MOM AND DAD’S NIPPLE FACTORY
DIRECTOR: Justinsuperstar | PRODUCER: Noah Lang
Following Randi’s battle with breast cancer and subsequent mastectomy, her husband Brian, a serial entrepreneur and tinkerer, embarks on an extraordinary journey to help her feel complete. In the pursuit of the perfect prosthetic nipple from a bedroom in their conservative Wisconsin town, Brian launches a project that grows from a labor of love into an unintended calling with the power to change thousands of lives.
Mom & Dad’s Nipple Factory is a feature documentary that combines verité, interview, and over 100 hours of archival footage to tell the unlikely story of how director Justinsuperstar’s conservative Christian parents launched a secret prosthetic nipple business from their humble home in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Initially conceived as an offbeat investigation into his parents’ business, the film now encompasses the broader dynamics of his family, the reaction of their small-town community, and ultimately the remarkable untold love story of Brian and Randi Johnson.
This decades-in-the-making story follows introverted tinkerer Brian, his beloved social butterfly wife Randi, and the often-ingenious lengths they went to raise five kids on a combined income of under $20,000 a year. From an automated telephone group messaging service to a remote operated wedding videography business, the family had no lack of unique income sources dating back nearly forty years. However, with the kids all grown and having left the nest, the impact of Randi’s breast cancer diagnosis nearly devastates the couple.
Following a unilateral mastectomy, and unsatisfied with the offerings available on the market, Brian quietly begins fashioning custom nipples for his wife that impresses even her surgeon. A secret nipple business is launched, helping people all over the world while their family remains completely unaware. In short order, Randi flourishes as the front-facing persona of the company, handling customer service and outreach with patients on a personal and intimate level.
All is revealed to the family when Brian’s secret home product photo studio is found by his son-in-law, setting in motion a series of events that bring the family closer together than ever before.
With the barrier of the “family secret” gone, the Johnsons open up to one another in new and profound ways as the impact of their business is realized and the “Nipple Factory” becomes public knowledge to their small hometown.
|START OF PRODUCTION:||2015|
|EXPECTED DELIVERY:||Fall 2021|
|SHOOTING LOCATIONS:||Wisconsin / Florida / California|
|PRODUCTION COMPANY:||Justinsuperstar Inc. , Witchcraft Motion Picture Company|
|PRODUCTION COUNTRY:||United States|
I was stunned to discover that behind a locked door in the house I grew up in, carefully tucked under thrift store bed sheets, my introverted and inventive dad had been creating perhaps the most realistic female nipple prosthetics in the world.
Unfortunately, as with many great things, this one started with tragedy.
In 2007, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, which kicked off a chain reaction that would drive change in our already close-knit family in countless unexpected ways.
My hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin is a lot like other midwestern towns. We love our sports (Go Pack Go), our beer (#2 in the nation for bars per capita), murdering deers, and Jesus. So naturally, I come from a conservative Christian household. In our house, anything that even bordered on sexual was taboo (including Seinfeld!), so this discovery was … to say the least, a bit shocking!
Once my initial surprise wore off, I began to realize that the real story wasn’t that my parents had been keeping their nipple business a secret, it was that my dad was creating realistic nipples because the option just didn’t exist to the degree that breast cancer survivors like my mom required.
Seeing the thoroughness with which my father tackled the problem of prosthetic nipple creation after my mom’s mastectomy became the perfect lens with which to illuminate their nearly 40 year bond. What started conceptually as a quirky festival short about a strange element of my family’s makeup quickly grew into a sweeping love story about two people, and how that love story has changed the lives of countless others in extremely significant ways.
At current count, my dad and mom have shipped out more than 3,000 handcrafted nipples to women around the world! That’s a hell of a lot of impact.
After 38 years, I really thought I KNEW my parents, but it wasn’t until earnestly starting this film that I truly came to understand them. Even though it took me many many failed attempts over the past 5 years to get here, I can’t fathom my life without this movie.
This is a story that always gets a reaction, and it’s time to welcome the rest of the world into the Nipple Factory.
JUSTIN JOHNSON (A.K.A. JUSTINSUPERSTAR) is an award-winning filmmaker, known especially for his documentaries and his creation of popular online content spanning back nearly two decades. His work aims at engaging the audience with down-to-earth tales that authentically explore the lives of extraordinary people, and his passion for travel has been a strong catalyst for bringing diverse stories from all around the globe to life.
Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, his feature documentary Double Digits: The Story of a Neighborhood Movie Star toured the festival circuit, taking home Best Documentary at Big Mini Film Festival, as well as Best Feature and recipient of the Vanguard Award at Tallgrass International Film Festival. The film went on to be released by FilmBuff in December 2015. His most recent festival work, a 2018 short documentary about the quirky and fascinating street musician Abby the Spoon Lady, played at many festivals, including Indie Memphis, Cucalorus, Bentonville, and the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.
He currently lives in Minnesota and directs branded documentary content for clients such as Lululemon, Google, New Balance, and SyFy.
NOAH LANG is an Independent Spirit Award nominated film and branded content producer based in NY and LA. After starting his career at Cinetic Media in packaging, single picture finance and consulting, he segued into producing his own films through his former production company Young Gunner Films which was a member of the inaugural Dogfish Accelerator.
His films have screened at dozens of domestic and international festivals including Cannes, TIFF, Telluride, Deauville, Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, LAFF, Champs-Elysees, BAM, and numerous others. Past awards include the Empire State Filmmaker Award, JDIFF Best Narrative Prize, Lund Int’l Siren Award, and the Tribeca Audience Award. His films have participated in the Big Vision Creative, BIFF Collaboration Grant, Frontieres WIP, FIN Partners, Trans Atlantic Partners, and US in Progress programs.
He produced the feature documentary Red, White & Wasted premiered at Tribeca in 2019 where it was highlighted by the NY Times and Filmmaker Magazine. He most recently produced The Climb which won the Coup de Coeur Award at Cannes as part of Un Certain Regard and was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics.
He will next produce the documentary Mom and Dad’s Nipple Factory (Doclands DocPitch) for director Justinsuperstar, Dead Don’t Speak (Frontieres / FIN partners) with director Justin Oakey, and All the Names We Buried (Frontieres / SVFF Producers Grant Finalist) with director Thomas Torrey.
REBECCA BULOK is an editor in feature films, television and commercial post production. Her most recent features include The Problem with Apu by Director Michael Melamedoff, and From the Ashes by Director Michael Bonfiglio, which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.
Rebecca is also a seasoned television editor, working primarily in non-scripted and comedy. Her credits include Paid Off (truTV), What It’s Worth (A&E) and How Hungry Are You With Serge Ibaka. Rebecca has worked with companies including Cowboy Bear Ninja, Show of Force, Radical Media, ITV, DIGA Studios, PBS, Bleacher Report, Turner and A&E.
Rebecca’s career started in commercial post where she worked with a broad range of clients, including Procter & Gamble. Holiday Inn, The Gates Foundation, ESPN, MLB, LG and Nike. Rebecca’s work with Grey for their Febreze “Breathe Happy” campaign received multiple Cannes Lions (2011, 2012) for Digital Integration and won the 2012 Black Lion for Overall Effectiveness.
Rebecca studied Film & Television Production at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In her free time, Rebecca is a photographer, writer, tarot reader and was a Girl Scout.
GROUP OF COSTS
|MATERIALS / CONSUMABLES:||$7,398.50|
|FOOD / TRAVEL:||$50,785.00|
|PURCHASE OF RIGHTS, RENTALS, LEASES:||$9,000.00|
|EQUIPMENT (RENTALS & PURCHASE):||$8,298.50|
|EDITING EQUIPMENT & POST FACILITIES:||$14,000.00|
|MUSIC & ANIMATION:||$10,000.00|
|PR & MARKETING/VERSIONING||$10,000.00|
|GEN. EXPENSES / INSURANCE, OH||$30,250.00|
FINANCING PLAN | FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTORS
|FILMMAKER INVESTMENT||$25,000.00 • Secured|
|CONFIDENTIAL||$30,000.00 • Secured|
|NOAH LANG (As Needed)||$30,000.00 • Pending|
|HEXAGON MEDIA LLC / HEXAGON STUDIO (As Needed)||$10,000.00 • Pending|