THE DIRTY GIRLS SOCIAL CLUBFILM ADAPTATIONFACT SHEET
THE NOVEL: The Dirty Girls Social Club is an English-language novel by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez. It is the first commercial women’s fiction (chick lit) novel in US history to feature Latina characters, and is the most popular book of its kind ever made. The novel, which tells the stories of six educated, professional Latina friends in Boston as they navigate life and love, spent 21 weeks on the NY Times bestseller list, and was published in 11 different countries. In the US, the book has sold 700,000 copies, leading Valdes-Rodriguez to be named among the nation’s 25 Most Influential Hispanics by Time Magazine, a Woman of the Year by Latina Magazine, and one of Hispanic Business Magazine’s 100 Most Influential, twice.
FILM ADAPTATION HISTORY:
This book has been in development for film several times, because of the incredible untapped market potential for mainstream crossover Latino entertainment. Columbia Pictures, Lifetime Television, NBC and Tyler Perry's 34th Street Films have all developed the book for film or TV at some point. Unfortunately, time and time again we have come up against roadblocks along the way, most often -- okay, ALWAYS -- because the top decision makers at the studios have habitually relied upon outdated ethnic and gender stereotypes or myths, and ineffectual methods of targeting the enormous and complex Latino market in the United States -- a market 60 million people strong (larger than many nations). Time and again, the author of the book has stepped into halt development or production because she could see that where the thing was headed, and the ways the material was being changed to suit stereotypes, was unacceptable and would end up failing.
Conclusion: “What all of this proves,” says Valdes-Rodriguez, “is that we’re sitting on a gold mine of a project with The Dirty Girls Social Club. Hollywood has seen the success of the book – and in the film world, any book that sells more than 400,000 copies is considered a safe bet to adapt for film – and they want a part of it. But they just don’t know how to move past their own stereotypes and wrongheaded convictions about who we are, to get the film made the right way. In the process, they have thrown away the chance to connect with a US Latino audience some 60 million strong, as well as the enormous crossover women’s market that has made films like BRIDESMAIDS and SEX IN THE CITY hugely successful. I’m grateful for all of these so-called ‘failures,’ because I have learned along the way how to get a movie made. Or, I should say, how not to. I love the line from Thomas Edison about no having failed 10,000 times to made a light bulb; rather, he said, he succeeded 10,000 times in figuring out how not to do it next time. And it just took that one last try for him to get it right. That’s what I’m doing with Valdes Entertainment Enterprises. I’m taking all the lessons I’ve learned, from my years covering the Latino communities in the United States as a reporter for the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times, from these past ten years as a bestselling author of fiction aimed at acculturated American Latinas, and as someone who has watched, flabbergasted, as Hollywood fumbled and dropped the ball again and again. We have the money, the talent and the power in our communities to do this ourselves. So, that’s where we’re at. The beginnings of an empire. I don’t see failure. I see tremendous opportunity.”
THE PROJECT TEAM NOW:
The following people have joined the Valdes Entertainment Enterprises team to bring The Dirty Girls Social Club to the screen so far.
RON BASS – Called the “billion dollar man” in Hollywood, Bass is arguably the most prolific and successful screenwriter of all time. His films have generated more than $2 billion in sales worldwide, and he is familiar with the type of adaptation required of DGSC, having been the man to so successfully adapt Waiting to Exhale, The Joy Luck Club and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Bass also wrote amazing films such as Rain Man, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Sleeping with the Enemy, Dangerous Minds, What Dreams May Come, and many more.
“I could not ask for a better person to adapt this script with me,” says Valdes-Rodriguez. “Ron is an incredible man, with a wonderfully alive intellect and a heart the size of a planet. I love him, and I will be forever grateful that he believed in me, and this project.”
SARA RAMIREZ – The Gray’s Anatomy star is a graduate of Julliard, and won a Tony award for her work as an actress and singer in the Broadway show Spamelot. Ramirez loved the DGSC book, and reached out to Valdes-Rodriguez about helping bring it to the big screen. She has provided a letter of intent to act in the film.
ROBERT M. GALARZA – Entertainment attorney, actor, film producer and film festival advisor Galarza brings his formidable experience and expertise to the team in a production capacity.
TALIA KOSH - A leading national attorney, founder of New Mexico Lawyers for the Arts, and on the board of the New Mexico Film Commission.
RICH HENRICH - Founder and director of the Albuquerque Film Festival.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE DOMESTIC UNITED STATES LATINO MARKET:
• There are 60 million Hispanics in the United States. That is more people than there are total population in most nations on earth.
• The US Hispanic market is the fastest growing in the nation, with a yearly purchasing power of $1.5 trillion. Yes, trillion.
• ONE IN FOUR MOVIEGOERS IN THE US WAS LATINO IN 2011, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. Yet no movies are being made for them.
• Hispanics have the youngest median age of all ethnic groups in the nation, meaning more moviegoers.
• Fully 25 percent of all Tyler Perry’s fans are Hispanic women, who say his films about middle class black women are the closest things they can find to what they’d like to see on screen about themselves.
• Of all ethnic groups in the US, Hispanics go to the mall the most (10.1 times in a three-week period) and stay the longest.
• The past decade has seen Hispanic homeownership grow at four times the non-Hispanic white rate.
• The vast majority of Hispanics in the US speak English very well, yet are rarely offered entertainment in that language.
• By the third generation ZERO percent of Hispanics speak Spanish in the US, according to the Pew Center for Hispanic Research.
WHAT WE NEED NOW:
STARTUP TRAVEL FUNDS - That is where you come in. That's what this Kickstarter campaign is all about. Please help!
Valdes Entertainment Enterprises was formed in early December, 2012. We are currently in the early phases of amassing startup capital that will enable our team to solicit investments from compassionate and visionary people in the United States and abroad.
Why is investing in VEE’s DGSC project smart? Well, first off we are putting together a big-budget team on a small budget allowance, meaning we are going to get a beautiful blockbuster film on a small independent budget because people believe in this story.
Our production cost will be about $8 million, with a proven market potential equal to or greater than the black women’s market films being made by Tyler Perry, films that generally make between $60 million and $100 million domestically. We believe this is the minimum possible return on our film, which could in fact have much wider appeal both at home and overseas.
We aim to get our initial startup money in place in January 2013, and will begin our meetings with interested investors in February. We have a tentative start date for production of October 10, 2013.
If you are interested in getting involved, as an investor or as talent or as both, please get in touch with us right away.
Alisa Valdes: 505-559-3100; ValdesEntertainment@gmail.com
Robert Galaraza: 888-583-5502 firstname.lastname@example.org
Risks and challenges
The only risk and challenge at this point is in not getting enough donations to finance our trip to meet our investors. If that happens, we suppose we will have to hitchhike or beg relatives for money, or something else. We need to get to these investor meetings, in order to secure funds to continue with this amazing project!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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