I am Kevin Coleman-Cohen, director, writer, and producer for this film. Some of ya'll know me as "BIG Darryl" but those who do know me as Darryl know better than to call me Darryl. LOL. I am a filmmaker, a lover of films, and a fan of great storytelling. It has been really difficult lately for me and many Americans due to the recent events in our country and the killing of innocent Black men by the police. I pray that everyone is safe and as an artist I want to do my part. Here is a little bit about me:
I teach online for Santa Monica College (Race & Gender in the Media). I left a great job in 2019 at a non-profit serving young men and women experiencing homelessness after many years of service. I loved the job and had a great position, however, it was time for me to get back into narrative storytelling. I spend a lot of time in St. Louis, MO which is my hometown and Los Angeles, CA. I was born and raised in the Walnut Park and Mark Twain neighborhoods of North St. Louis City. Some of you know that I have been working on a film titled, "ELON", story of a homeless male youth struggling to survive on the streets of St. Louis who engages in survival sex on the streets. The story is based on my work with a former employer, Youth In Need, Inc. (YIN) a non-profit child and family services agency that is dedicated to building positive futures for the community’s most vulnerable children, teens and families. Youth In Need has donated to the making of this film and I am very grateful for their support.
I originally launched this campaign to get support so I could get back into storytelling with a different script. However, after seeing the pictures of three Black youth who killed themselves during my time with a former employer (Covenant House California) and speaking with close friends, it reminded me of ELON. I have to make this story now!!! The under heard and under valued need to be brought to a heightened consciousness. One day while outreaching in the community for Youth In Need, I saw a young Black youth engaged in a sex act with an adult male. I made a U-turn in the agency's van and the adult male took off and youth simply gathered himself and pulled up his clothes. I rolled down the window and asked if he needed any condoms. I seriously had no judgement only that I wanted the young person to be safe. The youth told me he was given more money not to use a condom. I got out of the van, sat and spoke with the youth in a rough area downtown St. Louis. I gave him hygiene supplies and something to eat. I also told him about our program. We made plans to meet up the next day. He was there and once again I told him about our program. He declined to go into our program but I simply reminded him we would be there for him 24 hours a day. We were to meet up again on the third day and I was convinced I could get him into our program but he did not show up. I looked for weeks and months and never saw him again. His story inspired me to write, ELON.
The time has finally come for me to make this short film, ELON. So many of you have reached out to me in private and contributed to the film. such as Youth In Need, Inc. and the Black Hollywood Education Research Center (BHERC). Thank you soooo very much!!! For those who do not know me, in brief: I graduated in 2005 earning an MFA with a specialization in directing from the American Film Institute Conservatory and a BA in Television and Film in 2001 from Howard University. I have worked in non-profit for many years focusing on youth advocacy. I am also a member of the faculty at Santa Monica College and have taught at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and St. Louis Community College at Forest Park.
We currently need to raise an additional $15,000-$20,000 to cover the following: equipment insurance, meals for the cast/crew, travel, equipment, and original music. I am so grateful for any support and for the support already received. It goes toward making ELON. I am so proud to say I am finally making this film. We will shoot the majority of the film on location in Los Angeles, however, some of the B-roll and environment will also be shot in St. Louis.
A Graduate in Cinematography from the American Film Institute (2014). Growing up in the mountains of West Virginia, the landscape and continual changing seasons helped shape his filmmaking to have a diverse and natural style. Cory is a hardworking and collaborative cinematographer with a strong eye for lighting, composition, and camera movement. He hopes to use storytelling to inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility for our world. Cory believes film has the potential to connect humans together in a profound way and illustrate the diversity of life. The AFI Thesis Film he lensed, "This Way Up", won a 2015 Student Academy Award. As well, his work on numerous projects have played at Cannes, AFI Fest, Palm Springs amongst other film festivals.
We would like to share the following with the gift giver.
$1.00 - $9.99 - THANK YOU!
$10.00 - $24.00 - the gifter will receive a Thank You in the film credits.
$25.00 - $49.00 - the gifters (if local) are invited to the set for a photo-op with the cast and crew, as well as ALL of the above.
$50.00 - $99.00 - the gifters (if local) are invited to the set for an photo-op with the cast and crew, a T-shirt with the film logo, as well as, ALL of the above.
$100.00 - $249.00 - the gifter receives a special edition copy of the film, as well as, ALL of the above.
$250 - $499.00 - the gifter can have a special cameo in the film, as well as, ALL of the above.
$500.00 and Above - the gifter will receive Executive Producer credit on the film, IMDB credit, an invitation to our wrap party, as well as, ALL of the above.
To those who took the time to read this post, I thank you so very much. Filmmaking is collaborative and I cannot make this film without your support. I love and appreciate your support (seriously any support) and thank you for always encouraging me to live and be my best self.
MAKE A DONATION TODAY
Thank you so much!!!
- john reskusich
- Celina Guerra Martinez
- Kathe Dunlop
- Monica Brown
- Davion Cohen
Saint Louis, MO