Artificial Intelligence driven Marketing Communications
Two Stoner 20-something year olds create the largest queer dating app, SCZR, in Dayton, Ohio.
The series, Hot & Bothered, is a satirical comedy that pokes fun at social constructs, especially those involving gender, sexuality, and race, while also commenting on hypocrisies within these communities.
Liz, a biracial lesbian, and their best friend Stan, a white straight dude, barely get by at their part time jobs in the small city of Dayton, Ohio. The two of them are both unaware of their narcissism and don’t understand why they are always single. Liz blames the lack of queer community, which leads Stan to suggest Liz to invent “the Grindr for lesbians.”
The app slowly grows over the span of the first season until it becomes a thriving massive corporation. The app that was originally created to help Liz find some lovin’ eventually evolves into a “hipster” Google type office space that consumes both Stan and Liz’s lives. The two must find a balance in running a huge corporation while still being the stoner 20 year olds that they are.
Season 2 picks up where Season 1 left off, SCZR has grown into a larger company and has shifted both Liz and Stan’s lives. We see Liz and Stan bump heads and attempt to mend their friendship while working together. Liz discovers an underground black LGBT club in Dayton that leads her down a rabbit hole of self discovery. Now that SCZR has risen into being a large company new issues arise for Liz and Stan. Liz begins to question if SCZR is truly creating the type of queer community she always fantasized for Dayton or if it’s doing more harm than good.
This project is being made because there is such a lack of representation within mainstream media when it comes to Black LGBT folx. The few times we manage to find diversity within media the roles tend to be one-dimensional stereotypes rather then well rounded people. Being non-binary, black, and queer I rarely see myself reflected within the mainstream which can be difficult especially if you are from a small Midwestern city as well.
Most LGBT shows/movies consist of romance stories or tragedies. There isn’t a lot of lighthearted comedies in the mix when it comes to LGBT content.
Leah Byrd is the writer, director, and star of Hot & Bothered. She was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She grew up spending 13 years in Catholic school in a small Midwestern city leaving very little room for queer spaces within her childhood. Discovering all of the queer content available online was a real game changer on her path towards self acceptance. This has driven a strong passion within Leah to create diverse characters within her own media. She knows first hand what representation can do to one’s mental health and the incredible power that media can have on opening minds.
Leah Byrd has a BFA in Motion Picture Production from Wright State University.
Ian Patrick Ashwell is an actor from Cincinnati, OH. He is a BFA Acting Major at Wht State University in Dayton, OH and is expected to graduate spring 2018. Hot & Botheres his first film credit, and he has acted onstage for eight years.
Joe Cook is a British born cinematographer based in Ohio. He has lensed several short films, music videos, and short documentaries that have screened across the country. Among those works are the first two episodes of Hot & Bothered!
The only challenge involved for this project would be a potential need to push the premiere date back because of issues finding the professionals needed to complete the post sound design and color correcting that is necessary for the piece.
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