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"Shirts vs. Skins" follows the life of Dale Michaels. Dale has a great job, great friends and an even greater secret.
"Shirts vs. Skins" follows the life of Dale Michaels. Dale has a great job, great friends and an even greater secret.
82 backers pledged $5,070 to help bring this project to life.

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UPDATE: GOAL MET!! STRETCH GOAL: Additional Funds for Film Festival Submissions!!

I am SO over the moon that I will be able to produce and shoot Shirts vs. Skins!! Thank you!! We met our goal of $5,000 with 4 days remaining in our Kickstarter campaign! SO...what will we do with these last 4 days? KEEP GOING!! We want to go to Sundance, Tribeca, Cannes, Toronto and beyond...and here's how:

We are raising additional funds to apply to film festival submission fees WITHOUT drawing from the $5,000 for production. We are doing a STRETCH GOAL CAMPAIGN for an additional $2,000 for submission fees for some of the world's BEST film festivals! FIRST DEADLINE UP: SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL deadline: August 26th/Sept 16th (Late) What does this mean? We are committing ourselves to finishing "Shirts vs. Skins" in time to submit to Sundance!!

PLAN of ACTION for Production:
The cast will receive the latest and final script Sunday, July 7th. We will film the next 2-3 weeks in July; edit the film in the last week of July/the first week of August; host private screenings for notes, reviews or need for reshoots; package the film; submit to Sundance.

Once we submit to Sundance, we'll breathe and then hold public screenings and submit to other festivals all over the world.

So there you have it! If you haven't offered a donation, you still can! AND, let me remind you that EVERYONE who donates for the WINNING TEAM (Team Shirts or Team Skins) will receive an ADDITIONAL gift on top of he gift you will receive based on your donation package!! I do know you will be sick of our post by the time these last 4 days are over, and that's fine. I'm shakin' ALL the bushes and I'm going hard all the way! I left my comfortable job a year ago to do this very thing: make my dreams come true. I'm goin' HARD! Thanks y'all!!

Diva Blue Productions presents

a Terésa Dowell-Vest film

"Shirts vs. Skins"

Two leading actors: Neveah Hinton and Tajir S. Hawkins
Two leading actors: Neveah Hinton and Tajir S. Hawkins

THE PROJECT

"Shirts vs. Skins" follows the life of Dale Michaels, a female to male trans man who has an amazing career, great friends, a great life...but it didn't begin that way. It began with bullying. It began with shame. It became with fear. It began in darkness...until she met a soldier...a warrior who show her to her best self.

The story begins with our hero, Dale Michaels, as a preteen, questioning her identity as a girl and how she endures bulling and self doubt. As Dale grows older, he finds happiness as a FTM trans man, but complicates other areas of his life. Think Don Cheadle's character in "House of Lies" but our hero is a transgender man. This short film will look at what happens when a small, mundane moment of basketball turns into a revealing crossroads that could reveal a number of secrets for Dale. 

BACKGROUND

One day, while driving my car in Atlanta, I saw a man walking down the street with no shirt. On this particular hot day, I simply thought, "He looks comfortable. Wouldn't it be great to just whip off my shirt, suffer no consequences and take pleasure in feeling a cool breeze on my skin." I continued my drive and thought about my days as a basketball player and how I wanted to play skins. The tee shirt, the jersey, the sports bra, even, all felt restrictive. Then I thought, what if, you could live your life as a man, in all ways, but while playing a simple game of pickup basketball with your friends and asked to play "skins" your identity is exposed. 

I met Tajir a year ago and knew I wanted to work with him, but wasn't certain how. I realized during my brainstorming, this was my opportunity. I parked my car, called Tajir, told him my idea and immediately began writing a script. Tajir and I are determined to tell this story as there are millions of people in general, transgender in particular, would feel restricted in their own bodies, in their sense of community, in their own clothing and would LOVE the opportunity to play "Skins"...just for one moment. This film is for them.

Help Us Spread the Word!!

Help up tell the world about the project by visiting our Facebook fan page! And watch our clips on Youtube! Good ole fashion gossip or "word of mouth" publicity is the best kind so chat us up on Twitter, Facebook, and wherever else you chat with your friends about things that matter to you!!

Where your Donations Will Go:

"Shirts vs. Skins" is a professional production with professional cast and crew...people who care about their craft and have work hard over the course of their careers. Your donation will help us secure those people for  the film. In order for this film to succeed, we will be focusing your donations on securing locations, travel expenses for cast/crew, food, marketing and publicity needs, film festival submission fees, DVD reproduction and distribution.  We will be producing "Shirts vs. Skins" under the SAG Short Film Agreement, filming two weeks in Atlanta

THE TEAM:

Terésa Dowell-Vest (Writer/Director/Producer) is an award winning director, writer, production designer, producer, originally from Charlottesville, VA; trained in Los Angeles, CA; and currently residing in Atlanta, GA. Since 1994, Dowell-Vest has directed over 40 plays and films and taught film/acting at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.  Terésa directed the short film "Stuck" starring Monique Currnen ("The Dark Knight", "The Fast and the Furious") and Erika Ringor ("Love and Basketball").  She was recently featured in a two page article about her superhero series "Genesis" in the premiere issue of Cinematiq, a new filmmaker's magazine.  Terésa is recently published a coffee table book and multimedia exhibit, "The Box 69: My Photographic Chronicle in Verse, Song, and Crayons" a look at crayons but from an adult's perspective. Owner of Diva Blue Productions, Diva Blue Photography, Diva Blue Publications, Terésa has published books, photographed for print ads, portraits, and editorials, and continues to teach acting and filmmaking.

Tajir S. Hawkins (Actor "Dale Michaels) recognized by his beautiful androgynous look, characterized by his dedicated work ethic and unique talent, and preceded by his rousing catalogue of film and stage work has become one of the most influential Indie artist of our time.  Having acted in a range of stage plays from playing The Color Red in a production of “For Colored Girls” to Harpo in the VanHook Productions version of “The Color Purple Twisted”, stage is not the only avenue in which Tajir has conquered. Productions such as “When Love Was Simple”, “The First Noelle”, “Let’s Be Honest” and “StudZmen” are film projects in which Tajir left his audience simply breathless. It was in 2008 that Tajir got his chance at directing. Having acted in the play “Walk Like A Man” in 2007, producers saw more than a stage presence in him, and brought him on as director.  Tajir has not only proven himself in the industry but has provided a freshly polished diligence to an already honed craft.  Recently, Tajir gained nationwide recognition, and thousands of adorning fans from his portrayal of Mecca Lawson on the critically acclaimed breakthrough web series “Between Women”.  Tajir continues to pursue his career though different channels such as being casted in film, stage plays, hosting and modeling gigs, as well as production and directing opportunities wherever he may.  Amicable by nature, Tajir has not only persevered in the industry but he is steadily escalating higher and higher on the ever competitive and ever changing ladder of success. With no plans in slowing down and every intention of becoming more and more versed, the world should prepare for Tajir S. Hawkins’ star to shine brighter than anyone could ever imagine.

Red Summer (Unit Production Manager) is an actress, activist, educator, entrepreneur, writer, poet and performance artist. A native of Chicago whose entrepreneurial drive for success recently moved her to the Atlanta area where she continues to water her dreams. She is the founder of Two Fingers Press Publishing Company and the executive director of Verbal Remedies- an organization that empowers and mentors young people through creative programming and self esteem workshops. Her life is an open journey that mirrors the every day woman’s trials, tribulations and victories. She uses the power of her pen and the power of words to articulate, captivate, educate, motivate and activate.

Risks and challenges

Film is a collaborative art. It consist of working with a variety of artisans with an assortment of skill sets. One of the biggest challenges of filmmaking is keeping all the individual components moving in the same direction. In the case of "Shirts vs. Skins", we will be filming in two cities and managing crews in both cities which will require great organization and support. Surrounding this project with people who care about the best possible product and ban together as a singular unit, even on both coast, will ensure the success of this project.

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    "The Shirts" (Atlanta/East Coast): Special thank you on the "Shirts vs. Skins" Facebook Fan Page

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    "The Skins" (LA/West Coast): Special thank you on the "Shirts vs. Skins" Facebook Fan Page

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    "The Shirts" (Atlanta/East Coast): Listed in the credits of the film PLUS $5 Gifts!

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    "The Shirts" (Atlanta): A "Shirts vs. Skins" tee shirt PLUS $25 Gifts!

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    "The Shirts" (Atlanta): Invitation to Private Screening of film in ATL (cost of travel not incl) PLUS $50 Gifts!

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    "The Shirts" (Atlanta): Invited on Set during the filming of "Shirts vs. Skins" to play HORSE with basketball superstar and legend, CHAMIQUE HOLDSCLAW!! PLUS $500 Gifts

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    "The Skins" (Los Angeles): Invited on Set during the filming of "Shirts vs. Skins" to play HORSE with "Love & Basketball" star, Erika Ringor!! PLUS $500 Gifts

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    "The Shirts" (Atlanta): Well...you just became the film's ATL Angel!! YOU GET EVERYTHING!! Film Credit: EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PLUS Everything Else!!

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    "The Skins" (LA): Well...you just became the film's LA Angel!! YOU GET EVERYTHING!! Film Credit: EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PLUS Everything Else!!

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Funding period

- (40 days)