COMING OUT is a feature-length documentary that reveals a portrait of the coming out process from the perspectives of everyone involved.
Shocked by the youth suicide tragedies in 2010, Alden Peters decided to come out of the closet to his friends, family, and online acquaintances. In the process of finding a new, gay identity, Alden discovers the profound ways that the internet and digital world can provide safety, community, and support, but also allow for cyberbullying, discrimination, and invasions of privacy. What importance does the traditional "coming out story" have in the gay community when there is now a digital component?
Principal photography is complete, and the film has been edited into a 90-minute rough cut. Editing and pickup shoots are scheduled for this summer, with completion scheduled for September 2013.
We are extremely grateful to our previous Indiegogo donors who helped us get through production. You can check out that campaign here.
We are also the recipients of a post production grant from the Alan Landsburg Documentary Fund.
We had a test screening of the film at Rutgers University. Here are some of the things the audience had to say on their written questionnaires:
EDIT: How will the money be spent?
Our goal for this fundraiser is to raise money to complete our film and send it to film festivals, our target being the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. To finish our film, we have to hire people beyond our crew.
- CBS News footage
- Turner Broadcasting news footage
- Music Licensing
- Color Correction
- Sound Design & Mix
- Transfers & Duplication
- Graphic Effects
Office & Administration
- LLC fees
Outreach & Impact
- Graphic Designer
- Promotional material (including your perks!)
- Festival Entry Fees
Kickstarter & Amazon Fees
- Kickstarter's and Amazon's fees
EDIT: All backers will receive access to a digital download of the finished film!
So, who's in the film?
Alden Peters is a filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. He documents his coming out process, using the camera as motivation to let his friends and family into his life. He offers others a glimpse into the deeply personal coming out experience, from self-acceptance to an openly gay lifestyle.
Alden’s family is originally from Washington State, but now is located in Washington, New York, and Arizona. Alden friends are from Seattle, Washington. Many have known Alden since he was in elementary school.
Dr. Ritch Savin-Williams is a developmental psychologist at Cornell University who has written seven books on adolescent development. He has served as a consultant for MTV, 20/20, the Oprah Winfrey Show, and CNN. His work has been cited in Newsweek, Time, Rolling Stone, Parent Magazine, Utne Reader, New York Magazine, Fortune, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and the Chicago Sun Times.
Zach Stafford is a Tennessee writer living in Chicago. He is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye Paper, and he also writes for the Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, and a variety of other places, about the intersection of our digital lives and gay identities. While not writing he works in HIV prevention and research in Chicago.
Greg Hinckley is a sociologist based in Seattle, Washington with a focus on the representation of race, class, gender, and sexuality in the media.
Janet Mock is a writer, a transgender rights advocate, and the former staff editor of People magazine's website. She founded the Twitter project #GirlsLikeUs which aims to raise the diverse visibility of trans women. Janet has appeared on MSNBC, HLN’s Showbiz Tonight and In the Life and her commentary has been featured in The Telegraph, NPR, and London Times magazine. She also served as co-chair, nominee and presenter at the 2012 GLAAD Media Awards.
Alden Peters - Producer/Director - Alden Peters was born and raised in Seattle, Washington before attending New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he studied under Christine Choy, Alrick Brown, Jim Brown, Jack Lechner, and Bingham Ray. After studying at the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba in Havana, he found his voice in documentary filmmaking. His documentary short “Charles Mysak of Wayne” was featured on NPR’s blog the Two-Way and played at IFC’s Doc NYU series at Doc NYC in 2011. Alden is a published writer featured in Hello Mr., a magazine for men who date other men. Coming Out is Alden's first feature.
Brenda Lopez - Co-Director - Brenda Lopez was born in Southern California, where she was raised to be open and accepting of others. She moved to San Francisco for a year, went to San Francisco State University before transferring to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied under Christine Choy, Lynne Sachs, Kasi Lemmons, and Alrick Brown. Her focus as a filmmaker is on gender and sexuality in a transnational world.
Patrick Murphy - Producer - Patrick Murphy was raised in Princeton Junction, New Jersey. History has always been his greatest passion, and he quickly discovered that documentary film is a powerful tool to tell stories from the past. He attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for film production, and has created documentaries on the bygone Industrial Age of America, paladares in Havana, Cuba, and the recent reemergence of clinical research of psychedelic drugs.
Daisy Zhou- Associate Producer - Daisy was born in Shanghai, China and was raised in both Shanghai and Newtown, Pennsylvania. She is a passionate photographer and filmmaker, with a focus in directing and cinematography. Currently an intern for Insurgent Media, Diane Martel, and Thom Zimmy, she continues her love for filmmaking and documentaries.
Alex Familian - Editor - Alex Familian's obsession with film editing began when he was a young child growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada. He made films with friends and taught himself how to edit them on his computer. He went on to win several film festivals and, after attending the University of California Santa Barbara for one year, Alex transferred into NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, with a focus in postproduction. Alex is currently a freelance editor in New York City.
Megan Mancini – Editor - Megan Mancini was raised in Green Brook, New Jersey and discovered a love of storytelling through film at a young age. She studied film production and psychology at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she continued to gain hands-on experience in all aspects of production. Megan aims to create films that explore human behavior and interaction, both non-fiction and imagined.
James Kyle – Project Advisor - James Kyle is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning network news producer and field production coordinator with more than 15 years’ national and international media experience, including CNN and Turner Broadcasting. His critical eye for nonfiction visual storytelling provides experienced insight to the project.
Share your coming out story
In the film, Alden discusses the importance of watching YouTube videos of people sharing their coming out stories. He records his own story for others to watch, and invites you to send in your coming out story as well. It could end up in the documentary!
If you submit a coming out story during the period of this campaign, you will receive a Out & Proud button and sticker! Anyone can submit a story: you don't have to be LGBTQ to share your experience or your thoughts!
Submit at our website at bit.ly/speakoutdoc!
In the Press
Hello Mr. - Issue 1
Huffington Post - Coming Out of the Digital Closet
Strong, by Jesse Jacobs - Alden
You can follow COMING OUT on:
Risks and challenges
Our biggest setback is time. This is all of our crew's first feature film, and our process is slower than normal because we are forging our way for the first time. Additionally, no main crew members are being paid, which means we all have to work other jobs and thus are not working full time on the film, causing further delays.
With our Kickstarter funds, we will be able to push forward and complete the film with the original vision intended.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)