March 22, 2016
My first meeting with producers Ally and Christine was more significant than any film meeting I've had in the past. I had fallen during a rainy Halloween production shoot (my first film gig) and was still on crutches. As uncertain as I was about working on a set again, I was determined to get the gig that ultimately became the Producer of Marketing and Distribution for the short film Wedlocked.
The discussion about the upcoming film went extremely well after I put aside my concern that I may not be off my crutches in time to also act as a set photographer. I instead focused on the subject matter and the fact that the script was written by Guinevere Turner, who was a huge influence on me as a writer. Like many gay women, I was aware of her writing on The L Word and via Go Fish, but she had also penned the screen adaptation of American Psycho and The Notorious Bettie Page with writing partner Mary Harron. Her words had contributed greatly to the groundbreaking nature of The L Word as she provided characters with a voice that sounded much like mine, and her other projects proved that she couldn't be pigeonholed into a specific genre.
Although I had previously assisted crowdfunding projects on platforms such as Kickstarter, I was eager to check out what Seed&Spark had to offer to this unique project. The sense of community surrounding our campaign was mind-blowing. Our fans truly felt that the platform was revolutionary, as not only was it highly-supportive of film and filmmakers, but it was a place for women in film.
Our social media (specifically Instagram) exploded when Whitney Mixter joined the project as she already had an established and very significant social media following. As a former cast member of the reality series The Real L Word and a sought-after lesbian event host, her networks and personal interaction with her fans would turn out to be an amazing asset for not only our film, but for our crowdfunding campaign, which surpassed its goal.
I was still on crutches as we nailed down the final details of the film, but instead of being concerned, I decided to view the production as an opportunity to embrace healing, both physically and mentally, as the film's topic was one that fit into an internal dialogue and conflict that I, and many others, hadn't openly addressed.
Growing up in Louisiana, I was well-aware that the laws were not generally on the side of LGBT citizens. I once had a Bible-thumping employer who would change my Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider computer wallpaper after I'd leave the office for the day. He would host prayer meetings each week which I wouldn't attend as I refused to pray my Angelina crush away. Eventually, I was fired, and I always suspected that my being openly gay (and openly lustful for Lara Croft) was to blame. He told me I'd never work in my town again, which was actually empowering as I thought to myself, "That's ok, I'm going to Hollywood anyway." So that's just what I did.
I was heavily influenced by the conservative South's attitudes about the LGBTQ community as I assisted Wedlocked's director Puppett in location scouting. I wanted to find an area that fit her vision, and stumbled upon a street in my neighborhood that reminded me of home: white picket fences, magnolias, and curved oak trees framing the road. I sent over the photos I shot to Ally, Puppett, and Christine, and they drove over, checked out the location, and thought it would be a great fit for the closing scene. I was really thrilled to be on set that day, had practiced walking with no crutches, and was able to watch Puppett and our mostly-female cast and crew in action.
Stay updated about screenings of Wedlocked across the country by clicking on the Screenings tab on our website.