My film '3000: The Dead of Winter' is about the root social and political causes of homelessness. An early incarnation of the film was based on Anne Braden Johnson's 'Out of Bedlam.' Anne is the former head psychiatric nurse at Riker's Island with 10 book published through Harper Collins.
I spent about a year researching the subject matter. I am also a former homeless man.
I have been walking around Portland with a backpack and a bedroll getting thrown out of every establishment I walk into regardless of my previous relationship. Even places I filmed in for random TV pilots saw the bedroll and put up some psychological block to me as a human being.
I took a sign, wrote "Like my film on Facebook," stood in from of Powell's in Portland. People didn't read the sign. They looked at me with the most ridiculous eyes of contempt, like I was garbage. Or they would read the sign, and then laugh to themselves like I was some kind of scammer or schizophrenic. "scammer" in hindsight I find that to be quite amuzing. Good thing I maintain my equipment.
I sought out various forms of support for the film. I asked Portland Couch Surfers to assist me with lodgings to reduce costs. I was told "Go back to your cardboard box" and "We don't owe you shit, sucka."
I've asked local businesses to help with Facebook shares to help raise awareness of both my film and advocacy work to no response. I posted Craigslist ads asking for donations of SD cards only to be flagged down immediately.
I had a Christian in Whole Foods sit down and tell me "If you aren't doing this film with the lord you are a bad person."
Then it's the same thing over and over. At 'The Roxy' where I filmed part of a pilot for Vh1 last year I walked in, asked for a glass of water, and they threw me out. This started happening everywhere.
In all of these cases I ended up showing them credentials, explained who I was, but they already committed to me being a homeless person in their mind so my protests were met with the response, "You're a fucking jerk" or "you're an asshole" or "I'd never watch a film by someone like you."
Every time this happened I would stand there and think: "I left my home with the fucking ocean out the front window on the central coast of Cali with a seal for an alarm clock to come try to help the city of Portland for this?"
Even my own fan base is uninterested. I have about 1,100 fans of which 21 of them clicked like on the fan page.
After 11 days of people treating me like a piece of trash I finally became so disenfranchised that I actually re-wrote the part of the film that features Portland.
Instead of addressing the absurd level of drug abuse, scamming, homeless schizophrenics, human trafficking I have chosen to start filming all the money here, all of the rich people, the faux socially conscious hipster artist wannabes, the people who promote the city as educated and enlightened who fight for the rights of chickens over humans while juxtaposing the callousness and douche-baggery against shots of people sleeping in doorways, people begging for food while Portlander's bury their faces in iPhones on their way to their next flash mob to promote goldfish rights.
I am leaving in 6 days to promote this film nationally. I am finding that the only way to gain supporters for this film is to meet them personally and explain my mission. If I have to stay on the road for the next year to get the audience I need for this film to be effective I am down.
I'm sure that one of the media departments of one of the local ineffective social services organizations will do a response film - I already know who it will be - that will negate everything I have worked for.
Social reform is an endless uphill battle. Promoting a film like mine in the world we live in is enough for one to start understanding that Dr Strangelove may have had a point. Maybe we could nuke Portland and feed the carcasses of the homeless to the starving puppies both curing homelessness and doggie starvation at the same time...