Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 29, 2011.

Update #34

We want to hear your screening ideas for MSIAFOM

Hope everyone is having an amazing summer!

We're pleased to announce that we have "locked" picture on MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE and completed our final music mix! (I am using quotes, however, because we still have just a few small adjustments that need to be made--a few last B-roll changes, some graphics, opening and end credits, additional sound design, mastering, etc.)

There's still a ton of work left to be done, but now that the finish line is fast approaching, we can finally think about where we're going to show our film. Ideally, we're planning to hopefully debut the film in screening events this October, which will mark the 15th anniversary of Matt's death.

We're a small team working on a truly independent film without a fancy distribution deal, but we are absolutely passionate about getting as many people to see the film as we possibly can. We believe this telling of Matt's story, through the personal lens of his family and friends, will change hearts and minds. But we could use all the help that we can get:)

We have a lot of exciting ideas and upcoming plans for where and how we will eventually screen the film, but we want to hear YOUR ideas!

Once the film is completely done, we of course want to screen the film in theatrical venues (wherever possible--money permitting), but we're particularly excited about the idea of people gathering together in community and campus screenings across the country to learn about Matt's story. (Especially people and communities that don't traditionally get the opportunity to see a film like ours in their town.)

So we are looking to our own amazing Kickstarter supporters for ideas on people and groups who would like to see or host an MSIAFOM screening in their own communities.

Would you like to see MSIAFOM in your town?  Would a school or organization you're involved with be interested in screening the film? Do you have a good screening idea? We'd love to hear from you!

As always, thanks so much for your help and continued support!

With love and gratitude,

Michele & the "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine" team


Update #33

We have not forgotten you!

2 comments

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


Update #32

Happy Holidays!

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Seasons greetings and best wishes for the New Year from the "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine" Team!

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Update #31

A Long-overdue Update

4 comments

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


Update #30

Happy 2012!

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    115 backers

    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.

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    96 backers

    You'll get our "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" button, sticker, and special thanks on our website.

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    90 backers

    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.

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    158 backers

    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.

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    23 backers

    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.

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    11 backers

    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.

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    10 backers

    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.

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    0 backers Limited (6 left of 6)

    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.

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    1 backer

    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.

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    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.

Funding period

- (44 days)