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On her deathbed, Jewell Ellis confessed: Roy is as much a woman as I am. But where Roy came from and how Roy lived are mysteries.
On her deathbed, Jewell Ellis confessed: Roy is as much a woman as I am. But where Roy came from and how Roy lived are mysteries.
207 backers pledged $11,035 to help bring this project to life.

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Roy Hudgins with a few Delhi residents.
Roy Hudgins with a few Delhi residents.

THE STORY:

Directors Casey Parks and Aubree Bernier Clarke are making a documentary about Roy Hudgins, an enigmatic figure who lived in Delhi, Louisiana, from the 1920s until the early 2000s. People in town have different stories about Roy: Roy was kidnapped, was left in a shoebox on the church steps, was a "morphodite." Roy was an outcast, a musician, a good Christian and a yard mower.

Roy passed away in 2006, leaving behind no living relatives (that we are aware of), and relatively no paper trail. We've spent three years making in-roads in Roy's community, following leads and tracking down what records do exist. At this point we've discovered a lot about Roy and the town of Delhi, but we have more questions than answers about the facts of Roy's life. Raising the money to spend more time in rural Louisiana will help us close that gap.

WHAT'S NEXT:

We plan to finish the documentary in fall 2013.

We want to tell Roy's story, as completely as we can. In the next year, we plan to visit Delhi three more times to finish filming. We will interview residents, track down files. We will also visit other Southern states, such as Arkansas, where some people believe Roy was born and and possibly kidnapped, to look for records.

Roy was a musician, so music will play a key role in the film. We will record a score in 2013, in part based on Roy's music work. We'll begin editing next summer and plan to release the finished movie early fall 2013.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Your donation will go toward travel costs to help us get to the South. It will also help us pay for public records and other documents, such as newspaper articles. We will also use the money to record a score written and performed by Delhi native Christopher Johnson, now of the Fort Worth-based band Telegraph Canyon.These aspects will help us finish the film next year.

WHO WE ARE:

Casey Parks is a Louisiana native who now works as a staff reporter at The Oregonian. She won Portland's Bridge Festival Film Festival with a short documentary about jerk dancers. In 2006, she won the New York Times essay contest to travel to Africa with Nicholas Kristof.

Aubree Bernier-Clarke is a Kentucky native who has been making films in Portland, OR for nearly a decade. As a producer, editor and cinematographer, she has worked with directors Lance Bangs, Spike Jonze, M Blash, Andy Blubaugh and Sarah Shapiro. She worked as a camera operator on the IFC hit show "Portlandia," and has directed music videos for Mirah, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, The Thermals and the Corin Tucker Band. She recently directed a short film based on Michelle Tea's classic coming-of-age memoir "Valencia."

Filmmaker Aaron Wong -- a Memphis native now working in Portland -- helped shoot footage and record sound. 

Delhi, LA native Christopher Johnson leads the Forth Worth-based band Telegraph Canyon. The Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star Telegraph both named their last album, The Tide and The Current, album of the year. He has recorded sound for the film, and is composing the original score.

Risks and challenges

Getting to rural Louisiana is not easy. No airplanes fly to Delhi, Louisiana, so traveling there from Oregon takes a full day or two. Casey and Aubree have to coordinate work schedules. Because both work full time, that is a difficult to schedule.

Getting people in a small town to open up about Roy -- a person everyone knew of, but few really knew -- is also challenging. So far, we have not been able to discover where Roy was born or whether Roy had any family.

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    Our gratitude

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    Thank you on the group's Facebook and website plus access to behind-the-scenes and in-process footage.

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    Postcard from Delhi from Casey and Aubree, featuring quotes from Casey's grandma

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    A gift basket of hot sauces, southern spice mixes and rubs from Jac's Tailgaters, Casey's uncle and Delhi native Tracy

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    Official poster for the finished film, digital download of the film, access to behind-the-scenes or in-process footage, plus thanks on Facebook and our website.

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    Signed original polaroid from our adventures in the South, digital download of the film, access to behind-the-scenes or in-process footage, plus thanks on Facebook and our website.

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    Signed limited-edition Roy print by Kentucky-born artist Lettie Jane Rennekamp, digital download of the film, access to behind-the-scenes or in-process footage, plus thanks on Facebook and our website.

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    A limited edition, hardbound book of stills from Delhi and the production of Roy. Plus you'll get digital access to the film, behind-the-scenes footage, etc.

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    Private screening of the completed film for up to 10 people, with a home-cooked southern meal made by the directors and a sit-down
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    Casey and Aubree will make a music video for your band or short documentary of your event, and provide an edited final piece up to 5 min in length (shoot must take place in the Portland area, other places negotiable if you can cover travel expenses)

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Funding period

- (30 days)