When independent producers Andre Gaines and Allen Bain got an email from then
screenwriter Nick Cammilleri about a project called “The Lady and The Dale,” following the rise and fall of 1970’s transgender entrepreneur Elizabeth Carmichael and her radical fuel-efficient, three-
wheeled car known as The Dale, they knew it was the type of project they had to get their hands on.

“It is the only unsolicited inquiry that either of us have ever responded to,” says Gaines. “I have always
loved true crime. Next to sci-fi, and biographical, it’s my favorite genre. Liz Carmichael’s story was
incredible — we were hooked from the very beginning, and so was everyone on our team.”

The three developed the project for more than a year-and-a-half before sharing it with Emmy®-winning
producers of HBO’s Room 104 and Amazon’s Transparent, Mark and Jay Duplass who are repped at
the same agency as Gaines. Within days, the Duplass brothers were in, and together, the team pitched
the four-part documentary series to HBO, who bought it within weeks. The Lady and The Dale is a
probing exploration of family and identity seen through the lens of a fearless and wily innovator, an
extraordinarily resilient woman, and a dedicated parent. The story is told using archival material with
photo collages and animation to illustrate Carmichael’s experiences.

“Animation was an important part of my early career, and I knew it could work here in a unique way,”
says Gaines, who started Cinemation Studios in 2010 as an animation and visual effects
house. “Documentaries often use re-enactments to help tell the story, but with The Lady and the Dale,
animation just made sense.”

HBO describes the series as a riveting, human portrait of an imperfect trailblazer, an industrious
businesswoman, and a beloved mother whose ambition and unwavering optimism ran headlong into
widespread transphobia and media bias. Ahead of her time, forced to operate in an unaccommodating world, Liz Carmichael stands as a heroic figure of resilience and as a symbol of untrammeled
enterprise and survival.

“As a filmmaker, I am always drawn to stories with compelling characters,” says Gaines. “There are
universal themes in The Lady and the Dale that people can relate to regardless of color, gender, and
socioeconomic status.”

Like Carmichael, Gaines is a firm believer in charting his own destiny. A native of Toledo, Ohio his
Hollywood journey began working for former Universal Studios President Kevin Misher, and later for
Producer Doug Wick at Sony. “Both Kevin and Doug taught me not to ‘play the market’ meaning don’t
try to copy what’s out there,” Gaines recalls. “They also said, don’t be so niche that your material will
go over people’s heads.” He also learned how to pick winners from British independent film producer
Cassian Elwes, a long-time friend, and frequent collaborator, but credits his parents, Jimmy and
Sharon Gaines, with teaching him about finance early.

“My parents taught me about money when I was just a kid, and I figured out very early in this business
that if you don’t control the money, you don’t control the narrative,” says Gaines. “People say never
use your own money. I have always said the opposite.”

While at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Gaines began writing and producing
animation, then later producing live-action foreign films and U.S. remakes with STUDIOCANAL. Over
the course of his 15-year Hollywood career, Gaines has financed and produced over twelve
documentary and narrative feature films including Spike Lee’s Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, Ladder to
Damascus, Emmy-winner By the People: The Election of Barack Obama, Oscar-nominee Embrace
the Serpent, and SXSW winner Bill Nye: Science Guy on Netflix. Brazilian Western, The Immortal
Warrior, Bricks in Motion, and The Purple Onion were four films Gaines co-financed and produced
with first-time filmmakers in the director’s chair.

Gaines recently wrapped production on the reboot of Stephen King’s Children of the Corn, one of the
first films to shoot during the early months of the pandemic in 2020. In addition, Gaines is producing
Buzzed directed by Marc Forster, about famed astronaut Buzz Aldrin whose life took a turn for the
worse after landing on the moon, and Killing Gawker directed by Seth Gordon, a collaborator with
Gaines on Bill Nye: Science Guy, about the raucous trial of Hulk Hogan versus the defunct tabloid
news site He re-teams with his Lady and the Dale partner Allen Bain and Blumhouse
TV on another upcoming documentary series Stateless, about a group of bitcoin anarchists who
attempt to build a society free of government rule in the Caribbean.

Gaines is also in the final stages of a project he financed, wrote, and directed – the highly anticipated
documentary feature film about legendary comedian and activist Dick Gregory. The journey has been
a special one for Gaines.

“I cold-called Mr. Gregory in 2015 and pitched the idea to start filming him. He was in,” says Gaines. “It
has been a six-year labor of love to bring the story of this extraordinary comedian, activist, cultural,
and entertainment icon to the screen, and I cannot wait for people to see it.”

Gaines says his time with Dick Gregory, who died in 2017, was a “period of enlightenment” for him
that redirected a path for his life and career in ways he could not have imagined.

“I’ve been blessed with an incredible career, filled with wonderful mentors, awesome friends, and
supportive family,” says Gaines. “My mission now is to pay it forward and help other filmmakers
achieve their dreams while continuing to make meaningful and transformative art.”
Byline: Sherri McGee McCovey

The Lady and The Dale debuted with two back-to-back episodes on HBO on SUNDAY,
JANUARY 31 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, with new episodes on subsequent Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. THE
LADY AND THE DALE is also available to stream on HBO Max.


A riveting, human portrait of an imperfect trans trailblazer, an industrious
businesswoman and a beloved mother whose ambition and unwavering optimism ran headlong into
widespread transphobia and media bias. Her life leaves a complicated legacy. Ahead of her time,
forced to operate in an unaccommodating world, Liz Carmichael stands as a heroic reminder of the
prejudices facing the trans community and as a symbol of untrammeled enterprise and survival.


Andre Gaines is a Los Angeles-based producer, writer, director and the founder
of Cinemation Studios, a company that finances and produces content for the
motion picture and television industries. Over the course of his fifteen-year career,
Gaines has financed and produced more than twelve documentary and
narrative feature films.

Gaines started off 2021 as a producer alongside Mark and Jay Duplass of the HBO
four-part documentary series, The Lady and The Dale, the true story of Elizabeth
Carmichael, a transgender automotive entrepreneur who introduced a bold,
new three-wheel car in the 1970s. His other upcoming productions include: the
documentary series Stateless with Blumhouse TV; the remake of Stephen King’s
Children of the Corn; Buzzed starring Jeremy Renner and Keira Knightley; Killing
Gawker written by Charles Randolph and directed by Seth Gordon, and the
award-winning animated feature The Immortal Warrior starring Rodrigo Santoro.

Andre Gaines

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