The heart-wrenching video It Could Happen to You, which has had nearly 3 million views since it was posted on YouTube in April, has achieved the $300,000 needed to be expanded into a feature film.
It tells the story of Shane Bitney Crone and what happened after his partner of six years, Tom Bridegroom, was killed in a fall off of a building. Crone's grief was compounded by the heartless actions of Bridegroom’s homophobic family who threatened him with violence if he tried to attend the funeral and made no mention of him in the funeral program.
Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the creator of the classic sitcom Designing Women, is making a documentary about the couple and on Monday (24 July), it was announced that the project has become the highest funded film in the history of Kickstarter.com.
The fundraising website, which has helped to finance more than 7,400 films to date, confirmed that Bridegroom has surpassed all previous fundraising efforts by netting $384,375 in four weeks.
The film will focus on how people without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized. Marriage is still not legal in California where the couple lived.
A total of 6,508 individual donors raised $85,000 above the $300,000 goal. The additional funds will go towards more filming on location, better music, and a wider distribution.
The goal is to release the film in the fall.
This is more than we could have ever hoped for, including the tremendous support we got from organizations like GLAAD and people like George Takei, Neil Patrick Harris, Sara Gilbert, Fran Dresher, Denise Richards and Piers Morgan,' Bitney Crone said in a statement. 'As the debate over Marriage Equality comes to a head, we would like to get Bridegroom out before the election. Our hope and belief is that Tom’s and my story will change hearts and minds in a way that no film or lecture ever could.'