SHE4ME and Jen Foster

Jen Foster is the voice and generosity behind the music video at the heart of the SHE4ME campaign. In partnership with Sue Melke, Executive Producer of the PSA, Jen adapted a fan favourite track, the 2004 'She' into an upbeat dance tune, with the help of music producer Eve Nelson. 

'She' has been performed in all of Jen's tours since, and used a many commitment ceremonies, so it clearly resonates with the lesbian and bi women's community. From there, Sue introduced Jen to Nicole Conn who came on board as the director of the video, and from there it "snowballed".

Jen and Sue took the decision to align with Marriage Equality, the organisation, and also to be patient in waiting for things to come together to make a special video that would really be a "statement". It was not always a straightforward process to get supporters on board and keep them on board and wait for things to fall in place, but well worth the wait in our opinion. 

Jen says that once Nicole Conn was signed up, she was so easy to work and a team player who brought along some familiar names with her.

It was Jen and Sue's "persistent approach" and determination and perseverance "to make it happen"  and that now is the time to turn the video into a real campaign. 

Jen felt that after talk of gay marriage and bullying in the media over the last twelve months, that perhaps the public are ready to hear what we have to say. "It's a different time" and we need to seize the opportunity to be heard.

For Jen, Marriage Equality in every US state would be the "ultimate freedom" but there's still a "long way to go until we get there". Jen says that after making a lot of progress, "projects like this really important to keep it in the forefront" and the message within SHE4ME is one of inclusivity and that same-sex love is the same as heterosexual love, with similar goals and journeys. SHE4ME "focuses on the similarities, not the differences". 

Jen FosterThe filming experience was one of the best says of her life, and filled with energy. A massive orchestration of 160 cast and crew, and thanks to the generosity of the Andaz Hotel in West Hollywood, rooms were provded for breaks and preparation, as well as the ballroom for the filming of the wedding scenes.
 
There was a shared experience of everyone on set, everyone giving up their time for the day, but there because they wanted to be, and having fun too. Jen and director Nicole Conn both found themselves watching the action through a camera lens with tears in their eyes as the visuals emerged. It was a moving experience that didn't escape the cast either, and the extras fell to the same experience. This proved it was "really something special".

In particular the sense of collaboration and "team" felt strong and that everyone was working together for the "greater message and the greater good". Jen said she was "blown away" at how smoothly the filming went - the production team took care of problems and kept smiles on their faces the whole time. 

If Jen could predict her own dream wedding, it would be focused on making the other person happy and enjoying that experience - even if that means skydiving out of a plane! 

Jen, and everyone behind the project, are amazed and overwhelmed by the love and support and the collective action the video has inspired. The Love Warriors are sharing the message with 20-30 people a day each. And there's been some great press too, incredible mentions in the likes of Huffington Post, She Wired and Curve. It's not just the sharing the link that has mattered, it's also creating the space for people to share their own personal stories and express their situations, creating a sense of love and validation.

Jen's celebrity aim for the Love Warriors include retweets from Bono and Bill Clinton... and may be even Kate Middleton or the Queen! However with names like Melissa Etheridge and Suzanne Vega already retweeting the video, she's not complaining! Jen is very clear to say that she is "So deeply grateful for everyone who has related to the message and taken it to the next level" and for relating "their personal experiences relating to the video, with the struggles to be openly gay and own the love they have with their partners... Please know the continued help is very welcome"

Jen is already thinking about the next project that could become a part of the campaign – perhaps other songs, new songs. It's a new passion for Jen that is not just to put out an album but to align songs with causes she is passionate about.  She's also going to undertake some on the ground volunteering to remain "inspired and re-fuelled".