Best Cutting Edge FilmBacklot Film Festival

Lady Magdalene's
Nichelle Nichols

Production Info

Produced, Written, and Directed by
J. Neil Schulman

Executive Producers:
J. Neil Schulman & Nichelle Nichols

Co-Executive Producer:
Betty Schulman

Line Producer: Pierre Lorillard
Consulting producers: Sky Douglas Conway
and Sascha Schneider
Associate Producers: J. Kent Hastings
and Randall N. Herrst

Start Date: May 23, 2006
Wrap Date: June 14, 2006

Shooting Locations: Pahrump, NV; Las Vegas, NV;
Front Sight Training Institute, NV;
Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Gambling Hall, NV

Post-Production History

  • September 23, 2006: 140-minute Festival Cut
  • April 16, 2007: 117-minute Theatrical cut
  • August 18, 2007: 117-minute World Premiere cut
  • October 30, 2007: 108-minute Producer's Theatrical cut
  • March 20, 2008: 108-minute Backlot Festival Cut
  • September 22, 2008: 108-minute Cinema City International Film Festival Cut
  • July 31, 2009: 116-minute Special Preview Edition


  • February 2, 2008: Winner, "Best Cutting Edge Film," San Diego Black Film Festival, San Diego, CA
  • October 1, 2008: Winner, "Audience Choice," Cinema City International Film Festival, Universal City, CA
  • July 16, 2011: Winner, "Special Jury Prize for Libertarian Ideals," Anthem Film Festival/FreedomFest, Las Vegas, NV

Screening History

  • September 24, 2006: Cast and Crew Screening preceding 1st High Desert Shorts International Film Festival, 140-minute Festival Cut (Standard Definition DVD), Pahrump, NV
  • April 12, 2007: Test Screening for West Side NRA Members Council, 117-minute rough Theatrical cut (High Definition DVCProHD Projection), Culver City, CA
  • July 7, 2007: Post-Gala Screening at Robert A. Heinlein Centennial, 117 minute Theatrical cut (Standard Definition DVD), Kansas City, MO
  • September 2, 2007: Dragon*Con Screening, 117 minute "World Premiere" cut (Standard Definition DVD), Atlanta, GA
  • February 2, 2008: World Premiere, San Diego Black Film Festival, 108-minute Theatrical cut (Standard Definition, BetaCam SP), San Diego, CA
  • April 3, 2008: High-Def Premiere, Backlot Film Festival, 108-minute Backlot Festival Cut (High Definition HDCam Projection), Culver City, CA
  • April 11, 2008: Old Town Music Hall, 108-minute Backlot Festival Cut (Standard Definition DVD), El Segundo, CA
  • August 14, 2008: West Los Angeles College Cinema Festival, 108-minute Backlot Festival Cut (Standard Definition DVD), Culver City, CA
  • September 30, 2008: Cinema City International Film Festival, 108-minute Universal Cut (Standard Definition DVD), Universal City, CA
  • April 18, 2009: Xanadu Convention, 108-minute Universal Cut (Standard Definition DVD), Las Vegas, NV
  • August 29, 2009: Pahrump Nugget, 116-minute Special Preview Edition (Blu-ray, HD Projection), Pahrump, NV
  • June 22, 2011: Porcupine Freedom Festival, 116-minute Special Preview Edition (Standard Definition DVD), Lancaster, NH
  • July 16, 2011: Anthem Film Festival/FreedomFest, 116-minute Special Preview Edition (Blu-ray, HD Projection), Las Vegas, NV
  • September 9, 2011: Neon Reverb Film Festival, Theatre7, 116-minute Special Preview Edition (Blu-ray, HD Projection), Las Vegas, NV

Technical Specifications

Color info: Color
Camera: Sony HDW-F900/ Canon XL-H1
Negative format: HDCam
Process: 1080i 24P HD
Aspect ratio: 1.78 : 1 (16 x 9)
Running Time: (Commercial Release Cut)
Jesulu Productions Intro: 32 secs
Story Running Time: 1:41:48
Outtakes/Bloopers/Credits: 13:13
Total Running Time: 1:55:46

This motion picture was shot with Sony and Canon High Definition Video Cameras, recorded on HDCam tape and transferred to the Wafian HR1 using the Cineform Intermediate Codec. It was edited using Adobe Premiere on the Wafian HR1 on a Windows XP Professional platform and on the Macintosh G5 using the Apple Final Cut Pro Suite via BlackMagic Design's HD Extreme card, with Streamclip converting some footage to the DVC Pro HD Codec at 24 frames. Digital Compositing was done in Final Cut Pro and Adobe AfterEffects.

Synopsis: After a prostitute's murder, in this offbeat comic thriller, Jack Goldwater, a disgraced federal agent, buddies with Nevada brothel Madam, Lady Magdalene (Nichelle Nichols), to unravel an al-Qaeda plot.

Start with Star Trek's original "Uhura," Nichelle Nichols, in the title role as a New Orleans madam who after the hurricanes moves to Pahrump, Nevada -- where's brothels are legal -- and who -- behind the camera -- exec produced, wrote and performed original songs on the soundtrack, and did the film's choreography.

Add in a plot-twisty screenplay by award-winning novelist, libertarian journalist, and Twilight Zone screenwriter, J. Neil Schulman, who not only directed the film and wrote original songs for the soundtrack but played the supporting role of an American al Qaeda terrorist.

Mix well with a fresh cast of talented actors including alumni of the Groundlings and the London Drama Centre; a gorgeous Shakespearean actress whose hobbies include collecting swords; a stunning Persian pop superstar; a Calvin Klein male model who did all his own stunts; a Miss Teen All American (a title previously held by Halle Berry), and an actual Nevada "working girl" ...

And you end up with a one-of-a-kind independent film, defying all genre classification, which the producers have referred to as "a Jerry Bruckheimer tentpole made on an Ed Wood budget."

Following its February 2008 world premiere at the San Diego Black Film Festival Lady Magdalene's won the festival's award for "Best Cutting Edge Film." After its September 2008 screening at Universal City's Cinema City International Film Festival Lady Magdalene's producers walked away with the statuette for Audience Choice.

If you're looking for a movie with a topsy-turvy plot you haven't seen a million times before, dialogue you might actually have to think about before you laugh, and an eclectic musical score, this might be the movie for you.