Crossed Signals (or, "Why Make The Film?)
We've always been huge fans of classic musicals, especially those like White Christmas, and Singin' in the Rain - films where the romance is set in the context of the entertainment industry and where the two characters are brought together by dance, or film, or theatre.
But, in every one of these movies, the love story is the typical heterosexual tale of boy meets girl. So we started thinking - does it have to be this way? Musicals have long been a touchstone of gay culture - it's almost cliche at this point, but there is truth there. Theatre and film have been one of the few places where a hint that a character or actor could be gay has been able to peek out - But never more than peek. In terms of classic era musicals, it's always been from the outside looking in.
There is a giant gap in history for a missing gay musical.
The Plot (or, "Who Inherits a Play?")
And that's where Lawrence, the hero of our romantic comedy "Crossed Signals," comes into play. Lawrence is a dancer in self-imposed retirement, frustrated with the seeming impossibility of making any new or innovative productions. But when he and Henry, his production parter - and love interest - inherit a script from their late mentor, Lawrence is dragged back into the fray.
He musk risk everything - societal expectations, his reputation and his ego, and his friendship with Henry, to give everything he has for one final attempt to show the world that theatre is not passé.
The only problem for Lawrence is, he isn't sure if they actually own the rights to the play. That and the fact that Henry just might be falling in love with one of their female costars. Oh, and Henry may be thinking that Lawrence is washed up.
Pulled every which way, in this romantic screwball comedy, Lawrence has to find a way to convince Henry he loves him, all while producing the play of the century. Sounds easy, right?
Sure. Unless you get your signals crossed.
Crossed Signals is the classic-era gay musical that never was... until now.
The Technical Details (or, some notes on Setting)
The film takes place in 1954 just outside of New Haven, CT. Paramount has just introduced VistaVision, a new widescreen film format. The Hays Production Code is still in effect with the film industry censoring its own content. Television has appeared on the scene and is working its way into Americans' everyday lives, taking away a good amount of theatre and film-going audiences.
Visually, Crossed Signals emulates the style of "White Christmas", shot in Technicolor with long wide shots on the dance numbers and super-saturated blue/greens and reds. It will immediately bring to mind musicals such as "Singin' in the Rain" and "White Christmas".
A good deal of the film will be shot in a theatre showing the progress of the staging of their own production in a "backstage musical" style. This portion is sandwiched between exterior scenes and is punctuated by dance numbers.
We will use the Canon EOS 5D MARK III to shoot the film. This has the exact same aspect ratio as VistaVision to help us visually cue the time period in yet another way. Every aspect of the film from the color space to the costuming, from the story to the songs, and from the dialogue to the dance will evoke a period musical - of course with the twist that the love story is gay.
Where Does All This Go? (or, some words on Budget)
The minimum that we can make this film for is $50,000. We already have raised $25,000 - half of the budget. We are looking to you to help us get the rest of the way! If we happen to raise above the crowdfunded addition of $25,000 the extra money will allow us to include more dance numbers in the film, have extra time for rehearsals, snag some better locations, and of course, pay everyone who is cast and crew better! Every single dollar you donate shows up right one the screen - while cast and crew will be paid, neither of us are getting a single dime from this project until we secure distribution afterwards.
Thank you for being involved in this project!