Idealizing past and future romances has led to heartbreak for both Shelby and Carol — and now they’re ready to confront the wounds that kept them in fantasies. A story anyone gay or straight can relate to. Thanks to From the Heart Productions, our Fiscal Sponsor, your donations are tax deductible!
About The Project
First, a big thank you to From the Heart Productions: they are our Fiscal Sponsor and because of them, your contributions are tax deductable!
Okay, the story in short: Shelby sets out from L.A. on a much-needed vacation to mend her heart from its latest unrequited crush and ends up at a rustic mountain resort where she meets manager Carol, who has her own fantasies that are getting in the way of creating a real relationship. Their casual vacation encounter turns into something more profound than either of them had bargained for as they learn what holds them back from living life fully in the present.
This project began several years ago when my vacation maps and notes flew out of my car when I pulled into a very windy parking lot and opened my door. I thought, WOW, what a beginning for a movie. I wrote the first few drafts back in the mid-1990’s, following the characters Shelby and Carol on their journey without forcing any plot points, just letting them guide me.
What I didn’t realize until later was how bits of their story reflected some deep challenges I’d faced as a kid. Growing up in Indiana in the sixties under some difficult circumstances, I fantasized a lot. Being a sidekick to Nancy Drew or getting to race with Mario Andretti in the Indianapolis 500 entertained me and allowed me to escape. I’ve stuck with Shelby and Carol’s story so long because I want to honor not just the younger me who fantasized adventures but the adult me who let go of those stories to pursue dreams in the present.
I had no idea how to sell a movie script back then so I put SHELBY’S VACATION away and focused on my TV and theatre careers.
Five years ago I saw a contest notice called Chicago Pride Films and Plays, and so I pulled out that feature script from long ago and entered it. The script made the semi-finals and then was hand-picked for a staged reading at a gay pride event in Vermont. I decided with all of that good fortune, I would walk the path of making a feature film. I and my director Vickie Sampson talked to dozens of indie filmmakers who had come before us… went to seminars… approached producers… well-known actresses… boutique production companies… and investors in the LGBT community. Alas, not a lot of takers.
Yes, by the summer of 2015, it was apparent we needed a different plan. I had a lightbulb moment: I would write the full story as a novel (no need to trim the script due to budget constraints!) and do the climactic part of the tale with just the two main characters as a short (no need to get stars and secure a distribution deal!). We had the wind at our backs again.
We cast Laura Grimaldi and Anastasia Coon this past winter, scouted locations in my beloved San Gabriel Mountains here in L.A. County, and shot a teaser with them up there so people could get a little taste of what we’re after. Watching the gals play in the woods got me in touch with another reason I wrote the film: how healing the power of nature is. Being outside (literally) breaks up our patterns, our habits, our old identities.
I own a couple of inspirational t-shirts: one has Diana Nyad’s “Find a Way” motto on it, and the other has the quote attributed to Winston Churchill, “Never, Never, Never Give Up.” Those sayings have been my guiding force as we’ve been putting this project together. I’ve worked in Hollywood since 1987 (Vickie, too) and you’d think things would have changed since then. Barely.
Here are some appalling statistics recently released from a USC study:
- Women had less than 1/3 of the speaking roles in the top 700 films between 2007 and 2014
- In 2014, 21 films had a female lead or co-lead but none were characters older than 45
- Out of 4610 speaking roles in the top 100 films of 2014, only 19 were lesbian, gay or bi
- Only two of the top 100 films of 2014 had female directors
And yet telling our stories as women, as lesbians, is critical. This is how we gain strength, visibility and ultimately, economic power.
So, we are finding a way, through crowd-funding with Seed and Spark.
Leave behind your old selves and join us on a mountain adventure called SHELBY’S VACATION.
About This Team
Nancy Beverly’s film script SHELBY’S VACATION had the distinction of making the semi-finals of Chicago’s 2011 Pride Films and Plays contest and then being hand-picked by its executive director David Zak for a rollicking reading he directed at a 2011 gay pride event in Vermont.
Nancy’s professional life began at Actors Theatre of Louisville, home of the world-renown Humana Festival of New American Plays. She worked as the Assistant Literary Manager and read literally thousands of scripts, acted as dramaturg on a number of Humana Festival plays – and had several of her own plays produced in the ATL short-play showcases. One of those plays, ATTACK OF THE MORAL FUZZIES, was published in ATL’s first anthology of ten minute plays in 1989 and has been produced several times a year in the U.S. and Canada ever since.
She moved from Louisville to Los Angeles to pursue a career in television and over the years worked on such hit shows as DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES and GHOST WHISPERER. When not pitching or writing TV scripts, she worked for show runners, which meant tracking a multitude of production elements – scripts, rewrites, cast needs, crew logistics, shooting schedules, budget concerns, post production, and daily deadlines.
Simultaneously, she’s continued working in theatre. Her comedy COMMUNITY made the top 12 in the national American Association of Community Theatres contest in 2015, and her writers/actors group Fierce Backbone producer her play HANDCRAFTED HEALING in L.A. in September of 2015. Her other Los Angeles play productions include A NEW YOU at the Celebration Theatre and GODISLAV at the Miles Memorial Playhouse, for which she wore the fund-raiser and producer hats as well. Additionally, GODISLAV had the honor of being selected for the Playwrights Showcase of the Western Region in Denver in 2005.
The first 11 episodes of THE CALAMITIES OF JANE, a webseries she co-wrote and co- produced, have been shot and are on now up on the web.
Nancy has been an avid hiker since her Girl Scout days and has been a trip leader in Los Angeles with the Sierra Club, which just honored her for leading 300 hikes. She will be drawing upon her passion for and knowledge of the mountains for the shooting of SHELBY’S VACATION.
As a writer/director, Victoria Rose Sampson wrote, directed and co-produced the award-winning short film CLICK THREE TIMES starring Isabel Sanford (THE JEFFERSONS) in collaboration with co-producer Chantal Marie, which began a long and fruitful production alliance. The two have collaborated on a number of short films and short documentaries, and since 2008, Vickie has written and directed over 15 commercials (including Grand Prize winner HER NEED FOR SPEED for Harley Davidson) and award-winning PSAs which have aired nationally. Along with Chantal, Vickie is co-producing and editing a spec TV pilot, AWESOME COUNTY USA.
Vickie has filmmaking in her blood, having been born in Hollywood to film editor and B movie director Sherman Rose and Academy Award winning sound editor Kay Rose. Vickie worked with her mom for many years and together they did the sound editing on such highly regarded films as: New York, New York, The Rose, Ordinary People, On Golden Pond, Prince of Tides, For the Boys, and The River, which earned Kay her Oscar.
As ADR Supervisor, Vickie has worked directly with such powerhouse actors as Robert DeNiro, Liza Minnelli, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Bette Midler, James Caan, Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Sir Alec Guinness, Barbra Streisand, Nick Nolte, Robert Redford, Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Rachel McAdams, Mel Gibson, Sissy Spacek, Sam Shepard, Jessica Lange, William Hurt, Kenneth Branagh, Madeleine Stowe, Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey and many more.
Vickie continued in her mother’s footsteps and supervised the sound on Donnie Darko (directed by Richard Kelly), Frailty (Bill Paxton), Guarding Tess (Hugh Wilson), IRONWEED (Hector Babenco), The Proposition (John Hillcoat), and many other films. She also supervised ADR on Speed, (Jan de Bont, which won an Oscar for best sound editing) Red Eye, Scream 4 (Wes Craven), and all of the London ADR for RETURN OF THE JEDI (Richard Marquand).
As a sound editor, with over 169 feature film credits, she has worked with such directors as Mark Rydell (The Rose, For The Boys), Steve Pink (About Last Night, Hot Tub Time Machine 1 and 2), Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City 1 and 2), Ed Zwick (About Last Night 1986), Tom Shadyac (Evan AlmightY), Walt Becker (OLD DOGS, WILD HOGS) and Gore Verbinski (PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL).
She also teaches post-production sound at Video Symphony, USC, UCLA, Moviola Digital and AFI as well as guest lectures about the sound and director relationship.
Her most recent directing achievement is a 30 second PSA made by Women in Film LA for the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation. The PSA program pairs charities needing a public service announcement with industry professional to create a free PSA for the deserving charity. The PSA, FREE TO BE, stars 20 kids with Down Syndrome and their families and recently won both a Telly Award and a Gold Aurora Award.
In just two short years of getting back in the acting game, Laura Grimaldi has booked eight shorts, several TV shows, including MY CRAZY EX and CRY WOLFE, and the feature film VERONA, which was shown at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival February 2016. She also made the top 25 out of 85 contestants in the 2015 L.A.’s One Minute Monologue contest this past November.
Laura grew up in San Jose, California, and by the age of five she got bit by the performing bug and started voice and music lessons a few years later. In school she was very active in the music community where she played violin and acoustic bass in her school orchestra, bass guitar in her school’s jazz band and saxophone in the high school concert and marching band. She then took a hiatus from the entertainment field as she raised her family.
Flash forward 25 years: Laura reconnected with her high school sweetheart David (now a successful and award-winning sound editor), and since marrying David and moving back to L.A. from Virginia with her girls in August 2013, Laura has actively pursued her dream of acting. “I may be late in the game, but it’s never too late to reinvent a new you and change your chapters,” she says.
Anastasia Coon is best known for her award-winning solo show GRACIE AND ROSE which Ms. Magazine named “Top 10 Feminist Pick of the Hollywood Fringe Festival.” GRACIE AND ROSE was also nominated for Best Solo Show and awarded a Best Of Festival extension.
On TV, Anastasia is just as comfy bossing around Taylor Kitsch and Minka Kelly as a snarky PE coach on FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS a s she is playing a busted MILF on Comedy Central in ‘VING BREAK. She was snobby to Rebecca Romeijn in EASTWICK as an elegant art dealer, and tried to maintain her authority as a NASA astronaut who’s infected with alien spore while on a space mission. It doesn’t end well.
On film, Anastasia played a bisexual girl on a mission for a phone number in CHECKOUT. She toured with CHECKOUT to SXSW, the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival, Frameline in San Francisco, and Inside Out in Toronto. On stage Anastasia has deeply loved her years of performing in regional theatre. With a BFA from Chapman University in Acting and an MFA in Acting from UT Austin, she brings seasoned training to each role. She’s played funny broads in a pickle and complicated women who wrestle with their demons.
The daughter of a Physics professor and a biology teacher, Anastasia lived in Belgium, Germany, Portugal and Australia as a kid. Home base was always Tucson, Arizona, in the beautiful desert where Anastasia couldn’t get enough hiking, swimming and picking cactus thorns out of her leg with duct tape. Anastasia traveled independently for two years in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, feeding her acting work and finding jobs to pay her way. She picked grapes for the wine harvest in Tuscany, performed street theatre in Rome, taught theatre games in Istanbul, and taught English and Yoga in Prague.
Kimby Caplan is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has aired on PBS, ABC, and NBC affiliates. Her documentaries and short films have screened in festivals around the country and internationally. A documentary lensed by Caplan, CUBAMERICAN, about Cuban Exiles featuring Andy Garcia and Steven Bauer has screened nationally, with a PBS run in 2014-2015. Caplan just wrapped as Second Unit DP on SCOUT, an indie feature starring Jane Seymour, Ellen Burstyn, and Danny Glover, among others. Caplan is the recipient of a 2005 Student Academy Award for her documentary LISTEN, which also received a Juror’s First Place at the Black Maria Film Festival and a Silver Remi Award from Houston Worldfest. A 35mm short film, SONG OF DAVID, lensed by Caplan was one of AFI’s submission to the 2008 Cannes Short Corner. Another 35mm short film, MY DEMON, won best Horror Short at the 2009 Cape Fear Film Festival in North Carolina. Recently a music video Caplan lensed, directed by Michelle Kantor, won best Music Video at the LA Femme Film Festival, 2014. Caplan is an MFA Cinematography graduate of the American Film Institute and resides in Pasadena, CA.
Director of Photography