Quest podcast steve, shane and danny

Episode 43- Disrupting the Narrative

In this Quest Podcast episode, we chat with the director, executive producer, and leading character of the movie Good Bad Things: Shane Stanger, Steve Way, and Danny Kurtzman respectively. This trio joins us to share their experiences, expertise, advise and hope when it comes to navigating life and Hollywood, and creating a future that is inclusive of everyone.

Keep up on the latest information about the movie release at www.goodbadthings.com.

Read the interview below or check out the podcast here.

Mindy Henderson: Welcome to the Quest Podcast, proudly presented by the Muscular Dystrophy Association as part of the Quest family of content. I’m your host, Mindy Henderson. Together we are here to bring thoughtful conversation to the neuromuscular disease community and beyond about issues affecting those with neuromuscular disease and other disabilities and those who love them. We are here for you, to educate and inform, to demystify, to inspire, and to entertain. We are here shining a light on all that makes you you. Whether you are one of us, love someone who is or are on another journey altogether, thanks for joining. Now, let’s get started.

Well, I might just be the luckiest girl alive today, because I have not one, not two, but three gentlemen on my podcast today to talk about the upcoming movie, Good Bad Things. First up, Steve Way is an actor, comedian, writer and speaker, born with muscular dystrophy and is an activist for disability rights and universal healthcare. Steve can be seen in the Hulu show, Ramy, and is the executive producer of the award-winning film we are here to talk about today, Good Bad Things.

Next with me is Shane Stanger, a filmmaker and entrepreneur who, among other things, was the associate producer for the film Bernie, directed by Richard Linklater, starring Jack Black and Matthew McConaughey. In 2016, Shane was a recipient of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Award. He then enrolled in the prestigious Peter Stark producing program at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and received his MFA in May of 2023. Good Bad Things is his writing and directing debut, and during the world premiere at Slamdance Film Festival, just this year, won the Audience and Grand Jury Awards.

And last, but certainly not least, joining us is Danny Kurtzman, a model, fashion entrepreneur and philanthropist who lives with FSHD and happens to be the leading man in the film we are here to talk about, Good Bad Things.

Gentlemen, that was exhausting, first of all, to read all of the accomplishments of all of you, but thank you so much for being here with me today.

Danny Kurtzman: Thanks for having us.

Shane Stanger: [inaudible 00:02:41] and Danny’s modest in that bio. He’s a supermodel.

Mindy Henderson: Oh, well, clearly. So, let’s hit the ground running. I got to watch a sneak peek. I was sharing this with you before we started recording, and I am here to tell you, this movie is fantastic. I just want to throw out a quick disclaimer for the families that may be listening that there are some adult themes and a little bit of salty language in the film, so it may not be for small children. But do one of you want to first, whoever’s up for it, just give us a quick rundown summary of the movie?

Danny Kurtzman: Yeah, it’s literally just a beautiful story of this change in my life, growing up together. I’ve known Shane for over 25 years, and he’s see me from high school age through college and my young adult life, and now being 37. And it’s just seeing me grow up with muscular dystrophy and a disability in general.

And it’s just a beautiful story of friendship and love and the things that we deal with with a disability. But it’s almost just done in such a real-life way that Danny, the character in this movie, and myself realizes that all the challenges he says he faces or feels like he faces, almost he causes himself.

And the ultimate theme of it is that as a disabled individual in today’s world, we can control what we want out of our lives. We are in the driver’s seat, and we have the power to write our own story.

And it’s just a beautiful love, friendship, all that, all the above. So, yeah, I was just thankful that my best friend Shane let me take a swing at this for the first time ever acting.

And then also-

Shane Stanger: I didn’t [Inaudible 00:04:54].

Danny Kurtzman: … Let me sit down with them and help write this film from a story standpoint, and I’ve never done that either. And it was just beautiful because we want authenticity in society, especially with disability. And we realized that, honestly, the only way to do it is we do it together, and it can’t be done without us. It’s got to be done with us.

And Shane was amazing enough to be like, “Let’s do this. Let’s sit down, and let’s make an awesome movie.”

And I’m stoked that everyone’s got to see and so far really good responses, so far. So, yeah, we’re stoked.

Mindy Henderson: Yeah. Well, and I will say you kind of nailed it on your first time out the shoot with writing and acting. I mean, there’s so many things I could say about it. I promise they are not paying me to say these things. It is a visually beautiful movie. It’s funny, it’s heartfelt. It made me… Obviously, I live with one of the neuromuscular conditions myself. I’m a wheelchair user.

And it was incredibly relatable, not just from that perspective, but we’ll get into this in just a second. But I think it’s going to be relatable to a lot of people in a lot of different ways.

So, Danny and Shane, like you said, you’ve been friends since you were kids, and you co-wrote the script. Now how did you team up with Steve?

Shane Stanger: Yeah, you go for it, Danny. Sorry. I’m-

Danny Kurtzman: Yeah, no-

Shane Stanger:  [inaudible 00:06:35]

Danny Kurtzman: … We wrapped the movie. We were editing, and just to amplify the movie in Hollywood or whatever, we’re like, “Let’s throw on an executive producer.”

And we were throwing around some names out there, and I was like, “Dude, how about Steve Way?” I was like, “Steve, I don’t know him. We follow each other on Instagram. I’ve commented on some of his stories,” but if it wasn’t for Steve, I don’t think I could have mentally wrapped my head around doing this movie because I saw him do it on Ramy.

And I’ve been just such a huge admirer of his, and just seeing him do what he does in his life and just deliver and seeing scenes and stand-ups and all that stuff, I was like, “I might have a chance to do this movie.”

And so, when that conversation came around, I was like, “I’m going to send him a DM, and I doubt he’s going to read it, but hopefully he does.”

And sent him a DM with the link of the movie, and this was a rough, rough cut. And he immediately responded, popped on his Zoom machine. He’s like, “I’m in. Let’s do this.”

Mindy Henderson: Wow.

Danny Kurtzman: And I was kind of starstruck in the beginning, very much so.

Mindy Henderson: Yep.

Danny Kurtzman: But yeah, there couldn’t have been a better fit to get Steve on board. Shane and I are just beyond grateful. His impact post-production has been astronomical. He’s honestly become probably one of my best friends so far in the last year or so. Yeah, it’s a really special thing.

Mindy Henderson: Amazing. One of those meant-to-be things, it really sounds like. So, Steve, this film is going to be released in AMC theaters across the country. That is a huge deal. What was that process like? I mean, clearly you’ve worked with Hulu, and you’ve got a lot of success in this industry, but I think this is the first time that I can recall seeing a feature film with a wheelchair user as the leading man on this kind of scale in Hollywood.

And so, I’m wondering what kind of barriers and hurdles you came up against in working to find a distribution partner. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Steve Way: Well, funny enough, we still don’t have a distribution partner.

Mindy Henderson: Oh, maybe I’m using the wrong terminology.

Steve Way: No, no. This is all a grassroots effort here. We are using every connection we have, cashing in every favor possible. But I think it’s a testament to how good the film is.

Obviously, we still run into the same barriers that you, Danny and I face every day. We still have to work harder than other people. As we are all aware, there’s some not good movies out there, and yet they are all over the place.

Mindy Henderson: Right.

Steve Way:  And I think this movie is objectively better than at least 90% of what’s out there.

Mindy Henderson: It is quality, yeah.

Steve Way: Yeah. And yet we still have to fight for all of this. But as you read in Shane’s bio, you won two awards at Slamdance. If I’m not mistaken we were the only film win more than one award that week.

Mindy Henderson: Wow.

Steve Way: And again, I think that’s a real testament to how good the movie is, how good Danny is, how good Shane is. So, yeah, we’re going to be in theaters, and we want to get as many eyes on this as possible because you don’t have to be disabled to relate to it. And I think that’s the real beauty of it. It’s a pretty universal story of getting in your own head, getting in your own way and sabotaging something really beautiful. And like I said, you don’t have to be disabled to understand that.

Mindy Henderson: Yeah, it’s so true. I think a lot of people, I mean, there are a lot of really great movies out there where you may look nothing like the lead characters or the supporting characters or whoever, but I think a lot of people find themselves in a lot of different ways in characters that are on film. And this is absolutely not an exception to that. I think a lot of people will see themselves in Danny.

So, this film, like we’ve been saying, it’s really trailblazing, I think. In the entertainment world, it’s breaking barriers and shining a light somewhat on ableism and reality and in film. People have been trying for a long time to bring actors with disabilities and stories about living with a disability into the mainstream. And like we said, this movie is really resonating with people.

Why do you think this film is being so well received?

Steve Way: Because it’s great.

Mindy Henderson: Yeah.

Steve Way: No, I would say-

Mindy Henderson: No, you’re absolutely right.

Steve Way: That’s it. The cinematography is beautiful.

Mindy Henderson: Yes.

Steve Way: The script is so grounded and honest, and it shows you could have a visually beautiful movie, but a garbage script. You can have a great script-

Mindy Henderson: Right.

Steve Way: … but a movie that looks like garbage-

Mindy Henderson: Yeah. [inaudible 00:13:18]

Steve Way: … and it’ll show. Audiences are not stupid. Audiences are smart, and they understand what [inaudible 00:13:30] film. When they leave the theater, they’ll know right away if it was good or not. And we have never had anyone say anything like, “Yeah, it was okay.” Oh, it’s a great movie.

Mindy Henderson: It’s exceptional. And to your point about the visual, the cinematography and all of that, the desert scene, gorgeous. The house that you filmed in, I’m going to put it out there that I’d like to be adopted by the owner of that house. It’s a beautiful house, and I am not anywhere… Am lucky if I can shoot a photo on my camera, but I will say the lighting in the movie was so beautiful, and even to my untrained eye, I just watched it and thought how pretty it was, in addition to just the story and the acting and all of that.

So, Steve, I’m curious. Danny talked about reaching out to you kind of blindly to try to get you interested in working on this project. Did you take the time to read the script? What was it that got you to reply so quickly and so affirmatively that you wanted to be a part of this?

Steve Way: Well, first of all, I respected the hell out of Danny for just DM-ing me out of nowhere.

Mindy Henderson: Yeah.

Steve Way:  I always respect the DM slide, and it worked. It worked. No, like he said, he sent me the link. I watched it, and yeah, like I said, it was a very rough cut, but I could tell it was something special. But at the same time, this was in the middle of the writers and actor strikes, on both. So, I was double-unemployed.

Mindy Henderson: Yikes.

Steve Way: I don’t want to say, “Thank God I was unemployed during this time,” but in reality, I had no hope. It was a very dark and bleak time to be a writer and or an actor. So, this really gave me hope that I could not just be a part of something really dope, but something that was very promising, something that had a ton of potential and something that I knew I could use my connections to really take to the next level. And that’s what we did.

Mindy Henderson: That’s history. Amazing. So, Shane, let’s go to you. Talk a little bit more about how the script came together. You and Danny wrote it together, been friends for ages, but how did the story come together and develop? What was that process like?

Shane Stanger: Yeah, so I guess starting in the beginning when I was in film school, Danny and me made a short film together. It was the first thing I directed, and it was really just a little moment, really, of Danny, and he was just getting out of bed. And it was a really simple little movie, just showing him getting ready. And the kick at the end was that he’s actually just hung over. He’s not having the worst day ever.

But anyways, the class at school, a lot of people I noticed very quickly because we show the dailies, which is the footage from what we shot as we’re putting the film together. And I saw people really just gravitate towards Danny. And when they saw him on the screen, I just was like, “Wow, this is really cool to see.”

Because I think you can tell when someone’s watching something and when they’re bored, and when they actually want to see more. And yeah, part of, I think when you are making things, you’re not watching your movie, you’re watching people watch it, right? Because you’re curious to see those reactions.

And so, I saw people were really drawn to Danny, and I thought they would be. I think that growing up with him, sometimes I forget the idea of a disability, But there’s plenty of other people out there who never forget that. We always constantly will have people notice it or be curious about something or have those kind of reactions that a lot of people may have if they don’t have, I mean, I don’t know. It’s just things that sometimes we forget about the reaction of certain people that just don’t have experience dealing with people with a disability or just for whatever reason think they need to oftentimes just go above and beyond and grab that door and feel so good about themselves because they opened the door.

It’s, “Yeah, it’s nice that you opened the door, but at the same time, you don’t have to also follow it up with this awkward, ‘Hey.'” I don’t know. So, part of the movie, me and Danny just, “You know what? Let’s just make a movie about our lives a little bit, and not focus on the idea that, oh, this is some thing to overcome.” Because as we’ve lived our lives, it’s the last thing I think about when me and Danny hang out. It’s not like I’m like, “Oh, I’m helping Danny.” I’m just like, “He’s my best friend. We grew up together. We do everything together, and he’s always there for me.”

That’s just a good friend. And yes, sometimes I pick him up, and sometimes I do those things. But it’s the last thing I think about. And so, we just wanted to put something out that felt, like Steve said, really honest and true to us.

But once we made the short film and we got that reaction, I decided with Danny to go make a feature film. And no one would have given us money, speaking of Hollywood and not letting these types of things happen. But the thing is, I don’t think anyone was going to give me money anyways for anything. So, me and Danny just did it. I mean, it’s so hard to get a movie made.

And me and Danny said, “Hey, let’s find a way to go make this film, and we’ll just figure it out along the way.” And so, our budget went up significantly. And it’s been three years since we started, so it’s always finding a way to go up. But we have taken advantage of credit cards and whatever else we can possibly do to keep making the movie.

But yeah, I mean, it’s been a really long, amazing process. As far as getting the movie off the ground, we came together and wrote it pretty quickly because I had another year of film school, so it was, “Okay, if we’re going to make this movie, it has to be done in the summer.”

And we’d have a month to get this script ready.

Mindy Henderson: Wow.

Shane Stanger: And so, me and him went down and came up with the whole story, and yeah, it was all just really, really rushed and fast. And usually those things don’t have good results. But I think because we were in a way telling a story of our lives, the information was so just deep inside of us already there. It didn’t feel like we were ever confused. We always knew what to do because it was just fall back on our relationship and our friendship. And so, I kind of went so many different directions there, but I guess that probably would be the end of my answer.

Mindy Henderson: No, yeah, super-interesting. So, I have to ask, I’ve got a bunch of questions hitting my brain all at the same time. There’s a roommate. Danny has a roommate in the movie. Is the roommate based on you, Shane? Or is that a fictional character? Purely fiction?

Shane Stanger: It’s a fictional character, but the thing is, Danny has so many best friends and so many people that are in his life. And so, I think what we looked at for that character, for sure it’s pieces of me. It’s pieces of a lot of people out there that have Danny’s back and have been there for him and are best friends and just have only… A lot of different people have their relationship with Danny that is very special to them. And Danny has a lot of best friends. And so, Jason’s sort of a combo of all of those people wrapped up into one.

Mindy Henderson: Gotcha, gotcha. So, one of the things that I’m thinking about as I’m listening to Shane’s answer is, Danny, you portray, like we said, a very authentic character in this movie. And one of the things that I think was really important that you did was you let some of the more personal side of your care be in the film. Lifting you, and I think there was a scene where maybe you were showering, and I think it was your dad maybe that was helping you out.

And I’m thinking about my own life experience, and I wouldn’t think that that would be an easy thing to put on camera. But you were so… And maybe I’m wrong, maybe it was easy for you, but it added such an authenticity to the movie.

And the other thing I’ll say about it is that I noticed it a lot at first, but as the movie went along, it almost became kind of another character in the movie that you didn’t… Not that you didn’t see it anymore, but it just kind of became normalized. Does that make sense?

Danny Kurtzman: Yeah, no, absolutely. And that’s why I love Shane so much and allowing me to do those little details. There’s one shot in the movie that is my favorite shot, and it’s so minimal and so simple a lot of people miss it, but the people that really get it, get it. And it’s when my love interest puts a straw in my drink.

Mindy Henderson: I loved that scene. Oh, my gosh.

Danny Kurtzman: And it’s just so simple. But as a disabled individual, that’s the things you look for in a partner or somebody that you will just do that thing so authentically. Yeah, and all this, we wanted it to be authentic.

Again, Hollywood has been talking about authentic films for a while. They haven’t been able to do it within disability that well, and I think it’s because they haven’t had a Shane, first and foremost, and they haven’t had a Steven Nye involved in the process as thoroughly as Shane has allowed us to be through this whole process to do those things.

So, when my roommate carries me, even when my love interest gets me out of the Uber, her to get to that level in a relationship where they feel comfortable carrying you, that’s a deep connection.

Mindy Henderson: Yes.

Danny Kurtzman:  And this dad’s showering you, we as disabled people, sometimes we get disempowered that our parents have to do some care for us and help us out. But why is that disempowering? It’s a beautiful thing that we are lucky enough to have parents that want to help us get through scenes in life.

And it’s a two-way street with it. My dad loves me in the movie, and I love him. And you see that in a lot of the scenes. And the ability not to shy away from those instances are really, I think, a really big part of the movie, honestly. Even the others, I’m not going to give away all the scenes because hopefully everyone listening goes and watches it.

Mindy Henderson: No spoilers.

Danny Kurtzman: I have an idea with Steve we’re going to do later, but there’s so many underlying awesome disabled things in this movie that you see that are, I’ve never seen before. Honestly, I’ve never. And I’m a big movie buff. I’ve watched everything that even I feel like I can connect to. And I have not seen scenes that Shane put together in this movie for us as a community that I truly do continually will believe are going to blow people’s minds.

Mindy Henderson: Yes, I could not agree more. And the other thing that I thought was really interesting, again, I don’t want to give any spoilers, but this story really focuses, Danny, on your character’s reflection and growth in your own self-worth. And in a story about a person with a disability, I think what a lot of people might have defaulted to was showing that a person with a disability is just as worthy of love and relationships as anyone else, and teaching that lesson to the able-bodied community.

But you chose the angle of Danny having to really find that within himself. Can you talk a little bit about that choice?

Danny Kurtzman: Yeah. It’s again, perfect timing in my life. I definitely, like us all, I struggled with my disability over the last 37 years. Struggled with discovering who I am and what I’m worthy of, and always kind of say everything is a challenge I have to overcome and so on, so forth.

And during Covid, I found this amazing coach. His name is Carson Tueller. He’s a member of the disabled community, and he really just changed my perspective of what it is to be disabled and that I can be as powerful as I want to be. I am in control, writing my own stories in what makes sense for my life, and that I’m honestly powerful. I’m capable of doing anything I put my mind to.

And it’s just a crazy powerful thing to wrap your head around. But as disabled people, we have inherited stories through ableism and through society of what we should and what we could do, mostly what we can’t do. And ultimately that’s all not true. It’s all things that we just accepted because it’s so mass spread through society, and it’s going to take our community to challenge those things and be like, “Is this really true to me? Does this resonate with me?”

And when you listen to yourself and you hear yourself say, “No,” you just then write what is your truth, which is, I am worthy of love. I am worthy of success, I’m worthy of great friends, I’m worthy of everything I want and put my mind to. And when that happens as a disabled individual, you become unleashed. You become unstoppable. And it’s a really powerful thing.

And that’s what Shane allowed me to put into this movie and show through a disabled lens and what it means to be disabled in today’s world. So, yeah.

Mindy Henderson: Yeah. That’s so good. So, Steve, I’m going to ask you a compound question. So, first of all, I’d love to know what was your favorite part about producing this film? And then what was it like to get behind the lens? We’re used to you as an actor, a comedian, all of that, and to be behind the camera producing this time around?

Steve Way: I love it. Don’t get me wrong. I miss acting, but it’s been such a wonderful experience. I’ve always wanted to produce, and I think this is such a great first time. In a way, I kind of shot myself in the foot because this has raised the bar so high, and we all know that not every project after this, that idea will be this good.

Mindy Henderson: Oh, I beg to differ.

Steve Way: If I were to hop on other projects, yeah, it might not be as good. I think this project really helped me to understand just how accomplished I am and how much I’ve done already. But I think it was the day before we went out to Slamdance, or it might have been the day I arrived in Utah, I got Judd Apatow to talk about the film on Instagram.

Mindy Henderson: Oh, wow.

Steve Way: Just kind of put a perspective of the connections I’ve made and how I’ve earned those connections, and yeah, it’s heavy.

Mindy Henderson:  Yeah.

Steve Way: Really heavy.

Mindy Henderson: So, it sounds like a lot of self-exploration, and for you, kind of is the theme in the movie, but that was real for you as well.

Steve Way: Yeah, it was very real life.

Mindy Henderson: Yeah.

Steve Way: Yeah, and the fact that we all connected immediately in person. Went out to Utah, was such a great time. I’m basically counting down the days to go out to LA and see the homies again.

Mindy Henderson: Yes, absolutely. I hope I’m allowed to say this, but I hear there’s going to be an LA premiere, and I mean, this is big time stuff.

Shane Stanger:  Thank you. Yeah, we’re so excited. It’s been a journey. But yeah, I mean, Danny and Steve, I mean, the three of us have been just nonstop planning and communication and having a good time.

But yeah, the movie, there was one thing also I wanted to mention before, just kind of bouncing off of what some of the things that have been said is people in the industry really haven’t seen this, and they don’t think it’s something that is a viable plan for a feature film to put a disabled lead in that spot from a relatability standpoint.

And for me, just hearing those things, not something I like to talk about, but I heard those things before we went to make the movie even afterwards is, “How are you going to market it? People need to be able to relate to the lead.”

And it’s kind of crazy to me because those are just things people are saying based off of very limited knowledge because I relate very much to Danny, more to Danny than most people. And so, many people relate so well to Danny. And if any of my friends are listening, I’m sorry, but Danny and Steve are way more fun to talk to. You know what I mean? It’s just we have such strong relationships, and all of the things that people are trying to tell, have tried to say about the idea of not making sense to put a disabled person in the lead role of a film, because it’s always, they say, “Oh, it’s the relatability,” but why then do I relate so well and so much these two friends of mine? And why do everyone that meets them relate so well to them?

So, if it’s relatability, that’s really not a problem. And I just think that people don’t want to risk it because they haven’t seen it. And going back to Hollywood, I think that it’s interesting because I don’t think me and Danny came into this from the beginning being like, “Oh, we’re going to change anything.” I mean, the most likely scenario was we were just going to have fun and make a movie, and nothing was going to happen. That’s what we expected.

And so, now we’re getting to this place where people are really actually moved by the film and think it could be something. But still, within the traditional Hollywood world, the majority of executives and people out there don’t see it. And even, I don’t think realize or acknowledge what you said right off the bat is, “I don’t think we’ve ever seen this before.”

And so, now we have that motivation to really put it out there and let people see what we see. And yeah, maybe Danny’s not a movie star yet, but I think he’s a whole lot more interesting and fresh than any other new actor I’ve ever seen come onto the scene. And so, I think Danny’s more interesting than most people that we’ve seen on screen in a long time. And that relatability should make up for the fact that he’s not a movie star yet, because there’s a lot of people there that are going to want to see this film.

So, I don’t know. I just think that the idea of creating more roles within Hollywood for people with disabilities is something that sounds great, but a lot of people actually just don’t want to do it for whatever reason, “Oh, it’s going to be hard because you have to accommodate some extra thing on set.”

Who cares? It’s not really that hard.

Mindy Henderson:  Not that hard.

Shane Stanger:  You just have to ride his wheelchair through a clear doorway. Is that really that hard? Or I don’t know. It’s just these things are so easily adjustable, but people just have these ideas in their head, “Oh, anything that sounds a little more complicated or a little more risky is just a no,” as opposed to taking a chance.

Mindy Henderson: Yeah. Well, I’m sure that we could have a whole other conversation about risks that filmmakers have taken in other ways. And like I said, this is the first of its kind. It’s trailblazing, and like you just said very beautifully there, it kind of breaks people out of the mold in a way that they may not be comfortable with at first, but it’s just because they don’t know what they don’t know.

And so, I think, Danny, put your seatbelt on because I think you’re going to be a movie star very, very soon. And people are going to know you a lot more broadly than they already do. But yeah, the relatability of it. Not only is it just an interesting story, but there are so many facets to Danny that other people are going to be able to relate to. He’s an entrepreneur who is struggling to meet payroll, and he’s a roommate and he’s a son and he’s a boyfriend, and there’s a dating app that is another character in the story.

And there are all of these different things, I think, about him, the self-exploration that I think we’ve talked about. And everybody goes through that. Everybody has to find themselves, so to speak, and figure out who they are. So, yes, I could not agree with you more, Shane.

So, to that end, let me ask what… I think that this film project is really important in terms of creating more representation and authenticity for people with disabilities in mainstream Hollywood. What can the rest of us do to make sure that that continues?

Danny Kurtzman: Let’s blow this movie up. I feel like this movie is the thing that if we can do what we imagine we want to do with this in the AMC theaters and then following the amazing virtual screening that really aligns with our community more than ever, Hollywood, we’re going to get on their radar pretty big. And this movie literally, I hate saying it, checked all the boxes with authenticity from every single level.

And if they want the playbook, if they want the blueprint, this is the movie. And it’s been so amazing in the last couple of years being on this journey with this movie and meeting so many other very talented disabled individuals.

Yeah, I did this movie, and everyone’s responding really well to it, but there’s so many of us out there that haven’t had a Shane or Steve to push them like I’ve been so fortunate to have, to be in a position we are at coming in August to have an amazing movie that we’re going to get to share to everybody. So, yeah, I really do feel like this movie success and getting the community really behind it and watching it and commenting on it, I don’t even care if they don’t like scenes. Rip it apart, talk about things. That’s what it’s all about. Disability is not singular. It’s very multidimensional.

So, rip it apart, talk about it, conversation’s good. And that will allow, if it’s not me, it’s going to be somebody else, the opportunity to be a writer on a new feature film, TV show, or a lead role in one of those as well. Or even as dope as it sounds, a director. Disabled director on a feature film would just be fantastic. Hollywood needs it. Yeah, and just, it’s all about us trying to see if we can get this community to get behind the movie coming this next August.

Mindy Henderson: Yeah, that’s incredible. And so, let’s get that conversation started by talking a little bit more about what’s coming for this film. So, I want to mention all of your incredible generosity. You are donating some proceeds of the movie and all of that, which is incredible. It’s a wonderful thing to do. And of course, we will put all of this that we’re about to say in the show notes, but how can people see this movie? What’s the timeline? Let’s let everyone know how, when and where they can see it so that they can start all of the talking that we know is going to happen.

Shane Stanger: Yeah, so we’re still finalizing the theaters that we’re choosing. So, we will have the very specific, I guess, answer there in maybe two weeks. But we’re going to be doing the theatrical in 50 theaters around the country, and we’re hoping that your audience base, most people in those cities will be able to have a screening nearby. I think we’ll know exactly where, I guess maybe even as soon as a week from now.

But the goal right now and pretty likely is the date will be August 15th. And then after the theatrical, we have a couple more things planned, but right now we’re just really only going to talk about the theatrical, but there will be a chance for everyone to see it.

So, anyone who isn’t near a theater, just know that very soon we’ll also let you know exactly how you can see the film because that is already planned. And so, yeah, it’s certainly going to be available for everybody.

Mindy Henderson: Fantastic. And I think I’ve got a link to sort of a web page maybe dedicated to the film. Is that maybe going to be a good place where people can find out where they can see it or continue to follow the journey?

Shane Stanger:  Yeah, that will be a good spot to see it on our website. And then also, once we have it all locked in, we’ll send it to you. And it’d be great if you could also be able to put out the specifics once we have them. So, we’ll definitely be in touch about that.

Mindy Henderson: Count on it.

Danny Kurtzman:   And social media. [inaudible 00:44:41] a Nazi on our Instagram.

Mindy Henderson: Great. Fantastic. Well, we’re going to put all of your information in the show notes. We’ll put that web page in the show notes that I mentioned, and I just want to say one final time that everybody listening needs to see this movie. It’s so good. It’s so beautiful, and it may be the first of its kind, but it’s not going to be the last of its kind. So, I just want to thank all of you for being here with me today, for giving me your time. I know how busy you are. Any last thoughts or words for everybody before we end?

Danny Kurtzman: No, we’re super-thankful to have MDA as a partner of ours during this amazing stage that we’re in with this film. And yeah, I just hope everyone really is eager to see this film, yeah.

Mindy Henderson:  Well said. Fantastic. Well, thank you again for being here. I appreciate it.

Shane Stanger: Thank you so much for having us.

Steve Way: Thank you.

Mindy Henderson: Thank you for listening. For more information about the guests you heard from today, go check them out at mda.org/podcast, and to learn more about the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the services we provide, how you can get involved, and to subscribe to Quest Magazine or to Quest Newsletter, please go to mda.org/quest.

If you enjoyed this episode, we’d be grateful if you’d leave a review. Go ahead and hit that subscribe button so we can keep bringing you great content and maybe share it with a friend or two.

Thanks, everyone. Until next time, go be the light we all need in this world.

 

 

Disclaimer: No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.