Ron Moore lost his entire family when his son Aaron shot his own mother and sister before turning the gun on himself.
Never heard of Moore? You’re not alone.
Neither had “Scandal” star Jeff Perry until colleague Cullen Douglas presented him with a script based on Moore’s life. Rather than focus on the shooting, Douglas told a story based on Moore’s efforts to piece his life back together after an incomprehensible tragedy.
That made the story universal — one that resonated with those unfamiliar with Moore’s personal plight.
“I didn’t know of this occurrence, but it reverberates through dozens of occurrences you and I could recount from the last two years of newspapers,” Perry told TheWrap. “This is asking the question: how do humans ever find the ability to breathe again, live again and, in Ron’s case, heal to the point of having a real life and hope and love.”
Moore had been working with Douglas on a book when they decided it would make a good movie. Douglas then turned to director Tom Verica of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” and soon Perry got wind of it.
All of a sudden, Moore has several new friends in Hollywood who want to tell this story at a time when mass shootings are far too common. Perry enlisted his wife, casting director Linda Lowy, and the two have signed up several professional actors, including Elizabeth Perkins (“Weeds”), KaDee Strickland (“Private Practice”) and Douglas (“True Blood”).
Yet the biggest hurdle of them all remains — getting money to make the movie.
“None of us could trigger any conventional domestic or international financing — not alone or in aggregate,” Perry said, laying on the self-deprecation.
Perry has turned to Kickstarter, launching a campaign with a goal of $500,00o. Reaching that sum is a Sisyphean task for a project with faces you know but names you don’t.
“Kickstarter has been frank,” Perry said. “They said, ‘You’re the one percent. There’s 99 percent of examples of you’re not going to make your campaign. You won’t succeed.'”
While even Perry acknowledges the project will need a lot of help, no one involved could resist given all the recent mass atrocities, many of them firearm-related. Their mission is to make something similar to “Dead Man Walking,” Tim Robbins‘ 1995 film about a man on death row.
“I’m not going to get on a soap box and tell you whether I’m for or against the issue, but I do want to show you the cost on both sides,” Perry said.