A light-hearted Q&A with the Half Fund Co-Founder Dan Duffy
1. So what is “Half” anyway?
Half is a script written by Dan Duffy that tells the story of a young man who battles testicular cancer and wins. Oh, and did we mention it’s a comedy?
2. A comedy? There is nothing funny about cancer!
Wrong. The disease itself may not be the stuff of cocktail party witty banter, but some of the things that can happen during the fight can be painfully hilarious.
3. So is this just a light-hearted look at battling the beast? Yes and no.
For all of the crazy things that go on, cancer is still serious business. For instance, did you know that when you lose your hair, you lose ALL of it? No eye lashes, no eye brows, and your crotchal region loses all of its glorious natural insulation. But what really sucks is that chemotherapy effects don’t kick in right away. At some point, you actually think you’re over the hump, that they won’t clobber you. And then they hit. And you want to die. And you feel this way for longer than you think you can handle it. And you do this while your white blood cell count drops to zero. And you have to self-inject drugs into your leg to build them back up. And the drug you inject “may or may not cause bone pain.”Bone pain?
4. Wow…there’s so much that people don’t know.
So many things just flat out suck, but the biggie where sufferers really have to wing it is the emotional aspect. Imagine your parents and what they will go through when they realize that you, their child, is stricken with cancer. Imagine friends who, even when they listen to “I’m going to be okay eventually,” really hear “I’m going to die. Send my ass off with a bang.” Imagine the tough love of a sibling who may actually try to kill you first if you don’t change your lifestyle. And what would happen if you met the love of your life, a week before you knew there was something terribly wrong?
5. Is this a true story?
Maybe. It’s for the public to decide what is real and what is embellished. Some things are alluded to, as opposed to actually shown. I mean, do you really want to hear about that first colon exfoliation after a three week blockage? Probably not. What we can say is that the crux of the story is completely true. Dan Duffy, the writer of “Half,” was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer, and it was caught within weeks of it spreading beyond his abdomen. He has written this screenplay to help others avoid some of his own pitfalls. As he puts it…
“I hated that cancer was so reactive. You never knew what nasty sneak-attack was going to come around the bend to jack you square in the face, and you didn’t know what it was going to be, or how to fend it off. Most times, you didn’t even know what hit you. There is no foresight when you’re in the battle, and that’s what bothered me the most. This script will hopefully give a pretty accurate glimpse of the physical and emotional ups and downs that can and will strike.”
6. So how does this all work?
We are in the process raising donations through “The Half Fund,” a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit entity designed to promote cancer education, to finance the production and limited distribution of the film. As a 501 (c) (3), donations will be tax deductible.
Once we reach the initial threshold of $750,000.00, the producers of “Half” will immediately donate a check for 5% ($37,500.00) to the American Cancer Society, our charitable partner. Once the film is produced, released, and distributed, we will also donate a sizable percentage of all net profits to the American Cancer Society.
7. So what if the film makes $20 million?
It’s a high-class problem. Some of this money would go to actors, key crew members and distribution partners, whose contracts call for “back-end participation.” Remaining funds will be divided between our charitable partner, the American Cancer Society, and the recapitalization of “The Half Fund,” to continue our mission of cancer education.
8. Are you nuts? You’d walk away from that much coin?
There are two reasons why we want to make this film. Number one is to tell this story, and number two is to make another film. If this film makes a ton of money, we have no doubts that we’ll get to make another movie. But more importantly, if absolutely no one goes to see it and we only get one shot at telling a story, this is the story we want to tell.
9. What happens after you guys make “Half?”
After the film is completed, we will turn our attention to the “Half Fund” grant program designed to further cancer education and awareness through the use of a wide range of artistic ventures, including films, documentaries, literary works, etc. It may even be as simple as an art therapy program for an oncology department at a hospital. Grant winners will only be limited by the power of their own imagination.
To find out more information about the future of the Half Fund, please click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions.
10. That’s not a bad idea. How can we help?
So glad you asked! It is simple and easy to give to the Half Fund. Just go to the top of any page on this website, and click the “GIVE” link. It will walk you through all of the steps of giving to the fund securely on-line. If you would like to give by mail, we recommend certified for your protection. All pertinent information is available on our “GIVE” page of this website. We also invite you to visit the American Cancer Society’s website for a wealth of information for those diagnosed, and the people who will get them through this horrific, and sometimes hilarious, struggle.