Prom Date Blues - A NYU Thesis Film by Marttise Roosevelt Hill

A short coming of age comedy about an awkward African-American teenager who attempts to find his mojo with the ladies before he goes to college.
Marttise R Hill
Email Verified
2,412 Facebook Friends
Saint Louis, Missouri
United States
2 Team Members


All Donations are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE!

THE BEST PERK OF ALL, You will help me start my professional career as a Writer and Director by supporting this personal story about coming-of-age, love, and the journey a fatherless boy goes on to master one of the gems of being a young man, getting to know a girl he really likes.


Director’s Statement

“Prom Date Blues” is a semi-autobiographical film about my experiences growing up in St. Louis with my single mother and sister.  The close bond Baxter has with his mother is a manifestation of my relationship with my mother. Baxter’s mother, Ms. Morgan, doesn’t tell him the right or wrong way to win Naomi over, but instead opens up to him about her experiences as a teenage girl and how she went about choosing her prom date. This story has been on my heart to tell since I started film school in 2009. The story of a fatherless boy’s attempt to teach himself one of the gems of being a young man, getting to know a girl he likes and the close relationship he has with his mother has not be captured on film.  During my matriculation at Morehouse College, I met countless young African-American men who came from single mother households like me. A substantial amount of us were late bloomers trying to find our way in the hypersexual world of college life.

“Prom Date Blues” is the culmination of all my Master of Fine Arts in Film Production studies at the prestigious NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Asia in Singapore. I started developing this story in the spring of 2011 and through many revisions, workshops with colleagues, professors and my mentor Spike Lee; I created a story that I believe is unique in content yet relatable in subject matter. I chose to come home to St. Louis, Mo to shoot my final student film because the St. Louis I know and love has not been captured on film. Although this film concludes the end of my film school journey, it is the beginning of my professional career as a Writer, Director and Producer.  Since I’ve been sharing the film, it has been overwhelming at times how many people, men and women alike from all walks of life, who have had a similar experiences, struggling to talk to the opposite sex. I am encouraged by their personal anecdotes that I am meeting their needs as a diverse film audience.  I strive to be a voice for those who are rarely seen on the silver screen. I want my film to be encouragement to every late blooming guy or girl in the world who thinks it may be too late. It’s never too late. You will find your mojo when the time is right. I am grateful and humbled by the opportunity to share this experience with you. 

Short Summary

“Prom Date Blues” is a short coming of age comedy about an awkward African-American teenager named Baxter Morgan who attempts to find his mojo with the ladies before he goes to college.

It’s five days before Prom, the biggest night of the year. Baxter Morgan, the insecure anachronistic Senior Producer for KCHS-TV, still doesn’t have a date and neither does Naomi Jackson, the friendly but saucy Captain of the Black Step Team. Baxter abuses his executive power at KCHS-TV to ask Naomi to Prom by sneaking a 1960’s R&B serenade in the morning announcements. Naomi is shocked and embarrassed and refuses to speak to him. Baxter gets in trouble with the Principal, who makes him apologize to Naomi, which turns into a lesson about finding his mojo.

This July we will be shooting for 7 days at Clayton High School in the St. Louis suburbs with a crew made up of New York University (NYU) Graduate film students, local students and some pro crew from New York. “Prom Date Blues” is Marttise’s thesis film that upon completion will allow him to receive his Master of Fine Arts degree.

What We Need and What You Get

“Prom Date Blues” is a very ambitious project and we need all the support we can get.

The $27,000 we need will cover the basic costs as follows:

Crew (Professional Crew & NYU crew flights & Accommodations)

Art Department (Wardrobe, Set Decoration & Props)

Transportation (Van/Truck Rental & Gas)

Equipment Rental (most provided by NYU already)

Food (Production Meals & Snacks)

Incidental Costs

Film Fest Submission Fees

Film Finishing Costs

Indiegogo Fees

Our campaign will run for only 35 DAYS, taking you through the preparations of the film. You can hold us accountable for your donations and see where your money is going - we'll keep you updated through behind-the-scenes footage, stills, and blogs.

We also have some great perks to offer for your generous contributions!  The perks vary depending on the amount given as seen on the right side of this page.

Special thanks to Clayton High School and the St. Louis community for their support.

The People

Writer and Director – Marttise Roosevelt Hill

From the heart of America, Saint Louis, Missouri, Marttise Roosevelt Hill is a renaissance global filmmaker striving to connect villages across the globe through unique universal stories about the human experience. Hill grew up videotaping family gatherings with his uncle, which sparked his interest in filmmaking. Hill’s passion for storytelling led him to study English literature at Morehouse College where he also directed the Miss Morehouse College Pageant, served as Video Production Coordinator for the football team and made five short films. In 2009, Marttise was invited to study at NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia Graduate Film Program in Singapore as one of only twenty-six MFA candidates.  During his studies, he wrote and directed four short films and one documentary with various themes of marginalized characters seeking love, redemption, acceptance and forgiveness. In 2011, Hill’s modern Asian western, “Love, Guns and Amy,” won “Best Relationship Short” from the St. Louis Film Critics at the 2011 Stella Artois St. Louis Filmmakers’ Showcase. Hill strives to be a voice for the voiceless in his role as a global filmmaker. Hill was recently recognized by the City of St. Louis Board of Alderman with a Resolution for contributions and accomplishments as a young native St. Louis filmmaker working abroad in Singapore.

Link to Award-Winning Short "Love, Guns and Amy"

Producer – Julius Pryor IV

Julius Pryor IV was born in 1987 in Montgomery, Alabama. He is a filmmaker currently residing in the East Village in New York City.  He has a strong background and experience in all aspects of Film and Video production as well as planning and scheduling both from a film production standpoint and an office assistant position, also well versed in working in a “writing room” and producing.  He has produced, written and directed more than ten short films since 2006. He also co-created and served as Executive Producer of “Tiger TV” with Marttise. "Tiger TV" is a news magazine show for the Morehouse Maroon Tiger Newspaper. Pryor was awarded a $5000 grant by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to be used toward writing the first draft of his feature film.

Run and Tell Somebody!

Even if you can't help with funding this film, we would be very grateful if you spread the word about our campaign to anyone you know who likes films or would be interested in the subject matter and can help.  Thank you for your time! All the best!

Find This Campaign On
raised by 94 people in 1 month
26% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$27,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 11, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $25USD

    Get a behind-the-scenes view of production with email updates and pictures, as well as a "special thanks" in the credits.

    19 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $50USD

    Get a limited edition "Prom Date Blues" T-shirt (S to XXL) (domestic shipping and handling only) and all of the above. See the T-shirt in the gallery!

    17 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $100USD

    Director signed DVD Screener mailed to you (domestic shipping and handling only) and

    11 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $250USD

    Official VIP invitation to exclusive St. Louis premiere of "Prom Date Blues" with VIP seating and an invitation to the post screening After Party and we will give you everything listed above.

    3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $500USD

    Get an autographed bond copy of the shooting script and we will give you everything listed above.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $750USD

    Get a personal phone call with the Director to hear all about the production and post process plus everything listed above.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $1,000USD

    You will be listed as an "Associate Producer" in the credits. You'll be invited to spend an hour on set with cast and crew and get an exclusive look at the filmmaking process. Have your picture taken with the cast and crew and also receive all of the above. *If you are not based in St. Louis you will get a chance to speak to the Director via a 30-minute Skype session and signed production still from the shoot.

    2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $2,000USD

    As valedictorian we will list you as an 'Executive Producer' in the film's credits and include your company's logo on all printed materials related to "Prom Date Blues" as well as in the credits of the film and we will give you everything listed above.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
Do you think this campaign contains prohibited content? Let us know.