This weekend award-winning author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez and her production company launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a movie version of the megahit best-selling series “The Dirty Girls Social Club.”
As the project’s page says:
Hollywood, ever vigilant for opportunities to get rich, noticed that astronomical sales, and Alisa was wooed into several development deals, one after another, to make her beloved novel into a movie and/or TV show with big studios, networks and stars. Really big. No, really. BIG BIG BIG. But over and over the folks in charge were confused by the material, because they’d never seen anything like it before, and in Hollywood, it seems that most people want to be the first to do something…second.
Alisa was “encouraged” to make the characters stereotypical, to conform to the very insults she poked fun of in the novel, in order to get the film made. The familiarity of the old downtrodden nonsense was comforting to the executives, because they’d seen it all before. For instance, she was told by one major network producer to get rid of all the Afro-Latino characters because “black Latin Americans will confuse America, a no one wants to watch black people on the screen.” Another network executive suggested Alisa rewrite the plots so that the women were dating men in prison, “because that’s what your people do.” Alisa (somewhat) politely refused, because she believes, as all good news reporters and artists do, that truth is truth, no matter how confusing it might be to those poor ignorant creatures who live beneath the foggy frumpy delusions of imperialistic myth. Or something like that. In short, she said “buh-bye.”
After nearly a decade of watching the establishment try to ruin her book, and learning (because she’s muy slick like that) how to make a movie along the way, Alisa decided to produce the damn thing herself, with the help of incredibly talented and supportive actors and crew members. The success of visionaries like Tyler Perry inspired Alisa to write, produce and direct her own film. “I might not be the most seasoned filmmaker on the block, but I certainly can’t be any worse than what’s already being made,” she deadpans. In truth, she’s been studying the hell out of filmmaking, and will excel at it every bit as much as she has at everything else she’s done.
The only catch? We need money. Not a lot of money, really. Not by Hollywood standards. We’re cheap. We’re okay with our Hyundai. For now.
We think we can get this movie in the can for $1 million, and we think that for that relatively small investment, we will see tenfold returns, at least. Possibly a lot, lot more. We don’t need big budgets, or huge stars, because a film like this will MAKE stars. It’s time for new Latino faces in film anyway. It’s also time for clever new stories, new respect, and new perspective. Talent makes the movie. So does new technology. The film won’t cost a lot, but it will look like it did. Because we’re awesome like that. We are pretty sure, given the fan base for this material in the United States and around the world, that the film will do very well once it’s made…but first, it has to get made. And you can help. Actually, you have to. It’s the only way.
The only way we’re going to do this is if you tell everyone you know about it. Have parties in your town. Bring a laptop. Show our fundraising video. Ask your guests to donate. We can do this as a community. We can battle the stereotypes. We can have fun doing it. Let’s do this. Let’s make history!
Latino Rebels has already become an official backer of the project, and we plan to follow Alisa’s journey this year. If you are interested in backing this project, you can go here.