Filmmaker Shane Bitney Crone lost the love of his life in 2011.
He and Tom Bridegroom had been together for six years when Tom died after falling off of a roof while taking photos of their best friend.
Crane’s grief over losing his partner 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.
Crane responded by making the heart-wrenching video It Could Happen to You (see below) which has had 2.7 million views since it was posted on YouTube in April.
Among those who watched the video was Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the creator of the classic sitcom Designing Women, who had met Crane and Bridegroom at a gay wedding in Palm Springs.
She now wants to make a documentary about the couple, titled Bridegroom, and has started a Kickstarter Campaign to raise the $300,000 budget.
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.
'Like so many others who saw this video, I was deeply touched - and angered,' Bloodworth-Thomason writes on the page. 'I called Shane told him I wanted to make a documentary that would tell his and Tom’s love story from beginning to end. I have now seen all of Shane and Tom’s videos and home movies. Like a lot of young people, they routinely documented their lives—but this recorded history is so prolific, it almost seems as though they had a premonition or unconscious fear of not getting to live out something important.'
'They are, in fact, the sort of young people who hold within themselves the promise of America,' she added. 'And that is why I want to bring to life, on film, this real life Romeo and Romeo—so that all who condemn them, might come face to face with exactly what it is they are opposing.'
As of Friday (29 June) afternoon PST, $120,000 has been raised. The funds will be matched by Kickstarter only if $300,000 is raised by 7 p.m. EDT on July 19.