Hello, my name is Andre Turner. I am a published author and novice film maker. Many years ago, at the age of 18; I was personally a homeless young adult. When we paint a mental image of a homeless person, we often think of adults. However, just as I was back then, there are many young adults who are wondering where they will sleep tonight. These young people come from several walks of life, some come from foster care or unstable situations within the care of biological parents while others may have been runaways. In either case, the young person reaches the age of 18 and is expected to be independent; legally adults but unfortunately few have acquired the skills or ability to earn the income needed to live on their own. Without a positive support system, these young adults drift aimlessly and eventually find themselves without the basic necessities of life. These young people comprise the extreme of the at risk youth demographic.
My quest to bring a positive and uplifting reality series to Chicago has brought me face to face with a past that I had all but forgotten. If asked to describe a homelessness person most of us would describe a down on his luck older person; someone that at some point in their lives had made an error of epic proportions. One would erroneously believe that these kids are street hardened, disrespectful punks. On the contrary; after three months of working with these displaced young people I found that these kids aren’t the thugs that even I was expecting. I was pleasantly shocked at how much raw artistic talent that they have within them. Unfortunately, my eyes were opened to the fact that not only do they exist in staggering numbers, each of them having their own personal struggle, but also that sadly; many of them have a very dark and grim outlook on their respective futures.
After my experiences this summer I decided that my efforts would be more valuable if somehow I was able to enlighten society of this tragic situation by bringing forth a documentary addressing this alarming issue. After further thought I came to the conclusion that to simply shoot a documentary about them does nothing to help their situation. It was through my experiences with them that I came up with the thought that a) I will shoot the documentary, b) I will construct my reality series with them and around them and also c)wait for it, wait for it…….we will utilize these young people and teach them the art of film making while fulfilling a & b. Yes, I know, sheer genius, but wait there’s more!!!!
Phase 1. YouTube Channel beginning Dec 5, 2016
Phase 2. Documentary/Pilot
Phase 3. Reality Series
PHASE 1.)The YouTube channel will serve as our daily newspaper of sorts; enlightening viewers on new developments concerning the project. We will also post videos and short segments centered on youth homelessness and what we can do to circumvent this steadily rising part of our society. We will also show behind the scenes footage of our crew and “apprentice” crew as they learn the art of film making from the pros.
PHASE 2.)Homeward Bound the documentary, will cover the subject of the state of homeless youth in our cities. Our young people will tell their stories, enlightening the viewers on how they came to be in their current situation. If possible the documentary will show dramatic re-enactments of events that led to the subject’s homelessness. The documentary will also feature interviews with local citizens and professionals that work with the homeless community, tours of the facilities that serve them, and the stories of those who have been personally affected by homelessness. The documentary will serve as a pilot to the unscripted television series as well. During the pilot/documentary viewers will become acquainted with each cast member.
PHASE 3.) Homeward Bound the unscripted show, will center on five homeless young people, all coming from different walks of life but having one thing in common; homelessness. Our brave cast will address issues such as addiction, poverty, abuse; whatever it was that caused them to end up in their current predicament. With the help of professionals, cast members will formulate his/her plan to progress in life. Swallowing their pride, our cast will attempt to get back on track in an effort to live out their version of the American Dream. Viewers will tune in weekly to see if cast members are able to overcome hurdles and pitfalls or if they remain statistics and be devoured by the elements of the street.
It is our goal to not only produce the documentary and unscripted series about the lives of homeless young adults. Our production will educate society about the existence and the need to address this growing problem. From pre-production all the way through filming, editing and post production these young people will take part in the production of this project and in the telling of their stories. This project will train youth in careers in the production of film and television. As the series progresses these young people, aged 18-24 will learn the craft of film production from professionals. During production these young people will be instructed and gain valuable experience in all aspects of film development, from the screenwriting, prop making, set design, character development, acting, sound effects, music, filming, photography and more! This priceless, hands on, experience will be instrumental in creating the next writers, actors producers and directors. This is where we need your help.
This campaign is to raise investment capital for the development of Homeward Bound. The documentary/pilot is the foundation for the Homeward Bound reality television series that represents real young people with real issues facing real problems. Real lives taking part in real events enduring real failures and rejoicing in real victories, is America ready for the real Chicago? The streets of Chicago are consuming the inner city youth of our city at an unprecedented rate. By introducing film production to these youths we offer a passage from the lure and detriment of the streets. We offer an alternative way of life and means of survival. With Homeward Bound we will prove that success doesn’t have to come from handling a ball or holding a microphone. We are in the business of not only saving but enhancing lives by assisting these young people as they embark on a journey that turns their personal struggles into a people’s triumphs.
Even though they are donations by definition, we prefer to refer to them as investments. By participating with a financial contribution you are purchasing stock into the future of these young adults. Funds invested will go directly to satisfy expenses necessary for this production’s success. Donations will help increase the production value and overall quality of the film. Equipment rental, crew costs (remember the production crews aren’t just doing they are teaching also). Investors of 100.00 USD or more will be credited as associate producers.
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Special shout out to:
And anyone out there doing the work of the saints that I happened to have missed!