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A terrifying supernatural thriller short film that will take you from the edges of reality to the inner reaches of the human heart.
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24 backers pledged $5,240 to help bring this project to life.

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$5,240

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[UPDATE: This film WILL be made! We've reached our initial goal and first two STRETCH GOALS! (See below)

Every new dollar raised helps unlock additional stretch rewards while giving us resources to improve the quality of our film and put more on the screen for you, our fans. (See our UPDATES for more on stretch rewards.) We are so grateful for the support we've received. There's still time to be a part of the team making the most terrifying and touching short film of 2015! ]

The Story

Will and Leah know what it’s like to struggle in the wake of a love that has faded. Their relationship is on the rocks when Will finds a mysterious crack in the wall. Through the crack he sees a strange, hidden room that shouldn’t be there... that simply cannot be there. Around the corner, on the other side of the wall, is just another section of their apartment… but through the opening -- the rift -- Will sees something wondrous, a temptation he hopes will help him and Leah get back to the good times.

Will tears open the rift until it’s large enough for him to pass through. The spectral entity on the other side, however -- an ancient, powerful apparition -- has been waiting. Now it’s free to enter our world and drag the terrorized souls of its victims back to wherever it came from… starting with Will and Leah. Trapped in their own home, they must figure out how to save themselves from this entity or meet a disturbing fate.

Born From a Nightmare

In December of 2013, I (Jess) awakened in the deep of the night in a cold sweat. I had just dreamed that a crack in my bedroom wall led to a dark mirror version of our world. Something beckoned me from the shadows on the other side, and I crawled through the crack only to become trapped there when the shadow creature blocked off the passageway.

But that was just the beginning. This nightmare became the inspiration for a short film script that Alyssa Glimm and I would spend months writing and re-writing. The other inspiration for this film was all the trials, tribulations, and lessons we've learned the hard way about finding and holding on to love in this life. Along the way, we received invaluable feedback from friends in the film business, including award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter James Egan.

Our Stars

Rane Jameson (WILL)

Will is the leading man of our film. He's a talented artist, and his paintings (as done by Jen LaVita) figure prominently in the film. He's also chronically unemployed and would rather dwell in his rosy memories of the past than face up to his problems in the present. Unfortunately for him, he can't avoid them anymore...

Rane Jameson has recently appeared on television in NCIS, Glee, Suburgatory and many other shows over the years, such as CSI: New York, Young and the Restless, and Mind of Mencia. His independent film work includes Frat House Massacre, The People I Slept With, and Speak Now -- which was awarded the 2013 Austin Film Festival "Write/Record Audience Award" for Best Film. He holds a background in production from the Pennsylvania State University, and is in collaboration on several other short films and projects for 2015.

Danielle Lozeau (LEAH)

Leah is the leading lady of our film, a down-to-earth, hard-working Registered Nurse with an iron will and a kind heart.

Danielle Lozeau has five films set to premiere in 2014/15, including Werewolf Rising, The Other Side, and The Rift. She is most known for her roles in Legion, The Eye, Misogynist, Black Water Vampire, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Danielle has also appeared in numerous other television shows and films, including the recently-released feature The Murders of Brandywine Theater.

Sean Dwyer (The APPARITION)

The Apparition is a terrifying, ancient, and powerful entity that Will awakens and releases as a result of prying into the mysterious crack in the wall...

Sean Dwyer has extensive experience in film and theatre, and appeared in films such as Mural in the Mountains (2012) and Simply Compliqué (2011) and wrote, directed, and produced La farfadette montréalaise vient du Brésil (2009). His recent theatre productions include Happily Whatever After (2014) and Musical (2014). Sean majored in Film Studies at Brock University and Western Washington University, graduating with honors. A native of Toronto, Ontario, Sean speaks French, Japanese, and Spanish.

We can't wait to show you how Sean's performance interacts with all our effects to produce some truly scary scenes.

The Creative Team

Jess Kreusler (director & co-writer)

Jess Kreusler moved to Los Angeles to make his own films after working on several productions in Ohio, where he appeared in The Losers Have a Junkyard with Lloyd Kaufman. In 2011, he received credit for his contributions to the nationally recognized book series “Conversations with Directors” – John Waters Interviews. Currently Jess serves as Online Director for the School of Motion Pictures & Television at the Academy of Art University. Before that, he was Creative Executive at Wild at Heart Films in Hollywood, where he applied his creative skills to a wide range of projects, developing feature screenplays and series for television.

Alyssa Glimm (Producer & co-writer)

Alyssa Glimm grew up looking for adventure through films, and has been most influenced by: Luc Besson, Lawrence Kasdan, Peter Greenaway, and Jean-Luc Godard.

Inspired to become a screenwriter after watching Godard’s Breathless, Alyssa studied Professional Writing with an emphasis in Film Studies at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and received a post-graduate Screenwriting Certificate from Vancouver Film School. She headed straight to Los Angeles in 2003 where she worked with numerous independent film producers and interned for directors such as Ken Kwapis. 

Scott Baker (Director of Photography)

Scott Baker is an award-winning horror filmmaker that has written and directed over a dozen short films, including Rationed and The Diary of Anne Frank of the Dead.  His films have shown in festivals all over the United States and at Cannes. This winter, he is directing the sci-fi thriller 5th Passenger. The screenplay he wrote for 5th Passenger with Morgan Lariah won Best Feature Screenplay, 2nd Runner-up at the Fantastic Planet Film Festival 2012. (We think he also looks a heck of a lot like a young Jack Nicholson in this photo.)

Alyssa Ulrich (Unit Production Manager)

Alyssa Ulrich has always had a passion for video editing and media production. Unit Production Manager. At the age of 14 she started a small business where she created reels for actors, including: Austin Majors, (Treasure Planet, How I Met Your Mother) and Kali Majors (Small Town Satruday Night, Baby Blues).

From there, she started working in Television on the award winning show "Justified" (Timothy Olyphant). This lead into other shows: Dance Moms, America's Got Talent, Vanilla Ice Goes Amish, The Biggest Loser, and America's Next Top Model. Today, Alyssa works as a producer, unity production manager, and coordinator on feature films, commercials, and television.

Her recent projects included, "Grow House" directed by DJ Pooh, staring Snoop Dogg (Old School, This Is The End), Malcolm McDowell (Clockwork Orange, Easy A, The Artist) and Lin Shaye (There's Something About Mary). She is now working on "Teenage Cocktail" directed by John Carchietta, starring Nichole Bloom (Project X, Shameless, Grey's Anatomy) and Fabianne Therese (John Dies at the End, Endless Love, Starry Eyes).

Sarah Beagle (1st Assistant Director)

Sarah Beagle joins The Rift Team as First Assistant Director. After graduating from Montana State University – Bozeman with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Photography (Highest Honors btw), Sarah headed out to LA to pursue her career in Assistant Directing. She brings an intense level of focus, positive energy, and an extensive knowledge of set production to any and all projects.

Sarah has worked as a Producer, Stage Manager, Production Assistant and Production Designer. She has experience with short films, reality TV, commercials, and independent features such as “Dust of War” by Caseopia Pictures. Currently, she is working on the reality television show THE BACHELOR and works as a freelance assistant director.

Jen LaVita (Art Department)

Jen LaVita studied Graphic Design at Syracuse University before serving as an Officer in the Army. After four years of adventure, living in Utah & Oklahoma, and jumping out of lots of “perfectly good airplanes,” Jen followed her dreams to California. Now a freelance designer and painter, Jen enjoys the sun and beauty of southern California. She also started Jaylalas, an Etsy shop of hand-painted items inspired by the ocean, and blogs about her new LA life as an artist.

Sarah Schowengerdt (Concept Artist)

Sarah Schowengerdt worked with our director to create concept art for our ghostly villain, and drew some pre-visualization materials. She is an aspiring illustrator and freelancer, passionate about any medium that combines her love of story and craft. She studied Performing Arts and Graphic Design at McPherson College, where she was an active paricipant in theatre productions as an actress and designer. She hopes to pursue more education and opportunities in the area of concept art for film and animation.

Where Does the Money Go?

$3,000 may seem like a lot, but in terms of a movie budget -- even for a short film -- it's a pittance. The money will pay for our location permits (two locations), the legal fees and insurance associated with doing a film production, and food for our cast and crew. Keep in mind that Kickstarter and Amazon take close to 10% of what we raise, and we're also using a portion of these funds (about 10%) to fulfill your rewards.

In fact, we're already spending more than this, almost $7K, just to rent the camera, lighting, and sound equipment; pay professional actors; build our sets where necessary; secure the services of a few key crew members (for minimal and deeply discounted rates) that we can't get any other way; create visual & special effects for our ghostly villain; and to obtain a couple of special props called for in the story. This is a labor of love, but the more money we're able to raise, the more we'll be able to put up on the screen.

More About the Production

To achieve the high grade look this story -- and you -- deserve, we're shooting The Rift on the RED camera. Shooting is scheduled to commence at the beginning of January 2015, because that happens to be when we can get everyone together at the same time to film. In the meantime, we need to secure our locations so they will be available when we need them.

Risks and challenges

Making a film always comes with risks and challenges. There may be equipment problems, actors may have to drop out, and unforeseen costs may crop up. But we have a very skilled group of people who are passionate about their work, committed to this project, and really know how to make movies.

Is it our goal to get this film into film festivals across the United States and the world? Yes! Can we guarantee it 100%? No. But we can guarantee that we'll do absolutely everything within our power to give fans of scary movies and supernatural thrills what they've been longing for. (And you won't need a film festival to see the film!) Giving you what you want increases our chances of achieving our goals. We're all here because we love movies, too, and we want to make movies you'll love!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    A REAL PIECE O' (ART)WORK. Thank you! Every dollar counts. We will add a photo of you (up to 4 x6) to a collage that will appear in the film! Also, Jess will chant your name in a scary voice followed by a maniacal laugh, and we'll put your name on our website as a supporter.

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    SPECIAL THANKS on our website and social media, and our cast & crew will personally thank you from the set in a special video on our YouTube channel. Plus the REAL PIECE O' (ART)WORK package.

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    SHOOTING SCRIPT in PDF form with director's notes and signature, access to our Production Diary and exclusive Behind-the-Scenes footage once production begins. Plus everything above.

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    SEE THE RIFT. Digital HD download of the film after our world premiere, and digital artwork download. Plus everything above.

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    ADD-ON: limited edition DVD or blu-ray with exclusive supplemental material (separate from bundle packages)

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    SCREEN CREDIT. Your name will be listed in the movie credits with a special thank you! Plus everything up to the SEE THE RIFT package.

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    SEE THE SCRIPT. Hold it in your hands, too. A copy of the script personally addressed to you and signed by the cast and director. And a signed high-quality printout of a still from the movie, optionally signed by cast, writers & director Plus everything up to the SCREEN CREDIT package.

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    LIMITED EDITION numbered movie poster ONLY available to backers of this campaign. Plus everything up to the SEE THE SCRIPT package.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Become an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER! See your name listed in the credits as a bonafide Associate Producer AND two tickets to our Los Angeles, California premiere (transportation not included). Plus everything up to the LIMITED EDITION POSTER package.

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    Become an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER! See your name listed in the film credits as a bonafide Associate Producer AND your limited edition numbered movie posted gets SIGNED by cast, director, and writers. Plus everything up to the LIMITED EDITION POSTER package.

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    LIMITED EDITION DVD OR BLU-RAY with exclusive supplemental material AND a personalized thank you note signed by cast & crew. Plus everything up to the ASSOCIATE PRODUCER package (you choose which one).

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    HAUNTED WOMAN. You get a one-of-a-kind work of art featured prominently in the film, a beautiful hand-drawn portrait of Leah, and signed by our lead actress. Plus everything up to the LIMITED EDITION DVD OR BLU-RAY package.

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    HIGH QUALITY PRODUCTION BOOKLET (PDF) with movie stills, production artwork, behind the scenes shots, script excerpts, notes, and more! Plus everything up to the LIMITED EDITION DVD OR BLU-RAY package.

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    PROP FROM PARIS. We'll send you a special prop that features prominently in the film, and that we got directly from Paris, France! (special musical snow-globe -- not the broken one in our picture). Plus everything up to the HIGH QUALITY PRODUCTION BOOKLET package.

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    ORIGINAL WORK OF ART. We'll send you one of "Will's" paintings (created by Jen LaVita) that features very prominently in the plot of the film. 24"x18" This is a one-of-a-kind item with a ghost story attached to it! Hang it on your wall and show your grandkids one day. Plus everything up to the HIGH QUALITY PRODUCTION BOOKLET package.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    DINNER WITH THE FILMMAKERS. Come hang out with Jess, Alyssa, and possibly other members of the cast & crew. We'll have dinner somewhere cool in Los Angeles (transportation not included) and chat with you about the film, and filmmaking in general. We'll also hand you a unique movie poster signed by the cast & crew. If you aren't able to get to town, we'll schedule a call via Skype and hang out online (and we'll mail you the special poster).

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    BE IN THE MOVIE. A photo of you will appear as a prop in the movie, alongside other photos of Will & Leah. If you're not local, send us a photo and we'll photoshop you into one with our cast. Plus everything up to the HIGH QUALITY PRODUCTION BOOKLET package.

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    CAST & CREW SCREENING. See the film before anyone else! You and a plus-one are invited to our cast & crew screening in Los Angeles (transportation not included). Hang out, take a few pics, and have fun with us while we watch the scariest short film of 2015! Plus everything up to the HIGH QUALITY PRODUCTION BOOKLET package.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    WRAP PARTY. You and a friend are invited to our wrap party, to commence soon after we finish shooting. (Transportation not included.) You also get VIP seating for two at our Los Angeles, California premiere (transportation not included). Plus everything up to the HIGH QUALITY PRODUCTION BOOKLET package.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit! For being such an integral part of making this film happen, your name will be listed in the credits as an Executive Producer. We'll take you out to dinner somewhere cool in LA before the screening. You also get VIP seating for two at our Los Angeles, California premiere (transportation not included). Plus everything up to the HIGH QUALITY PRODUCTION BOOKLET package. (Oh, and you'll have our eternal love and adoration.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)