I am sooo so proud to say that all my muscles burn, and my eyeballs feel like there's velcro at the back of them, from shooting FIVE HUNDRED AND ONE PEOPLE in California! The trip that you funded was a knockout success!!
San Francisco made for the most perfect kick off to the Self Evident Truths tour I could imagine. The night we landed, I went straight to NBC studios, and onto the set of the evening news. They did a five minute interview about the project, which was super fun. You can see it here: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/video/#!/news/local/LGBTQ--Smile-/133267348
I shot 300 San Franciscans, exactly, mostly over the course of 3 days. We wheatpasted ten large scale photos, of people who either live or have lived in SF, in the heart of the Mission, and the Castro showed us how being open minded is really done.
Nathan Drillot, one third of the production company Salazar came down and documented the entire thing, initially with the intention of making a feature film. As we went, however, it quickly became apparent that our subjects had such phenomenal stories, from ALL walks of life, that we started a shorter series of videos, highlighting individual stories. So keep an eye out for that.
Speaking of films, Nathan put together a little clip of highlights so you can see what happened in San Fran, which you can view here: http://vimeo.com/31917947
Los Angeles was equally amazing, in completely different ways. We met tons and tons of people, eager to tell their stories and share their personal journeys, including Cyrus, who is eighteen and had to come out as an Iranian Mormon American teenager, Chris, who deals with the challenges of being a completely bisexual man and how coming out affects ALL of his relationships, and Amber, a successful Hollywood actress who was raised Orthodox Catholic, and schooled us, in great detail, on what the bible REALLY says about homosexuality. I shot another 201 portraits there, and we met several people who will be key to the growth of the project moving forward.
In closing, I just want to thank you again, with utmost sincerity, for making this life changing trip happen, and giving Self Evident Truths the big kickoff it needed. We are now planning our next steps, on a much grander scale, and without your support and this California trip, none of it would be possible.
Until next time, all my warmest and best,
iO Tillett Wright
ps. If you are owed a print or another prize from your contribution, keep an eye on your mailbox in December! :)