What makes a community able to come together so quickly after a tragedy? Who made Orlando Strong? Watermark Publishing Group, Central Florida’s LGBTQ news source, wants to answer these questions through the documentary, “Greetings from Queertown: Orlando.”
We will go back to the beginning and tell the stories of this brave LGBTQ community that built Orlando’s political and nightlife scene, that struggled through the HIV/AIDS crisis and that created Pride and Gay Day at Disney World. Orlando has a rich LGBTQ history and it’s time to tell that story.
Rick Todd is the Owner, Publisher Watermark, Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ news source. He is a former board member of the Metropolitan Business Association, an inaugural board member to Come Out With Pride and part of the formation committee for the One Orlando Alliance. As a longtime member of Central Florida’s LGBTQ community and a longtime employee of Watermark, Rick has a passion for telling the stories of the local community. This passion is what led to the creation of this documentary outlining the LGBTQ history of Central Florida.
Jess Keller is a Director and Director of Photography based in Central Florida. Her aim is to approach every production with purpose, understanding the message of a project- and translating that message into visuals that talk. With a background in camera operation, she is proficient with a variety of camera systems, in studio and in the field. Here to collaborate and develop story-driven images with intention, Jess has partnered with a variety of clients including Microsoft, Wyndham Destinations, Universal Orlando Resort, Investigation Discovery and Darden as well as Orlando’s own Come Out With Pride and the Outwords Archive, a chronicle of LGBTQ+ elders.
Martin Olarte is an award-winning producer on a range of scripted and non-scripted productions. Throughout his career he has had the pleasure of producing content for Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, and The Tonight Show. His early career as an editor laid the groundwork to become a skilled and strategic producer, leading a team of uniquely talented cinematographers, editors, sound recordists and other craftspeople at Adrenaline Films in Orlando. His work has taken him all over the US and as far afield as Beijing, China, in search of the next great story.
Tiona Langley is a producer with experience in advertising, entertainment, and event production. Tiona worked on broadcast, digital and print ads for The Hershey Company and Google. She worked at Universal Pictures and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine before leaving the company and freelancing full time. Tiona is passionate about supporting and highlighting multi-talented creatives.
Sandi Hulon has been in the video production world for more than 15 years. She grew up in production in Los Angeles. She has produced award-winning international, national and regional television commercials and movies. Her love of storytelling and passion for the LGBTQ community led to her involvement with “Greetings from Queertown: Orlando”.
Jeremy Williams is the Editor-In_Chief for Watermark, the LGBTQ newsmagazine of Central Florida and Tampa Bay. A journalist by trade, Jeremy has been writing everything from breaking news, features and politics to event coverage, arts and entertainment since 2015 for Watermark. Jeremy studied journalism at Valencia College and served as a munitions systems technician in the United States Air Force for six years. Jeremy is a pop culture junkie and film nerd who had a subscription to Entertainment Weekly ever since the early 90s and has watched every Oscar telecast since he was 10 years old.
Adrenaline is a full-service production agency based in Central Florida. From pre-production to post, they bring 30 years of technical experience and creative passion to bring stories to life. At their location south of downtown Orlando, they’re equipped with production stages, edit suites, control rooms and the gear and talent needed to develop cutting-edge media. Founded by the Director of Photography of Survivor, the company has partnered with household names such as NBC, ESPN, Universal Orlando Resort, Siemens, and Prime Video, along with local organizations such as Come Out With Pride. Their goal is to tell engaging stories that aren’t only seen, but felt.
Special thank you to Tye Belcher, John Couwels, Jake Steven, and Dylan Todd for their help in the early stages of production.
Do you have an LGBTQ story about Central Florida to tell?Got some amazing photos and video?
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