Thank you all so much for your generosity and amazing dedication in seeing this project to fruition!
You will soon be getting an email from Kickstarter requesting your mailing address. If you're anything like me, you will immediately become incredibly paranoid and question why anybody needs your address, and possibly ponder whether you should move to the Amazon just to make sure nobody finds you. Fret not, however: they are only asking for the address so I can send you all the rewards you have chosen for your contributions. None of your personal information will ever be shared.
Now that our Kickstarter campaign has finished, we are working hard to raise the remaining funds needed so that we can start production as soon as possible. White Alligator will most likely be shot this fall, and I will certainly keep everyone abreast of our milestones. If you'd like, for more updated information, you can sign up to "like" the Facebook page that we started specifically for this project (note: this is separate from the page Kickstarter started for us that you all have already liked). Not only will your "like" help us with eventual distribution, but it's a great way to stay connected with the White Alligator message forum. (I will continue posting interesting articles on relevant topics, as I have done with my Kickstarter updates.)
We have also revamped the film's website, www.whitealligatorthemovie.com, and have included all your names as our backers. Yes, I drew those alligators by myself on Microsoft Paint. And yes, I'm currently looking for higher meaning in my life.
And on that note...
In the news this week: Jane White, Broadway and film actress, daughter of Walter White, the founder of the NAACP, died July 24. She had a nice little write up in the NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/08/arts/jane-white-actress-and-singer-who-rebelled-against-racial-straitjacketing-dies-at-88.html?_r=2&hpw
A quote that caught my eye was: "I've just always been too 'white' to be 'black' and too 'black' to be 'white,' which, you know, gets to you after a while, particularly when the roles keep passing you by," taken from an interview in 1968. I guess this struck a cord, because it is my own story, except replace 'latino' with 'black', and you have White Alligator in a nutshell. I would have never known who Jane White was if my husband hadn't sent me this article. But everyone knew who Paul Newman was when he died and he was on the cover of many magazines and mourned for years after. What was the difference, other than one was allowed to have a career because he didn't stradle two racial worlds and "confuse" people?
Another noteworthy article our director sent my way (subject of her email to me: The Help needs our help...): http://www.indiewire.com/article/2011/08/10/critics_notebook_how_movies_like_the_help_reinforce_hollywoods_race_problem
I read this book one boring Summer when I was temping. My thoughts: emotionally sucks you in and fun to read, but we've heard it all before. I was a bit shocked (but not really) to see it become a film so soon after the book's publishing. And it's funny, but one of my first thoughts when I saw the film's poster was, "what if Viola Davis wants to wear the pretty dress for a change?" (...and stop being the maid). I mean, honestly, it's a period piece being shot in 2011, we can all suspend our disbelief. Emma Stone's character could have easily been played by Zoe Saldana, and we all would have gotten what was going on.
And finally, for the hat trick: http://www.examiner.com/soap-opera-in-riverside/former-young-and-the-restless-star-francesco-quinn-dead-at-48 Now, not to be morbose and include another death in this email, but this news of Francesco Quinn's early death caught my eye for one reason: the article states that he was nominated for an ALMA award (American Latino Media Arts Award), the "Latino Oscars." The thing is, though, Mr. Quinn was actually Italian. Pause for dramatic effect. So, should we then rename these awards, GDMA (Generally Darker-Skinned-Than-Others Media Awards), if that's really what they're going for? When has Italian been considered Latino? Should we include Greeks in that grouping? And while we're at it, let's throw in Turkish people, why not, it's geographically close enough. Is Japan too far?
There is indeed a point to all these articles. I say, if the media has had trouble in the past with actors' ethnicities, and Hollywood has had trouble following its own rules on this front, let's just forget the whole thing. Why don't we take ethnicity out of the casting picture, shall we?