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$6,946 pledged of $10,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Rachel Sweeney
$6,946 pledged of $10,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

I'm Rachel Sweeney. 

Hi. The purpose of this Kickstarter is to raise funds to produce my short film, Dead Girl. Dead Girl is a dark comedy that follows Rachel, an unfulfilled actress, as she plays a “Dead Girl” on fictional episodic crime drama Minds of Crime. The experience sends her over an edge she didn’t even realize she was teetering on. 

We open on a [DEAD GIRL].

As the director yells “cut!” and the set comes alive, so does the “Dead Girl.” Production Assistants talk on walkies and Hair and Makeup flies in as we follow this blue-lipped girl over to the crafty table and then, eventually, home. We are following Rachel, a classically trained actress who can’t get a foot in the door. Slinging poorly constructed lattes by day and performing Shakespeare by night, Rachel is sitting in a dunk tank of dissatisfaction, and the “Dead Girl” gig is the thing that sends her spiraling down into the water — the sea of troubles inside her own mind.

About those “Dead Girls”...

Between Law and Order: SVU, True Detective, Criminal Minds, CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: LA, CSI: Las Vegas, CSI — okay, you get it — there are a lot of women getting the axe on TV. The entertainment industry is obsessed with dead women.

Too often, we go an entire episode or movie without even finding out the dead woman’s name. Or, even if we do, we follow the often male detective or amateur sleuth as he uncovers the truth behind the victim’s demise — and more importantly, uncovers something about himself. Cute.

Dead Girl is about the woman behind the “Dead Girl,” who is VERY much alive.

But what about the actress playing the dead girl? What about the woman who is actually naked in the very real ditch? Or the girl in the lingerie who spent hours having liquid latex poured on her chest or bruises painted on her face?

Every day on our Instagram, @haveyouseenthisactress, we’re posting our own imagined casting calls for all the “Dead Girls” of TV and film, from Twin Peaks’ Laura Palmer to True Detectives’ “Antler Girl.”
Every day on our Instagram, @haveyouseenthisactress, we’re posting our own imagined casting calls for all the “Dead Girls” of TV and film, from Twin Peaks’ Laura Palmer to True Detectives’ “Antler Girl.”

Who are the women who play the “Dead Girls”? How does playing dead affect Rachel’s life off set?

“Isn’t your name Rachel?” 

Nothing slips by you, huh? Yes, it is. And this story is an extremely personal one. I won’t make it weird if you don’t.

In acting and writing, we’re always trying to get “in the room.” To get that audition or that meeting that you know will change your life and open all the doors to all the rooms. All people, not just actors and writers, have rooms they’re trying to get into. The things our “Dead Girl” is going through are universal, and we hope to make a piece that anyone who has stood outside that room, and knocked and knocked and waited for an answer, will relate to and find comfort in.

Let’s introduce you to the Dead Girl team. 

Excuse me while I go third person for a second.

Rachel Sweeney (Writer, Director, Actor, Co-Producer)
Rachel Sweeney (Writer, Director, Actor, Co-Producer)

Rachel's comedy shorts have been featured on Huffington PostWhoHaha, and others. Her most recent short, "Cheers," is an official selection for this year's Women in Comedy Festival. As a writer, she was a Second Rounder at the Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition, is currently a quarterfinalist for the Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship, and has been published in McSweeney's Internet Tendency. She has appeared in plays at The Barrow Group and Columbia University's Shapiro Theatre and performs sketch, improv, and stand up in various theaters and bars. Her favorite place on Earth is the Philadelphia Folk Festival. 

A still from "Cheers," which will be premiering at the Women in Comedy Festival on April 22nd.
A still from "Cheers," which will be premiering at the Women in Comedy Festival on April 22nd.

 

Allie Kolb (Co-Producer)
Allie Kolb (Co-Producer)

Allie Kolb is a New York based television producer, improviser, and comedy writer. She can usually be found writing jokes that make her parents feel ashamed on Twitter or watching Vanderpump Rules. Follow her on Twitter at @allie_kolb.

Marygrace Navarra (Associate Producer, Social Media Manager)
Marygrace Navarra (Associate Producer, Social Media Manager)

Marygrace Navarra is a New York-based writer. She was recently accepted to Temple University's Master of Fine Arts program in Film and Media Arts. She might be watching Jennifer's Body right now. You can follow her on Twitter at @marygracecn.

Marisa Bippus (Associate Producer, Assistant Director)
Marisa Bippus (Associate Producer, Assistant Director)

Marisa Bippus has spent 75% of her past two years working as a Production Coordinator, Assistant Director, and other various roles on set. Some of the projects she has worked on include First Family of Hip Hop, Ride with Norman Reedus, and a short film called Stages. In her free time, she binge watches Bob's Burgers and spends too much time online shopping.

Let’s talk money. 

We don’t have a studio, or an established production company, backing us. Dead Girl is our independent passion project. We’re proud to be part of a community of New York filmmakers who look out for each other. Whether they’re lending their talents, their gear, or their advice, the generosity of this community astounds and inspires. We’re asking you to be part of that community. 

Producing a short can be expensive and there are a lot of little costs here and there that you might not immediately think of. Luckily, we have! And the big ones — can’t forget the big ones. Luckily, we haven’t! From craft services to Kickstarter fees to production insurance, we have every dollar we plan on raising accounted for.

Instead of boring you with every detail, here is a general breakdown:

And, of course, let's take a look at those rewards.

You know the drill. To the right, you can check out all of our rewards, from social media shout outs to seeing your name in the credits. We've even collaborated with some incredible artists to create posters for the film. Check them out:

Matt Needle is a UK-based Designer / Illustrator who in the past 8+ Years has had the privilege of working with some outstanding clients from across the globe (including Sony Pictures, Universal, Pixar, Marvel and many more). http://www.mattneedle.co.uk
Matt Needle is a UK-based Designer / Illustrator who in the past 8+ Years has had the privilege of working with some outstanding clients from across the globe (including Sony Pictures, Universal, Pixar, Marvel and many more). http://www.mattneedle.co.uk

 

Dylan Ablan studies Film and Television at Boston University and spends his free time at comedy practice or rewatching episodes of Broad City or Game of Thrones. http://dablan9.wixsite.com/dylanrae
Dylan Ablan studies Film and Television at Boston University and spends his free time at comedy practice or rewatching episodes of Broad City or Game of Thrones. http://dablan9.wixsite.com/dylanrae

 

Ana Döring is a Rio de Janeiro-based Designer, Illustrator, and bit of a nerd, who is in love with every form of art. http://anadoring.com
Ana Döring is a Rio de Janeiro-based Designer, Illustrator, and bit of a nerd, who is in love with every form of art. http://anadoring.com

 

Stacy Zanca is a Graphic Designer & Art Director in NYC who has worked with brands such as Belvedere Vodka and Maybelline New York. Reach out to stacy.zanca@gmail.com for information & samples of her work. www.stacyzanca.com
Stacy Zanca is a Graphic Designer & Art Director in NYC who has worked with brands such as Belvedere Vodka and Maybelline New York. Reach out to stacy.zanca@gmail.com for information & samples of her work. www.stacyzanca.com

 

Sophia Glass is a queer mixed-media artist, educator, and witch living in New Orleans for now. Her artwork has most recently been featured in shows in New York City and Seattle.
Sophia Glass is a queer mixed-media artist, educator, and witch living in New Orleans for now. Her artwork has most recently been featured in shows in New York City and Seattle.

 

Camilly Pereira is a mixed-media artist and graphic designer based in Los Angeles. She works with repurposed or discarded materials to examine surface, identity and individuality. www.camillypereira.com
Camilly Pereira is a mixed-media artist and graphic designer based in Los Angeles. She works with repurposed or discarded materials to examine surface, identity and individuality. www.camillypereira.com

Each of these artists came up with these amazing designs just from reading the script. They represent each artist’s individual interpretation of Dead Girl.

And for $75, you can get a set of specialty stickers designed by four of our artists.

Dylan Ablan (top left) - Matt Needle (top right) - Stacy Zanca (bottom left) - Ana Carolina Döring (bottom right)
Dylan Ablan (top left) - Matt Needle (top right) - Stacy Zanca (bottom left) - Ana Carolina Döring (bottom right)

 For as little as $20, you can grab this sticker with our classic black logo!

What’s the status of the project? 

Your contribution won’t be going to a film that is going to happen — it will be funding a film that IS happening. The team is already well into pre-production. We start shooting May 14th and wrap June 7th. 

Meet our cinematographer, Michael Mastroserio! 

Michael is a cinematographer, having shot dozens of commercials, music videos and short films. His latest venture is Stretch Marks, a feature film he both co-produced and shot which is currently on the back end of post production. Check out his amazing reel!

We are a SAG signatory production and are currently rounding out our cast. We’re very excited to update you on casting news as it rolls in! 

Most of our locations are locked, and we are happy to be working with these amazing local venues. They are true supporters of their artist communities. Check them out below:

The Riverside Theater

 

The Riverside Theatre presents a diverse range of programming that includes a diverse array of dance performances, musicals, operas, plays, movie screenings, and more. They want to engage, educate, and inspire you. Whether you want to attend original dance productions, classics such as our seasonal Nutcracker, documentary screenings, or musicals and plays from a variety of companies, The Riverside Theatre welcomes you.

Gristmill

Gristmill is an innovative, ingredient-driven restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn with a commitment to serving fresh, responsibly-sourced ingredients. www.gristmillbk.com

My Apartment

My apartment was a pretty easy location to secure.

We’re almost ready to shoot, now we just need your help to do it!

What’s next? Or, “Life After Kickstarter”

We’ll be submitting Dead Girl to film festivals all over the world in the hopes of not only sharing this piece with as wide an audience as possible, but also in the hopes of gaining exposure and making industry contacts. See, this is the first in a series of shorts, which we hope can one day be an anthology series that follows a different woman in each stand-alone story — think High Maintenance or Easy. We’re hoping through some exposure we can gain interest, and eventually the funding, to expand the Dead Girl world. I have already written a number of “Dead Girl” stories about a diverse and interesting group of women. You’re here at the beginning of what we hope will become a long-term project — the Big Bang of the the Dead Girl universe.

Could you share this with your mom?

Or whoever in your life you think might relate or might just be into it. Whether or not you can make a contribution, sharing our story and our campaign with your friends, family, old camp counselors, podiatrists, and anyone else is extremely helpful to us.

And finally, thank you.

From all of us. Now, let’s bring Dead Girl to life.

Headshot? This is my deadshot. Photo credit: Sandy Honig
Headshot? This is my deadshot. Photo credit: Sandy Honig

Special thanks to Chris Luperi, Ian Blau, Alex Pomerantz, and Chris Wright for helping us make our video! And, of course, to our "Dead Girls,"  Brielle DeMirjian, Shannon Terrel, Katie Berghorn, Onalee Smith, Christen Buckley, Anna Gundersen, Lani Harms, Kayla Ramsey, Therese Mcpherson, Lindsey Williams, Lauren Bastian, Taryn Joy, and Laura Zlatos.

Risks and challenges

We’ve worked hard to make sure a lot of the tough stuff is already out of the way. Our locations are good to go, as is our crew.

After the project is done, we’re hoping to get the film into festivals around the country. There’s a lot that goes into getting into top film festivals, but what it really comes down to is having a quality film. That’s our main concern. But we’ve also done our research about making the film long enough to tell a complete story but concise enough to fit easily into a film festival program. We’ll be shooting on a Red Epic Dragon, the same camera that was used to shoot movies like "Gone Girl", television shows like "The Man in the High Castle", and countless other shorts, features, and shows.

We’re hoping for smooth sailing, but, of course, things can always go wrong. Everyone on our team is prepared for anything that could come our way. We’re all experienced enough to know that when curveballs are thrown your way on set, keeping cool and figuring out solutions is often how the most spontaneous, creative moments happen.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Instagram Story Shout Out

    A personal and sincere thank you from the "Dead Girl" team via our Instagram Story! Check out our IG, @haveyouseenthisactress, to see your shout out!

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    Dead Girl Logo Sticker

    One of our classic black logo stickers!
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    Specialty Sticker

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    "This Dead Girl curated by..."

    Have a T.V. show or movie with a "Dead Girl" that you want to see on @haveyouseenthisactress? You get to send us your pick, and we'll make up a casting call for your "Dead Girl" AND give you "curated by" credit on the post!
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    Complete Set of Stickers

    Four stickers designed by four of our amazing movie poster artists, Stacy Zanca, Matt Needle, Dylan Ablan, and Ana Carolina Döring!
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    Thank You Polaroid and Poster Postcards

    A polaroid taken on set with a handwritten thank you note from Rachel AND two postcards featuring two of our movie poster designs!
    + Sticker set
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    Poster Postcard Set

    The complete set of movie poster postcards featuring all six movie poster designs!
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    Window Card Movie Poster

    One of our movie posters! You get to pick the design and we'll send you a classic window card (15" x 22") print!
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    Two Movie Posters

    Two window card prints of the designs of your choice!
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    Your Name in the Credits + 3 Posters!

    You'll be listed under Special Thanks in the credits of the finished film plus three window card movie posters!
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    Movie Poster Full Set

    The FULL SET of window card prints of all six of our movie posters!
    + You will be listed under Special Thanks in the credits of the film
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    Executive Producer

    You will be the official Executive Producer of "Dead Girl" and in listed in the credits as EP.
    AND you'll be the only person to receive a full size (27" x 40") movie poster of the design of your choice!
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