In the Night I Remember Your Name A Project of Documentaries
What Is Her Story?
Somewhere there's a picture of my Mom in her First Communion gown with a toy gun strapped to her hip.
The story goes that my Grandpa had to bribe her with candy to get her to drop the cap gun. I've been searching for this picture for so long it's become our family's own little urban legend. But the image captures her perfectly – her love for God, her stubbornness and sense of humor.
Mom was a pastor and a gay activist. A grandmother. In 2005 she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. But even in the midst of the disease she clung to her desire to make a difference. She asked me to make a film about her experience that might be a message of hope to others battling the disease.
I'm Vicki Speegle, the producer of my mother's story In the Night I Remember Your Name. I studied film at New York University, and I've been writing and making films for over 20 years. My work has been in development at Amazon Studios, and my screenplays have placed in the finals of Sundance, Slamdance, and Bluecat. But my mother's story is the most important I will ever tell. She died in 2010, but her spirit lives on in the tears and laughter, grief and joy that my camera captured.
We need your help to share her story.
I'm thrilled to announce that Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden recently joined our cast, performing the voiceover part of my mother Joyce. Marcia's own family has been affected by Alzheimer's, and she's active in the fight against the disease through Notes to Remember.
How You Can Be A Part
During our last campaign we raised enough funds to complete editing and hire our music composer Jodelle. Thank you to all of our kind supporters!
Now we need your help to raise $8,400 to complete post-production, and $7,100 to begin community outreach – a total of $15,500. All donations up to $8,400 will go to the completion of the film, and all donations received after post-production has been completed will go toward community outreach.
Remember, your kind gift is tax deductible through our fiscal sponsor From The Heart Productions. Below is a breakdown of our budget.
Help us reach our goal, and you can be part of the story in some very special ways. We'll reach out to you after we receive your gift.
$25 – The film
We'll send you a digital download of the film, and thank you kindly in our credits.
$50 – Her favorite music
Enjoy a Spotify playlist created by me with some of my Mom's favorite music. Tunes by Anne Murray, Paul McCartney & Wings, Andrea Bocelli, Barbra Streisand, Tom Jones, Johnny Mathis, K.D. Lang and more. And we'll send you a digital download of the film, with a "thank you" in our credits.
$50 – Watch a very special little movie
We'll send you the link to a sweet little movie my 8-year old niece made, shot entirely on her Kidizoom camera. Her Grandma Madge has dementia, and is constantly searching for her cat. Trouble is, the cat doesn't exist. But trouble turns to triumph when her granddaughter's on the case! Plus you'll receive a digital download of the film, and a thank you in our credits.
$50 – Honor a Loved One
Does or did someone you love suffer from Alzheimer's or dementia? Honor them with a special "In honor of" or "In memory of" credit at the end of the film. You will also receive a "thank you" credit and a digital download of the film.
$100 – A Special Place in Heaven
We'll send you a digital download of a book-on-tape that my mother produced. A Special Place in Heaven examines homosexuality in Scripture. What does the Bible really have to say about it? The tape was used as a teaching tool in the University of Alabama's Women's Studies program. You'll also receive the film and any of the $50 gifts you choose.
$100 – Music from the film
Enjoy a digital download of the film score composed by the lovely and talented Jodelle. We'll also send you a download of the film and any of the $50 gifts you choose.
$250 – Teatime with our music composer
Ever wanted to know how composers work? See a recording studio? Donate $250 and enjoy teatime with our music composer Jodelle. Watch her process as she records, and get a personal tour of her studio. You'll also receive the film, the music score, and any of the $50 gifts you choose. (You must provide your own travel to and from Jodelle's studio, in northern New Jersey)
$250 – A consultation with our editor
Are you in post on a film project of your own? Need some unbiased, constructive, professional feedback? Donate $250 and our co-editor, sound mixer and colorist Don Riemer will watch your cut, then chat with you about it and answer any questions you may have. Plus you'll receive the film, the music score, and any of the $50 gifts you choose.
$250 – Lunch with the producer
Are you working on a film project of your own? I've been writing and making films for over 20 years, and I have experience in writing grant proposals, so I may be able to help you out with some advice. Donate $250 and share lunch with me (my treat) if you're in the New York/New Jersey area. Or a Skype session. We can have a good long chat. You'll also receive the film, the music score, and any of the $50 gifts you choose.
$500 – Join us for the premiere screening
Donate $1000 and you'll receive a special invitation to join us for the very first screening of the film (travel & accommodations not included). And we'll send you the film, the music score, and invite you to sit in on our voiceover recording session. (You must be available on the date of the recording session and provide your own travel to and from the studio, in Maplewood, New Jersey)
All donations go toward the completion of post-production or community outreach, and remember – your gift is tax deductible through our fiscal sponsor.
How Will Her Story Make A Difference?
Every time I traveled home to visit Mom my camera captured something unexpected. We found ourselves confronting heartbreaking questions like, "Does providing her with the best care mean placing her in a home?" "Should we try to get her to eat even when she doesn't want to?" Families, friends, and caregivers of those afflicted with Alzheimer's need to see that they are not the only ones tackling these issues – that they are not alone. And they need to see what my mother and I discovered – that although we could not stop the progression of her Alzheimer's, there were ways to make the time we had together happy and meaningful. That even in the midst of suffering, there is joy.
Here's one of my favorite clips from the film. It shows my mother's steadfast faith and sense of humor in the face of the disease.
Once the film is finished we'll be conducting community screenings through our partnerships with various churches, senior centers, and LGBT organizations. My mother's life as a gay pastor provides an inspirational example of breaking barriers for those in the LGBT community.
Ann Craig, GLAAD's previous Director of Religion, Faith & Values, calls my mother's story unique and powerful: "…we need to see more lives like hers documented in the media." GLAAD has offered their support in promoting our documentary.
Will you help us share her story?
Give today, and please share our page with your family & friends. Thank you!
Meet Our Team
Pastor Joyce Speegle
Joyce worked her way up from housekeeper to Respiratory Therapist at St. Thomas Hospital before beginning seminary studies. In 1985 she was ordained pastor of Akron Metropolitan Christian Church, and ministered to the gay community for over 20 years. She was a contributing writer on LGBT issues to the Akron Beacon Journal, and producer of "A Special Place in Heaven," an exploration of homosexuality in Bible scripture that has been used as a teaching resource in the University of Alabama's Women's Studies program. She was a founding member of the Northeast Ohio Task Force on AIDS, and she made numerous appearances on tv & radio, including the popular Cleveland tv show The Morning Exchange. She is survived by her three children, Vicki, Keith, and Herb, six grandchildren, and her spouse Maria.
Vicki Speegle - Producer, Writer, and Editor
Vicki's screenplay LOVED ONES was in development at Amazon Studios where it was also finalist for Best Screenplay of the Year. Her work has placed in the finals of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, Slamdance, and Bluecat. A graduate of New York University, Vicki's credits include a comedy feature for Applause films and radio scripts for jazz great Wynton Marsalis.
Marcia Gay Harden - Voiceover, Pastor Joyce Speegle
Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden has forged a remarkable body of work, always staying true to her chameleon of "becoming the character." Her character portraits have been described by critics as "searing", "heartbreaking", "inventive", "astonishing", "authentic", and "sensuous". From the glamorous Ava Gardner in Sinatra, to the artist Lee Krasner in Pollock (for which she won Best Supporting Actress Oscar®), to the down and out Celeste in Mystic River (another Academy Award® nomination) Marcia has created a signature based in character transformation. Her versatility and wide-range have been praised in such films as Millers Crossing, The First Wives Club, Meet Joe Black, Mona Lisa Smile, The Hoax, and Used People.
Don Riemer - Editor, Sound Mixer and Colorist
Don studied photography, graphic design, and media production at county college, later at the University of Wisconsin. After four years as staff writer/director at New York Television, he became an independent media consultant, a role he continues to this day. He received Telly Awards for Best Documentary Editing in 2010 and 2016. Don also teaches Cinema Post Production at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Jodelle Boorady - Music Composer
Jodelle was named a Top 12 DIY artist in Performing Songwriter Magazine, and her music has been selected for the Songwriters Hall of Fame Best of the New Writers Showcase Compilation CD. She performs in prestigious venues and festivals all across North America and Europe, and she has opened for Ray Charles and Ben Taylor (son of James Taylor). Jodelle has written and recorded 2 albums, The Adventures of Jodelle and Better Than OK.
Jenny is executive producer, writer, and director of a new scripted podcast series for children, The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel that recently won the Peabody Award. The Guardian has named Mars Patel one of the top fifty podcasts in the world. After a decade working in film and television production (NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Directors Guild of America), Jenny started Studio B, a non-profit art house that serves Northern New Jersey. The mission of Studio B is to build community through the arts, and to showcase local artists.Jenny's work is inspired by humor, underdogs, and her own life, which includes raising a child with special needs.
Many of us either have a loved one suffering through Alzheimer's, or know someone affected by it. Is that you? If you want to share a happy memory of your loved one, reach out to us at email@example.com.
May Chaplin and her mother Berniece
Watch May share a special day with her mother Berniece by clicking here.
EJ Sepp and his mother Joan
Richard Stephen Bell and his mother Dorothy
There are other ways you can help us share the story.
Donations are only half the picture. We can't raise the funds we need, or share my mother's story, unless we spread the word. And YOU can help us do that.
Pick 10 people you think will be impacted by our film. Send them a personal message with a link to our page. Ask them to help. Then ask them to reach out to 10 more people.
Supported by 23 Donations:
You have created an amazing documentary, Vicki. You put your heart and soul into the project, and I know your Mom's proud in many ways. Much success!
I Gave $50I love your passion for this!
I Gave $100In memory of my very good friend Judy Struble who battled Alzheimer's for many years. I love you Judy! ❤️
I Gave $100
I Gave $40Please reserve me two tickets for the screening on August 6. Looking forward to it!!
I Gave $25
I Gave $50Keep pushing on!
AnonymousI Gave $25
I Gave $50In memory of Pastor Joyce. Thank you!
I Gave $50Such a meaningful project, Vicki. Cannot wait to see this.
I Gave $50
I Gave $150Bravo Vicki!
I Gave $250
I Gave $250Making mama proud! :)
I Gave $50Such great work you are doing, Vicki. Can't wait to see the final result!
AnonymousI Gave $500Great stories are worth so much. We need them.
I Gave $50
I Gave $25