Boy Culture: The Series Reunites the Original Creative Team!
UPDATE: We have reached our goal with less than 40 hours to go! We thank you all so much for your faith and your generosity.
We were taken aback by your enthusiastic response, but we are ready — and we are announcing one final STRETCH GOAL of $60,000.
If we make it to $60,000, it will unlock a seventh episode of Boy Culture: The Series, which has yet to be written. At the end of the campaign, we will ask all of our donors to vote on the subject matter, and we will weight the voting by pledge tiers ... but everyone who gave will have a say!
We plan to involve you as much as possible during our process, too, providing casting news, on-set photos and updates.
THANK YOU AGAIN! Here is the link you can cut-and-paste to share with anyone who might be up for joining our team:
********** ORIGINAL KICKSTARTER STORY BELOW **********
It's the return of the gay-favorite romantic dramedy about a hustler who knows all too well that SEX PAYS, LOVE COSTS — and 10 years later, he's learning even more about life and love.
Help Us Bring Back This Neo-Classic Gay Love Story!
You are contributing to help bring to life Boy Culture: The Series, an innovative, sizzling-hot, funny love story in series/film hybrid form that picks up 10 years after the action of the popular film Boy Culture.
Boy Culture: The Series will push LGBTQ entertainment in a new direction — and early backers like you can help make that happen!
The series will consist of six 15-minute stories, creating a feature-length, 90-minute whole.
Directed by Q. Allan Brocka; with a script by Brocka and Boy Culture novelist/blogger Matthew Rettenmund, and with production by Stephen Israel and Philip Pierce, the sequel will explore themes of sexuality, sex work, age, race, closeted celebrities, cosplay, PrEP, and how gay men can make a committed relationship work in a world where sex — just like your favorite show to binge-watch — is available on demand.
Who Are We?
The original creatives have reunited to make Boy Culture: The Series a reality:
Q. Allan Brocka, director and co-writer: Brocka made his directing debut with the widely admired gay shorts Quenton (Queerbait) and Roberta Loved. He is the creator of the popular Logo animated series Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World and wrote and directed Eating Out, the first gay film to ever spawn more than two sequels. His documentaries Vivid Valley and Camp Michael Jackson display his unique grasp of the emotional impact of pop-culture phenomena.
Matthew Rettenmund, co-writer: Rettenmund is the author of the novel that was adapted into the original film, but Boy Culture: The Series marks his screenwriting debut. He is the author of the books Encyclopedia Madonnica 20, Starf*cker, Totally Awesome ‘80s and many more. He is a photographer and writer who blogs at — where else? — BoyCulture.com.
Stephen Israel, producer: Israel is one of Hollywood’s busiest filmmakers, and the producer of several gay classics. He made his first big splash in 1994 as a producer on Swimming with Sharks, which launched the career of Kevin Spacey. Along with Boy Culture, he has produced a wide variety of successful films, including G.B.F. with Michael J. Willett, Megan Mulally and Natasha Lyonne; and Helicopter Mom with Nia Vardalos.
Philip Pierce, producer: A successful Beverly Hills psychologist, it was Pierce who first optioned Boy Culture for the movies right after it was published, and it was Pierce who kept at it until it became a film nearly 10 years later. Along with Boy Culture, Pierce executive-produced the Web series Evil Shrink with Jennifer Elise Cox, Hamish Linklater and the late Taylor Negron.
Boy Culture: The Series has already lined up top talent for the cast:
Matthew Wilkas: A film, television and stage actor and playwright, he is best known for his portrayal of Matt in the award winning film Gayby, as well as for playing Flash Thompson in the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark. He has guest-starred on such series as Looking, Ugly Betty, EastSiders and Hope & Faith. He has also become extremely popular on Instagram, posting short comedic videos. Most recently, he appeared on the cover of Out Magazine’s annual “Love Issue” with his boyfriend, Olympian Gus Kenworthy, and co-wrote, co-produced and co-starred in the Web series New York Is Dead, which premiered at the TriBeCa Film Festival in 2017. He will be taking over the lead role as "X."
Darryl Stephens: The man who played sexy, hot-and-cold Andrew in the original Boy Culture will recreate his role. Stephens is best known as the star of the Logo original series Noah’s Arc and the resulting film Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom, and he has appeared in over a dozen other features, including Another Gay Movie, Beyond the Lights and Pee-wee’s Big Holiday. He has guested on many TV series, and was the star of Logo’s controversial DTLA.
Matt Crawford: Better known by his legions of online followers (253K on Instagram alone) as "Daddy Crawf," Crawford is a vlogger, model, Underwear Expert ambassador and jewelry designer for Jaeci.com who will be making his acting debut with a major role in Boy Culture: The Series, playing a social media-savvy young hustler who challenges "X" at every turn.
Steve Grand: Bursting onto the scene in 2013 with the viral success of his music video for his single “All-American Boy,” out singer Steve Grand went on to release his debut album following one of the most successful Kickstarter music launches of all time. Since then, he has toured the U.S. and been a highly visible activist for LGBTQ causes. He will also make his acting debut in Boy Culture: The Series.
Stephen Guarino: Bringing his comedic brilliance to a key supporting role in Boy Culture: The Series is this out actor with a huge following thanks to his work on The Big Gay Sketch Show, in the wildly popular BearCity film series and in his most high-profile role to date, as stereotypical-on-steroids Derrick on both Happy Endings and Marry Me. He made big impressions in the Web series Hustling and EastSiders. He is currently one of the writers and stars of Logo’s Gay Skit Happens, and is appearing in Showtime's new series I'm Dying Up Here.
Other parts in Boy Culture: The Series will be cast when funding is secured.
The Original Book and Movie
Boy Culture began life as a novella written by Matthew Rettenmund and turned in as his thesis to graduate from the University of Chicago in 1991.
A few years later, it was published by St. Martin’s Press and became a gay bestseller that has remained in print for over 20 years.
Featuring a sharp-tongued escort known only as "X," the edgy novel presents a classic love triangle as a stand-in for the state of ‘90s gay sex and romance. After many years as an emotional zombie/sex machine, "X" grimly discovers that his unapologetically boy-crazy roommate Joey is falling for him at the same time "X" is unexpectedly falling for their straight-ish roommate Andrew.
The novel, arranged as a series of confessions, also contains a rare depiction of an elderly gay man’s sexuality in the form of "X’s" complicated relationship with his mysterious client/mentor Gregory… and a twist ending that really pays off. Filled with steamy situations, pop-culture references and one-liners to beat off the band, Boy Culture quickly became a best-selling gay title.
In 2006, filmmakers Stephen Israel, Philip Pierce, Victor Simpkins and Phil Lobel produced the critically acclaimed movie version of the novel, directed and co-written with Pierce by director Q. Allan Brocka.
In Brocka and Pierce’s script, the object of "X’s" thawed-out desire was rewritten as a gay black man, adding a new dimension to the story that expanded its appeal.
Starring Derek Magyar as "X," Darryl Stephens as Andrew, Jonathon Trent as Joey and veteran actor Patrick Bauchau as Gregory, Boy Culture debuted on April 1, 2006, in London and was a smash hit at the TriBeCa Film Festival and at Outfest, where it won a Grand Jury Award for Best Screenplay.
Boy Culture played in over 30 cities nationwide and was shown in every major territory in the world. The film has been a popular draw on Netflix and other streaming services, and a strong seller on DVD for TLA Video. Reviews for Boy Culture have been extremely positive, including a 71% “Certified Fresh” rating at RottenTomatoes.com.
The New Series
Boy Culture: The Series is not a typical sequel. In many ways, it is more adventurous, outrageous and unconventional than the feature that inspired it.
Ten years after the drama of Boy Culture, "X" and Andrew — who were a couple when we left them — have broken up after a move to L.A., so are back where they started: They’re roommates with way too much chemistry.
"X," out of hustling for years, is getting back into it, but finds himself rusty about how the business works. Hilariously, he is unwillingly taken under the wing of Chayce, a barely-legal twink who is ruthlessly up to speed on how to sell what he’s got.
Who says millennials are afraid of hard work?
In no time flat, this snarky kid is leading headstrong "X" around by the nose, and it’s a dynamic that the grumpily insecure, almost-over-the-hill-but-still-hot "X" never saw coming.
Boy Culture: The Series consists of six snappy, 15-minute episodes, each focusing on a different trick and exploring a different topic.
#1 “Marriage Equality”: Keep in mind, the last time "X" turned a trick, gay marriage hadn’t even come to one state, let alone all 50.
#2 “Larry Shippers”: Guess who? Don't sue.
#3 “The N-Word”: Race ya to the bottom!
#4 “The Women”: Giving ladies' choice a whole new meaning.
#5 “The Surprise”: You must be at least this tall to ride this ride.
#6 “Comic-Book Hero”: There’s no dressing up the fact that HIV is still every sex worker’s kryptonite.
Throughout the series, "X" and Andrew’s off-again relationship is coming to a head — will they get back together, or decide to stay apart for good?
Meanwhile, Chayce is on hand to mess with "X’s" mind and to attempt to insert himself into the situation by inserting himself into "X’s" ex.
In short, Boy Culture: The Series has even more sex, love, laughs and drama than the original. It’s like A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later … except it’s A Man and a Bunch of Men: 10 Years Later!
Why We Need the Money We Need + The Rewards
The creatives have many years of experience in putting together feature films, films for TV and TV shows. Brocka wants to recreate the look of the original Boy Culture, and knows exactly how to do it — and how much it will cost.
Our budget will allow us to hire actors and crew, shoot in appropriate locations and produce a polished series that will function as a stand-alone project, a slick pitch for a regular TV series and possibly even an episodic feature film of 90 minutes.
How Else You Can Help
We are all ears when it comes to suggestions for things and even actors you’d like to see in Boy Culture: The Series. Also, if you’re in the industry and are interested in this project, we’d love to hear from you:
Thank you so much for your time and attention, and thank you so much if you decide to give money toward our effort.
Please give what you can — we hope to surpass our goal — and please share the link to this project far and wide!
Risks and challenges
With the entire original creative crew in place, all of whom have 10+ more years' worth of experience since the original film dropped, there are no major hurdles in our way once we secure funding.
We anticipate a smooth and short filming process, and our producers are already exploring appropriate (and exciting!) ways of presenting this Web series to the world.
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