Short Film Profile

A Wedding Like That

Gay marriage has just been legalized and Joan and Laura are getting married in one week. Although her mother, Tami, and her siblings know she is gay, Laura’s father, Sam Kessler, an affable yet clueless guy, has just been told. Thinking they have been just “good friends,” Sam tries to come to terms with his feelings, and is amazed when he discovers other people in his life are gay. When stopped by a TV news reporter while trying to protect Joan and Laura from a mob of same-sex marriage protesters, Sam drops a bombshell on live TV. However, Joan’s parents, Oliver and Debra Dixon, who are Christian conservatives, kicked Joan out of their lives years ago. Desperately wanting to reunite with them, Joan conveniences Tami to call Debra and arrange for both sets of parents to meet. The get-together at the Dixon’s house goes awry and Sam winds up mocking Oliver. The Kessler’s abruptly leave and on their way out the door, Debra surreptitiously asks Tami to call her. They meet the next day and Debra reveals that she misses her daughter and wants to go to the wedding but doesn’t have the nerve to tell Oliver. Tami supplies her with the courage. The day of the wedding, Sam overhears Joan sobbing in her mother’s arms about her father not attending the ceremony. Resolute, Sam confronts Oliver and tells him that being a Christian and loving his gay daughter are not mutually exclusive.

Film notes

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress.”
-Napoleon Bonaparte

Let’s flip the world. You are a heterosexual in a world where most are gay. You have fallen for a member of the opposite sex but you can’t express it for fear of oppression. For fear of being ostracized, of being judged, losing your job, or being harmed. So you have to sneak and hide your affection with this other person. The arguments are plenty on both sides and some support you, but the danger is all too real for you to “come out."

We don’t know if anyone in our cast or crew has ever had to experience a scene like one that is in our film, but sometimes what you get is just so real, so visceral it transcends the pretend of movie making and becomes palpable.

The father of one of our gay characters has to face a gauntlet of protestors, and our extras were passionate. When we asked which side they wanted to be on, they pretty much divided themselves. We had members from a church there and they brought their own bibles. Our 2nd AD asked them to be merciless. On the other side were those who stood in support of gay marriage. One older gentleman was there whose son, who we all know and love in our film community, is gay. Mind you, we didn’t plan this, it was just who showed up. Everyone was laughing and having a good time until we called action.

As actor Mark Dessauer (who wrote this script) took his first walk up those courthouse steps, he was met with such powerful venom and hostility by our extras that he came down visibly shaken. It was like a blanket of hate was being thrown over him and he was being beaten by spiritual bars of soap wrapped in a towel of self-righteousness. We will never forget the look on his face. Even though it plays well, our extras were super nice to everyone on set, and while they may not have been in support of our message, they were in support of our film.

But imagine that is what you would have to face, for real, and for what?


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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 27 May 2015