Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Let the Race Begin!

After our outstanding showings at Cinequest, the race begins on how we get God & Gays out to a theatre near you. We have been contacted by Hollywood, New York and Europe with offers and methods of distribution. We're thrilled they see the need to get this film out and so we're in discussions on the best way to roll out the doc to nationwide outlets.

I'll be honest that I don't know how soon this could happen. It's really important to us that we work with people who have a heart for this project and want to see it succeed and are willing to work their magic to allow that to happen. We cannot allow this movie to gather dust on someone's shelf while we enjoy our advance. Nope. Can't happen. We're careful of who gets involved in this project at any part of the process as to give it the most love and care possible.

It's our baby. We created it. Just as having a kid procreated by two people is made out of love (hopefully) and there's dedication by the parents to nurture, protect and teach it skills to be self-sufficient, we have the same commitment to God & Gays. We made this film out of love and we're on our way to being empty nesters and letting it move on to its destinations.

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Woman Cried on my Shoulder

I gotta tell you, meeting so many incredible people at the screenings and the conference was what really kept us going...we were so out of steam with putting so much work in getting the movie ready to show, the PR to get the word out with no advertising or PR budget, prepping for the conference and then running we have jobs that are keeping us financially afloat with all this mayhem going on.

My hives are better, by the way. I'm starting to get some sleep. I slept from early last evening and most of today and I plan on sleeping more before sleeping the whole night. Sleeping is all I'm capable of right now...oh, and this blog. I'll have to proofread this several times, I'm sure.

Anyway, we met many unforgettable people...two guys who went to two of our three screenings and our conference pronounced themselves officially "groupies" to the older men who just come up and with a strong handshake, quietly and quickly say, "thanks" before rushing away.

One woman in particular felt comfortable enough to tell me that she has been struggling with being gay and Christian for 15 years. Now, by looking at her, she doesn't fit the media stereotype of a gay woman. That's something else we say in the people come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, just like straight folks. Again, no difference. And in her situation, her looks allowed her to blend and not be noticed and questioned...which was also part of her internal pain.

The woman said the struggle of spirituality and sexuality was so difficult for her and caused her lots and lots of pain. She didn't want to leave Christianity, she loved God and she knew who she loved here on earth. All of it was clear but the stigma, culture and people in her life who made it much more difficult than it should have been.

We talked briefly about how our upbringing of seeing sexuality and spirituality as separate was a big fat lie...and that's when she lost it. And I totally understood why. The first time I had that epiphany, I lost it too. She cried, I cried and the subsequent people in line after her were all crying. The next five people I saw after her were all wiping tears away.

We really are all one.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sunday Morning Special

Okay, our final screening at Cinequest is over...we are so sad! The morning audience was really incredible too. First drama was us being so exhausted from the whole week and especially the conference that to get up, unload our cars from the conference stuff and get out on the freeway in time was a challenge. Next, we find that Highway 17, for the first time in thirty years mind you, is closed at the summit due to snow! This is central California! There's no snow here!

So, we had to drive the loooong way which of course made us late and we missed the opening of our movie. We snuck in while it was playing though and got to enjoy the movie with a few hundred people who got up to see a movie on Sunday morning at 10.30am.

The Q&A was really powerful. One person asked us why we were so nice and not angry after knowing what's going on. I totally understood her question and I assured her that we had been through quite the emotional roller coaster while making the movie (see earlier posts for more). However, we can't stay that way. We aren't affective if we stay down in our lower selves. We have to get and stay in our higher self to do the work that needs to be done. We are in the results stage of the process and how can we be mad when we've got a hundred glowing faces looking at us with such gratitude for telling such a compelling and realistic story?

One thing we said in interviews was that we have been very deliberate in steering the conversation to what all of us can agree on, and where we are similar because from there, we have things we can talk about and learn from. If we go with what our differences are, then that stops growth. That stops listening. And that is unacceptable in this dynamic life.

Thank you to everyone who got up on a Sunday morning and watched a movie. Major kudos to you.

It was really wonderful meeting people at the screenings and the conference. It was a pleasure for all of us to get together and share an experience. We're looking forward to the movie continuing its journey around the states.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

First God & Gays Conference Goes Smoothly!

Oh, man...I'm so running on fumes right now. This last week has been such a whirlwind, there's no way to prep for something like this. Fortunately, I had outstanding help from volunteers in setting up and running the conference. It went so smoothly, I was almost creating problems to deal with.

I also discovered during some down time that I broke out in hives. My mom flew in from Utah to be at the showing last night and help at the conference and thank GOD she did. She's the one that noticed my itching and red lumps and ran out to get me some goop to put on it and make me sit on my hands to stop itching. That was fun.

We had people come to the conference from over an hour away and in the morning they were quiet and shy and by the afternoon, they were laughing, relaxed and looking really happy. I was just thrilled to see people shift once they realized what our environment can provide people. We had PFLAG there, pastors from several open and affirming churches and christian denominations, an incredible choir lead by Valerie Joi Fiddmont, great food from Camille's catering that they donated to support the event...over 100 people were there. It was just so alive. It was an incredible experience.

The afternoon small breakout groups brought lots of people to share a lot of their pain and lots of tears came out...connections were made, stories were heard and people finally felt truly loved and accepted. I'm telling ya, it was just an incredible experience. My description isn't coming close to how awesome it was.

So, I guess you'll have to come to one the next time we hold a conference and see for yourself!

Showing #2 at Cinequest Sold Out!

So, we just had our second sold out screening at Cinequest. What a blast. We had a dinner for the people who are in the doc or on the crew and it was such a trip to see so many of us all together in one place at the same time. When shooting, no one knows each other...Rev. D doesn't know about Jason, Mary Lou doesn't know about Darlene and Mel White doesn't know about anyone as he's in Virginia fighting his good fight. So, to see these people talking and having such a big part of their life, mission and their identity in common...needless to say the conversation was always very interesting.

The audience was just as hyped as the audience for the premiere on Monday. It was so awesome! Our showing was at 9pm so it was after 11p for the Q&A and the place was still packed. The questions were great, we got lots of time afterwards to talk to people individually, got to hear a lot of amazing stories.

We flew in Mary Lou and her wonderful husband Bob all the way from Arkansas to come to the screening and speak at the conference. They were tired but great troopers. We brought Jason in from Los Angeles and he of course was wonderful to have around. That guy is so frickin' funny. He did tell us that his nephew is having his bar mitzvah this weekend and he wasn't invited so he was glad to be with us and doing the work with us. If you've seen the movie, you know his heart-wrenching story about the loss of relationship with his sister and how he's never met her kids...and now one of them is old enough for a bar mitzvah. Ouch.

Overall, it was fantastic meeting people who had come from all over the country at the movie. One woman has a strong uphill challenge on her college campus in Minnesota trying to her LGBT group and the christian campus ministry groups to work together. Oh, man. The stories we hear...

Thank you to everyone who came out to the late version of the show! Now, it's some sleep before we run the conference all day tomorrow and then a third screening on Sunday morning. Rest when we're dead, right?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Third Show Added at Cinequest!

Wow...and the hits just keep on coming! We've sold out our two scheduled shows at Cinequest and they have just scheduled a third in their 1100 seat theatre! That's the good news...the funny news is their only availability was on a Sunday morning. I teased the programmer that for any other movie, that would be great, but this one movie on a Sunday morning? Where does most of our audience spend Sunday mornings?

Well, since services can be on Saturday nights these days, hopefully we'll get lots of support. The challenge now is to promote it and let people know it's there. That's the big challenge...we'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, March 12th 10.30am California Theatre downtown San Jose. Tix available at box office and online. See you there!

World Premiere of God & Gays a Huge Success!

Woo Hoo!!! We are on such a high right now, words just can't do it justice. We held a thank you reception for people who touched the project in some way before the premiere and over 70 people showed up. We had an open bar and vegetarian appetizers at the Blue Monkey in San Jose. At one point, the entire executive staff of Cinequest arrived...the founders, the program director, the PR director, the PR staff...I've never seen all of them in one place before.

Then, as we get to the theatre, we see this line at the box office with over 100 people in it. Then we walk into the theatre and our screeening is on the third floor. As we're walking up the stairs, we see the line for our theatre down all three floors, around the corner in the lobby and outside.

We are just in awe.

The Cinequest staff tells me they've never seen such demand for a film and tell me we're sold out for the premiere and for the second showing on Friday so they have to figure out how to accomodate all the people in the box office line by scheduling a third showing.

The energy was just electric in the theatre and all through the line. The crowd was fantastic. The audience was at least 90% heterosexual couples, all kinds of ethnic backgrounds. I saw pastors there I knew from my past when I worked in doing drama productions for churches. It was just fantastic to see the curious and willing show up and be interested in how they can be a part of the solution. They will help so many people in their world. One guy who came with his girlfriend told me after the show how his mind was just racing on ways he could help make himself be a safer person for people to be who they are, as they are. I didn't know this guy at all and he was compelled to really share that this movie really challenged him and how empowered he felt to be able to do something.

We had a ton of comments...all of them positive...that we'd love to share with you. Right now, I need rest...if I can sleep. We'll see how Friday goes. We're so thrilled! Thank you to everyone who came out to the premiere. Your presence and enthusiasm really matters.