Monday, December 28, 2020

|Podcast| At Last - Lorena Gordon, Katie Burton & Tricia Brooks

Lauren (Katie Burton) is your typical high school senior. She’s learning to come into her own. With the help of her best friend, James, (Zack Gottsagen) she will finally step out of her shell and live her truth. Lauren comes from a deep-rooted Hispanic family with her father Diego, (George Lopez) and her mother Monica, (Marlene Forte). They had hopes and expectations for their only daughter. Lauren’s parents are more ecstatic for her prom than she is.

Lauren has been in the closet for years. The only person she has confided in is her best friend, James. Lauren and James have been friends since elementary school. Lauren and James aren’t the most popular kids. James has had some battles of his own and has been the target of bullies because of his disability, down syndrome. Lauren has been his most loyal friend and the only
one who stands up for him.

James knows how much Lauren has been struggling with her sexuality. That is why he is cheering her on and helping her have an unforgettable prom, where she will finally get the chance to kiss the girl she’s liked since freshman year. Lauren has a moment of self-realization and defiance.
After feeling miserable in her dress, she changes into a suit. Now that Lauren feels more like herself, she will muster up the courage to go up to the girl she’s had a crush on, Sam, (Tricia Brooks) since freshman year of high school.

Sam and Lauren will share a dance and have their first kiss. James will stand up to his bullies to protect his best friend and will guard this precious moment for Lauren. After an unforgettable night, Lauren’s life will change forever. Lauren will and the strength to come out to her dad after he calls her to ask her how her night went. There will be no turning back for her. With the city as the backdrop, Lauren will find her truth.

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My name is Lorena Gordon. I am the writer and director of the film At Last. This is a personal film I wrote and am so passionate about making and sharing it with an audience. I like telling powerful and compelling stories, and giving a voice to those who need to be heard and seen on screen. Film is such a powerful medium, and as a storyteller it’s our responsibility we use that power for good. 

When you are a part of two of the most oppressed groups in society: being a Latina woman and being gay, it makes you see the world in another light. It makes you more compassionate, more vulnerable with the stories you are telling, it makes you want to be heard, and ultimately change the world. I want to be the voice for those who cannot be heard, and share their stories. I’ve always found it my job to tell meaningful stories. Through images and words anything can be translated and digested. The world can be a better place if we make more diverse and unique stories and find the human connection in the work we are making. 

The genesis for this story came to me after looking back at my high school years. I wanted to write about coming out because I buried myself in the closest for many years until the age of twenty-three. I carried so much shame for being gay, and didn’t want to disappoint my family. I didn’t date in high school, or did anything your average kid in high school would do, or experiment with – in a way I feel like I missed out. A lot. I now have compassion for my high school self. If I had only been more brave and not cared about what others think, I would have been free to take whoever I wanted to prom and dress the way I actually wanted to express myself.

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Katie Burton is an actress and producer, known for Chasity Bites (2013), Criminal Minds (2005), Maples Tree (2016 and most recent, My Inspired World (2019).

Tricia Brookes, originally born in Sacramento, CA began acting in local community productions at a young age of seven. She graduated from SFSU with a theatre arts degree in acting and a minor in film and then moved to London to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art Intensive summer program and extension programs. 

The web series "Spades" was nominated for Best Drama at the critically acclaimed T.T> Fest in Toronto is now playing on Amazon Prime. Sha starred in "Expired", a short drama that recently won best drama and writing at the San Diego International Film Festival and "King's Boulevard" which won a merit award at Hollywood CFF. She is currently studying improv at UCB and film intensive calsses.

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Lorena Gordon is an award-winning writer-director. Hailing from Queens, New York, she discovered her passion for film when she was only eight.
She recalls the time it happened: she was sitting in the theater watching her first live-action film and that’s when her passion for cinema began. From that moment she took the family camcorder and began making home movies.

At the age of eighteen, Lorena began her journey into the professional world of filmmaking as a production assistant, working on sets with directors such as Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, and Ben Stiller.

The stories she is most intrigued by and passionate about telling are those that explore the human condition and the complicated facets of life. Stories of the disenfranchised as well are stories Lorena is passionate about telling. Lorena has directed and produced the short films Fallen Hero, The Uninvited, The Cure, Alone and My Inspired World. As well as the award-winning short film: Times Like These. Most recently, Lorena wrote and directed the short lm, Lessons In Romantics which premiered at HollyShorts. Her next film, At Last, which she wrote and will direct is currently in pre-production. She’s also been part of the NBC Infusion and Hola Mexico’s Tomorrow Filmmakers Today program.

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A.J. GORDON - PRODUCER - AJ was born and raised in Queens, New York. He has been producing short films and music videos since 2012. Some of his producing credits include “Times Like These,” “Lessons In Romantics,” “The Cure” and “My Inspired World.”

Joseph Channell is the owner of Jack Morgan Productions an award-winning film production company in Los Angeles. Joseph graduated from The School of Film and Television with a professional degree in Acting for film. He has appeared in several feature and short films, commercials, and voiceovers. Joseph’s visionary style of filmmaking has led him to produce and direct the feature documentary “Shattered Silence”. Joseph produced and directed the award-winning short films “The Fox and the Rabbit” and “My Inspired World”. Joseph is currently working on the short film, “At Last” with Lorena Gordon of Lights Out Productions and the short film, “Zion” with actor Stelio Savante.

Cinematographer Dean Cundey, ASC, earned an Oscar and BAFTA nomination for his work with Robert Zemeckis on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Additional collaborations with Zemeckis include Romancing the Stone, all three Back to the Future features and “Death Becomes Her.” He received Outstanding Achievement Award nominations from the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) for Hook and Apollo 13, the latter also receiving a BAFTA nomination.

Jessica Liley is an award-winning Australian producer and actor whose debut feature lm, “More Beautiful for Having Been Broken”, has won numerous awards, including Best Picture accolades. Serving as a co-producer on that project, she has also served as Executive Producer on short lms, “Murder Mill” and “At Last” (in development).

Beginning her career as an Opera Singer, Jessica went on to become an employment lawyer and senior executive, specializing in industrial relations and human resources. Now she is a creative producer and actor committed to bringing stories with emotion and depth to the screen.
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