BRIDEGROOM - An American Love Story - Shane & Tom, a relationship cut short by tragedy. UPDATE: Film released October 2013

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    Jul 02, 2012 1:22 AM GMT
    1/23/2013 A few months have passed. Some new links posted today.

    http://www.kfiam640.com/pages/lisaannwalter.html?article=10240204
    AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY

    BRIDEGROOM, tells the emotional journey of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship – a relationship that was cut tragically short by a misstep off the side of a roof.

    The story of what happened after this accidental death– of how people without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized-- is poignant, enraging and opens a window onto the issue of marriage equality like no speech or lecture ever will.

    Shane Bitney Crone and Director/ Producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason join the show today to discuss

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/452010736/bridegroom-an-american-love-story

    BRIDEGROOM

    A Documentary project in Los Angeles, CA by Linda Bloodworth Thomason



    Why We Want to Make this Documentary: BRIDEGROOM, will tell the emotional journey of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship – a relationship that was cut tragically short by a misstep off the side of a roof. The story of what happened after this accidental death– of how people without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized-- is poignant, enraging and opens a window onto the issue of marriage equality like no speech or lecture ever will.

    On May 7, 2012, the anniversary of Tom’s death, Shane made a video tribute to his greatest love entitled “It Could Happen To You." This film, posted on YouTube, has gotten over 2.7 million hits and inspired over 50 thousand e-mails and comments on YouTube and Facebook. The impact of Shane’s original film and the raw nerve it touched for so many, tells us this is an important story that needs to be told… and told now.

    How BRIDEGROOM Can be in Theaters by Fall: Our ambitious production schedule can be met if we immediately raise our bare minimum, fundraising goal of $300,000. To all of you Kickstarter novices out there: if we fall short of our goal during the designated donation period, we will lose all money raised, along with the opportunity to make this film, as well as play a meaningful role in the burgeoning debate over marriage equality.

    If we are in the fortunate position of having surpassed our minimum goal, we will use this money to enhance the production value of the film and pay for costly marketing, distribution and music.

    A message from Director/ Producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason: In March of 1986, my mother was diagnosed with AIDS, after receiving a contaminated blood transfusion. This occurred just as the pilot for “Designing Women” was getting underway. As I wrote much of the first season, sitting beside my mom, I was witness to the incredible prejudice and prevailing ignorance inflicted not just on her, but all the homosexual men who shared her hospital floor. Because of this, I was honored to write the Emmy nominated DW episode, “Killing all the Right People,” which was television’s first scripted show to tackle the hateful prejudice surrounding gays and AIDS.

    Little did I know that I would someday be provided with another opportunity to address this same kind of bigotry. It all began when I attended a gay wedding ceremony in Palm Springs, California. That night, a couple of unforgettable, young men named Shane and Tom joined my table. I learned they were “Designing Women” fans, madly in love and literally brimming with all their big plans for an exciting life together. Sadly, that possibility ended when Tom was killed in an accident last year. When I heard the news, I was haunted by the sheer weight of Shane’s loss. Even though I barely knew them, their good-hearted demeanors and earnest love had made an indelible impression on me.

    Then, a few weeks ago, I saw Shane’s YouTube posting, along with his bone crushing grief and the story of what happened to him after Tom’s death—and all because they were never allowed to marry. Like so many others who saw this video, I was deeply touched. And angered. I called Shane told him I wanted to make a documentary that would tell his and Tom’s love story from beginning to end. I have now seen all of Shane and Tom’s videos and home movies. Like a lot of young people, they routinely documented their lives—but this recorded history is so prolific, it almost seems as though they had a premonition or unconscious fear of not getting to live out something important.

    Tom and Shane were each other’s first and only loves. They are devoted, hardworking, unassuming and funny. Each is from a small town and each, in his own way, is imbued with the best kind of small town values. They are, in fact, the sort of young people who hold within themselves the promise of America. And that is why I want to bring to life, on film, this real life Romeo and Romeo—so that all who condemn them, might come face to face with exactly what it is they are opposing.

    Certainly the fact that Tom’s last name is Bridegroom is a lucky and serendipitous gift to a filmmaker. But it is so unusual, even a skeptic would find it hard not to also feel that Tom, in his own way, is now standing in for something larger than himself. I can think of no more powerful opportunity to change hearts and minds on this very important issue of human rights, than to tell the story of Shane and Tom, which at its core, is the struggle of all people who yearn to be who they are and love who they love.

    Watch the YouTube Video That Started it All:
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    Jul 02, 2012 1:35 AM GMT
    Status of pledges at the web site. Movie will only be made if funding goal is met.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/452010736/bridegroom-an-american-love-story
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    Jul 02, 2012 2:12 AM GMT
    Thanks socalfitness, for bringing this story more attention.

    How do you feel Gay Republicans might best influence their own political party to stop the persecution of young men like the lovers in this story ?
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    Jul 02, 2012 2:22 AM GMT
    Balancing saidThanks socalfitness, for bringing this story more attention.

    How do you feel Gay Republicans might best influence their own political party to stop the persecution of young men like the lovers in this story ?

    Thanks for your comment. Your question is a reasonable and fair one. We have work to do after November, however that turns out and fight for this and defeat bigotry. There are existing organizations and other individual or group initiatives to get the word out. I think many of us if one battle ends up being behind us, will focus our energies on this big battle.

    That said, if the Democratic Party aligns to a position more in line with what I see best for the country, and the Republicans do not adopt a more moderate stance regarding gay rights, I would have no problems changing my primary allegiance. I have in the past supported and voted for members of both parties and would have no difficulty doing so again in the future.

    I hope that we can keep the debates away from this thread so that RJ members who avoid political discussions won't be put off. I and others have participated in the Political folder discussing this general issue. Though I prefer to not visit it again at this point, I will if that is the price to keep the politics away from this thread.

    Thanks again, and please check the link above for pledges and pass the word.
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    Jul 02, 2012 2:35 AM GMT
    Very Reasonably Stated.

    However, "politics", in the sense of politics as public policy, IS NOT separable from this story. In fact, it is essential here.

    Correct, the usual "Your Team Sucks" of the political forums is disrespectful to the very real tragedy of this story.

    Shane Crone, the surviving lover, is making a strong plea with a very simple message:

    GAYS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO MARRY!

    If we want to honor this young man and his lost love, Tom, we need to FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT that they should have had...........and the right we all deserve.



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    Jul 02, 2012 2:39 AM GMT
    Balancing saidVery Reasonably Stated.

    However, "politics", in the sense of politics as public policy, IS NOT separable from this story. In fact, it is essential here.

    Correct, the usual "Your Team Sucks" of the political forums is disrespectful to the very real tragedy of this story.

    Shane Crone, the surviving lover, is making a strong plea with a very simple message:

    GAYS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO MARRY!

    If we want to honor this young man and his lost love, Tom, we need to FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT that they should have had...........and the right we all deserve.

    I agree that politics associated with equal rights is obviously part of the story. What I was meaning is the tone many of us, myself included, engage in that folder could put off others and would be as you noted disrespectful. It is difficult to keep at bay and we have all seen how unrelated threads can lead to very heated discussion.
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    Jul 02, 2012 3:54 AM GMT
    It takes more than an online tragedy to coerce me into giving money to someone who has no proof other than a 2.5 paragraph blog with no substantiating evidence.

    And no, I'm not sorry for the cold-hearted nature of this response.
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    Jul 02, 2012 4:11 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidIt takes more than an online tragedy to coerce me into giving money to someone who has no proof other than a 2.5 paragraph blog with no substantiating evidence.

    And no, I'm not sorry for the cold-hearted nature of this response.

    Even though many have not heard of this, it has been reported, especially on the anniversary of Tom's death.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/08/it-could-happen-to-you-gay-man-boyfriend-death_n_1499673.html

    Director/ Producer Linda Bloodworth Thomason has well established credentials in the film industry.
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0089124/bio

    Given the exposure on Facebook plus the reporting on several media sources, plus the Tom Bridegroom obituaries, there is much evidence that it is not a fraud. The major parts of the story are 1) their relationship, 2) Tom's death, 3) the reaction of Tom's family towards Shane. 1) and 2) are easily verified. 3) is probably harder to prove, but why would you doubt the family's reaction? Seems pretty typical.
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    Jul 02, 2012 4:46 AM GMT
    What makes this story more interesting/important than any other romance cut short between any other couple?

    100 words or less.
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    Jul 02, 2012 4:52 AM GMT
    socalfitness saidStatus of pledges at the web site. Movie will only be made if funding goal is met.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/452010736/bridegroom-an-american-love-story



    So Linda Bloodworth Thompson, with all her money and credentials, can't get this movie made without donations? Something really strange about this whole thing.
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    Jul 02, 2012 4:53 AM GMT
    AeroNalex saidWhat makes this story more interesting/important than any other romance cut short between any other couple?

    100 words or less.

    It is probably typical, unfortunately so. The difference is a Producer / Director knew them, has poignant videos, and is willing to make a documentary to change people's attitudes by showing "regular" good guys, their love, and the bigotry they face. (41 words)
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    Jul 02, 2012 4:56 AM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    socalfitness saidStatus of pledges at the web site. Movie will only be made if funding goal is met.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/452010736/bridegroom-an-american-love-story



    So Linda Bloodworth Thompson, with all her money and credentials, can't get this movie made without donations? Something really strange about this whole thing.

    I don't know her financial status, but with the economy many in the industry are only working part time. I assume she is using some of her contacts to raise funds, but I know from personal experience that potential film investors want to see excellent evidence of a good return on investment. I would guess this documentary would be a difficult sell based on expected box office returns. Bottom line - they are seeking donations not investments.
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    Jul 02, 2012 5:16 AM GMT
    socalfitness said
    AeroNalex saidWhat makes this story more interesting/important than any other romance cut short between any other couple?

    100 words or less.

    It is probably typical, unfortunately so. The difference is a Producer / Director knew them, has poignant videos, and is willing to make a documentary to change people's attitudes by showing "regular" good guys, their love, and the bigotry they face. (41 words)


    So its different because its not different. I guess the hipsters will like it.
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    Jul 02, 2012 5:44 AM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said Something really strange about this whole thing.


    Everyone was in tears of emotion when this came out but I said it, this seems way too emotionally pandering and insincere. And now this.
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    Jul 02, 2012 5:49 AM GMT
    Ariodante said
    CuriousJockAZ said Something really strange about this whole thing.


    Everyone was in tears of emotion when this came out but I said it, this seems way too emotionally pandering and insincere. And now this.


    You mean like this guy?

    tumblr_m101hciGKx1r2y1izo1_500.png
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    Jul 02, 2012 3:35 PM GMT
    socalfitness says

    "why would you doubt the family's reaction? Seems pretty typical."

    THE FAMILY'S REACTION 'seems' to have been rejecting the homosexuality of their dead son------and trying to erase the connection he had with his lover of six years.

    THAT reaction seems to strike some of you as an impossibility. WHY?

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    Jul 03, 2012 3:41 AM GMT
    In a general response to the skeptics, I think the overall facts are pretty clear. 1) They had a relationship, 2) Tom died, 3) Shane lacked legal standing because they did not make wills and could not marry

    Shane's poor treatment by Tom's family is not easily provable, but certainly does not seem implausible.

    The only questions remaining to skeptics are 1) why the need to fund raise if an established film person is involved, and 2) is the money going to be used how it is advertised.

    For 1) - Films are funded by investors seeking a profit. Getting investors is done by established organizations, such as production companies and studios. Although Linda Bloodworth-Thomason is Director/Producer for this project, her general role in the industry is a screen writer, so it is unlikely she has access to the money raising organizations. But more significantly, this project is looking for donations, not investors, so those organizations would not be all that relevant.

    For 2) - It is hard to imagine Linda Bloodworth-Thomason would use the money in ways not consistent with the solicitation given her presence in the industry and the community and, also, the likelihood that she could be prosecuted for fraud.

    I am kind of surprised at the negative reaction to a project that is intended to help change attitudes that many of us seek.
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    Jul 03, 2012 8:07 AM GMT
    My issue isnt about whether or not their relationship or anything happened. My issue is content based. What makes their story worth spending money to see in theaters? So far it seems like I could find the same thing for free here on RealJock. I'm sorry their lives moved in such a way, but I think to put this in theaters is not only extremely ambitious, it could even be called inappropriate. I would watch this on Dateline though where it can be taken seriously.
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    Jul 03, 2012 1:01 PM GMT
    if it were going to be marketed in any capacity, i think it would serve as a great intro to selling custom legal services for gays and lesbians

    which is only necessitated b/c the default relationship contract is NOT available

    i can't see it selling on the indie film circuit b/c it's not something that couldn't have happened to a straight couple. it's not like they'd made every effort to contract their relationship and yet someone came along and broke that.

    if John was dating Jane and John's family hated Jane, and he died, they could do the same thing. they'd been together long enough, they could have protected themselves with other contracts. they didn't. but they could have, and there is your pitch.

    i'm not hating on them. i just don't see a wide market for it as a film product.
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    Jul 03, 2012 1:30 PM GMT
    This is my take on it:

    Documentary/dramas that advocate a cause are nothing new. Consider all the Michael Moore videos. There is an opinion that if the message is significant, the film tells it in a compelling way though a combination of facts and emotion, and the film is marketed properly, it can have an impact.

    I see two messages here. First, to break down resistance by the middle-of-the-road who could go either way in supporting same-sex marriage. Second, to emphasize the importance of prior planning for legal protection.

    There is nothing more significant about Shane and Tom's story that doesn't equally apply to other couples. The one difference here is they made many videos so they can be seen as normal, happy people, which makes a documentary more poignant. That and having gotten the attention of someone in the industry who met them and took a personal interest in the project.

    Just for the record, I am not involved with this at all. I first learned of the story from an interview on a local radio station, KFI, link I provided in the OP. I have been involved just as a middle-man between a producer I know another couple, two guys who met and served in the military. The things that happened to them could be a film. The producer told me that same-sex dramas are considered marketable to larger segments of the population than just the GLBT community.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Jul 03, 2012 1:42 PM GMT
    Ariodante said
    CuriousJockAZ said Something really strange about this whole thing.


    Everyone was in tears of emotion when this came out but I said it, this seems way too emotionally pandering and insincere. And now this.



    From a creative stand-point, and if the ultimate goal is to reach the most people with the important message, I'm just not sure a documentary would be the best route. The story in that sort of format has already been told via the "It Could Happen To You" video. A feature film (or even a TV movie, maybe done through HBO) telling the true story seems far more compelling and able to reach a broader audience. I think the project's heart is in the right place, just not convinced that the vehicle they are working towards is the best approach to achieve the overall goal.
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    Jul 07, 2012 11:44 PM GMT
    Some additional links

    WeHo Confidential - Obituary: Tom Bridegroom
    http://www.wehoconfidential.com/2011/05/obituary-tom-bridegroom.html

    Coleen McMahon Performing "Beautiful Boy" at Tom Bridegroom's Los Angeles Memorial Service
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7aIZ06KWWk

    http://www.imusicdaily.com/music-news/thomas-lee-bridegroom-passes-away/

    http://www.towleroad.com/2012/05/shane-bitney-crone-discusses-his-work-honoring-late-boyfriend-tom-bridegroom.html

    Tom Bridegroom & Friends Slide Show
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CKMTduD9hY
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    Jul 08, 2012 12:56 AM GMT
    After the assassination of my Russian Husband, of 11 years, I well know his pain and sorrow. But I also know that life goes on, as we must; albeit Sebastian still lives on within the warmth of my heart.

    Thanks for posting this mate.
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    Jul 11, 2012 10:10 AM GMT
    The goal has been met and the film will be produced. This was an update from Kickstarter just as they were nearing the goal:

    Well, it’s been a heckuva ride and a great launch for our little film, Bridegroom. People are shaking their heads at the phenomenal support we have received. Incredibly, we are about to hit our goal of 300 thousand and with eight days still to go! 

    You’ve been wonderful, awe-inspiring and tenacious, but please don’t stop now. We are humbled and grateful for all that you’ve already contributed. But we still need your help. The 300 thousand we originally requested was always a bare minimum. If we keep going, we can do more filming on location, obtain better music and possibly even produce a Bridegroom soundtrack (including “Beautiful Boy”) along with more elaborate effects, etc. 

    We assure you that all of us on the Bridegroom production staff are working way below our normal quotes because we feel so passionately about the issue of marriage equality. We also promise you that any money we receive beyond our minimum 300 thousand dollar budget will go directly to the enhancement, marketing and distribution of this film. Thank you again, all of you out there, for standing up against bigotry! 

    Thank you again for joining our crusade to bring human rights to all!
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    Jul 11, 2012 1:28 PM GMT
    socalfitness saidThe goal has been met and the film will be produced. This was an update from Kickstarter just as they were nearing the goal:

    Well, it’s been a heckuva ride and a great launch for our little film, Bridegroom. People are shaking their heads at the phenomenal support we have received. Incredibly, we are about to hit our goal of 300 thousand and with eight days still to go! 

    You’ve been wonderful, awe-inspiring and tenacious, but please don’t stop now. We are humbled and grateful for all that you’ve already contributed. But we still need your help. The 300 thousand we originally requested was always a bare minimum. If we keep going, we can do more filming on location, obtain better music and possibly even produce a Bridegroom soundtrack (including “Beautiful Boy”) along with more elaborate effects, etc. 

    We assure you that all of us on the Bridegroom production staff are working way below our normal quotes because we feel so passionately about the issue of marriage equality. We also promise you that any money we receive beyond our minimum 300 thousand dollar budget will go directly to the enhancement, marketing and distribution of this film. Thank you again, all of you out there, for standing up against bigotry! 

    Thank you again for joining our crusade to bring human rights to all!
    I almost croaked.. then I saw it was not you that made that statement. That will never come from your lips.icon_wink.gif

    Whew.