Trench People and Explode
A May-December love affair between two women is interrupted by the prodigal son. It's a social mash-up in a continuous loop!
Here's the pitch!
Let's use the rewards and creative collaboration to raise funds for the production of the motion picture -- Trench People (TP)... Essentially we will use the funds to engage a Producer/Director, and backers to drive content for:
A May-December romantic affair between Lesbian lovers is interrupted by the Prodigal Son. Nimrod returns home to rekindle his place in his mother's heart, and finds a "wife" -- his mother's young lover. It's an incestuous relationship -- in the trenches...
In the preface to a story about two woman and a young man, it begins after the Million Man March (MMM). In a dolly-shot, the camera scans this “sea of humanity,” where men DISSOLVE leaving six women standing alone on the Mall.
Angela falls in love with Lisa who is twenty years her junior – a lone young woman standing in the center of the mall asks the rhetorical question, “Is that it?” – because Farrakhan’s speech rambled and the MMM did not resemble, The Nuremberg Rally, in Riefenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will.” Lisa becomes the object of Angel’s affection – she is the Erominos to Angela’s Erastes.
Angela is a marketing executive – in a power suit -- with a “large” house reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water. She is in her early forties, and a former student of Herbert Marcuse. When she was sixteen, she was a runner for the Angela Davis Defense Fund. At eighteen, she drops out of initiation with the Black Panther Party when H. Rap Brown said, “The only position for women in the movement is prone.” Her passion for the Movement is gone and she is part of the very system of voluntary servitude that she denounced in the 60s. But, the lone young woman reminds Angela of herself when being black and a proletariat was idealistic.
Lisa the artist and published author of "Explode" -- is an allegory for today's black youth – jaded, sad, frustrated, nihilistic, needy, confused, fragile, suicidal, and damaged. Her psychological isolation, loneliness, rage, and disillusionment are sublimated in conceptual art that makes you think -- Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s 1,760 yellow umbrellas, or the surrealism of a Muslim mosque at night, behind the glass façade and the meticulously lined chairs draped in white. She is a bohemian who would indeed, stop wearing black if there were a darker color!
Their sexuality is confirmed early when they accompany each other to the parking lot behind Pushkin’s Coffee House – the flag on Lisa’s Jeep and the triangles on Angela’s rear view mirror. Lesbianism is pertinent -- but not as significant as their humanity, Lisa’s suicidal ideations, Capitalism and the deceptions of materialism, Angela’s reassessment of the essence of her life, and a love story that alternates between the politics of art and social commentary. Lisa disrupts Angela’s lifestyle -- a metaphor for the American Dream.
In a pivotal argument, she accuses Angela and the 60s generation for the pitiful status of Black American Modernity – a nihilistic inheritance. She asks questions like June Jordan's, “Who set things up like this?” Angela digs deep for radical black subjectivity long forgotten and tells Lisa her generation "lives for nothing and dies for nothing. They sample life like they sample music. They have no passion, no shame, and no one to blame." So, when the substance of Lisa’s art puts her in the center of Michael Herr and Guy Peelaert's "Big Room," where it is empty, the annihilating edges are full, and the exit signs are clearly marked, Angela fails to see what happens right under nose. She sees Lisa reading Hagakure where the way of the Samurai is death, and Lisa’s need for a higher reality – a dream, a nightmare.
Lisa is her art revolting against tradition, family, society, God and the phenomenology of being black. Their life, like Lisa’s art alternates between creation and destruction. Just when Angela falls in love with mayhem and bad behavior – her son Nimrod comes home. Lisa sleeps with Nimrod in a conscious denouncement of the status quo – her reality with Angela – a test, a protest, a demonstration at bottom -- on the sunken Living Room floor.
The story ends when Lisa has a real confrontation – because of her public protestations – with the "gatekeeper" of black consciousness.
They are Trench people – who live life unconventionally, and neither apologize or explain what makes them click.
Imagine direction by Eileen Chaiken (The L Word) or Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou)… or Lee Daniels (Monster's Ball, Precious, Paperboy), Judd Apatow (Girls, This is 40), Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust) QT, Spike... or produced by Oprah... Ellen... Starring Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross or Evan Ross... you...
The principle characters do not have to be Mother and son -- they can be brother and sister... They don't have to be black -- Kate Moennig (a student of Black Studies a la Tim Wise), Aishwarya Rai Bachchan... Jodi Foster -- with those "sick" legs in Spike's "Inside Man!"
In the spirit of the Baby Boomer, in the Age of the Millennium… this project is a platform for the interconnectivity of collaborative art and expression -- where backers become the story within the story, an art gallery within an art gallery, a fashion show within a fashion show -- like Diego Velázquez' "Las Meninas" -- a painting within a painting.
It's a mash-up! We become a postmodern Louvre -- a Summer art installation -- a walk-through in the Fall -- and show in the Winter.
Without breaking formatting rules -- Trench People reads like an epic poem. It's a gay Iliad! Sappho on the Isle of Lesbos!
For more Trench People (The Original Screenplay) -- please follow the links below:
Note: You must execute "Open the URL" function or copy and paste the Pinterest link in the address/location bar to open TP's Muse Board! Thanks!
Risks and challenges
Let me begin by acknowledging I was inspired by Gavin Newsom’s book entitled, “Citizenville.” While there are a plethora of quotable quotes I could share from Gavin and many others in his book, I would like to share the following:
“The controversial, untested, and crazy-sounding notion of opening up an online encyclopedia to thousands of volunteer writer-editors resulted in Wikipedia, now the sixth-most-visited site on the Web… [these] ventures would not exist in a closed, noncollaborative system. They are the wave of the future -- a future that's about participation, empowerment, feedback loops, and organically created communities…” Gavin Newsom with Lisa Dickey, "Citizenville"
“If you give people tools and a map, they will run with it… we're packaging things in a way that's culturally relevant and exciting for people." Demi Lovato
We need a Production Team that believes in this project -- as much as we do! This is not a top-down trip where the Queen knows more than her subjects, the Manager knows more than the front-line, the parent knows more than the child. To use a phrase by Octavio Paz -- this project “opens out like a fan."
Within minutes after offering extras as a reward -- I received an email for Cast calls! We ‘got’ real people [extras] -- you. We'll have the house, the art, the artists, and the music!
The first time I visited Kickstarter, on the heels of a friend’s unsuccessful foray — I could not think of one compelling, provocative, or sexy reward to offer! I thought posters, autographs, and dinners -- unimaginative. Besides, that would involve Fulfillment and Logistics, and while we need logistics, it would be to deploy people -- not product. Then Alice Smith kickstarted "SHE."
I look forward to challenges in an organically created community telling the same story. We have the tools, and a map. TP and Explode are packaged in a way that IS culturally relevant and exciting for people.
If we build it – Industry will come.
What’s amazing – we’ll have money! I absolutely know that $200K is a lot of money (and the reward tier has been worked and reworked) in an environment (Kickstarter) where it is:
- All or nothing – we must meet or surpass the goal
- If we do not raise the money – gratefully, there are no fees
- If we raise the money, there are fee percentages for Kickstarter and Amazon
- We’ll need insurance if an actor backs out or falls down…
- It will be a tight schedule
- Production updates will be provided on Kickstarter, so you will know what’s going on and how you can help!
- We’ll need Distribution… but I don’t think we will have a problem because we kickstarted the damned thing with audacious rewards and a lot of nerve!
How we are building this Indie film – should minimize risks -- and maximize benefits – because we’re invested in this story, this springboard, this template to other stories – your stories – our stories. We are warriors – 99%ers! We will make it happen – because we own it.
PS: Give me a minute to throw up the video. I would like to shoot it from the venue [Pushkin's Coffeehouse] with backers, the Glam Squad, the Extras, music in the background, art on the wall, and JUMP CUT -- take you to the house!
Let’s do this -- together! Thanks for reading the pitch and the justification for Trench People and Explode!!!
"I think women artist begins to pay attention to what people expect of them as opposed to what they are searching for within themselves. It's pretty deadly..." euphonic 7
Okay, that's never been my problem.
ELearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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