To produce a feature film that ignites an honest conversation about race using the power of comedy. This film is not meant to mock or make fun of any race. The protagonist in White Like Me is frustrated with where she is in life and thinks that things will work out differently if she changes her appearance. Whether or not that's true or that happens is one of the reasons this film is so relevant.
During our original campaign we set out to raise $250,000. Well, we're almost at our goal! Thank you to all those who supported us on Indiegogo, Venmo and Paypal. Since we're so close, it's time to shine a little brighter and see if we can make our goal!
We have an exciting team so far! White Like Me welcomes Executive Producer Antonio Enciso!
God, I miss romantic comedies! Films like When Harry Met Sally, Pretty Woman, You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, Love Actually, Sixteen Candles, Say Anything... I could go on and on and on. These are the movies that made me want to start acting. I wanted to be that girl who met the guy and didn't realize I met the guy and then later realized, I met the guy! And then we would run through the streets of some big city looking for each other, meet in the rain in front of a beautiful American monument and kiss passionately. But over time, it became clear that girls like me weren't cast in this kind of movie. I'm considered more "the sassy friend," or "the friend who helps the heroine get the guy," or... "bus driver #2." (Although, I still hold tightly to the fact that my all-time favorite, Whoopi Goldberg, got to play not just the lead role but some of the best non-stereotypical characters in film.)
Now, when a studio wants to "diversify" their film, they cast a black man or other man of color. It is very rare to see a black female lead on the big screen, and more often than not she's a famous singer in real life. Which is fine. But why doesn't a white actress have to be a famous musician in order to get a lead role in a film? Next time you're scrolling through Netflix or driving past a movie billboard, think about this.
"I've never done a movie, any movie, the silliest movie, where someone, some studio person, hasn't gone, 'Does the girl have to be black?'" -- Chris Rock, in Essence magazine.
Hi! Thank you so much for coming to our campaign page. It's so great to have you here. Take a look around. Make yourself comfortable. I'm Brandee Steger! I'm an African-American actress ("20s, urban, sassy"--kidding!), a writer (having started off as a journalist) and a producer (with a couple of awards for a short film starring Ted Danson and Emmy-considered for a comedic web series). I've been lucky enough to train with renowned acting teacher Warner Loughlin and am proud to be a lifetime member of the Actors Studio where I've learned from greats like Martin Landau, Lou Antonio and Lisa Richards.
In junior high, I met my now husband and producing partner, Michael Steger. When we were 12 years old we didn't like each other very much.
In our teens, we brushed by each other trading curious adolescent smirks, and in college we shared stories, hung out in bookstores and made fun of each other's crushes. After college, we fell in love and got married. My real life became a romantic comedy! Although there still weren't any heroines like me in my beloved "boy meets girl next door" films. In 2008, our small-town selves were blown away when Michael became the lead on 90210, a popular TV show. The experiences we had on that wild ride, and the insights I've had since then, as a black woman and an actress, inspired me to write "White Like Me."
Our campaign goal is to raise money to turn my script into a finished film. We want to make a movie that has an African-American female lead but is not a "black movie" or a "white movie," but instead one that acknowledges women of color and the experience of trying to succeed in what often feels like a predominantly white, male industry.
If you share our love of movies that have both comedy and romance,
or if you're curious about different people's experiences in Hollywood,
or if you value the fact that diversity makes everyone smarter, more creative and more innovative, we would be so excited and honored if you would contribute to our mission. We are grateful for your time and attention, and we hope you'll be there when we have the communal experience in a darkened theater watching the premiere of "White Like Me"!
What We Need and What You Get
It can cost well over a million dollars to make even a small, independent film. Our goal was to raise the bare minimum--$250,000--for an ultra low budget production of "White Like Me," to be shot in 20 days. And, we're almost there!
All donations are welcome, and no amount is too small. Here is a breakdown of where the money will go:
- Please check out our perks and incentives!
- Any and all funds will go toward producing this original piece.
Brandee Steger and Michael Steger are not new to producing. The first project they produced together was Brandee's one-woman show, Brandee Built on Crazee, which ran for eight weeks to sold-out audiences at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood. Soon after this production, the Stegers started their production company, Book 11 Productions.
- Through Book 11 Productions, Brandee and Michael co-produced The Wrights, an award-winning short film with Nina Fehren and Kate Danson and starring Ted Danson. This experimental film was mostly a dramatic improv, in which the scenes were partially written and the actors had to improvise their lines in only 2-3 takes. It was an edgy drama that centered around death, trust and family secrets.
Shortly after The Wrights, Brandee and Michael produced an Emmy-considered comedic web series called, Not So Union. This series followed a group of friends who were brand-spankin' new to Hollywood and struggling with how to navigate their aspirations. Many comedians and seasoned actors jumped on board to help create this series described by viewers as "hysterical" and "offbeat."
In 2018, Michael branched out to produce an independent short film called, Fifteen Years Later, starring Manish Dayal, Matt McGorry, Tracy Mulholland, and Golden Globe winner Rachel Brosnahan.
Now, the Stegers are excited to take the next step and produce a full-length feature film, "White Like Me," under Book 11 Productions.
Special thanks for helping us get this far
Antonio Enciso - Executive Producer (White Like Me)
Gordana (Gigi) Jovanov (Founder of The Global Organizer)
Mary Miskin (Writer and Inspiration to Children)
Stephanie Turner - Actress/Writer/Producer/Director (First Man, Justine)
Courtney Daniels - Director/Writer/Producer (What Other Couples Do, This Fucking Town)
Dylan Kussman - Actor/Writer/Director (Dead Poets Society, Mission: Blacklist)
Mengfang Yang - Editor/Director (Devotion, Generation Z)
Josie Martineaux - Actress/Director (When It Rains, Lonely Lil)
And to our makeup artist (you know who you are!) - THANK YOU!
Risks and Challenges
It can be so scary to put yourself out there like this. But we recently decided we had a choice: we could sit around and wonder what it would be like to create our own full-length feature film, complain about the small percentage of black women in film, let time go by, wait for our next big breaks and hope for the best, OR we could get off our butts and make a feature film from our original perspective. Obviously, the risk is that nobody will give a damn, nobody will help, maybe the sky will fall in and our dreams will dissipate like the clouds. But now that we have a daughter, Poet, it has become clear just how important it is for her to see her parents strive to achieve their goals. So, here we are, as a team, holding up the sky with hard work, determination and faith.
Other Ways You Can Help
Some folks just can't contribute money, but that doesn't mean you can't help! There are many ways you can help us get the word out and make some noise about our campaign:
- Repost/Share/Tweet our campaign on your social media!
- Find us on Social Media and Follow, Repost, Retweet and Share -
Instagram - @brandeesteger @michaelsteger11
Facebook Page - @WhiteLikeMe
Twitter - @BrandeeSteger @MichaelSteger11
- Tag your favorite celebrities on social media who care about a woman's perspective, female empowerment and African-American women in Hollywood.
- Tell your friends, family and acquaintances about our campaign.
- TALK, SHARE, REPOST, TAG, FORWARD and REPEAT!
- Email us: Book11Productions@gmail.com
All donations welcome and will be so appreciated! THANK YOU!