: Narrative Short
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Post-Production


When a young social elite at the turn of the nineteenth century explores life as a modern woman, she risks losing the man she loves and a certain future.


At the turn of the 19th century, Midwestern, social elite Clemence Finch, returns from an outing with Birgit Johannsen a prominent, independent, European woman who engineers a luncheon at a local hotel without a male escort. The thrill of her newfound freedom and independence shatters Clemence’s world and her once singular desire to marry the man she loves and bear his children is called into question.


To introduce you to Clemence’s world as a social elite who resides in an opulent mansion, in the wealthiest neighborhood in the city, we will shoot using anamorphic lenses. With anamorphic lenses I can widen the field of view horizontally which will give you a more immersive experience. It's also a practical choice in that the world Clemence inhabits is beautiful with rich wood paneling, fine art, and tapestries, I will be able to reveal that to my audience using the 2:35 format.

In the opening I use a Steadicam that will allow me to convey Clemence’s attitude and persona wherein she floats through life unencumbered by unwanted thoughts, obligations and responsibilities. She is free to focus on whatever she desires. As Clemence and Alba admire her newly acquired ball gown, we will use a hand-held camera to become more intimate with her examination of the structure, which will emphasize her passion and excitement for fashion and beauty. The examination of the ball gown also allows Clemence to casually introduce her story of meeting Mrs. Johannsen and dining at a local hotel without a male escort.  Any distraction the gown provided is quickly squashed as Alba is shocked and frightened by her behavior.

As the day turns to night and Clemence meets her intended Samuel at an intimate gathering, we will use a more lock down style, focusing on Clemence’s discomfort at the realization that her standing in the world is more limiting and smothering than she was previously aware of. By crowding Clemence into the corners of the frame, making her look small and helpless we will feel her oppression. With her final decision to forego her newly discovered freedom for love we see her slump into her chair from a high POV. In the end we see the world goes on, she has been pulled back into societies role for her with only Alba aware of her distress.


Julie Koehnen - Writer/Director/Producer

After getting her degree from LA’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Koehnen pursued her passion for filmmaking by writing, producing, acting and directing short films, and had her full-length feature RAISING THE DEAD (a.k.a. DON’T TELL) successfully produced by Peer Oppenheimer Productions starring Alison Eastwood. In 2017 Koehnen left a successful editing career in Los Angeles to pursue filmmaking and screenwriting full time. In 2019 she was awarded the 2020 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant to create AWAKENING the sequel to her award winning film Master Servant, and she is also the recipient of the 2020 Metropolitan Regional Arts Grant Next Step Fund. She is currently developing and writing the television series Summit Avenue inspired by the Empire builder, James J. Hill as well as developing the independent feature A SLIP OF THE KNOT. Julie loves to dance and is currently learning the Balboa.

Ryan Grams - Producer

Ryan is truly an artisan of the moving image. Whether he's serving as cinematographer, director, editor or all three at once—Ryan’s work reveals an incredible ability to make the intimate feel spectacular and the spectacular feel intimate. From short-films and documentaries to commercials and other branded content.


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The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2024
Official Selection - 40th Edition of the Minneapolis St. Paul Int'l Film Festival 2021
Best of Fest - 40th Edition Minneapolis St. Paul Int'l Film Festival 2021
Official Selection Fort Myers Beach Int'l Film Festival 2021
Official Selection South Dakota Film Festival 2021
Official Selection Iowa Inependent Film Festival


UPDATE - April 26, 2021

Thrilled to announce both Master Servant and the sequel Awakening are official selections of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. The films will show virtually this May 13th - 16th.

Purchase your tickets here:

Master Servant


UPDATE - November 20, 2020

Please consider, if you don't make a donation, we may end up with these two in the middle of the film! We are begging you! Singing for our supper

You have supported us through production and now we are here in post production. We are raising our finishing funds - $6000 for our top notch editor, colorist, composer and sound designer.

We hope you will consider making a tax deductible donation to our very worthy project!

UPDATE - September 29, 2020

Awakening has successfully completed production! An image from our shoot: Clemence enters the house

UPDATE - September 02, 2020

Our filming date is coming fast. September 12th and the 13th! In the meantime, we are still celebrating Master Servant, the first in the series of short films. Master Servant will be playing for the Filmmaker series for the Lake Placid Film Festival. Please check us out and enjoy the online screening of Master Servant followed by a Q&A with the director Julie Koehnen.

Lake Placid Film Festival Filmmakers Series

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