HIGH POINT, NC – At the Arc of High Point, staff members aim to empower the people they serve to become as independent as possible. This year, that mission put them on a journey to create something else independent: a movie.
“We all started to realize that no one was using people with disabilities for real media work,” said Alicia Kellum, Wild & Free program coordinator at the Arc of High Point. “We just started to get a little angry about it to be honest.”
Kellum says the Arc is about choice, responsibility and rights. Thanks to this vision, they had a new idea.
“We just decided what it would look like if we created the narrative,” she said. “If we wrote the dialogue, if we wrote the story.”
The first steps were difficult, with some participants struggling to understand that they were responsible for creating original characters and storylines. However, it wasn’t long before they left and wrote.
“I want you to create a character out of your own mind that no one has ever thought of or heard of before,” Kellum explained. “Once that clicked it started to come and go.”
The group put some of their favorite ideas on a whiteboard and quickly decided which were their favorites. Eventually, they landed on a comedy, starring superheroes, in 1997 in a Buffalo Wild Wings in New York City.
“The majority of people wanted it to be a comedy, so we were like ‘okay, this is going to be a comedy,’” Kellum said. “Then some people wanted action and romance, so we thought, ‘we can put that in there. “”
“My character’s name is Swift, and she can turn into food, and she gets a little sassy with the store manager because they want to go and try and buy a bazooka,” said Natalie Haynes, one. screenwriters.
When the script started to take shape, Kellum decided it was too good not to share, so she reached out to a friend who works as a screenwriter in Los Angeles.
“He said to me, ‘Well, you have to make a movie,’ after you read it all, and I just didn’t say no,” she said.
Then they had to find a facilitator, who also said “yes”.
Soon, many participants voiced their own lines, with a videographer documenting their daily lives.
“He fights because he doesn’t know any better,” said Eugene Mihai, whose superpower in Nicholas’ character is walking backwards. “He said, ‘Oh, I can fight, I can do whatever I want.'”
With the story written and titled “Hot Wing Redemption,” The Arc created a teaser, which was the first step in what became a crowdfunding campaign.
“It’s a good interpretation of what people with disabilities can do,” said Haynes.
To make the movie, at this point, they have to raise $ 18,000. Their campaign started last Friday.
“They’re hilarious,” Kellum said of the writers. “They are so funny, so unique and so creative.”
If successful, they plan to submit the film to festivals before releasing it to the public.
To see the teaser, Click here.
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