Gallagher, who graduated from the arts entrepreneurship minor program in 2016, said his time at UNC gave him the confidence to move forward in screenwriting and to reach out to sponsors to support his idea.
“People all have different perceptions of what happens in the world, and not everybody shares the same perception of events,” Gallagher said. “It’s about carving a new space and making something new, and that’s definitely something that the entrepreneurship program is all about at UNC.”
“Hype” follows the story of Smiles, a young man working to make money to buy back his love interest’s adolescent home. As the series progresses, Smiles finds himself co-founding a company, surrounded by entrepreneurial artists and local musicians.
Gallagher said he wrote the script to parallel the stories of real, local artists and to provide people with a representation of the growth that Durham is experiencing in its structure, culture and music.
“We looked around at what is happening in Durham right now and the way the city’s narrative is moving,” he said.
“There’s a lot of new people coming in and there’s a blossoming art scene and obviously also a huge startup in tech emergence in the last handful of years.”
Gallagher said he hopes the web series, which will consist of 10 episodes that are 10 minutes each, will be released this fall. RUNAWAY, a Durham streetwear and lifestyle brand that’s sponsoring “Hype,” started a Kickstarter to raise money for production.
Rebecca Ward, the media content developer for RUNAWAY, said the company was thrilled to work with Gallagher on the project. She said “Hype” is reflective of the culture and music that inspires their brand.
“Durham is going through an immense amount of change right now and Holland is documenting that as it’s happening,” Ward said.
Dana Coen, the director of the writing for the screen and stage minor and an administrator of the undergraduate dramatic writing program, played an influential role in Gallagher’s journey.
Coen, who was Gallagher’s screenwriting professor his senior year, said the determination Gallagher showed makes a difference when seeking a career in the film industry. That, Coen said, is why he teaches — to pass on the world that he lived in during his professional years.
“Don’t allow anyone to make you feel inferior,” Coen said. “Work your career, but live your life.”