Locally Set Documentary Covers Love, Family, and Prosthetic Nipples
You may be unsure what could be heartwarming about nipple prosthetics, and the answer isn’t what you’d expect. “Some husbands give flowers. Brian built his wife the perfect nipple …” reads the website of Justin Johnson, a documentary filmmaker originally from the Chippewa Valley. “My Dad’s Nipple Factory is a quirky and heartwarming look at how a conservative Christian couple deals with starting a nipple prosthetic business, all while staying under the radar from their friends, church and five children.”
“My dad was the first documentary filmmaker that I ever met and captured things in a way that’s really beautiful. Now the documentarian becomes the documented.” – Justin Johnson, filmmaker behind My Dad’s Nipple Factory
Justin has made many films, but says that this film is different.
“At the end of the day, my most important audience is my parents and my family,” he said. “I want to tell my parents’ love story to the highest degree that I can.”
In 2007, Justin’s mom, Randi Johnson, was diagnosed with breast cancer. After her unilateral mastectomy and subsequent reconstructive surgery, there was just one thing missing. Brian’s entrepreneurial mind was determined to make his wife feel complete again. He started from scratch and consulted a lot of experts, and when he came back with his model for a nipple prosthetic four months later, the doctor was amazed. “It almost instantly became a business,” Randi says about what came to be known as Naturally Impressive LLC.
Watch the teaser ...
According to the Naturally Impressive website, their nipple prosthetics can be used as an alternative to “surgical nipple reconstruction or 3D nipple tattoos or as a stepping stone towards one of these permanent options.” While the story behind the business is serious, Justin’s film definitely has a lighthearted side.
Justin describes the story of My Dad’s Nipple Factory as “a story that literally no one else in the world could tell because my dad doesn’t want anyone to tell it.” Brian Johnson, Justin’s father, has an incredible inventiveness underneath his quiet exterior, a mind that can solve just about any problem. Justin is the oldest of five children and says that his father was always filming them when they were kids. “My dad was the first documentary filmmaker that I ever met and captured things in a way that’s really beautiful,” he says. “Now the documentarian becomes the documented.”
Justin says that it was pretty under wraps for a while, saying, “Dad spent months and months creating this perfect replacement nipple for my mom, and none of the kids had any idea. … Dad was dedicated to healing the girl of his dreams.” But slowly the information started trickling out, and the depth of the work that Brian had invested was clear.
A business creating custom nipple prosthetics isn’t exactly something that comes up in casual conversation. Randi says, “It’s kind of ironic because there are many top-notch breast surgeons around the nation, as well as around the world, that are enthusiastic about our work, but hardly anyone in Eau Claire realizes the impact we’re making in the breast cancer world.”
After the hard work of filming and editing, Justin says he is most excited about the prospect of attending film festivals with his mom to promote the film. He says it’s been really neat for his parents to see the process.
“They see Justin, their son, in his full documentary filming mode,” he said. “I get to share with them my craft.”
Justin’s goal is to have the film at festivals in 2021. To accomplish that goal, Justin says he is looking for people who are interested in becoming a partner in the film to help it come to life. Check out the website to join the mailing list and/or see the movie trailer: nipplefactoryfilm.com. Naturally Impressive LLC is a strictly online service, and can be found at naturallyimpressive.com.