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Change

Jamie is an African-American teenager grappling with his sexual identity on the night Barrack Obama is elected president and Proposition 8 - the voter initiative to eliminate same-sex marriage – is passed. When one of his gang initiates the bullying of an openly gay classmate, Jamie uses his wits to try and prevent it, but when things don’t go the way he predicted, he is forced to face his fears head on.

Film notes

Shocked by the irony on the morning of Nov 5th 2008, when I realized that a state that had voted for the first African American to take the highest office, had also voted to eliminate the rights of same-sex couples, I set about writing Change. From a personal perspective – I have a black mother and gay brother – so the events of the past 24 hours settled inside me as a nagging disappointment about the world in which we live. I wondered how it must have felt from the point of view of a teenager – someone young and vulnerable who is supposed to be learning from us older and ‘wiser’ adults who are already able to vote. What must we have taught them that day?

When my Co-Director Jeff McCutcheon and I set about planning the shoot we watched television such as Friday Night Lights and films like The Wrestler and observed their very real and naturalist style. It was important to convey the idea that this story could have happened. We opted to shoot on the Cannon 5D and 7D and to use multiple cameras to help with this. We also used locations that were true to script and chose to shoot in areas such as Baldwin Hills and Compton.

During post-production we heard the wonderful news that Federal Judge Vaughn Walker had ruled that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. We know that the fight against Prop 8 still has a long way to go but we hope we have made a film that surpasses that one proposition; a film that explores how subtle and insidious the specter of discrimination is for everyone: black, white, gay straight, male, female, American or non-American, today and tomorrow.
Melissa Osborne – Writer/Producer/Director
gay marriage lgbt prop8 bullying prejudice teen

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Copyright © 2010 Melissa Osborne

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 22 Aug 2011