Douglas McGinness Launches $35,000 Kickstarter Campaign to Create Short Film The Epic of Hershey

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Based on the viral “Myths Over Miami” non-fiction article that details a brand new urban mythology spreading amongst the homeless children in Miami

The Epic of Hershey is based on the viral “Myths Over Miami” non-fiction article that details a brand new urban mythology spreading amongst the homeless children in Miami

Today marks the first week of the Kickstarter campaign to fund the film The Epic of Hershey, based on an article published in the Miami New Times in 1997 that went viral last year. The article details a new mythology that the homeless children in Miami created to help explain and cope with the crushing realities of their world. The film stars Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Eric Roberts and is written and directed by Douglas McGinness, whose work has been featured on viral social activism sites such as Upworthy, ThinkProgress, and The Advocate. The film will be shot in New York City, and is being created with full permission and cooperation from The Miami New Times and journalist Lynda Edwards.

The campaign raised 33% of the budget in the first 4 days of launch, and yesterday McGinness announced that the campaign has partnered with youth homeless charity No Kid Hungry; every donation for the next seven days, up to $10,000, will be matched and donated to the national organization, who is working to end child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.

In the myth that the children of the non-fiction article created, God fled Heaven to escape an audacious demon attack -- a celestial Tet Offensive. The demons smashed to dust his palace, and in his place the most evil demon of all - La Llorona - took over. Her reign over the world is how the children explain the dark reality that they live in, growing up in an often-times chaotic life where access to food is not guaranteed and there's virtually no educational resources at their disposal. The children believe that a beautiful goddess that lives in the ocean, that they have nicknamed 'The Blue Lady', has the power to save them from La Llorona. If one were to ever speak her true name (which none of the children know, as it has been cursed) then they would be saved right then and there. The Epic of Hershey is about a young homeless boy named Hershey who goes on a journey to find the Blue Lady's true name... to save them all.

Just one year before, September 2nd 2013, the article appeared on the popular news aggregator site Reddit, where it quickly reached the front page under the submission title “TIL [today I learned] that in the mid-1990s homeless children in Miami developed a vast, elaborate, and consistent mythology spread by oral tradition throughout the community as a coping mechanism.” The submission garnered thousands of upvotes and hundreds of comments expressing sympathy for the plight of the homeless children. It has since been shared on over 1,000 blogs and continues to be posted on Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook. Before its new life as a viral article, Disney/Touchstone optioned the rights to create a horror film based on the article, to be directed by Clive Barker (Candyman, Hellraiser), in the early 2000s. That deal fell through, and the rights to the article reverted back to the New Times. McGinness’ short film will be the first film adaptation of the script ever made.

Proceeds from the Kickstarter campaign will be used to secure location permits, to pay cast/crew wages, reserve equipment, and to design the elaborate underwater sequences featuring The Blue Lady and La Llorona that are essential to the myth. Anything raised over the goal amount will be spent on promoting the film and getting it into film festivals.

Once completed the film will be shown in Miami at an event for the homeless youth community that will feature other short films as well. The campaign creators are currently speaking with several organizations in Miami to handle the details for making this event happen.

The Epic of Hershey Kickstarter page:

About the director: Douglas has been writing since he was 15 years old, when he took home Best Writer for the state of Kansas by the National Young Authors Competition in 2006. An alum of Sarah Lawrence College's creative writing and film program, Douglas has directed commercials and music videos since graduating, for bands such as Duran Duran, Big Tree, and, most recently, Great Caesar. His work has been featured on Upworthy, ThinkProgress, and The Advocate.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Douglas McGinness, please email douglas.mcginness(at)gmail(dot)com

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Douglas McGinness
Double Hugh Productions LLC
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