She’s Hot is all about the ladies. Each month I will interview “out” women and shed light on their hotness. “She’s hot” can be a description for any strong, out, independent, progressive, artistic, or inspirational woman. Someone like Christin Baker.
She is a filmmaker, producer, and co-founder of Tello Films, a web-based distribution company that produces all-lesbian original content. The website provides access to its content via a monthly subscription: you might say it’s the lesbian Netflix.
Baker is originally from a small town in Indiana, but her family moved many times in her younger years, including stints in Orlando and Chattanooga. However, her family spent the most time in Nashville after moving here in 1988, and they’ve called it home ever since.
Baker was heavily influenced by attending shows at TPAC and doing local theater. As a kid, she would make home music videos and SNL parodies. She continued her passion for video and film by attending MTSU and studying in their Mass Communications program.
Baker had a brief run in broadcast journalism and held an internship at a local station. After her internship, she realized working in the news wasn’t a good fit for her. That same summer she was on a movie set as an extra, and there she realized that film-based storytelling was her destiny. Baker was subsequently fortunate enough to have access to MTSU’s new digital editing equipment and thereafter learned to edit video.
Shortly after graduating, Baker moved to Los Angeles where she spent three years in the Hollywood industry. This, however, was didn’t suit her, so she got a job at the YMCA and made videos. Baker subsequently made her way to Chicago, where she met her creative partners, Jessica King and Julie Keck via Twitter.
All three lived in Chicago, all were film makers, and a mutual friend introduced the three over coffee. The result was a personal partnership among the three, and their professional collaboration has become Tello Films. Christin has now produced ten original projects with many others in pre-production.
Dupree: What inspired you to create Tello Films?
Baker: Lack of quality lesbian content. We have come far with The Fosters and Orange is the New Black but are still lacking, with lesbian regulars dying on network shows
Dupree: Have you completed any projects in Nashville?
Baker: Not yet. We’ve done most of our productions in Chicago, but I’m looking to move some here. Before I moved to LA, when I was still in Nashville, I did work on a few music videos and an indie movie called Exhisto. That was my first real foray into production.
Dupree: If you could cast any actress in your films, whom would you cast and in what type of film?
Baker: I get asked this all the time, and it is always changing. For example, Emma Stone comes to mind, but that’s because I was watching her Jimmy Fallon lip sync contest video the other day. Let me first say I have been very lucky to work with some amazing actresses. I’m very proud of the quality of acting on our site. I usually also say Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. I think they are both amazing and super talented. So that’s my answer. I’d allow them to be funny. That’s the film I would make.
Dupree: What’s on your current iPod/Pandora playlist?
Baker: One of my favorites is a local musician named Jen Foster, she is on my rotation. I’ve been listening to some Nickel Creek recently; I love them. The musical Once came to Nashville and I saw it, so I’ve been listening to that soundtrack, and I’ve discovered a local band called Boom Forest. I’ve been listening to that in my car.
Dupree: What are your current favorite TV show and movie?
Baker: I have to give you a few answers on this one. The Good Wife, Drunk History, The Daily Show, New Girl, and Castle. I could keep going, but those are my favorites. The last movie that really moved me was Saving Mr. Banks. I also want to mention the documentary 20 Feet from Stardom. I don’t usually watch documentaries, but I was on a flight recently, and it was on, and I loved it.
Dupree: What is your next project?
Baker: We are currently in post-production on two projects. One is #Hashtag Season 2 and a romantic comedy called Plus One. We are also working with local Nashville filmmaker Jennifer Sheridan on developing and distributing a documentary she is working on called I Kissed a Girl.
To watch Christin Baker’s projects or to learn more about Tello Films, visit http://www.onemorelesbian.com/tello/
Jane Dupree is from Alamo, TN, a small, rural town located in West Tennessee. She grew up playing music in her hometown church. After high school, she attended Middle Tennessee State University to study in the Recording Industry Management program. While in college, she hosted a weekly radio show on WMTS, Housenation, for five years. After college, she dove head-first into the world, playing various venues and events across the country, as well as DJing for some of the biggest names in dance music, as well as for the Nashville Rollergirls†, and appearing in a few television shows. If you would like to nominate a lady to be featured in She's Hot, drop Jane a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
†CORRECTION – The print version of the article incorrectly described the author as playing for the Rollergirls.