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A little over a year ago, my big brother went missing. 

No, he was not abducted. He wasn’t captured behind enemy lines. He skipped town and went on the lam from the police. His lifelong obsession with thug living finally caught up with him. It’s heartbreaking because we were months away from making a movie together--An experience I designed to heal our broken relationship before it was too late.

We were raised by the same upper-middle class parents, but we came out opposites. My brother’s extracurricular activities included bedding literally hundreds of the most beautiful women in town and causing trouble on Oak Street, which HBO’s *Bangin’ in Little Rock* considered the most dangerous street corner in America. I was hardcore in my own way: I took folk guitar lessons after school. And I couldn’t buy a date if I tried. 

But don’t be fooled! My brother is a genius. He’s well versed in ghetto fabulous living, yet flourishes in country clubs. If you told me he charmed his way into President Obama’s cabinet, I’d totally believe you. He's absolutely brilliant. But he does dumb things. We were raised by the same parents, but came out opposites. He is the most complex person I've ever met. He's the inspiration for this film. And my brother supports this film 100 percent.

After an altercation with our father, my big brother moved out in high school. My little kindergarten heart shattered. It was like Superman vanished. I had no one to play chase with. No one to wait up for past bedtime. When I saw him, it was like spotting a unicorn. You’d marvel at this breathtaking creature and just as you got a closer look...he was gone.

After graduating from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, I knew my brother and I had to make a movie together. He jumped at the opportunity to play a version of himself with me, confronting our relationship issues on film, finally saying things to each other we’d never say in real life. We’d shoot it in our actual house and blend elements of comedy with drama, so we could get through it. But you already know how that turned out. 

We were blessed to find Ray Grady, a phenomenal talent, to portray the character inspired by my brother. He became a new member of our family through this process. I laughed and cried harder than ever shooting this film. This story is my love letter to my missing brother--a beautifully flawed individual with the most potential of anyone I know. I feel I’ve finally brought my big brother home again. And this time for good.

Justin Warren                                                                                             

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