Thursday, January 17, 2013

Campaign Underway to Get Hope Stout's Wish into Film Production

The legacy of Hope Stout, the spunky, 12 year old redheaded girl from Weddington, NC who asked that her wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation be that all the other kids have their wishes granted, remains today nine years following her death from a rare form of bone cancer. A screenplay about her selflessness and how she brought the Charlotte community together and helped raise more than $1 million in less than 4 weeks to grant those 155 wishes is currently being written by Academy Award-winning screenwriters Diana Ossana and Larry McMurty. Ossana won an Oscar for her screenplay in the film Brokeback Mountain and McMurtry is a Pulitzer Prize winning author of Lonesome Dove and Terms of Endearment. The goal is to get Hope's story into production this coming year during the 10th anniversary of her historic wish.

Through a grassroots campaign, the production company for Hope's Wish is working on a goal of at least $50,000 to help with the development costs necessary to get Hope's story to the big screen.

The campaign is being done through Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects. The goal is to raise at least $50,000 by February 2, 2013. Pledges to the campaign are only charged when the goal is reached on or before the campaign deadline. Pledges start at $25 and every donor will be acknowledged in the next printing of the book, Hope's Wish, as well as in the ending credits of the motion picture, which is based on the book. There are other prizes available at higher amounts including being an extra in the film and even serving as associate producer.

Campaign link:

"When Shelby and I wrote the book, Hope's Wish, it was to honor our daughter who left this earth far too young as a result of cancer," said Hope's father Stuart Stout. "We knew the tremendous impact Hope made here in Charlotte and with Make-A-Wish, but little did we know her story would attract the attention of Hollywood producers and screenwriters. Producing an independent film, even an inspiring story like Hope's hasn't been easy, but we haven't given up. We have 100 percent faith in God that this will happen."

"Hope didn't back down from the challenge of raising enough money to grant the wishes of all 155 children at Make-A-Wish," Hope's mother Shelby Stout said about the $1.1 million raised in just four short weeks to grant Hope's wish. "She is our inspiration and we will be successful in making this movie about her life a reality. Any donation truly helps and will bring us that much closer to sharing our daughter's legacy with the world."

The amount raised via the Kickstarter campaign will go towards the necessary development costs of the film. An "A" list director and top level actors and actresses will be sought out with what will surely be an excellent script written by the talented Ossana and McMurtry. The Hope's Wish Hollywood-based production team is already talking to several major studios to ultimately fund the production of the film. Having quality talent attached to Hope's Wish will make it easier to accomplish.

The Kickstarter campaign began on December 19, the same day in 2003 when Hope did her now infamous interview with Keith Larson on his morning show on Charlotte's WBT. That interview started the ball rolling towards raising $1 million, the vast majority of which was realized with small donations by thousands of people. The Stouts are hoping her story will have the same result with Kickstarter.