Film

Through the form of a TV docuseries and with the help of a National Media Network, we aim to help raise national awareness of some of the causes and effects surrounding homelessness, helping create a new paradigm on poverty and homelessness. 

By connecting with our audience, we hope our TV Series will push viewers to think more openly, and challenge themselves to see the world from a different viewpoint. We believe that by bringing the world together to share these stories of homelessness and a community uniting, it will help make us more tolerant of difference and of one another. 

In 2008, while attending Memphis College of Art, Zach Waters set out to film a trailer for his docuseries concept, in which he would interview homeless people in Memphis, TN to hear their stories. After filming multiple stories around the city, one of the most profound interviews Zach filmed was Lee Brown’s, aka ‘Lee Dog’. Lee lived on the streets of Memphis for almost 20 years, but in his last 15 and with the help of the Memphis community he was able to get off the streets and into stable, affordable housing.

In July 2018, Lee Brown passed away in Memphis, TN. Zach Waters founded A Lee Dog Story the next day, successfully becoming a federally exempt 501(c)(3) organization in less than one month.

“I have always had a strong desire to film Lee’s story and those of other people currently experiencing homelessness, and when Lee passed away it reignited that fire.” – Zach Waters, Founder

At A Lee Dog Story, we believe that Lee can serve as an inspiration to those currently experiencing homelessness while also giving a blueprint to community residents who want to end homelessness permanently. At A Lee Dog story, we are committed to learning as much as we can from Lee’s story and other individuals currently experiencing homelessness.

Where ?

Memphis, TN

When ?

Apr 2020 - Jan 2022

What will you film?

  1. Stories from current homeless men, women, and children living in Memphis, TN.
  2. A community uniting to help homeless individuals off the streets, with housing, community-based social, and emotional support, food, clothing, health care, medication, transportation, a steady paying job and financial planning.
  3. Construction of our first Tiny Home Development in Memphis, TN, including the volunteers that help build the tiny homes and community.
  4. The arrival, transition, recovery, and empowerment of our 4 – 7 Tiny Home Development residents over a 12 month period. 
  5. Street artists, fine artists, digital artists, photographers and their artwork created and inspired by A Lee Dog Story, to help raise funds and awareness for our project. Their contributed artwork will help tell our story of poverty, homelessness, home, hope, growth, recovery and Lee Dog.
  6. Lee Brown’s story of living life on the streets for over 20 years, and how in his last 15 and with the help of the Memphis community he was able to get off the streets and into permanent, affordable housing. This story will be recounted through his family and friend’s memories. 
  7. Our artist’s and community’s personal experience with the homeless, and their perceptions of homelessness.
  8. Our Tiny Home Development residents, neighbors, volunteers, case workers, community leaders, artists, social workers, health care professionals and construction team’s stories of community, and how it helps to transform a city, its neighborhoods and people. 
  9. Our city, Memphis, TN along with its people, infrastructure, culture, arts, businesses, and history.
  10. Stories of homelessness from other major cities across the U.S.
  11. History of Homelessness in the United States, and its impact on the economy, environment and our country’s population. 

Season 1

Stories from current homeless men, women and children living in Memphis, TN. 

  • Interviews from Homeless individuals about what it’s like living in the city of Memphis without a permanent home, their experiences with emergency shelters, missions, food banks, and the resources they have found currently available for the homeless. 
  • Interviews of their experiences with local businesses, parks, streets, alleyways, underpasses, traffic, animals, weather, morning, day and night. 
  • Interviews of their stories of other homeless individuals they know or have known, and if they know the reasons that brought them into homelessness and the resources that they found or did not. 
  • Interviews of their experiences with people that give them money, food, clothes or shelter, residents that help them or refuse to help.
  • Interviews of their accounts of police, jails, and the court system. 
  • Interviews of their experience with family, friends, past, reasons they feel they are in the situation they are in and hopes for the future.
  • Interviews from these individuals family and friends. 

The Memphis community uniting to help 4 – 7 homeless individuals off the streets, and into permanent, affordable housing. 

  • Interviews from social workers, health care professionals, community leaders, case workers and volunteers about their personal experiences with our community residents.
  • A Lee Dog Story’s sponsors, partners, case workers, social workers, health care professionals and volunteers uniting to help these 4 -7 individuals with clothing, community-based social, and emotional support, food, clothing, health care, medication, transportation, a steady paying job and financial planning.

Construction of our first Tiny Home Development in Memphis, TN, including the construction workers and volunteers that help build the tiny homes and community.

  • Beginning, progression and completion of our residents tiny homes and the Tiny Home Development.
  • Construction of our Tiny Home Development’s community center, bikeways, community gardens, public neighborhood art installations and paintings.    

The arrival, transition, recovery, and empowerment of our 4 – 7 Tiny Home Development residents over a 12 month period.

  • Interview process we undergo in order to find the best candidates to move into the tiny home community.
  • Our resident’s arrival into their tiny homes and community, their braveness, struggles, fears, doubts, needs, obligations, sense of home, hopes, goals, desires, emotions and spirit. 
  • Our residents transition into their tiny homes. We will interview each member on a monthly basis, over a 12 month period and ask how it feels to be off the streets, into housing and with a community-based support system to encourage their growth. 
  • Our volunteers, case workers, social workers, health care specialists, community leaders and neighbors conversations with our residents. 
  • Our Tiny Home Development’s community center’s weekly meetings, that all residents must attend over the course of a 12 month period.
  • Our resident’s recovery within the Tiny Home Development, including their commitment, hard work, dedication, perseverance, resilience, growth, transformation, empowerment, and sustainability after a 12 month period.

Street artists, fine artists, digital artists, photographers and their artwork created and inspired by A Lee Dog Story, to help raise funds and awareness for our organization. Their contributed artwork will help tell our story of poverty, homelessness, home, hope, growth, recovery and Lee Dog.

  • Our Nationally recognized Street Artist’s development, process and creation of murals, inspired by A Lee Dog Story, created within Memphis, and other major cities around the country to help raise awareness for our organization.
  • Our Fine Artist’s and Digital Artist’s development, process and creation of original artwork, inspired by A Lee Dog Story to help raise and awareness for our organization.
  • Our photographers within their artistic environment, photographing the homeless individuals we find and interview for film.
  • Our artist’s experience with homelessness, and or the homeless population.
  • Interviews from each of our artists about how art can help connect a community, bring peace and comfort, revitalize our neighborhoods, increase our sense of well-being, speak the unspeakable, enhance our environment by bringing color and life to home, and challenge viewers intellectually, pushing them to think more openly, and challenge themselves to see the world from a different viewpoint, all while helping tell a story.

 

Lee Brown’s story of living life on the streets for over 20 years, and how in his last 15 and with the help of the Memphis community he was able to get off the streets and into permanent, affordable housing.  

  • Lee’s story will be recounted through his friend’s and family’s memories. We will interview a dynamic range of individuals from different neighborhoods, back grounds, occupations, age, sex, ethnicity, whom all have stories to share of Lee, including current homeless individuals. We will ask them what they remember about Lee the most, what they think helped him the most, but also might have hurt him. 
  • From Midtown to Downtown Memphis, we will venture to some of Lee’s favorite spots to explore, eat, sleep, and engage with the Memphis community.
  • Interviews from the Memphis’ community that reached out and helped Lee get back on his feet, and off the streets. We will visit his final apartments, and the neighborhoods he found sanctuary, love and community in.  
  • Interviews from Lee’s family, about his life before and after homelessness.

Our artist’s and community’s personal experience with the homeless, and their perceptions of homelessness.

  • Interviews from social workers, health care professionals, community leaders, case workers and volunteers about their personal experiences with the homeless and their perceptions of homelessness. 
  • Interviews from the community, A Lee Dog Story’s sponsors, partners, case workers, social workers, health care professionals and volunteers personal experiences with the homeless and their perceptions of homelessness.  
  • Interviews from police officers, politicians, judges, about their personal experiences with the homeless and their perceptions of homelessness. 
  • Interviews from Memphis business owners, about their personal experiences with the homeless and their perceptions of homelessness.
  • Interviews from other Memphis residents, community activists and leaders, about their personal experiences with the homeless and their perceptions of homelessness. 

Our Tiny Home Development residents, neighbors, volunteers, case workers, community leaders, artists, social workers, health care professionals and construction team’s stories of community, and how they think it helps to transform and connect a city, its neighborhoods and people.

  • Interviews of their personal experiences and feelings surrounding community, and how it helps to transform and connect a city, its neighborhoods and people.

Our city, Memphis, TN along with its people, infrastructure, culture, arts, businesses, and history.

  • Memphis city’s environment and landscape. 

Stories of homelessness from other major cities across the U.S. 

  • Interviews from homeless individuals in other major cities around the country, and their experience of what life is like living on the streets. 
  • Interviews of their experiences with emergency shelters, missions, food banks, and the resources they have found currently available for the homeless in their city. 
  • Interviews about their past, reasons they feel they are in the situation they are in and hopes for the future.

Season 2

  • Continue to tell Lee Brown’s story through his friend’s and family’s memories.
  • Interviews from homeless individuals in Denver, Colorado, and their experience of what life is like living on the streets. 
  • Interviews from residents of Denver, Colorado, and their experience with the homeless population and their perceptions of homelessness.
  • Interviews from different homeless individuals in other major cities around the country, and their experience of what life is like living on the streets.
  • Revisit our first Tiny Home Development and its residents, updating viewers with the resident’s experience, trials, success, and hopes for the future.
  • Revisit with Season one’s social workers, health care professionals, community leaders, case workers and volunteers for new interviews about their personal experiences with our community residents and Tiny Home Development. Interviews from each individual on their views of our Tiny Home Development, how it helped connect people, build community, impact positive change in people’s lives and help the city of Memphis.
  • History of Homelessness in the United States, and its impact on the economy, environment and our country’s population. 
  • Find stories of what other people around the world are doing to help their homeless population. 

Season 3

  • Continue to tell Lee Brown’s story through his friend’s and family’s memories.
  • Interviews from homeless individuals in Los Angeles, California, and their experience of what life is like living on the streets. 
  • Interviews from residents of Los Angeles, California, and their experience with the homeless population and their perceptions of homelessness.
  • Interviews from different homeless individuals in other major cities around the country, and their experience of what life is like living on the streets.
  • Revisit our first Tiny Home Development and its residents, updating viewers with the residents experience, trials, success, and hopes for the future.
  • Continue to tell the history of Homelessness in the United States, and its impact on the economy, environment and our country’s population. 
  • Continue to find stories of what other people around the world are doing to help their homeless population. 

Season 4

  • Complete Lee Brown’s story through his friend’s and family’s memories.
  • Interviews from homeless individuals in Manhattan, New York and their experience of what life is like living on the streets. 
  • Interviews from residents of Manhattan, New York, and their experience with the homeless population and their perceptions of homelessness.
  • Construction of our second Tiny Home Development in Memphis, TN, including the new residents chosen.
  • Final interviews from different homeless individuals in other major cities around the country, and their experience of what life is like living on the streets.  
  • Complete history of Homelessness in the United States, and its impact on the economy, environment and our country’s population. 
  • Final stories of what other people around the world are doing to help their homeless population. 
  • Revisit our first Tiny Home Development and its residents, updating viewers with the residents experience, trials, success, and hopes for the future.

Who IS producING?

Play Video

We are excited to announce that Christopher O’Conner, Memphis native and founder and CEO of Prodigi Arts is helping produce this TV series. Chris and his team of professionals, including Emmy Award winning cinematographer Joel Evans have created projects for Disney, Memphis Grizzlies, FedEx, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital just to name a few, and are now working on several major TV productions in L.A.

Chris O’Conner (Founder, CEO Prodigi Arts)