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Panopticon tells the story of a schizophrenic teenager named Nate Melton, and a depressed filmmaker making a documentary about Nate. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on June 19, 2012.

Panopticon tells the story of a schizophrenic teenager named Nate Melton, and a depressed filmmaker making a documentary about Nate.

About this project

Check out the Panopticon comic here! Poster-sized print now available as a reward for backers!

I'm Walter Glass and I am the writer and director of a new film called Panopticon. 

Panopticon is a short film (30-40 minutes) currently in pre-production, with principal photography scheduled for mid-August 2012. Our funding goal of $3000 will pull us from production on through to distribution, so every dollar counts! 

What's Panopticon About? 

Panopticon follows the story of Nate Melton, played by Alton Alburo, a 19 year-old who has recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia. We explore Nate's thoughts and feelings as he deals with this diagnosis and comes to grips with the fact that he is no longer in complete control of his mind. This is a subject that has always been both fascinating and disturbing to me, and was a huge part of how I conceived the film. 

The other major character in Panopticon is a filmmaker, played by Sean Neely, who is making a documentary about Nate and his condition. Sean's character is very much down-and-out, depressed in both his creative and personal life, and sees Nate's story as an opportunity to get himself out of his rut and back into a new exciting project. 

As the project progresses, Sean and Nate's goals for the project begin to diverge, and the dynamic between filmmaker and subject begins to shift in dramatic and surprising ways. Whatever else is true about this story, I guarantee you've never seen anything quite like this. 

The two above videos are rehearsals for the main project, both for the actors in developing their characters and me developing the tone and rhythm for the finished film. Part 1 introduces the two characters and Part 2 goes a little deeper (and includes Sean explaining what a Panopticon is, just in case that was bothering you at all). 

Why we need your help

Due to busy schedules for cast and crew, the bulk of principal photography is going to happen in mid-August in a relatively compressed timeframe. We have secured the camera, sound, and lighting hardware that we need to make the film, so our budget will focus on day-to-day food/travel/etc. expenses for cast and crew, ensuring we have adequate video/sound recording media, hard drives for editing, and costs incurred from getting a festival run for the film started. 

One of the amazing things about the era we live in is that we can create cool, ambitious, experimental work for just a few thousand dollars, which would be unheard of even a few short years ago. We're reaching out to you through this Kickstarter because we really need your help and support to be able to see this project through to completion. If you support independent, personal filmmaking and art, please consider supporting Panopticon with your donation. If you're unable to donate, you can still help us out sharing this page with like-minded folks. Thanks!

Who are we?

Walter Glass - Writer/Director

I'm a filmmaker who writes and directs and edits and other stuff. I made a feature film in 2009 called Corpus that was partially funded through grant funds from the Austin Film Society. You can check out the trailer below. 

I also made a short film in 2011 called The Evangelist. Check out a clip below. 

My personal website is here

Alton Alburo - Actor, "Nathan Melton"

alton alburo studied acting at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and, while there, acted in over 25 productions. Outside of the educational institution, he has also been seen performing in multiple NYC theatre festivals, the Red Cloud Opera House in Nebraska, various parks, and a handful of NY middle school auditoriums to warn against t. Recent film experience include principal roles in a video installation of Antigone co-starring David Margulies, a series of PSAs, a pilot for the New York Television Festival, and a few comedy sketches. He is also an active member of the NYC entertainment company Boxed Wine Productions.

Sean Neely - Actor, "The Filmmaker"

Sean Neely is an actor and director who has produced numerous acclaimed plays, including "Bukowski," "The Great Midwestern Drug Circus," and the upcoming "Family Man Talk Show Hour." The below video offers a rare glimpse into the creative process of this complicated and secretive artist.

Sean's website can be found here.

Hugo Rodas - Producer

Hugo Rodas holds a BFA in Film Production from Concordia University. His video work is viewable here: His photography works are available for viewing here: and  He has worked as a sound recordist for experimental short films "Activity #2" ( and "Installation"  

Since graduating film school, I have been working on sets for independent movies in the Montreal area. I have done camera  work and sound work. For a long time now I have been looking for a narrative film project to be involved in. I think Walter's story is it. It is a story that asks if the world has gone insane, and if it has how do we tie it all back up together now? And it does that using the elements of fiction and documentary in a seamless way: by making it all fiction. This fiction can have power because as a fictional narrative, as one fictional story, it can be a token for the whole world and for the current state we find ourselves in. Through two characters, a depressed documentary filmmaker, and his subject, a schizophrenic teenager, we can come to understand how creation has become the last reinvigorating force in society. We need organization, focused projects, community forces to tie us all together, common visions.


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    9 backers

    Subscription to the Panopticon Weekly Email Digest. This backer-exclusive weekly email will include photos, video, and text, and give an inside view of the making of Panopticon through pre-production, production, post-production, distribution, and beyond. The emails start when the Kickstarter ends.

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    6 backers

    The above and a super-early-sneak-peek digital copy of the film as soon as it is completed! See the finished film before everyone else does!

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    Pledge $50 or more

    10 backers

    All of the above and an on-screen "Very Special Thanks" credit in the film.

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    Pledge $75 or more

    0 backers Limited (40 left of 40)

    All of the above and a gorgeous, full-color 11x17 matte print of the Panopticon comic! Hand-signed by the mega-talented artist, Suzi Glass.

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    Pledge $100 or more

    4 backers Limited (26 left of 30)

    All of the above and a physical copy of the Panopticon screenplay, signed with a personal message from writer/director Walter Glass. The script does contain spoilers, so please don't leak it to the blogs or Wikileaks or whatever.

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    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers Limited (10 left of 12)

    All of the above and writer/director Walter Glass will make a short (<5 minute) film about your life. Creative input from you optional but welcomed. Also you may be portrayed by Walter's dog wearing glasses (even if you don't wear glasses!)

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    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)

    Forget about executive/associate producer credits, the film will open with a title saying "[YOUR NAME(S) HERE] Presents." You will also become a character(s) in the film - Sean (director of the film-within-the-film) makes frequent reference in the script to his shady backers and their sordid backstories - those shady backers could be you! Also you get all of the above. Quantities limited for practical reasons - once we hit 3 we'll bust out something new and exciting for our highest-level backers.

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Funding period

- (36 days)