This film celebrates the love and the challenges that go into making a family of adopted children and two fathers, or any family, work. Read more
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About this project
Now that you've met the family, meet the Director.
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"A family with the passion to create and grow shares an unbreakable bond that lasts for an eternity."
~ Billy and Gail's eldest son James
- Imagine you are six years old.
- Imagine your home is not a safe place.
- Imagine your mom chooses drugs or alcohol over you.
- Imagine being dropped off at an orphanage.
- Imagine realizing that nobody wants you.
of us the word "family" conjures up images of love and safety: a kiss on
the forehead, a hug when we need it, the fading memory of a parent
wiping a runny nose.
Now imagine growing up without one. Imagine a shifting collage of absent parents, drugs or alcohol, group homes, residential treatment centers, and foster caregivers. Many kind-hearted people who gave what they could: but no family, no anchor, no identity.
This film tells the story of six children, most refugees from the foster care system, some facing life-long challenges as a result of drug exposure and neglect. It's the story of how one loving couple, two men, with no children of their own, gathered these kids together and gave them a foundation, a family and a future.
It's the story of the birth an American family.
Our goal is to make a feature film in which the viewers spend 80 minutes as members of this special family.
The foundation for the film has been laid. Pre-production is done. We've completed web sites and trailers, secured nonprofit status, set up the project management and social media infrastructures, formed a production team and built an extensive community of supporters. We've earned the trust of the family and discovered how to get the good footage (even with six kids bouncing off the walls). Everyone is ready and waiting for full scale filming to begin.
It's time for Phase Two: PRODUCTION!
Our production standards are very high. This will legitimize the film's message and open doors during distribution. The pro shooters and sound experts we require are willing to work at reduced rates, but not for free. We anticipate spending $250 to $750 per shoot for 30 shoots, $5000 for equipment and around $5000 for cataloging, transcoding, editing, research, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses. Phase two will take six months.
The crew will film the family at home, school, work, and play (including their amazing family meetings). We'll catch their daily struggles and drama. We'll interview experts, extended family members, birth family members, teachers, coaches and friends. Our research team will explore the detailed history of family members, extended family members and the kid's birth families, and acquire existing archival photos and footage. Our technical support team will be busy transcoding and cataloging new, archival and home movie footage. And as the body of footage grows, we'll be editing and sharing vignettes so you can see our progress.
Production is the goal; that's how we'll use your donation. If you're in alignment with the values embodied in this project, make it happen! The director and the production team are chomping at the bit. Help us turn this beautiful film vision into a reality.
Jeremy, adopted at age 3, now age 7. Overflowing with questions, he strives to hold his own as the youngest member of a lively crew of six.
Andrea, adopted at age 5, now age 9, is shy, sensitive, quiet, loves pets, music and dance. She gets along with everyone except when it comes to sharing a rhinestone jacket with her sisters.
Jolie, adopted at age 1, now age 9. Her most endearing trait and greatest personal challenge is her impulsiveness. A total fashion maven, she's an artist waiting to happen.
Julian, adopted at birth (Billy cut his umbilical cord), is now 10. Confident and ambitious, he won a gold medal at the U.S. Regional gymnastics competition in vaulting. He has Olympic dreams.
Lexie, adopted at age 6, now age 11 still struggles with the shadows of her past. She loves makeup, fashion and high heels (even if they're too large and give her blisters). She's an extreme shopper always ready for an outing.
James, adopted at 2, now age 13. A budding engineer and film maker, he figures out how to use new camera equipment faster then the director of this film.
Billy (left) grew up in Southern California with frequently absent parents. Resourceful and optimistic, he took care of himself and developed his talent for hair-dressing. He always dreamed of being a parent. After building a successful career as a hair stylist, he married Gail and started a family with the intention of giving his children what he missed growing up.
Gail (right) grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. Gail is retired from United Airlines. He manages the chaotic demands of a bustling household of eight, be it endless laundry or morning chef duty for a family on-the-go.
For children in foster care, the stakes are high.
Where do you find the highest rate of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? No, it’s not combat veterans: it’s adults who grew up in foster care who have the highest rate of PTSD. Studies show that former foster kids exhibit dramatically higher rates of depression, obesity, homelessness, incarceration, poverty and suicide. Those are the stakes for the 420,000 children in the foster care system, of which 100,000 are currently eligible for adoption.
Yet in Billy and Gail's family, the contrast couldn't be more stark. The kids are happy, healthy, thriving and totally looking forward to life. They feel loved and secure and it shows.
Billy and Gail aren't unique. Alone and in couples, gays and lesbians have been stepping up for years to care for neglected or abandoned children. This is a story we need to hear, appreciate and understand.
The Social Mission
Billy and Gail's story will educate and inspire members of the GLBT community who are already traveling their own adoption journey. And this film will support the thousands of existing gay families, who often feel isolated because they know few other families like themselves.
Sharing the experience of this successful family will dispel some of the myths of special needs adoption and demonstrate that the challenges of adopting special needs kids can be over come with creativity, persistence, structure and love.
While the film will not make overt political statements beyond the obvious, we are optimistic that the film will provide a means for bringing people of diverse attitudes and opinions together on the issues of special needs adoption and family equality.
We envision the film as an focal point for community discussions. We will reach out for showings at local libraries, schools, agencies, community centers and private homes. Adoption agencies, prospective families, GLBT community, activist and pride organizations will be able to obtain copies with outreach kits to mobilize their own and other groups, to mobilize individuals and families, and ultimately to change opinion and policy.
Mr. Billy's kids are growing up fast; precious moments are slipping by un-filmed. Their story is unfolding as you read this whether our cameras are rolling or not.
More importantly, there are other children out there, being shuffled from
one foster home to another. They’re also growing up fast—too fast—in a
hard, unstable world where the present is empty and the future is a grim
Please help us get this film funded by the deadline. Once we have our funds in place, we can start filming the story of this “uniquely normal” family, helping couples around to the nation understand how much they are needed.
The concept of “family” doesn’t have to be limited by prejudices. In the words of Jane Howard: "Family, clan, tribe, network… whatever you call it, whoever you are… you need one."
We all do.
/Copy by Tod Lancaster and Kai Daily/
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
Pledge $1 or more
Incredible karma and good vibrations from the film makers.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $4 or more
Receive the official glossy 'Take Me Home' movie post card via snail-mail. It's a frame-able heart-warming mini-poster for wall, desk top or refrigerator door.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or more
Receive the official 'Take Me Home' movie post card, and on the back you'll find a hand written thank-you from the director. A collectors item. His handwriting is horrendous. Have it analyzed and we'll post the results.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
A 20 minute 'festival short' version of the film on DVD.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or more
We'll send you a DVD of the film when it's finished. The liner will be autographed by the director and as many members of the family as we can corral into a signing session.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or more
Be Seen On The Big Screen. The final credits will consist of a photo montage featuring our contributors at the $75 level or higher. (Participation is optional.) The audience will hear you say your first name as your photo or logo appears. The montage moves slowly at first, each photo appearing on the screen for a couple of seconds with each name audible, and then gradually the montage speeds up until the photos and voices blur into a indistinguishable medley. A $75 donation gets you into the montage toward the whiz-blur end of the medley. The more you donate the longer your image appears on screen. (Your donation amount will not be shown.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or more
An elegant official film crew t-shirt designed by the art director.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or more
Bask in the Limelight of a Film Credit Cameo. The final credits consist of a photo montage of our contributors (for details see the $75 reward). A $200 donation gets you into the montage near the beginning when the audience can clearly hear your first name.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or more
A DVD compiled of interesting dailies and out-takes which won't make it into the film.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $800 or more
0 backers Limited (50 left of 50)
A limited edition print poster about life in the family and the making of the film, signed by both fathers, all the kids, and the crew members as well. It will be a collaborative work between the the Art Director and all members of the family. It's going to be a masterpiece.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,500 or more
0 backers Limited (9 left of 9)
Meet Billy and the Director, in person or via phone, to discuss the issues, ask questions, and make suggestions. You will have a credit in the film as a Contributing Producer.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or more
0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)
You will have a credit in the film as an Associate Producer.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $7,500 or more
0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)
Attend first limited private screening of the movie with the kids and family. You will have a credit in the film as a Supervising Producer.Estimated delivery:
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
Become an active member of the film production team. Come to the shoots. Get all inside info. You can add your 2 cents worth at every turn. Making films is a blast!Estimated delivery:
- (45 days)