SEPARATION is a horror-thriller about the dangers of calling the police as a Black Person. It's an exploration of the anxiety/paranoia Black People live with under white supremacy, white peoples allyship/silence/complicity, and the looming specter of police violence. I wrote this in the fall of 2019
Mission StatementBlack Art from young Black Artists is going to be vital to help solidify the foundational change happening in the country today. As a Black Artist, I have a duty to use my voice to push the zeitgeist forward to a world where my people's stories are not niche and our politics are not radical.
About The Project
Hello, my name is Julian Vargas and I'm a 27-year-old Black writer/actor/filmmaker born and raised in Los Angeles County, shoutout to Baldwin Park & the San Gabriel Valley. Because of that, I was raised to not trust the police. I've seen firsthand how the police can and will turn any situation into your worst nightmare. I've lived with the creeping feeling that any day could be the day I "slip up" and allow myself to be assassinated by White Supremacy. Knowing any interaction was likely to go bad and your only choice was to do everything you could to stay alive.
Last fall I wrote a 16-page short film about that. About the dangers of calling the police as a Black person, regardless of the scenario.
It's about the fear, the paranoia, the reality that I and my brothers and sisters live with. It's about white allyship/silence/complicity in the crimes committed against Black American Citizens. It's about white supremacy and how deep it's roots are in our society.
I'm hoping with proper funding I'll be able to tell this story in a way that makes it an effective piece of anti-racist+ anti-police art that will be coming out during and post the uprisings. Make no mistake this project will be relevant in 1 month and 1 year and likely for much longer than that, maybe the rest of my life. But I'm hopeful in the power of Black art and feel that as a Black Artist I have a responsibility to help push the zeitgeist to where these beliefs are not radical.
After stumbling onto a crime outside his apartment building, a black man and his white neighbor try and find a reasonable way to deal with the situation. As things become more confusing and evidence begins to disappear both men grapple with the "danger" they see in front of them.
(Taken from the SEPARATION look book)
(Taken from SEPERATION set photos & storyboards.)
WHO AM I
Julian Vargas, black, 27, writer/filmmaker. I work primarily in comedy, wrote for Maude Night at UCBTLA(rip) in 2016-17. I've also put up and been apart of countless shows there and at other canceled comedy theaters around Los Angeles. I've written for the CBS Diversity Showcase, the year before all the people in charge of it got fired for harassment and racial discrimination. In my own time, I write pilots, shorts, features, and comedy sketches. In the last few years I've been more interested in sci-fi and horror, someone please fund my pilot about a black private investigator looking into a string of black teenagers being kidnapped/abducted by aliens that the local police aren't interested in. This short film is maybe my biggest swing at the dramatic, though horror and comedy share similar beats, which I lean into.
I was lucky to grow up middle class but I was still Black and learned very early, from experience and my parents, that it wasn't an escape. Some of my earliest experiences with racism and the police were when I spent Kindergarten in Cambridge. My mom was pulled over once a week driving my brothers and me to school while my dad was at Harvard Business School. In middle school, I saw friends pulled out of class and arrested and friends put on the curb by cops to get their names run through illegal gang databases. In high school, I'd get pulled over at least once a week on my way to my private catholic school. In college PSafe(campus cops) and the LAPD loved nothing more than harassing black students. In my 20s I've been taken out of my car at gunpoint and had officers show up to my apartment with weapons drawn during a mental health crisis. Just a few weeks ago I was arrested, with over 50 other protestors by overly aggressive riot gear clad LAPD for marching "after curfew." I truly don't have a single positive police story to tell you.
(Me, smaller yet still fighting white supremacy, with my Mom.)
WHEN I TRIED TO FILM THIS IN MARCH THAT DARN COVID STOPPED ME
I was able to storyboard the whole short, location scout, and begin to assemble a crew in February but sadly the first week of March the pandemic took over so those plans went out the window.
I still have my storyboards, poorly drawn(check the media section), and the location. The rest of the crew to be named soon.
NOW COVID(through social distancing+testing+safest ways possible) & POLICE BRUTALITY/WHITE SUPREMACY CAN'T STOP THIS PROJECT!
I would like to film this in August, using a small all-black & POC crew (4-6 max), social distancing at all times, and testing before the projected 3-day shoot.
From my estimations I'll need $17,000 to get this film done the way I want it, paying my ALL BLACK & POC crew proper wages that are often excused for exposure or racist industry politics. Hopefully, with more films being produced and financed by Black and POC filmmakers, we can begin to make equal pay in this industry a reality.
THAT'S WHERE YOU COME IN WHITE & NON-BLACK PERSON WITH MONEY!
I hate to say it, but I need you. So here's your chance to help get this story made.
By giving me money. Give me money.
Not just to expel your willing participation in white supremacy but to aid an artistic endeavor that I could add to this moment of real change being effected. In 3 weeks this country moved faster than it has in 40+ years, probably the most it has since the King Riots. That doesn't mean we should take our feet off the gas.
But if you're still not convinced......
If you answer YES to any of these questions, you're obligated to donate to this campaign.
- Did you like Get Out? Well, get out your debit card.
- Did your opinion of police change in the last 2 weeks? You owe me reparations.
- Did you text your 1 black friend after day 4 of protests? Give $25 minimum.
- more questions to come...
Black Lives Matter! Defund the Police! Abolish the Police!
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
Our team thus far:
- Julian Vargas (ME, Director, Writer, Actor)
- Joanna Nguyen (Director of Photography)
In the process of assembling the rest of our crew!.
Updates To Come!