MY NAME IS MYEISHA – a feature film
MY NAME IS MYEISHA – a feature film
The story of a young black woman killed by cops, told through hip-hop and dance. Based on the internationally-acclaimed stageplay.
The story of a young black woman killed by cops, told through hip-hop and dance. Based on the internationally-acclaimed stageplay. Read more
MY NAME IS MYEISHA begins on the evening of December 28th, 1998, and follows our young lead through a series of events ending with her unconscious in her car, the police on their way. The instant before the unthinkable occurs, we shift to Myeisha's inner "dreamscape."
A narrative begins: a nonlinear trip through Myeisha's mind, powered by her love of music, dance, and spoken word. Stark reality crashes against the radiant metaphysical as we are ferried alongside Myeisha's thoughts and secrets, her goals and ambitions and shortcomings and talents and flaws, her strengths and weaknesses, her innermost self. Her life.
The story culminates in real time and the all-too-real events which took this young girl’s life. Myeisha Jackson, a stranger merely ninety minutes ago, gives us a look over one shoulder as she passes into final darkness, asserting simply: "You know me."
Indeed we do.
A Passion Project For All Involved
From the author who felt he had no choice but to write the stageplay on which the film is based, to the film director who expected an evening of theatre and instead received a story that deserved to be shared with the world, to the producer motivated to choose this film over less controversial projects, to the Public Relations director who returned to the show time and again before contacting the playwright and becoming involved herself. All of us are in this not because we have to be, but because we recognize that this is a story which screams to be told.
It’s a challenging time for feature film production. Movie studios and production companies are relying more than ever on “branded” content (adaptations of novels, comic books, video games, theme park rides, board games; anything with a preexisting fan base) and proven “names” (A-list directors and movie stars with recent commercial successes) and less and less on risky, original, artist-driven stories.
Which is why the production of a film like MY NAME IS MYEISHA – an unconventional exploration of a difficult, ripped-from-the-headlines subject matter featuring a predominantly African-American cast led by two “unknowns” – necessitates the support of a global community as opposed to traditional Hollywood financing.
The stageplay on which the film is based – written in 2004 and inspired by events which took place in 1998 – could not be more relevant today. It's our hope that bringing MY NAME IS MYEISHA into cities and homes worldwide will spark real, positive change through the same conversations the play has generated during its five year run: a dialogue not of escalation, separation, violence, or hate, but of empathy, understanding, unity, and hope.
A Word From The Playwright
Gus Krieger (Director, Co-Screenwriter, Producer) is a Los Angeles-based writer/director of stage and screen. His first produced original screenplay THE KILLING ROOM premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was directed by Jonathan Liebesman (WRATH OF THE TITANS, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, "The Shannara Chronicles").
Krieger wrote and directed the horror short OL’ STAN LEVID, which premiered at Screamfest 2007 at the TCL Chinese Theatre, and carried out rewrites on OPERATION ENDGAME starring Rob Corddry and Zack Galifianakis. He associate-produced the feature horror film WOULD YOU RATHER starring Brittany Snow and Jeffery Combs, which, in 2012, hit Number One on iTunes Horror.
Additionally, Mr. Krieger is the Associate Artistic Director of the multi-award-winning LA-based classical theatre company The Porters of Hellsgate, and with them premiered his original stageplays DEITY CLUTCH at the 2011 Hollywood Fringe Festival, and SHERLOCK THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in 2013, both to great acclaim. His 2015 satirical mashup BREAKING BARD took home the Spirit of the Fringe Award for Best Writing, out of 200+ shows.
Most recently, Krieger wrote, produced, and directed the feature thriller THE BINDING, set for a Fall 2016 release, starring Amy Gumenick (“Turn: Washington’s Spies,” “Arrow”), Max Adler (“Glee,” Clint Eastwood’s SULLY) and Leon Russom (TRUE GRIT, THE BIG LEBOWSKI).
Rickerby Hinds (Playwright, Co-Screenwriter, Producer), a Writer/Director and Hip-Hop Theater Pioneer, possesses the unique ability to challenge conventional notions of the stage while remaining respectful of its history and traditions. A native of Honduras, Central America, who came to South Central Los Angeles at age 13, Hinds’ “Daze to Come” changed the dramatic arts forever when it debuted in 1989 as the first ever full-length play to use the founding elements of hip hop as the primary language of the stage. "Daze" introduced the genre of Hip-hop Theater to the world. Self-marketed and self-produced, the story of a rap community forced into exile was both raw and inspiring. “Daze to Come” and Hinds’ subsequent works have empowered an entire school of young playwrights to speak to the world in the language of hip-hop. He received his MFA in playwriting from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television where he was twice awarded the Audrey Skirball-Kenis (ASK) Award for best play.
Hinds’ visionary creations span the gamut of human emotions and experiences and, in addition to his mission to open up the theater to a diversity of voices and experiences, Hinds is driven to bring the theater to new audiences. His most recent production, “Dreamscape,” has been touring nationally and internationally for the past four years, enjoying enthusiastic audience reception as well as outstanding critical reviews. This production uses Hip-hop Theater to explore the tenuous relationship between the African-American community and the police by creatively revisiting the shooting of a 19-year-old African-American girl in Southern California. Although written years ago, this production is a cutting-edge exploration of a topic that is often too fraught with political agendas to produce a strong stage play, yet manages to do just that.
Hinds is currently a professor of playwriting in the Department of Theater, Film & Digital Production at the University of California, Riverside and the founder and artistic director of the Califest Hip-Hop Theater Festival. Among the entities that have supported his works in the form of commissions, grants, and fellowships are: the Ford Foundation, the Showtime Television Network, the GeVa Theatre in New York, the Mark Taper Forum, the Cornerstone Theatre, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and The New LATC.
Michael Glassman (Producer) is currently a Partner at Outlaw Productions, overseeing all development and production, including the hit NBC series “The Sing-Off,” now entering Season 5. He has worked at Outlaw Productions for over eight years, first assisting founder Bobby Newmyer. He worked at the company during the development and production of films including “Training Day,” “The Santa Clause II”, “The Santa Clause III,” “National Security,” “Mindhunters,” “The Thing About My Folks,” “27 Dresses,” “Leatherheads,” and “Breach.” He oversaw Outlaw’s first-look deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment from 2006 through 2011.
Michael produced the independent romantic comedy “Phat Girlz,” starring comedian Mo’nique, which was acquired by Fox Searchlight and released nationwide in 2006.
Scott G. Hyman (Producer) recently founded the feature film production company, Zest Productions, whose first feature project “House of Stairs” is a psychological thriller based on the book by acclaimed young adult writer William Sleator. Previously, he worked at Sneak Preview Entertainment where he was a producer on the Fox Searchlight hit “(500) Days of Summer” (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel). He was also a producer on the Fox Searchlight films “Our Family Wedding” (Forest Whitaker, America Ferrera) and “Miss March.” Additionally, he was a producer on the Warner Premiere feature “A Dennis the Menace Christmas” (Robert Wagner, Louise Fletcher), and the indie films “Beautiful Loser” and “The Secret Lives of Dorks.”
Risks and challenges
A $200K budget ($100K private capital + $100K crowdfuding) is much lower than usual for an ambitious, feature-length film. Luckily, our core production group is self-contained (meaning we don’t have to “hire out” for director, screenwriters, producers, cinematographer, editor, etc.), and our shooting locations – all within the city of Riverside – were crafted specifically with the playwright’s personal relationships in mind.
Our crew will be small but mighty, our schedule will be short, our pre-production will be precise. Shooting in this manner requires a great deal of hard work and preparedness, but we’ve done it before and are very willing to do it again!
If we raise more than our initial goal, supplementary financing will go toward music clearances, additional locations and crew, a not-quite-so-frantic shooting schedule, and – perhaps most importantly – courting “name” actors for key cameos. As cynical as it may seem, having widely-recognizable faces in your poster or trailer can really help put a given film in front of countless additional eyes the world over. $200K is the minimum we need to bring MYEISHA to life, but opportunities will inevitably emerge which a larger budget will help us tackle!
If we raise less than our goal, well, that's a little different. As you're likely aware, Kickstarter is an “all or nothing” model, so if our minimum is not met, MY NAME IS MYEISHA will not be funded, and production of the film will be set back months, perhaps indefinitely.
Which is why we, fellow humans, need YOU!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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