A personal piece about how Bill Mullan’s story came to be:
When someone very close to me, we’ll call him “Tyler”, told me that he that was HIV-positive, I was heart-broken. His eyes, usually so full of life, became a tunnel of sadness. His face bled of shame. It was so out of the left field that I found myself dumbfounded, unable to gather thoughts or say anything coherent. All I could feel was this sinking rock in my chest slowly going down into my gut.
The confident, fun and ambitious Tyler revealed a scared and wounded Tyler that had finally ripped it’s way out into the open, no longer able to sit back quietly. Someone who was deathly afraid of being alone but yet afraid to let anyone in. Someone who so badly wanted to be loved and held but was even more afraid of the love and hugs ending one day, rejecting him because of what was inside of him.
When I could finally gather thoughts and words, I wondered who else knew about this. He was in college with me (he’s now graduated, I’m on my way to this May), at a small school where people talk and word travels fast. How could I have not heard of this yet? Tyler was one of those guys that everyone loved to have around. The life of the party. Surely, I had to be the only one that knew. And I was.
Tyler was afraid. He was afraid of the stigma, the pity, and the isolation. Being a young gay male, he was already different from most people. Being a young gay male with HIV, he was a needle in a haystack. Even the community that was supposed to naturally embrace him shunned him back where he used to life. I had never seen this Tyler before. He appeared so strong, so confident, so put together.
Around this time I was working with a writer on a script for my senior thesis film. As a film major, my final project is to make a 20 minute short film that is produced professionally. I’ve always been a big fan of monsters and mysteries, so I was writing about Bigfoot. I have always wanted to do a Bigfoot film but something wasn’t sticking. I thought about Tyler often. More often than my Bigfoot script. After a few months of working on this script, I realized I wasn’t passionate about it anymore. The only thing I wanted to tell was Tyler’s story.
So I consulted my professor and Tyler. My professor loved the idea, and while Tyler was hesitant and scared, he allowed me to go ahead and write. The script, Disclosure, became, in my and many others opinion, the best thing I ever wrote. They say that you should write what you “know”, but I’ve always had a very easy life. I haven’t struggled much at all and I’ve never felt there was anything about my life that was particularly dramatic or interesting in a way that could be transferred on-screen. With Disclosure, I finally had something to say.
Tyler shouldn’t be afraid of being alone. He shouldn’t feel outcasted by any community. He should loved and treated with kindness just like anyone else. Why do some give an arm and leg to a cancer patient but scoff at an HIV-Positive patient? Even some medical professionals are guilty of discriminating against HIV-Positive folk. There is so much misinformation and negativity out there about HIV. It’s time to shed light on this. Thirty years on and HIV-Positive folk are living longer than ever, but people are still treating them like a plague. In the UK alone, 17% of HIV-Positive patients had been denied health care at some point in their lives due to their illness and another 21% experienced verbal harassment. 17% may not seem like much on paper, but that’s a rather large amount of folk who need medical attention that, at some point in there lives, were refused that right.
I am incredibly grateful that I have the opportunity to make this film, Disclosure. I feel as if my time at Chapman University has suddenly become more worthwhile than ever. Everyone wants to be a part of something that’s greater than themselves, to say something meaningful. While HIV-discrimination is not news to many, there is still a large audience that is completely unaware of the extent of it. I am honored to be able to have this opportunity to Tyler’s story and many others like him.
Disclosure shoots March 2-4 and 9-11 in Orange County, California. We (the cast and crew of Disclosure) are shooting on the RED Epic (which renders a beautiful image) and the film is tightly budgeted at $9,000 with contingency. This covers the cost of the camera, locations, food for the crew and actors, lighting and sound equipment, and travel expenses. Now reader, through IndieGogo.com, we are raising money to bring this story to life. We have spent the past several months in rigorous pre-production and we are less than one away from production. Your support will lend our production the needed hand to see us through to the end. Your funding allows our team to obtain the resources and tools we need to get to make our film a reality. Donations can be anywhere from $10, $25, $50, or $100+. Every little bit helps. You may also keep your donation private, where only you will know how much you contributed.
We have less than a month to reach our goal, and any amount contributed helps. Also, you can help out immensely by just spreading the word – so if you have a Facebook or Twitter or email, please take a minute to post this and tell your friends.
Everything you need to know about this film and contributing is at the following link:
Click here: http://www.indiegogo.com/Disclosurefilm?a=398519
Thank you for your time and attention,
Writer/Director of Disclosure