A young boy has a secret that will destroy his relationships with his friends and family forever – he is tormented by who he is.
Shane is gay, and his story is being told through a feature film.
“Shane’s Story” is an indie feature film directed by Blake Clark that tells the struggle of a gay teenager who is on the cusp of suicide.
The movie opens with Shane praying in church, asking God for forgiveness for his ultimate act of sin — suicide in response to harassment for being gay. Before he does so, Paul, a middle-aged man who knows all-too-well the torment Shane faces, approaches the boy. The two develop a relationship that strays from platonic as Paul saves Shane’s life.
There are currently 20 to 25 people involved in the project, according to Alleman. Though the project has a trailer on their website at https://alimoe4.wixsite.com/shane, the cast will be re-filming the segments with their new budget beginning next autumn.
The film was originally going to be shot in California, but has since moved east. All of the actors are from the local Shippensburg area. Filming will begin in August 2018 and will continue for four weeks. The film is set to be released in December 2018, with a run-time of 120 minutes.
The film investigates many unconventional topics and themes. It delves into the backstory of the bully. It also explores the coming-of-age element behind Shane being a minor who is eventually emancipated from his parents, which he uses to justify his relationship with the middle-aged Paul, who is reluctant toward the idea at first. The movie touches on many dark and controversial topics, but also has a light side embedded with natural humor.
The feature film, written by Blake Clark and Kevin Corsini, began development almost 11 years ago. This was until the funders who backed the project pulled out due to disagreements about the direction of the project. The movie stopped filming, and “Shane’s Story” sat unattended for years until Clark was re-inspired to finish the film, said actor and cast director Lane Alleman.
“This film resonates with what is going on today,” said Clark in a video posted to their website. He told the story of a Nevada father who shot his 14-year-old son.
The boy’s former foster mother, Sonja Jones, told police that she believes the murder was motivated by homophobia. She said, “I’m sure that inside of his mind, he would rather have a dead son than a gay son.”
Blake Clarke has a very personal connection to the subject of homosexuality, which influenced his story writing, according to Alleman.
“He grew up as a gay kid. His father was an ex-marine, and was not OK with it,” Alleman said. “He very recently was able to talk to his father. Blake is fifty-something now.”
Alleman also has a strong tether to this story. His older brother, Russell, originally played Shane before the funding was pulled from the film.
“It is a great way to memorialize my brother — to kind of take over where he left off, and get this film done,” Alleman said. Russell passed away in 2016 due to an accidental overdose.
Alleman expressed concern for suicides within the LGBT community.
“If we can save one life, then this is all worth it,” he said. “Suicide should not be an option. There are resources, and there are people willing to help you.”