In my graphic and controversial 2013 documentary Blame Reagan, I lived on the streets of thirty major cities to make the first ever first person film about homelessness in film history. To make the film I was literally homeless for eighteen months, hitchhiking across the country, filming it, sleeping on concrete and in bushes to capture the actual real world of a homeless person.
Making this film opened a lot of doors for me and allowed me to generate enough to money to build a comfortable life for myself, giving me the ability to give back.
As the story goes, I started to make the film, and three days into making it, I was robbed by a homeless person who had just got out of prison, in California. Not having a support network, or friends or family with money, I was left legitimately homeless, where I stayed for the next year and a half.
I traveled the country with a small hand held camera, a laptop in my backpack, and I edited the film in McDonald’s and Starbucks, or where I would hide in the daytime. The film was first released on International Video on Demand, and for free on YouTube.
After it was released for free, the film started to go viral, but it was banned from YouTube over a now removed scene in the film where two hitchhikers pulled a knife on me. When I re-uploaded the film it never gained the traction it once had.
About a month after the release of the film, I was still homeless, when an engineer from Google found me on the internet and saved me from the street. Today, this engineer, who now works for Facebook, is my business partner, and together we’ve generated well over a million dollars.
My story is the ultimate rags to richest story of a man who started out on the street, with nothing, and went on to achieve great heights. At the same, my documentary takes people into the real internal life of a homeless person living on the streets in the richest country in the world.
The film, itself, is slated for re-release this year.