We here at Top2Bottom are strong supporters in the LGBT community. We do our part by trying to bring awareness through our reviews of the stories written by everyday people. We wanted to give a post to co-author and friend, John Simpson who is working hard at the project listed below. People in this industry are incredibly giving, and we’ve all witnessed this action each time they gather together to raise money for people who really need it, and for people who love to con others in parting with their hard earned money. Seeing as how this film will approach a real-life issue, why not help out and see the awareness spread. I’ve posted what the funding page supplied with the permission of John Simpson.
Even if you can’t afford to donate, please share this with everyone you can. It’s so much more than another sex scene in a book.
The Beach House will be one of the first LGBT films focusing on gays in the military. More importantly, what happens when they return to the states, often with PTSD.
As the filmmaking team, our goal is to make an important film that sheds light on the struggles that our vets, both gay and straight, have when they return home. The Beach House will be a beautiful, engrossing and romantically charged film.
It will have a realistic budget, efficient shooting schedule and will show a love story never before seen in an LGBT film.
That said, the total minimum budget for this film is forty thousand dollars, ($40,000) Any money raised above that amount will go towards the cost of conducting this campaign and then to entering the finished film into well-known film festivals and advertising.
Michael Simon has been retained to direct The Beach House. Michael’s last film, The Love Patient, which was both written and directed by him, received a global distribution deal with TLA Releasing and was shown on Here! TV. The film won TLA’s Gaybie Award for Best Romance/Comedy 2012.
One of Michael’s earlier projects, “Gay Zombie,” recently created a stir at Harvard University. On that, Michael has this to say: “Today is the day Gay Zombie screens in a class at Harvard University. They have now contacted me for another copy (of the movie) to be a permanent addition to the Andover Harvard Theological Library!”
Just one reason that John, the screenwriter, has such confidence in the creativity and professionalism of Michael Simon. Michael, along with John, will also act as Producer and co-producer. We are happy to give substantial donors the title of Executive Producer.
John Simpson adapted the screenplay from his book of the same name, published by Dreamspinner Press. John has written over fifty published books and was named by Genre Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential gay people in America at the beginning of the century. John has won many accolades for his writing and even acted in a television pilot for Lion Television of New York. John is also listed in the IMdB under his full name for appearing in a documentary film on gay marriage as an early supporter of the movement. John was also featured in Vincent Cianni’s documentary photo book, “Gays in the Military.”
Regarding production: Michael has a knack for getting films made on time and within a limited budget. The Beach House will only shoot for nine days, which will help with costs and immerse the cast and crew in the world of our leads, Keith & Jeff. The crew will be small and tight: no giant trucks or excessive bodies. The shoot will be quick and efficient. We will soon name our Director of Photography who will be joined by his assistant, sound, lights, a production assistant or two and that’s it.
Although the budget includes scoring, mixing, mastering and color correcting, any extra money raised will make the post-production process that much easier and help us with entry to film festivals and advertising.
The cast will be no less than stunning! We have signed on Dusty Alvarado to play the role of the troubled Marine. As you can see in the video, he is a dynamic new talent who will undoubtedly deliver a star-making performance. We are fortunate to round out the cast with some serious acting chops in the co-lead Jake Ferree and supporting roles.
As for the movie itself, here’s a summary that will more fully describe it!
The path of two men’s lives is affected forever as their fates cross against the majestic setting of a beach house.
Keith, a financial analyst, rents a beach house for the summer to escape his recent tragedies. Aside from the loss of the man of his dreams, he has also lost his mother – his rock, his confidant. He indulges himself in a summer rental to escape all that he knows.
Jeff, a Marine Sniper, who spent two grueling tours of duty in Afghanistan, has returned home with post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. He too is seeking a summer of solace.
As Keith plays “fetch” with Sam, his trusted canine companion, he meets the hunky and troubled vet. The two men hit it off easily and see that they are something of kindred spirits. As they spend more time together, Keith learns that Jeff’s former lover from the Marines, Joe, went missing in action from his unit, and he never got the chance to say goodbye. Joe’s disappearance plagues Jeff almost as much as his PTSD, and Keith acts as a very good friend and listens intently.
The attraction between the two men is palpable, but as they are both processing so much loss, the relationship between them stays platonic – for the moment.
One night, during a terrible thunderstorm, Keith answers the door to find Jeff, drenched and in a panic. Keith ushers him into the bathroom where he undresses the numbed Jeff and promptly wraps him in the comfort of warm towels. Every clap of thunder and lightning flash jars the frightened ex-marine. He asks if he can spend the night – Keith complies knowing Jeff’s conditions. The two men hold each other tight as Keith respects the boundaries that Jeff has laid before them.
As the summer progresses, Jeff begins to come more and more alive, finding a mutual attraction between the two men with both of them being able to voice it. Finally, after a wild night out at a gay bar in the city, the two finally make love. They are both able to let their walls down as their lovemaking reawakens them.
Their relationship progresses further, as they go out on Jeff’s boat. Jeff shows Keith an exhilarating time, speeding across the open waters. Afterward, enjoying a hot jacuzzi and a bottle of tequila, Jeff continues to reveal his story of Joe, his ex-lover, and fully explain the sexual relationship they had in the war zone. Jeff finally realizes that his need for comfort blinded him to Joe’s domineering nature. Jeff is ashamed to admit how he was controlled.
In Keith, he finds a much softer, more intelligent man, who seems to genuinely care about him and not just interested in sex. The two see a possible future together as they begin to fall in love and rediscover the joy of letting another in, both emotionally and physically.
Just as their intimacy reaches a peak and they pledge to become boyfriends, a bombshell shatters their oblivion: Joe shows up at Keith’s door searching for Jeff.
Jeff is shocked to his core to find himself staring into the face of Joe from Afghanistan. Joe explains that he was wounded, evacuated by helicopter and sent to Germany to fully recover. Since Joe was doing work for the CIA, all of his information was classified, making it impossible to find him once he was out of country.
Joe insists that Jeff comeback with him to Jeff’s house to pick up where they had left off. Keith is crushed as Jeff is compelled to leave with Joe. Keith takes solace in Sam, his ever faithful companion, as he crumbles on the sofa and cries, regretting that he ever let his heart open again.
Once back at Jeff’s, Joe does all he can to seduce him, until Jeff can no longer resist his former lover’s appeal. Jeff immediately regrets the act after being once again faced with Joe’s overly forceful nature. Having experienced what true love making can be, Jeff now knows that Joe is a brut.
In the morning, Jeff is finally able to stand up to Joe and orders him out declaring he has a new boyfriend and not an abusive one.
Joe leaves in anger, stopping long enough at Keith’s to give him the finger. This further crushes Keith as he thinks this was Joe’s victory announcement and is startled when Jeff sneaks in his back door.
The two men argue as Keith is incredulous to the fact that Jeff thinks he can go off and have sex with someone else and come back expecting him to be waiting. Jeff pleads and explains that it was a chapter that needed to be closed and he is back to stay for good, if he will have him.
As much as Keith tries to resist Jeff, his love for him is too strong and he eventually relents and forgives. The two men have found love for life. They celebrate by watching the 4th of July fireworks on the beach. Jeff is able to handle the “bangs and pops” of the fireworks, with his boyfriend and lover holding him tight.
This is a chance for every individual, both Veteran and Non-Veteran, to contribute to the making of a movie to bring awareness to what is often a crippling disorder suffered by returning Vets from combat zones. PTSD effects all veterans, gay and straight. I’m John Simpson, screenwriter and co-producer. I’m a Vietnam era Veteran and I was one of the fortunate ones that did not have to actually go to Vietnam. Today’s vets, are more likely than not, to have to fight in the Middle-East at some point in their service. This is a story about one of those Vets, a gay Vet, and how he tries to get his life back on track. There can never be too much exposure for this deadly disorder. The V.A. and Congress have failed miserably in treating this disorder and one of the ways to bring a greater awareness to this subject, is to make movies. This will be both a serious, but also sexy romance that takes place over the course of a summer. Be part of the journey that Jeff and Keith travel together.
What We Need & What You Get
We need a total budget of $40,000 to make this Ultra Low-Budget film. Just to film it, we need $25,000 of that budget, with the remainder going to post-production costs which are expensive. We hope to enter this movie into film festivals around the world, bringing further exposure to this issue.
This campaign seeks to raise the first part of our budget. This will get the movie “shot” and in the “can.” If we raise more than the initial budget this time around, the excess money will go towards post-production costs and we’ll have less to raise later. Of course any amount over $40,000 allows us to advertise more and pay to enter more festivals. Once the movie has gone through the festival circuit, we’ll sign a distribution deal and the movie will go out to the public.
The Director, Michael Simon, has successfully produced four previous films, with one of them becoming part of Harvard University’s archives.
Risks & Challenges
Our biggest challenge to a successful film is raising this budget. We have chosen an outstanding cast, have a stunning set on hold, and the natural beauty of the beaches and cliffs of San Diego waiting for cast and crew. We have an experienced Director and crew, and the knowledge to handle any issue that might come up.We will be adding the picture of the fourth cast member shortly!
Other Ways You Can Help
In addition to making a contribution to the film, you can also help us spread the word about this film project among your friends and social networks. If you have a Facebook page, post the donation link on your page and help us meet out goal!
And that’s all there is to it.