Web Series ‘The Benefits of Gusbandry’ Dives Back Into a Special Kind of Friendship

"Our mission is to employ laughter to send messages of freedom and acceptance, and we intend to push things even further with this next bout of episodes."

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The Benefits of Gusbandry

Logline: One woman, One man, a lot of weed, a little crying, and no sexual attraction whatsoever. Love is so gay.

Elevator Pitch:

Inspired by creator Alicia J. Rose’s real-life relationships with her own “gusbands” (a.k.a: gay best friends), “The Benefits of Gusbandry” follows serial relationship-killer Jackie Rosenblum and charming yet single River Manning as they navigate the modern world and find a new kind of significant otherness that unfolds over a seven-episode first season that covers dating, babies, parents and a few pot cookies, earning recognition from Best of Portland (Winner, Best Local Web Series 2016) and the Austin Film Festival (Finalist, Digital Series Competition).

Production Team:

Creator/Director: Alicia J. Rose
Written by Courtenay Hameister & Alicia J. Rose
Produced by Lara Cuddy
Starring Brooke Totman and Kurt Conryod
Director of Photography – Bradley Sellers

Made in Portland, OR

Alicia J. Rose – Creator/Showrunner/Director/Co-Writer/Music Supervisor:

Known for imbuing riveting story structures and a compelling visual aesthetic into her body of work, Alicia has created popular music videos for national artists like First Aid Kit, Cake, Blitzen Trapper and Bob Mould as well as playing a key role in branding NW bands like The Decemberists, Menomena and Laura Gibson. Rose has directed many short-form commercial/corporate videos, over 24 music videos and released her first narrative short “The Gift of Gravity” in 2014. She is an award-winning still photographer who spent 20 years in the music business doing marketing and sales before turning her eye to filmmaking in 2008. “The Benefits of Gusbandry” is her debut foray into digital episodic storytelling and has received wide acclaim from press outlets like The New York Times, A/V Club, PASTE – even landing on the “Must List” of Entertainment Weekly.

Courtenay Hameister – Co-Writer:

Courtenay is a columnist, playwright, filmmaker and the head writer and co-producer of “Live Wire,” a radio variety show out of Portland, Oregon that airs on over 60 public radio stations around the country. She wrote and directed the award-winning short “Stella’s Flight,” and was co-writer on six prize-winning shorts with the film collective Cinema Syndicate. She also co-wrote the highly successful stage parodies “Roadhouse: The Play!” and “Lost Boys: Live with Shelley McLendon.” Her writing can also be found on McSweeney’s and in Portland Monthly and Oregon Humanities Magazine. Her first novel “Okay, Fine, Whatever” will be published by Little Brown in 2017.

Brooke Totman, Lead Actress – Jackie:

Actress Brooke Totman (Jackie) earned a degree in Theater Arts from the University of Oregon. After college, she moved to Los Angeles where she studied improv and sketch comedy with The Groundlings, eventually becoming a member of their Sunday Company. Totman was a featured cast member on MadTV and has guest starred in several sitcoms including “Less than Perfect” and “King of Queens.” She is currently writing and performing sketch comedy with numerous funny people in Portland Oregon.

Kurt Conroyd, Lead Actor – River:

Actor Kurt Conroyd (“River”) was featured in Fox Searchlight’s “Wild” and Reverie Films’ “Birds of Neptune” (Official Slamdance feature 2015). He also worked with Olive Entertainment in “Life and Death of…” and “Wild Blue.” He studied at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre company and loves funny people.

Bradley Sellers – Director of Photography:

For over 2 decades Bradley has been putting a romantic lens on the world. He has DP’d over a dozen feature films as well as a long list of scripted comedy and drama including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Mr. Show, Def Comedy Jam, Carnivale, Top Chef and many others. He has previously collaborated with Alicia on multiple music video projects (First Aid Kit, MC Frontalot, Bob Mould).

Lara Cuddy – Producer:

With over 20 years of experience in concept development, marketing strategy, and project management, Lara Cuddy works as a producer and designer in a broad range of media including film & video, broadcast, print, and interactive. Her skill-set includes producing, line producing, and production management as well as post-production, promotion, and marketing coordination on independent short and feature film projects, commercials, music videos, and television. Recent projects include the feature films “Deep Dark” (official selection Fantaspoa Film Festival 2015), and “Birds of Neptune” (official selection Slamdance Film Festival 2015, Winner Best Narrative Feature Arizona Int’l Film Festival 2015), and most recently, Tuff TV’s first original scripted series, “Combat Report,” a WWII drama first aired on cable television in January 2015.

About the Film:

When we toured the Southern film festival circuit this fall with Season One, (Austin, Nashville, New Orleans) many people came out to tell us how f’d things were in their communities, how religious discrimination is rampant, how two people of the same gender can’t hold hands walking to Starbucks and not be shunned.

We make this show to be a small tool of change. Our mission is to employ laughter to send messages of freedom and acceptance, and we intend to push things even further with this next bout of episodes. Our feminist/gay comedic purview will pull no punches.

Current Status: Crowdfunding now and in pre-production for Season Two.

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