SNAPSHOT by Shine Louise Houston Queer Black Filmmaker

SNAPSHOT Film Synopsis

A freelance photographer and woman about town, Charlie has her sights set on Danny, an older butch in search of adventure and romance. Just as things are about to click, Charlie accidentally snaps a photo of a murder.  and becomes his new target. With a killer hot on her trail — and a new relationship developing — will Charlie find love… or her own demise?

Written and directed by Shine Louise Houston (The Crash Pad, Champion: Love Hurts), SNAPSHOT draws inspiration from film classics such as Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Antonioni’s Blow Up, featuring a diverse cast and intimate portrayals of queer sex in Houston’s signature cinematic style.


A Different Kind of “Coming Out” Story
by Shine Louise Houston

Coming out stories are huge in queer communities, and they play an important role in making sense of what we’ve been through and in helping pave the way for others. Growing up queer, I was always frustrated with the coming out stories I was hearing and seeing: there were so few queers of color, the representations’ idea of ‘sexy’ wasn’t mine, narratives were formulaic and stereotypical, and the production quality left a lot to be desired. SNAPSHOT is an attempt to provide a different coming out narrative in a tone that reflects some of my most profound filmic influences. It involves two women of color as its main characters, the character whose coming out is in focus is in her late 30s and her coming out has to do more with the intricacies of new desires than with gender.

The story is set in San Francisco, where our young lead, Charlie, discovers that she may have accidentally photographed a murderer. Her pursuit of the mysterious figure in her photo causes her to meet Danny, an older Butch, setting into motion an odd romance. Though it may sound like a murder mystery, SNAPSHOT is really a coming out story — but not the kind you’d think. The traditional narrative usually involves a younger protagonist coming into maturity or sexual revelation, however it is our older character, Danny, who embraces a new way of being as a result of meeting Charlie and being exposed to her unfamiliar desires.

Stylistically, the murder serves as a catalyst for their relationship, symbolic of their triumphs over fears of intimacy. Structurally, the mystery is a MacGuffin: it serves as a catalyst for Danny and Charlie’s relationship which unfolds in unexpected ways over the course of the film. SNAPSHOT is an erotic suspense thriller that draws inspiration from film classics such as Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Antonioni’s Blow Up.

A Sex-Positive, Queer Porn Production: 

As a queer love story, SNAPSHOT doesn’t shy away from portraying explicit sexuality, which gives context to the characters’ intimacy and exists as a key element of my storytelling. Popular examples of movies that include realistic sex are Shortbus and the lesbian film, Blue is the Warmest Color. My pornographic aesthetics draw heavily from Radley Metzger. Pink & White Productions films show the mechanics of intimate sexuality, and uncensored portrayals of genuine pleasure, which is what our company is best known for.

“Shine Louise Houston, who comes at her work from the perspective of a queer woman of color, says that ‘The sex is the compelling story,’ but nevertheless adds ‘Showing different gender identities, sexual proclivities, different body types, skin colors — that’s all on the agenda.’  – BITCH Magazine