Making this film is the hardest and most important thing I've ever done (taking the SATs is a close second, which tells you something about our warped education system). Here’s why:
1. White Alligator is my first film. I do not yet have a proven track record or
fancy-pants introductions to big studios.
2. It takes a lot of money to make a movie, but you need a track record to get said money (See #1.).
3. I've had to bleed my friends and family dry in the worst recession of my (admittedly short) lifetime. With more and more celebrities using Kickstarter for their projects, we newbies are fading into the wallpaper.
4. The networking is killing me. (I'm naturally shy.)
But you know what? It’s all worth it. And here’s why:
In the process of making this film, a lot of people have been telling me their stories. When you take on a cause, you become an ear for the unheard voices. Although it is difficult for me to listen to these stories (I’m awfully sensitive), I know how vital it is for them to be told. Because injustice thrives on silence. When you are not heard, you start to lose a sense of your own humanity. And then you're toast.
Here is the latest story, which just happened to one of our cast members.
She was in an acting class last week. Halfway through the class, the instructor separated the students into groups based on nationality. I have no idea what he was trying to get across, except maybe trying to teach them their "types.” (I hope a shudder just went through you when you read that: actors routinely get "typed".) She was the only Spanish speaker, and when she introduced herself, the teacher had the gall to ask her if she was legal. Later, when she asked if there were many opportunities in film for a woman her age, he said that of course there were because everyone else her age is dead.
This is a teacher. A teacher. And this woman paid her hard-earned money to take this class. And these things happen all the time.
She called to thank me for making this film. I thanked her for sharing her story with me.