To our supportive and ever-patient backers:
After almost 2 months filming on 3 different continents, over a year in the editing room, months working on our original score, and numerous test screenings, we have finally locked picture on "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine"!
It has been a long and grueling journey since we began principal photography in October 2010, and it would not have been possible to get this far without the generous support and heroic efforts of so many people on our team--and that includes YOU!
This summer, we will be focusing our efforts on creating our new official trailer, creating our movie poster, refurbishing our website, preview screenings, and forming outreach partnerships with amazing non-profit organizations that share our values of compassion, acceptance, and love. We are also busy crafting our marketing and distribution strategy, so that we can get our film seen by as many people as possible.
As always, there is a massive amount of work to do in preparing for the film's release to the public and we expect to have many exciting things to share with you in the coming months. Until then, please remember to “like” us on Facebook at “Matthew Shepard Documentary” and follow us on Twitter @myfriendmatt. Also, please visit our website: www.mattshepardisafriendofmine.com
**On a more serious/personal note:
To be quite honest, I was terrified as I began this project, having never truly opened up about Matt’s death before. In fact, it still remains overwhelming. But I'm fully aware that our sharing of Matt’s story and the Matt we knew and loved is much more important than any personal fear we may experience.
In fact, back in the fall of 2010 as I was driving, stressed and scared, from Los Angeles to Denver to begin filming, I remember hearing the news of Tyler Clementi, the gay Rutger’s student who jumped to his death after learning his roommate had used a webcam to record him kissing another man. And again, just a few weeks ago as we locked picture, we learned about the string of hateful anti-gay attacks in New York, including the horrific and senseless shooting death of Mark Carson. It breaks your heart and baffles the mind, as we quickly approach the 15th anniversary of Matt's tragic death this coming October.
Undeniably, there has been much progress in the 15 years since Matt’s murder, thanks to the passionate and indefatigable work of many, including the Shepard family. But the deaths of Tyler Clementi and Mark Carson which have flanked the beginning and end of our film’s production, are glaring reminders that there’s still so much work to do in the fight to end intolerance and hate of the LGBT community.
Our mission--to share Matt’s story through a truly personal lens and, as Father Roger Schmit so eloquently says in the film, to “remind the world to be angry” at what happened to Matt and the other Matthew Shepards out there--has always been at the forefront of our hearts.
Making this film has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s easily been the most meaningful. I look forward to the day that we're able to share the film, OUR film, with all of you.
With love & gratitude,
Michele & the “Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine” team