To our dear and amazing supporters,
First off, we offer our sincerest apologies for being out of touch all this time. We have not forgotten you! We have been incredibly busy with the long and rather uneventful process of editing "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine." But since it has been quite a while, we are happy to give you the following updates:
We completed principal photography on the film at the end of last year, thanks to your generous pledges. Principal photography unfolded, on and off, over the course of a year. Our small field team traveled all over the U.S. with lots of time spent in Matt's home state of Wyoming. We also traveled all the way to Switzerland and Morocco to capture key parts of Matt's important story.
Last month, we returned once again to Laramie, WY for a few pick-ups we needed. While there, we discovered an extensive archive collection on Matthew at the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center. We also happened to meet a wonderful couple from Florida who were in Denver for business and decided to drive the 2.5 hours to Laramie to see the bench dedicated to Matt on the UW campus. It was a worthwhile and heartwarming trip.
Photography was exhausting, not just physically, but emotionally as well. But our hard work in the field has netted us hours upon hours of compelling and beautiful footage that we are very proud of.
Throughout this year, we have been deep in the difficult but incredibly rewarding process of distilling this mountain of footage into the shape that "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine" will ultimately take. As of now, we are extremely close to completing a rough cut of the film with temped in music.
There is still a lot of work to be done on the film in the coming months--refining the edit, scoring, and the myriad of things that go into preparing a feature film for release. To that end, we have enlisted the services of independent film distribution guru Peter Broderick, who is helping us develop a distribution strategy to ensure that "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine" will most effectively reach audiences across the U.S. and around the world. Also, we are looking forward to launching our new website for the film within the next month.
Though there is still much to be done, we are churning ahead and so excited to be nearing the finish line. While making this film has been a long and sometimes arduous journey, it has always remained an inspirational one, and we're so honored to be sharing it with all of you.
With much love & gratitude,
Michele and the "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine" team
Today, on what would've been Matthew's 35th birthday, we remember our loving friend and share with you a short but poignant clip from the film. In this clip, Judy Shepard talks about her son as only a mother can.
As wonderful supporters of our efforts to tell Matt's story, each and every one of you have shown us how one person can truly make a difference.
In Matt's honor, we kindly ask that you please take a moment to support the Matthew Shepard Foundation, a wonderful non-profit organization founded by the Shepard family that is so close to our hearts, and vote for them in the American Giving Awards. As a small but passionately dedicated organization, the substantial grant they could be awarded would greatly impact their tireless efforts to protect bullied youth and “Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion and Acceptance” through a variety of educational and outreach programs. Your vote will make a difference in their mission to Erase Hate.
You can vote DAILY from now through December 8th at www.VoteMatthewShepard.org
As always, we cannot thank you enough for your help.
With much love and gratitude,
Michele & the "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" team
If you're in the Los Angeles area, the "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" team will be presenting a few short clips from the film at a panel on Bullying at UCLA tomorrow, Wed., November 30th. If you can make it, we'd love to see you there!Wed., Nov. 30th at 6:30 pm
Covel Commons on the UCLA Campus
Please RSVP to 310-825-8871 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday!
Michele & the "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" team
pledged of $50,000 goal
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Apr 15, 2011 - May 29, 2011 (44 days)
Pledge $10 or more
Thank you so much for supporting the film! For being a friend of the film, you'll get our "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" sticker and special thanks on our website.
Pledge $25 or more
You'll get our "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" button, sticker, and special thanks on our website.
Pledge $50 or more
You'll receive our fabulous "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" T-shirt in your requested size, button, sticker, and special thanks on our website.
Pledge $100 or more
See your name on the big screen! You'll receive a special on-screen thank you in the film, in addition to all of the goodies listed above.
Pledge $250 or more
In addition to a special on-screen thank you in the film, you'll receive a film poster designed by designer extraordinaire Alfred Hawkins that will be personalized and autographed by the filmmakers.
Pledge $500 or more
You'll receive a digital print of Gina van Hoof's now iconic photograph of Matt, as seen on the cover of Judy Shepard's "The Meaning of Matthew," signed by the photographer, as well as a special on-screen thank you.
Pledge $1,000 or more
You will receive an advanced autographed DVD copy of the film with a personalized video message from the filmmakers. You'll also receive our "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" sticker, button, T-shirt, and a special on-screen thank you.
Pledge $2,995 or more
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You will receive a limited edition darkroom print of Gina van Hoof's now iconic photograph of Matt, as seen on the cover of Judy Shepard's "The Meaning of Matthew." This is a limited edition Baryta silver-based paper print of Matthew Shepard, signed by photographer Gina van Hoof and mounted on aluminum with a protective hand-crafted wood frame. You'll also receive our "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" sticker, button, T-shirt, and a special on-screen thank you.
Pledge $5,000 or more
Party time + official credit on the film! You and a special guest will receive an invitation to a VIP screening party of the film in Los Angeles (transportation not included), an official Associate Producer credit on the film, plus our "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" sticker, button, and T-shirt.
Pledge $10,000 or more
Become a Co-Producer on our film! You'll receive an official Co-Producer credit on the film, a VIP invitation for you and a special guest to our screening party in LA (transportation not included), plus our "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" sticker, button, and T-shirt.