With the way Hollywood executives run things these days finding a truly unique and captivating film is all but impossible. However, creative minds like William Dickerson's are bringing back everything that was once so special about movies with his new film, "No Alternative."
We were lucky enough to spend some time tapping into Dickerson's mind and finding out more about this special film.
BECCA ROSE: Where did "No Alternative" stem from?
WILLIAM DICKERSON: The film is based on my novel, "No Alternative," which was published in 2012. It's a teen drama about suburban American teenagers in the early 90s. Thomas Harrison is determined to start his own alternative band, an obsession that blinds him to what's either the mental collapse, or the eruption of musical genius, of his little sister, Bridget. Bridget boldly rejects her brother's music, and the music of an entire generation of slackers, by taking on the persona of an X-rated gangsta' rapper named "Bri Da B." Fear is what inspired me to write the novel-- fear of losing my sister, who had a history of addiction and suicidal behavior. I wanted to show her, through my writing, just how horrible it would be to lose a sibling—to lose me—in an effort to save her from herself. However, my creative plea to her just wasn’t enough. Tragically, my worst nightmare came true, when her long battle ended with an overdose at the age of 30.
BR: Take us through the creative process of making the film.
WD: I'm currently in pre-production. It's a microbudget film, which is something I have a lot of experience making. In fact, I just wrote a book on all aspects of microbudget filmmaking called "DETOUR: Hollywood," which details the making of my first feature film, "Detour." The novel for "No Alternative" has generated a following, and since my sister's death, I've been motivated to bring the character she inspired to life on screen. I have half the funding for the movie and have turned to crowdfunding to raise the rest. This is my first crowdfunding effort and I'm really looking forward to building the buzz around the film.
BR: Who is your favorite character in the film?
WD: Bridget "Bri Da B" Harrison, of course! Keep in mind, there are some of my own autobiographical qualities in the character of Thomas Harrison, so it speaks to Bridget's uniqueness as a character for me to hold her in such high regard!
BR: What prompted the title?
WD: I named the novel "No Alternative" for several reasons. Chief among these reasons is that when people are suicidal, they often feel there is no alternative. The story is also set in the world of early 90s grunge, a time when what was deemed "alternative" music became a runway trend, and, consequently, sold out its punk rock roots. In the story, Bridget's alternative to "alternative" is gangsta' rap, which is also an alternative method through which to manage her borderline personality: it's her creative outlet. There's also the personal element for me, If I had just one chance to make one more movie, it would be this one. For me, there is "No Alternative" but to make this film.
BR: What do you want our readers to know about "No Alternative?"
WD: I want your readers to know why I am making this film. I am making this film because I have to make this film. I am making this film as a means of de-stigmatizing mental illness, addiction and suicide. So many refuse to talk openly about such things, and this does far more harm than good. I would like this film to shine a light on these issues, in the hopes of helping those on the verge of succumbing to them. I believe this movie can engender something good from a situation that, in so many ways, was so utterly bad. My sister's talent as an artist was her gift to me, and this movie will be my gift to her, and to those who both knew her and didn’t get the chance to know her. With respect to the our grassroots fundraising effort, Hollywood rarely funds independent films anymore. For filmmakers like me, the generosity of friends, family and patrons of the arts, has become an absolute necessity. For obvious reasons, I’ve never been more passionate about a film. I have to make this film, and I have to make it for my sister, Briana.
BR: Where can we direct our readers so they can learn more and help out?
WD: I encourage everyone to take look at our Indiegogo page at: http://igg.me/at/noalternative
We are offering some really cool and unique perks for contributors. Here are just some of them: Signed editions of my books, Parental Advisory “Bri Da B” official movie T-Shirts, filmmaking mentorships with both myself and co-screenwriter, Dwight Moody, opportunities to be a part of the movie as featured extras, as a band, or having supporting characters named after you, and we’re even offering major “hero” props from my previous films like “Detour” and “Don’t Look Back.” Please consider making a contribution and sharing the campaign with others. Thank you.
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