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Status Update: Good news and bad news! As a courtesy and under a Non-Disclosure Agreement, in April 2019 I asked a Hollywood studio executive to give me feedback on the project. They were thrilled with the concept, but there is just too much LGBTQ history to cover in two two-hour movies. Either I have to narrow down the stories I try to cover (which defeats the purpose of the project, which is to tell the history of LGBTQ activism in the South) or that instead of two movies, I develop this into an entire series.
I'm not opposed to the idea, but this would involve putting off all of my other projects for at least another five years. I'm also concerned about finding a network willing to air the entire series. Writer Dustin Lance Black was successful in getting his "When We Rise" series to run on ABC, but I am no DLB and I don't think it aired internationally.
I'm going to take some time to brainstorm and develop a strategy before I do a complete rewrite and reorganization of the project. I may also start a crowdfunding page to help with the production expenses which will grow beyond my current abilities if we develop this into an entire series. Stay tuned!
The Pride Against Prejudice project consists of:
The Book - Alabama LGBTQ Human Rights Activist Gary Wright II tells the struggles of the LGBTQ community living in The South fighting for equality, dignity, and acceptance. The book follows five Southern teenagers coming to age during the period of marriage equality in America. Although the main characters are fictional, they interact with actual historical characters and their personal stories are based upon true events.
The Movie (or series) - The screenplay is based upon the book, but the movie (or series) will have a twist: in addition to producing a big screen version of the film, we're letting people around the world act out their own versions of the movie. You'll be able to record and submit your own scenes, and we'll post them on our web site. Visitors will be able to see their friends and neighbors acting out their favorite scenes from the movie! We plan to start pre-production of the movie in 2019 in Alabama and to start final production by 4th Quarter of 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Movement - Taking the lessons learned from the marriage equality movement, and standing on the shoulders of the Civil Rights giants who came before us, we'll put the project into action! The struggle against prejudice is a never-ending battle: join the movement and share your story of Pride Against Prejudice!
Philanthropists Urgently Needed!
#SquadGoals - All of the youth centers in Alabama got closed down, so now our youth suicide rate is going up again. I am devastated by the 2019 suicide of 15 year old Nigel Shelby who attended Huntsville High School (my former high school). We first need funds to publish the book and produce the movie, but I intend to donate the proceeds of this project towards building an LGBTQ Youth Support Center in my hometown of Huntsville, AL. If you're able to help, here's how you can donate.