So what do you do if there is a
void in something that will seriously affect 25% of all American households?
One of every five Americans has a
disAbility. That is 20% of our population and not even 2% of American cinema
and television have a character that represents this population. In 2006 there
were 607 American films released – and can you tell of them how many featured a
character with a disability? Any disability and not just those who are
paraplegics like I focus on right now? For there to be 1% then there would have
to be at least 6 films. Can anybody list 6 of them for me? No, because there were
not even 1% of all American films to represent 20% of the population. One in
four households, 25% have a person with a disability and therefore everyone in
that household is also affected by not having a validation of the person in
their family that they love by being represented in a single film.
I want to make one film in 2008 that I
have already written and even if the release isn’t until 2009, I suspect
that there with be at least the same number of American films produced, and
probably even more than in 2006. Still using those numbers of ’06 then my ONE film will be
but .06% of all Americans films. Is that too much to ask from Hollywood?
Evidently it is – at least so far
and I can prove it. I can list all the people and companies that are in Hollywood that I have attempted to contact and begin a dialogue with. I can list
names, when (both the date and sometimes time of day), the method of contact, that varied
from letters, faxes, emails and phone calls for the past two years and even
with the presenting of all the necessary elements that make a commercially
viable, authentic voice and representation of those with a disability, I have
not even gotten 1% response to any of this communication!
There is a void and the authentic
voice and representation that will break the Hollywood
stereotypes and help end the blatant industry wide discrimination of those with
a disAbility continues to be non-existent.
So if it isn’t there – create
it. That has been my philosophy nearly all of my life and I have been applying
that to this major problem for the past 12+ years. I have created both the
creative answer and the business solution to fill this void.
Still no where to turn and no one
to even listen. When I found some initial objections to this proposal I found
or created the answers out of the void. And explore every angle from the
business world of Angel investors/groups, standard business loans and even
special SBA guaranteed loans to help those who are considered disadvantaged – but as I explained
in a previous entry to this blog – even the damn government does not include
disabled persons as a disadvantaged group – so unless I am Black/African-American, American
Native Indian, Hispanic, Pan-Asian or any other racial minority, or a woman, all of whom automatically qualify under the
definition of the SBA to receive special funding that has been set aside just
for them as disadvantaged I have been given the sound, personal advice of a Hollywood guru that knows
ins and outs of the business side, told me to stop wasting my energy because even
if I applied for special consideration from the SBA by filling out a form and
providing proof that those with a disability are both economically and socially
disadvantaged – no banks would accept and the SBA would not approve Abilities United Productions for a business loan because it is in the motion
picture production industry which is too high of a risk for them!
So despite having spent months of
writing a business plan complete with financial projections and forming the
business side of filling this void in American cinema – it did not matter. So I
turned to the motion picture industry for help, guidance, or at least some
support. After 12 years of living this constant rejection to fulfill a dream
and provide an essential impact on millions of American lives surely the
industry will look favorable on it and help me launch this program, right?
Wrong and not only is the production side of the movie business – above and
below the line lacking in a fair and equal opportunity to work on both sides of
the camera as individual companies, conglomerate empires of corporations in the
Big 6 = the major studios, or individual players and makers in the business –
not even the Diversity Programs accept those with a disability ( you can read
my exact experiences with this from a link on the homepage of the website).
Most consider those with a disAbility as being under all other minorities –
even the gay, lesbian and transgender community gets representation in movies
and television – they even have their own dedicated programs and an entire cable network
(Logo Channel) despite being nearly only one quarter the size of the minoirty, subgroup of those with a
disAbility. Approximately 15 million gay, lesbian and transgenders compared to
56 million Americans with a disAbility!
Well without looking for my own
network or even a weekly television program like “Will & Grace” or “The L
Word” I just want a single movie that provided an honest, non-stereotypical and
authentic character portrayed authentically. All of which I have in a detailed plan that is business and
socially capable of success — where no body would lose and everyone would win. I have
created it but have also taken this as far as I can without help, the production and
distribution support and capital. Without it 12+ years of work will go down the drain – along with the very reason why I wake up in the morning. So now
I continue to try and make
contact with someone who has
- the decency to look at what I have created as a
permanent solution to the history of problems imposed on those of us with a
- the brains to see it’s potential,
- and the balls to take a chance.
continue to contact everyone in the business from executives, producers,
directors, actors, agents, publicists and everyone person within the industry.
And if that still doesn’t work then I will have to raise this flag a little
higher! Put it in front of a camera where the FACTS as I have listed here are
in plain view of everyone. Then we will see who is asking the question, “So,
now what?” No problem, I have a 12+ year old refined answer! I just hope it
will be soon as I ran out of time over 6 months ago and I really do not know how I
am surviving. It cannot take another 12 years – in fact I am not sure about the next 12 days
without an answer, some recognition, some promise to even just look at what I