Loving Martin - Feature Film - 1st Round Funding

41226186_1565456483375505_r.jpegDavid Vernon - Writer/Producer: IMDb 
Elmer J. Howard - Director/Producer: IMDb 
Stan Atwood - Producer/Story: IMDb 
Brett Bays - Cinematographer: IMDb 
Tamara McDaniel - Line Producer:


Loving Martin started as a way for Stan to honor Martin. We made the short film and then won 14 awards at film festivals. Critics and audiences alike kept asking if and when we were going to make this a feature film. We finally decided to take a serious look at it and  have started moving forward with creating the feature film.

We have hired David Vernon to write the feature. We currently are working on the treatment. We have hired Tammy McDaniel as our Line Producer, Elmer J. Howard as our Director, and Brett Bays as our Cinematographer.

This 1st round of funding is to get the production to the place where we can start asking for investors outside of crowdfunding. We need money for budget, the lawyer, the Public Placement Memorandum, website updates, social media strategy etc. to get the full funding we need for the feature.


Your donation will go to funding some initial preproduction costs such as Line Producer, Entertainment Lawyer, Script Analysis, etc.

We are offering a two donation rewards; for a minimum donation of $50 you'll receive a "Thank You" mention in the credits of the film.  For a minimum donation of $100, you'll receive a "Thank You" mention in the credits of the film, plus one (1) FREE ticket to the Phoenix premiere of the film.  Of course, any donation amount is greatly appreciated.

Watch the full short film on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/308358069


Southern Shorts Awards
Award of Excellence:
Sound Design

Southern Shorts Awards
Award of Merit:
Production Design
2 for Acting
Short Film

Best Shorts Competition - Award of Recognition

Global Shorts - Award of Merit

Vegas Movie Awards - Honorable Mention

Olympus Film Festival - Finalist


Stan is originally from Mississippi and graduated college at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) in 1985. He has been working in retail loss prevention for over 20 years. In 2008, he decided to move to Phoenix at which time he met Martin. He knew from the moment he saw him, Martin would always be a special part of his life. In some ways Martin was a very complicated person, but in other ways he was pretty basic. They dated for several years but not without difficulties. Even though they had their share of disagreements, they continued to communicate with each other. Martin once told Stan there was a bond between the two of them that could not be broken. In July 2016, Martin was involved in a tragic incident that ultimately ended his life on August 1, 2016. It was a very painful time, not only for Stan, but Martin’s family too. 

“Never take anything or anyone for granted because we are never promised tomorrow.”

In August 2018, Stan was at home thinking about Martin when an idea suddenly entered his mind. The idea was to do something that would somehow keep Martin’s memory alive. That idea was to create a short film and dedicate it to Martin. Although he had no background in filmmaking, Stan knew he had to make it happen. He began researching the idea online. After several weeks of trying to locate someone who could help make his vision become a reality, he met Elmer J. Howard. Stan discussed his idea with Elmer and together they were able to bring it to life. Stan can’t thank Elmer enough for helping make this happen. 

When asked what message he’s trying to convey in this film, his response is simply, “Never take anything or anyone for granted because we are never promised tomorrow.” 

He will forever and always be Loving Martin.


I was referred to Stan by Tammy McDaniel. Stan had a true-life story he wanted turned into a short film and found Tammy through her Phoenix Independent Filmmakers Group. I met with Stan and wanted to help him get his story out in film form.

This story is about love, loss, and hope. It reminds us that we never know how much time we have and how important it is to connect with the ones we love. Being bisexual myself and experiencing a similar loss myself, I felt a connection to the story and felt I could tell this story from the heart.

I was inspired by Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name. It’s a beautiful love story that brings the audience in and emotionally connects them to the characters. We found that the story as written, didn’t flow like we wanted it to towards the end. We ended up cutting out 8 minutes of the film and rearranging scenes to tell the story in a more succinct way that bring the audience on an emotional ride through the end of the film.

“I’m hoping the audience walks away from this film wanting to make changes in their lives.”

This film was shot in only 2 ½ days with multiple locations. We really didn’t have the time or manpower to pull this off; however, the crew pulled together, and everyone wore multiple hats helping out wherever and whenever was needed. Without that, we never would have finished this film. I can’t thank the crew enough for what they did.

I’m hoping the audience walks away from this film wanting to make changes in their lives. Wanting to reconnect with people they’ve lost touch with, wanting to not hold onto grudges keeping them away from their loved ones.

~ Elmer J. Howard


Erik is an easy-going, middle-age gay male who has everything. The only thing missing in his life is love. He desperately wants to share his life with Martin, a young, feisty gay male he meets online. It was love at first sight the instant Erik saw Martin’s picture. The only problem is they are complete opposites and these differences can sometimes cause big problems. Martin loves to create controversy, especially with Erik. What Martin doesn’t know is Erik secretly adores his difficult personality. What Erik doesn’t know is Martin secretly admires his quiet demeanor but loves to test Erik’s love.

How far is Martin willing to go to test Erik’s love and how much is Erik willing to take?


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Elmer J. Howard 
Phoenix, AZ
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