the end of their time limit, there was a flurry of pledging activity that pushed them past their goal. It appeared that even projects that didn't seem capable of reaching their goal shot way past it.
  • Keep you goals low, but aim high! 99.9% of Kickstarter projects are not Hollywood blockbusters, but actually smaller projects that initially try to raise $5,000 or less.
  • Remain focused! Define your project with a clear beginning and end.
  • Keep thing realistic! The most popular pledge amount is $25. The average pledge is around $70. Projects with a reward less than $20 succeed 54% of the time.
  • Do the preparation! Projects with videos succeed at a much higher rate than those without (50% vs. 30%).
  • Hit the pavement! Pledges don’t just happen. Plan your project way before you post it on Kickstarter. Your networks of friends and collegues is the place to start. But, be prepared craft your pitch more than once and in a variety of ways. Use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Host pledge parties, distribute flyers around your community, contact your local newspaper and radio stations to tell them about your project. Take the time to do the work.

To date, Kickstarter has raised more than $200 million for 20,000 projects. But, in reality that's only 44 percent of projects that sought financing on the site. So, get ready to work!

The Future of Visual Data


Is Sparkwise the future of visual data to tell a new story of impact?

Last week, BAVC was a part of launching the new platform Sparkwise to help collect and compare the data on an entirely new visual platform. As they state, "Sparkwise was created by a team of world-class technologists, data visualization experts and social impact strategists. It is free, open source and available to anybody with a story to tell." So, is it really time to dust off those monthly analytic reports sitting on your hard-drives to build a data driving story of your film's impact? Maybe not quite...yet!

This new platform seems more like a great tool to assess a crisis than assess impact. From the first platform launched, by the documentary The Revolutionary Optimists, they seem to best use the impact of data through the visualization of the hard statistics of the color and odor of drinking water, immunization percentages, along with splashes of photos and videos. But, what is the impact? What is the moving story to show social impact?

At Quiet Little Place, we believe a film's impact is more than just hard statistics to show the void a story can fill. It's about tangible impact! Impact our your film being shared from community to community and those golden nuggets that rise to the surface. For example, with the Sin by Silence postcards that are still making an impact since we incorporated them as part of the first year of outreach. Since then the women in the film have been receiving countless letters and postcards. But, one story of impact is from a women in a shelter who we found out has her postcard of Rosemary Dyer framed on her nightstand. Every day she wakes up and sees Rosemary's smile it is another reminder of why she must not return to her abusive boyfriend! Incredible that just a printed postcard can turn into a life altering decision for a woman to make sure she continues down a path to ensure a safer future for herself. That is data that cannot be given a number. Cannot be given a statistic. Cannot be lumped in with random facts. It is a life changing moment that proves how documentaries can become more than just a film - it represents what great storytelling can do when we act with creativity and strategy to make an impact!

Behind the Scenes Stories from QLP

What's it take to tell the story behind the story? As documentary filmmakers, we are in the trenches working tirelessly to get the world to care about our cause. Yet, sometimes we have the rare opportunity to share those moments that we cherish as filmmakers. Those glimpses that let our audience know what keep the flame burning to champion our causes.

Hear from Olivia Klaus (Director & Producer):

Hear from Ann-Caryn Cleveland (Co-Producer & Editor):

Fox News Highlight

Spreading the word about the upcoming Sin by Silence broadcast with Discovery ID to millions of watchers as we finish up the press tour. From coast to coast, radio, television and print the nation definitely has heard to news to tune in Monday, October 17th to watch the incredible stories of the Convicted Women Against Abuse.

Sin by Silence Discovery ID Broadcast

We are thrilled to announce the world television premiere of Sin by Silence on Discovery's Investigation Discovery channel starting on Monday, October 17th, 2011! This is a dream come true for the Quiet Little Place team as 78 million homes have the opportunity to tune in for the powerful stories of incarcerated battered women.

"We are proud to bring this powerful documentary to television, to share with television audiences the harrowing stories of these women behind bars," said Henry Schleiff, president and general manager of Investigation Discovery. "Instead of fighting a system that does not fully comprehend the complexities of abuse, the women of CWAA instead choose to fight to change laws for battered women nationwide. Through the premiere of this documentary, we hope to extend their message and champion their crusade to stop the cycle of violence."

Click here to read the press release and click here to find your local channel for Investigation Discovery.

  • September 26, 2011
  • By admin
  • Comments Off on Kristen Irving
  • in QLP News

Kristen Irving

Kristen believes in using the power of story, relationship and resource to change people and communities. She joins the KRENNY team while also serving as the V.P. of Media and Business Development for The L.A. Kitchen. She most recently worked with Oscar nominated and Sundance Award Winning filmmakers Lee Hirsch (Bully) and Lucy Walker (The Crash Reel) to create local and national grass roots and social media engagement campaigns. Prior to independently developing various film campaigns, Kristen worked at Participant Media, where she was responsible for social engagement and cause marketing campaign direction for each of their feature films and documentaries (including The HelpContagionA Place at the Table and Last Call at the Oasis).

Prior to Participant Media, Kristen spent two years at Causecast, where she served as Director of Nonprofit Relations. While at Causecast she was responsible for managing nearly 100 nonprofit clients, integrating new media tools into their strategy and models. Before joining the Causecast team, Kristen worked for three years at the CAA Foundation, bridging the worlds of nonprofit and entertainment. Her first and most profound gig out of school was at Hollygrove, a residential facility in Hollywood for children removed by DCFS as a child care counselor.


Email: Kristen [at] QuietLittlePlace [dot] com
Twitter: @KrisIrving
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/kristenirving

American Library Association Honors Sin by Silence

We made the list! Sin by Silence was recently selected as the American Library Association’s “2011 list of Notable Videos for Adults”. We are thrilled to be listed as one of 15 outstanding programs released on video within the past two years that make a significant contribution to the world of video recordings.

Click here to check out the list.

A make sure you have a copy of our educational DVD – an essential resource for any professor, training or non-profit group. In addition to the film, the DVD features more than 2 hours of discussion videos on the various issues and themes sparked by the stories of the Convicted Women Against Abuse. Click here for more information.

  • March 5, 2010
  • By admin
  • Comments Off on Documentary Objective
  • in Case Studies

Documentary Objective

The core objective of a social justice documentary is not a distribution deal, money, or notoriety. The objective is your audience. Does the audience engage, learn and grow with your characters so that they are ready to make a difference when the lights come up? As a filmmaker, how can you ensure that your story makes a difference in the life of an audience member, who will then influence their own community?


Even before crafting the fundraising strategy for the documentary Sin By Silence, the Quiet Little Place team developed one crucial objective - we must inspire our audience to DO Something! The completion of the film, and the structure of an ongoing campaign, was continually influenced by this core objective. Every time we discussed campaign possibilities, or the film's outreach, we were able to simplify the process by asking ourselves - does this help inspire our audience to do something? Future decisions then became simple.

In order to engage the audience throughout the film, and inspire them to make a difference after viewing, we had to be aware of our audience's first perceptions. Where were they coming from? What would be the stereotypes that we would have to break down in order to inspire the need for change? To begin to articulate this cultural environment, we created a bullet point list to analyze the world we were trying to change. What exactly did a world filled with the tragedies of domestic violence look like?


  • Every nine seconds a woman is abused.
  • One in three women experience some type of personal violence such as rape, domestic violence, or stalking.
  • Intimate partners have assaulted approximately 1.5 million women each year in the USA.
  • Shelters are at capacity throughout the country.
  • Thinking that domestic violence is a private family matter is an outdated belief.
  • Women are frequently embarrassed or ashamed to speak about violence experienced in their homes.
  • Women lack resources and support systems for escaping domestic violence situations safely.
  • Law enforcement, social service personnel and clergy generally lack in-depth training regarding the dynamics and trajectory of violent relationships.
  • The public needs to be educated about the far-reaching effects of domestic violence.
  • Occurrence rates will decrease as more people are educated and become advocates against domestic violence.


It is impossible to engage an audience with cold hard facts. The biggest challenge became informing the audience, while universally connecting them to the issue - feed their heads, as well as their hearts. The QLP team knew that the best way to connect our audience to the subject was through transference. The powerful stories of the women that had experienced horrific violence, the women of Convicted Women Against Abuse, could be any one of us. These women, who are the true experts on the topic of domestic violence, provide the reality of abusive relationships. They are everyday women that did not experience something that only happens to certain people. The statistics show that domestic violence happens more than we care to admit or realize. This became our key element and focus...this could happen to you! When watching the film, audience members put themselves in the shoes of women with whom they would never normally relate - women in prison for 15 years to life.


As audience members begin to connect to the women's journeys, they become overwhelmed with the need to do something. So, the QLP team created actionable ways for an audience to engage so that no one left the film empty-handed. Creating these action steps to engage can be difficult, especially when dealing with a difficult topic like domestic violence. Domestic violence is a massive cultural problem fraught with state and federal legality issues. Just inspiring our audience to just do something about the issue of domestic violence was too broad. We decided that we needed to develop our audience into "stewards of change" by starting simple.


In the editing room of Sin By Silence, as we crafted the story, we also developed the idea of working with our audience to become stewards of change. Once you become aware of the problem by watching the film, we wanted to inspire our audience to take on domestic violence as "their issue." As a part of this strategy session, we developed three points to develop these stewards -- connect, engage, influence.

First, audience members needed to take the first step, something simple, like just watching the film. This initial connection helps them understand that they need to do more to help the very prevalent issue of domestic violence. Secondly, it was important to create opportunities to engage with local organizations to volunteer and help with local initiatives in the audience member's own community. Thirdly, we wanted our stewards of change to influence others to join them, to do something to help change the tragedy of domestic violence.