Bridegroom

Bridegroom

Themselves:
  • Thomas Lee Bridegroom
  • Shane Bitney Crone
Director:
  • Linda Bloodworth Thomason
Writer:
  • Linda Bloodworth Thomason
Producer:
  • Linda Bloodworth Thomason
  • Douglas Jackson
  • Harry Thomason
  • Allen Crowe

* Most external filmography links go to The Internet Movie Database.

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Bridegroom (2012/2013)

Opened: 10/04/2013 Limited

Limited10/04/2013
Quad Cinema/NYC10/04/2013 - 10/10/20137 days
NoHo 710/18/2013 - 10/24/20137 days
Monica 410/19/2013 - 10/19/20131 day
Playhouse 710/19/2013 - 10/19/20131 day
Claremont 510/19/2013 - 10/19/20131 day
DVD11/19/2013

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

Genre: Documentary

Rated: R for some language.

A love story. Unequaled.

Synopsis

BRIDEGROOM is a documentary directed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason that tells the emotional journey of Shane and Tom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship -- a relationship that was cut tragically short by a misstep off the side of a roof. The story of what happened after this accidental death-- of how people without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized-- is poignant, enraging and opens a window onto the issue of marriage equality like no speech or lecture ever will.

On May 7, 2012, the anniversary of Tom's death, after a year of documenting his own grief, Shane decided to make a video tribute to his partner entitled "It Could Happen To You." This film, posted on YouTube, received over 3.4 million views and has been translated into over 20 different languages. The impact of Shane's YouTube video and the raw nerve it touched, tells us this is an important story that needs to be told.

With the incredible support from influential people like Brad and George Takei and Neil Patrick Harris, Bridegroom was successfully funded on July 19, 2012 by over 6,500 people on Kickstarter.com becoming the most funded documentary in the history of crowd funding, and released in the fall of 2013.

Director's Statement

In March of 1986, my mother was diagnosed with AIDS, after receiving a contaminated blood transfusion. This occurred just as the pilot for "Designing Women" was getting underway. As I wrote much of the first season, sitting beside my mom, I was witness to the incredible prejudice and prevailing ignorance inflicted not just on her, but all the homosexual men who shared her hospital floor. Because of this, I was honored to write the Emmy nominated DW episode, "Killing all the Right People," which was television's first scripted show to tackle the hateful prejudice surrounding gays and AIDS.

Little did I know that I would someday be provided with another opportunity to address this same kind of bigotry. It all began when I attended a gay wedding ceremony in Palm Springs, California. That night, a couple of unforgettable, young men named Shane and Tom joined my table. I learned they were "Designing Women" fans, madly in love and literally brimming with all their big plans for an exciting life together. Sadly, that possibility ended when Tom was killed in an accident last year. When I heard the news, I was haunted by the sheer weight of Shane's loss. Even though I barely knew them, their good-hearted demeanors and earnest love had made an indelible impression on me.

Then, a few weeks ago, I saw Shane's YouTube posting, along with his bone crushing grief and the story of what happened to him after Tom's death--and all because they were never allowed to marry. Like so many others who saw this video, I was deeply touched. And angered. I called Shane told him I wanted to make a documentary that would tell his and Tom's love story from beginning to end. I have now seen all of Shane and Tom's videos and home movies. Like a lot of young people, they routinely documented their lives--but this recorded history is so prolific, it almost seems as though they had a premonition or unconscious fear of not getting to live out something important.

Tom and Shane were each other's first and only loves. They are devoted, hardworking, unassuming and funny. Each is from a small town and each, in his own way, is imbued with the best kind of small town values. They are, in fact, the sort of young people who hold within themselves the promise of America. And that is why I want to bring to life, on film, this real life Romeo and Romeo--so that all who condemn them, might come face to face with exactly what it is they are opposing.

Certainly the fact that Tom's last name is Bridegroom is a lucky and serendipitous gift to a filmmaker. But it is so unusual, even a skeptic would find it hard not to also feel that Tom, in his own way, is now standing in for something larger than himself. I can think of no more powerful opportunity to change hearts and minds on this very important issue of human rights, than to tell the story of Shane and Tom, which at its core, is the struggle of all people who yearn to be who they are and love who they love.

-- Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, Director/Writer/Producer

About the Cast

Thomas Lee Bridegroom (4/22/1982 - 5/7/2011)

Tom was born and raised in Knox, Indiana and finished high school at the prestigious Culver Military Academy. Tom excelled at CMA, winning the Hobie Leadership award, which garnered him a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with the president. After graduating from CMA Cum Laude, Tom enrolled in Vassar College, where he trained in voice and piano.

Although he was succeeding in his academic career at Vassar, Tom made the decision to leave school early and pursue his true calling: a career in the entertainment industry. Tom co-wrote the powerful and meaningful song, "Lost" with his friend Paige Williams, which attracted attention from the music industry, as well as writing numerous other songs with many other talented musicians, and on his own.

This passion for music lead Tom to co-found with his partner Shane a popular online music blog and his music public relations business, Bridegroom and Bitney, which was and continues to grow and gain clients.

Tom also pursued ambitions of acting and being in front of the camera. Tom gained national recognition at the age of 23 when he was chosen as the Hot Boy Next Door for the popular magazine, Teen People, for the October 2005 issue. Moving to Los Angeles, Tom's talent and perseverance quickly got him an agent, and his acting career took off. Tom was cast in a national commercial for Nintendo and starred in an infomercial for Sensiclear. In 2007, Tom won a hosting job for MTV's reality show, "The X-Effect."

Tom once described himself as "a small town boy with both feet firmly planted on the ground." The only thing small about Tom was that town he came from in Indiana. His heart was great in size, as was his ambition, passion and talent. For all that knew Tom, you know how truly blessed you were to have the honor of his incredible friendship.

Shane Bitney Crone

Born on December 19, 1985, in Kalispell, Montana, Shane Bitney Crone grew up with the nickname "Motor Mouth." Now that name seems even more appropriate in light of his recent YouTube video, which went viral with almost three million hits. From a young age, Shane has used his considerable voice on behalf of good causes, inspiring others through his talent and actions. In Montana, he also regularly performed at the Missoula Children's Theater International Performing Arts Camp. During high school, he was active in the community and was awarded Student of the Year for his leadership.

Shane worked part time to earn money so he could pursue his dream of moving to Los Angeles after graduation. Armed with this money and with all of his worldly belongings in the trunk of his car, Shane headed to California without a job, but with an abundance of ambition and willingness to work hard. He soon landed a position on Entertainment Tonight as a production assistant and was subsequently promoted to talent coordinator.

In 2005, Shane met his partner, Tom Bridegroom. Shane and Tom started a social media/public relations company, Bridegroom and Bitney, in 2008. In 2011, the devastating accident which took Tom's life, turned Shane's world upside down. Shane has now vowed to devote himself to the cause of marriage equality and is currently entertaining speaking requests from around the world. Shane partnered with "Designing Women" creator and director and producer of the critically acclaimed "Man from Hope," Linda Bloodworth Thomason, in order to make a documentary film about his and Tom's life together and what happened in the aftermath of Tom's death. The film will be entitled Bridegroom, An American Love Story.

About the Filmmakers

Linda Bloodworth Thomason -- Director, Producer, Writer and creator of the critically acclaimed television series Designing Women, Evening Shade and Hearts Afire, has written over four-hundred-and-fifty scripts for episodic television and received numerous Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. She is also the director, producer and writer of the landmark documentary The Man from Hope, and other Clinton documentaries, including the 1996 Democratic convention film, A Place Called America, and the subsequent Democratic Convention film, Legacy, as well as the introductory film for the Clinton Presidential Library and the Senator Hillary Clinton Democratic Convention film, Hillary. Bloodworth Thomason has received the Eleanor Roosevelt Freedom of Speech Award from Americans for Democratic Action, as well as the Lucy Award from Women in Film, the GLAAD Media Award, the Women's Legal Defense Fund Annual Award and the Silver Satellite Award, the highest honor bestowed by Women in Radio and Television.

Douglas Jackson (Producer

Jackson is a former military advisor and executive assistant to Senator David Pryor. He has produced numerous television series, including Designing Women, Evening Shade and Hearts Afire. Jackson also served as a producer on the Democratic Convention films, A Place Called America and Legacy and the subsequent political documentary, The Hunting of the President.

Harry Thomason (Producer)

Harry Thomason directed and co-wrote the critically acclaimed feature documentary, THE HUNTING OF THE PRESIDENT, a film nominated for the Writer's Guild Best Documentary. He produced award winning television movies including "A Shining Season," "To Find My Son" and the mini-series "The Blue and The Gray."

Married to popular writer Linda Bloodworth, they formed Mozark Productions and together brought many highly successful televison series to the screen including "Designing Women," "Evening Shade" and "Hearts Afire."

Thomason has been nominated or won numerous awards including the Emmy ("Designing Women," "Evening Shade"), the Directors Guild Award ("Designing Women"), the Christopher Award ("A Shining Season") and The People's Choice Award ("The Blue and The Gray") Entertainment Publicists' Guild 'Man of the Year.' He and Linda, longtime friends of President Clinton and Hillary, were co-chairs of the 1993 Presidential Inauguration, which he directed. It became the first Inauguration in the history of the United States to make a profit. That profit was used to help fund the 1997 Inaugural.

Allen Crowe (Producer)

Allen Crowe has written for Evening Shade, Hearts Afire, For Your Love and HBO's 12 Miles of Bad Road. His first play, Idols of the King, a musical comedy about the fans of Elvis Presley, was initially produced by the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and was the first play licensed by the Elvis estate. In 2003, he wrote and produced The Designing Women Reunion for Lifetime. In 2005, his comedic play If the Price is Right premiered as part of the Los Angeles Edgefest.

Benjy Gaither (Composer)

Benjy Gaither grew up in a famously musical family where his undeniable aptitude for music was nurtured and encouraged early in his childhood. The son of ASCAP's Songwriters of the Century, Bill and Gloria Gaither, Benjy's home environment provided a valuable training ground for him to make his own unique mark on his generation. A graduate of Anderson University, Benjy's accomplishments are varied and numerous. Benjy's love of music will never let him stray too far. He has produced several music projects for various artists. One of his most memorable moments as a performer was singing Carry Us On at Carnegie Hall in New York City; a song he wrote just after the World Trade Center tragedy on September 11th. An accomplished songwriter, producer and creative director, Benjy is the president of Live Bait Entertainment.

 

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