Two years ago, on December 20th, 2013, gay marriage was declared legal in the state of Utah. Three years ago, you contributed to the Facing East Kickstarter campaign.
Back then both myself, and fellow producer Emily Pearson, thought we'd have a movie finished by now, but I'm here to tell you that though we've hit some obstacles we're still plugging away and expect to be shooting a year from now.
I'm glad, however, that we've taken this long, because we've made key changes to the script setting it in the days following Judge Shelby's historic decision to legalize gay marriage in Utah. In one of the first scenes of the film Andrew and Marcus, the gay couple at the center of our film, get married.
Here's a screen grab of the script:
The reason things have taken so long is simply that making films and raising money for films is a very slow process. I was recently inspired by reading about the making of INTO THE WOODS and how it took thirty years to get off the ground.
We can't wait thirty years. Facing East is an IMPORTANT story that will affect the lives (and maybe save lives) of all who watch it. One of the reasons we've been delayed is simply we've worked hard to attach name talent to the project and that has been a slow process. We would send it to someone, wait several months to be told either: A) that they liked it but couldn't commit to it until it was funded; or B) that they wanted to be a part of it, but wanted to make some changes to it. We'd then go months as we'd wait to hear what those changes were. Eventually, months added up to years.
The fact of the matter is, we have a dynamite script that any actor would want to be part of, and when we are fully funded I am confident that we will find just the right, marvelous cast. We are not going to wait around, and play that Hollywood game, any longer. We are going to get the project funded NOW, so we can approach the talent with an offer and a start date, and choose from who's available. This is the easiest way to make films, because actors want to work, and are eager for great roles.
I have produced over a dozen films. I know how to make films on this scale. We will attract plenty of outstanding talent, once we have the money to pay them. Thus, we are moving forward aggressively to funding - without worrying about "attachments." To start spreading the word and to create interest we are holding a series of readings of the script. Our first event was last month and our next will be Thursday, February 11, 2016 in Salt Lake City. Please let us know if you're interested in attending.
We need everyone's help in spreading the word about this important film. Keep your ears open for anyone who might be interested in investing. Thanks so much for your continual support.
On a sad note, Will Swenson, who was attached to direct when we ran our Kickstarter campaign is no longer with the project. Will is a brilliant and wonderful guy but his acting schedule became too hectic for him to be able to continue to provide the constant work that making an independent film like this needs, and he gracefully bowed out.
I am now attached to direct the film. My first feature, Superpowerless, is premiering at film festivals this Spring. It is often said that the best way to get a film made is to have one already made. My hope is that excitement from the release of Superpowerless will lead to opportunities for Facing East.
Thanks again for supporting Facing East. We are committed to making a film that you will be proud to have helped get off the ground. We will also keep you updated regularly about how things are going. Please like us on Facebook, to be able to follow updates there:
Merry Christmas, and to you who took advantage of Judge Shelby's decision: Happy anniversary!
From Duane Andersen
Sorry about the long delay (we actually thought we could get these before Christmas! What a mis-calculation). T-shirts and hoodies are ready and will be delivered soon. Thanks for your patience (remember, only those who contributed at the reward level for T-shirts will receive them, however, they will be available for sale on our website soon). Our website is either www.facingeastthefilm.com or www.godlovesmeandiamgay.com. Also like us on facebook! Just search for Facing East movie and you should find us!
When you get yours, please post a photo of yourself to our Facebook page!
For the first time producers Duane Andersen and Emily Pearson were able to meet with writer Guinevere Turner and director Will Swenson in the same room at the same time. Thanks to our amazing Kickstarter supporters we were able to have a 9 hour story conference in Salt Lake City (Guinevere coming out of LA and Will coming out of New York) to hammer out the kinks in our screenplay... and to celebrate with some Market Street Grill!