Tearful Surrender: A Supernatural Tale of Terror
Tearful Surrender is a gothic horror tale about a Sea Siren & her muses from the underworld who must feast on human souls to survive!
Get ready to surrender to your deepest fears and darkest fantasies with TEARFUL SURRENDER, the next feature film from Dreams For Dead Cats Productions, LLC (DDCP)! It’s our biggest, goriest, and most ambitious project yet, and it will be shot in England to capture the ultimate gothic atmosphere integral to the story and mood of TEARFUL SURRENDER!
Tearful Surrender is a dark, surreal fantasy/horror film inspired by 70's & 80's cult horror films, tales & folklore of sirens, vampires, & mermaids, films of Hammer Horror, Jean Rollin, and Ken Russell, and the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
The film focuses on the desolate and immortal life of a beautifully haunting mate-hungry seductress from the sea who must feast on humans to survive! With her team of witches, masked characters, and creepy townspeople, the SIREN lures victims to their grisly deaths!
In this tale of terror, a group of vacationers come to stay at a local campground near the beach to enjoy the peace of the ocean only to be met by strange people and even stranger events. Little do they know they will all meet their fates when they are beckoned to the Siren’s deadly call.
The mysterious main character is a combination of forms and inspired by folklore and mythological creatures (such as mermaids, sea sirens, and water demons) who displays qualities of the succubus/vampire archetype but employs a dignity in her own right as what I shall refer to as a Gothic Sea Siren…something that has yet been given justice to in cinema!
With her eyes as blue as the ocean, skin as pale as a corpse, and flowing red hair, like a ghost, she is always wandering, looking for souls to join her below the surface in the watery deep in a cruel world filled with ritualistic sex and uncompromising death.
The Siren is immortal, innocent, elusive, beautiful, enchanting, provocative, and of course extremely deadly! Her natural eerie charm, enchanting stare, supernatural powers of hypnosis, and piercing sounds that invade your entire body aids her in luring her lovers to her deadly embrace that will corrupt the body and soul of her victims. She torments and tortures the poor souls who get caught in her evil web!
The SIREN will be played by the beautiful and talented Morrigan Hel: Domina, fetish model, performer, actress. She has been featured in countless popular publications such as Bizarre Magazine, Gothic Beauty, Femme Fatale, Marquis, Penthouse (to name just a few), and has performed /worked with/for - Alice Cooper, Motorhead, George Clinton, Hardknox (Moby tour), Godhead, Murder Dolls, H.I.M, Beyond Twilight & Cradle of Filth.
Some of her screen appearances include roles in films such as Cradle of Fear, Serial Kaller, and Nature Morte as well as extra work in major productions such as Hackers, Judge Dredd, and Still Crazy. Morrigan has also appeared on Playboy TV and various erotic/fetish film projects for Skin Two and Trevor Watson/Tanya Hyde.
Morrigan Hel also runs Murder Mile Studios and is a vocalist in the popular London-based rock/punk/gothic rock band Nemhain. Check out one of their music videos “Second Skin.” Read more about Morrigan Hel: on her official Facebook & website.
The SIREN’s wardrobe draws from inspirations from elements of nature, Siren mythology and embodies a traditional goddess/sea queen look complete with a vibrant vampire style cape!
The character is an otherworldly being and must have a wardrobe to match her glamorous, eerie charm. Her eyes, teeth, and overall seemingly human form change based on her mood.
The more bloodthirsty she becomes, the more terrifying her screen presence! Without giving any spoilers, trust me the Siren’s transformation and reveal of her "true self" at the end of the film will have your skin crawling and tentacles wiggling!
The Siren’s muses from the underworld: the DREAM WITCHES, mysterious masked characters, and creepy townspeople who accompany her are her slaves, doomed to walk the earth with her and protect her identity (as well as cover up any dirty secrets). These characters play an important role in helping the Siren lure unsuspecting victims to their fate.
This film requires lush and captivating landscapes rich with history, a gothic sensibility and an air of peril, filled with timeless beauty, enchanting forestry, and definitely castles!
This is a huge reason behind why we are shooting in England! We have already secured a beautiful location in Beddgelert, Wales where we have access to 7 acres of private land complete with bewitching forestry, majestic flowing creeks, magnificent views, and wooded areas that consist of a mystical spirit and a perfect eerie mood for the film.
There are also many beautiful remote areas, small towns, beaches, and cemeteries, and castle ruins (such as Pembroke Coast, the Lake District, Criccieth Castle, Gwynedd, Brecon Beacons, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, and countless others) in Wales that will serve as marvelous locations and settings for the film. We are also looking to shooting some of the town scenes in Blackpool, which has a unique charm about it perfect for the odd characters that the Vacationers run into!
It all depends on the funds that are raise!
On top of all of that, we also have access to studio space in London for various green screen shoots and surreal staging!
If we can raise enough to build sets for unique spaces, we'll shoot most of the complicated interiors and underwater scenes inside a studio, at an underwater stage, or a creative indoor setting! Sets give us more control over rigging and lighting for the surreal sequences in the film.
In many respects, this films pays homage to classic Hammer Horror films and filmmakers Jean Rollin and Jesus Franco, so it would be a dream to be able to shoot at locations frequently used in their films, like the cemetery in The Iron Rose (Amiens) and the beach so frequently used in Rollin’s films (Dieppe) which will root us in our reality and look spectacular—but only if we acquire the budget for it! It’s up to you!
Much of Tearful Surrender is already cast with such underground talent as Morrigan Hel (Self Induced Nightmares, Serial Kaller), Eileen Daly (Razor Blade Smile, Pervirella), Sophia Disgrace (Spidarlings, Kung Fu and Titties), Nathan Head (Theatre of Fear, The Toymaker, Hellriser), Morganna Bramah (Lady of the Dark: Genesis of the Serpent Vampire), Joseph Stacey (Half Light, Solace), Chris Lines (Whiteblade, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Terrible Old Man), Shelley Krasnowski, Nick Cornwall (Absentia, Da Vinci's Demons), Lindy Pieri (Age of the Living Dead, Welcome to Essex), Cassandra Sechler (Elliot, Dolly Deadly, Wireboy), and other cult talent such as Zara DuRose, SarahTonin, with more talent and special cameos TBA!
The core crew of Tearful Surrender has been formed! The team who helped make ELLIOT a reality are back with new friends from the UK to shoot the movie! Cassandra Sechler writer, director, key MUA/SPFX (Elliot, Wireboy, Dolly Deadly), Craig Jacobson Assistant Director, Cinematographer (Elliot, Wireboy, Alligator Bitch) , Anthony A. Russell (The Beast in Heat, Elliot), John Espey (Symphony of Man, Elliot), Tom Lee Rutter (Bella in the Witch Elm, Stranger), and others TBA!
Other crew members TBA! Read full bios for cast and crew on the official Tearful Surrender website.
Tearful Surrender is the second feature film from us here at DDCP, and we will be spearheading the production. Craig Jacobson and I are the founding and managing members of DDCP and will be wearing many hats in the production (as we are known for doing). Most recently we wrapped our first feature ELLIOT, an existential sci-fi/cyber odyssey (2017), which has been very well received by reviewers and fans the world over in festivals and at screenings.
As DDCP, we have produced over 11 short films, 1 feature film (Elliot, 2017), 5 music videos, and aided in the creation of numerous promotional pieces and films, such as Dolly Deadly (2016). Now we are working on our most ambitious and macabre project yet: TEARFUL SURRENDER.
At DDCP, we pride ourselves on practical effects, high production value with low budgets, spfx makeup, hand-built sets and props, unique costume design, original set construction, and the power of storytelling!
Tearful Surrender is our biggest & most complex project to date, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to get started, as we have spent the last three years using our own funds to get the ball rolling with beginning props and costumes to start creating the world that is Tearful Surrender. Now to be able to make this film a reality, we need to acquire extra funding.
Tearful Surrender is NOT a typical studio/”Hollywood” picture, and that is why we are here seeking funds!
It is very important that we have as much creative control as possible and final cut with this film. The vision is ours, the moneyman does not exist, and the more surreal and existential this film can be. The more funds that come directly from supporters of the film, the more say we have in the final outcome, and the more the fans will appreciate what we are offering!
We’ve had a fruitful preproduction taking care of as much as possible with our own personal funds to get the ball rolling during the development of the film. We took three different trips to England to unite cast and crew and prepare everyone on board prior to shooting. Through location scouting, cast/crew meetings, character portraits, rehearsals, lighting and wardrobe tests, and more, we’ve established great chemistry and built an enthusiastic environment for collaboration.
Most of the costumes, wardrobe, accessories, and props for the cast have been purchased or made, but there’s so much more ground to cover!
This film requires elaborate practical effects with lots of gory prosthetics and wild monster and character makeup (with prosthetic teeth, various contacts, prosthetic makeup applications, etc.). Tons of slime, fake blood and latex are also needed (for items needed such as a decapitated head, intestines being pulled out of bodies, brains and hearts being ripped out of victims, massive blood splatters, tentacle trapping madness, and underwater death scenes).
Special items for set decoration will be required in the Siren’s lair (i.e. ship wheels, fish nets, tons of limbs and bones, jewels, statues, and more (think Little Mermaid’s treasure trove meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Then there are additional props, camera gear, studio rentals for underwater stages and green screen shoots, and of course payment for our cast and crew and location managers, and food/gas/travel/lodging money for us to get to and from all of the fabulous locations we’ll be shooting at and keep everyone safe, fed, rested, and ready for action (see below for overall budget breakdown).
While we’re busy making tons of corpse & skull props, tentacles, bones, intestines with our own resources, there are many remaining costs for the production that exceed what can be made possible out of our own pockets or coins in our now empty piggy banks.
So it is now time to involve those who want to see that we’re able to make this surreal, gory, exciting project come to life! If able to surpass our funding goal, it will allow us to cover even more production costs and will bring the production to an entirely different level, covering costs never thought possible to help bring the film into new fantastic heights of production value.
The money donated will pay for the following and beyond:
$4,000 spfx makeup and prop making supplies for the prosthetics, blood, and gore practical effects & makeup/supplies/beauty makeup
$750 additional materials for costumes, accessories, additional wardrobe pieces $1,000 props, set dressing materials – think lots of skeletons, treasures, human ligaments, nets, ship pieces, mirrors—all of those items a goddess from the deep would surround herself with in her lair & more
$4,000 equipment rentals and purchases: such as outdoor lighting equipment, generator, wind & fog machines, additional camera and sound equipment
$2150 Production/filmmaker Insurance, Legal costs & permits
$13,000 travel expenses, food, gas, lodging, and compensation for cast and crew
$750 Shipment costs for sending props/wardrobe overseas prior to shooting
$2,000 payment to location owner, studio rentals for underwater stage and green screen shoots
$1,000 misc expenses for unexpected equipment rentals/purchases/costs
$3,500 perk fulfillment costs, taxes & Kickstarter fees
Even though 30k may seem like a lot of money, when you're talking practical effects, set and building rentals, shooting permits, and travel costs it's really quite a pittance.
Keep in mind that we give up some funds in order to use this website and have already put as much of our own funds into the film as we can afford. And of course, it'll also cost us to fulfill our promises to our supporters, which will take resources as well.
Above all, Tearful Surrender is a passionate endeavor, and the more money that we are able to raise, the more we'll be able to put up on the screen!
Post production fees, promotion, marketing, distribution, and advertising costs will be covered by the director and producer, unless this campaign goes above and beyond expectations! The more we make, the bigger and grander this film will be! It is up to you!
This is a fixed funding campaign, meaning that if we do not make our goal, we do not get funded, and you do not get charged. If we do not make our goal, Tearful Surrender will still be made but on a much, much smaller scale. However, if we are able to make our goal, we will be able to make this film as elaborate, magical, horrific, fantastic, and sexy as it deserves to be!
We plan on organizing a big world premiere, special pop up screenings in major cities such as London, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Paris, L.A, and others if the funding is there to travel to more places. as well as further touring with the film and giving it a good festival run… then distributing the film online and on DVD/Blu-ray, available to purchase through the website! We’ve got big plans!
But those who donate will of course get to see it first and be given special online access to BTS news, secure a copy of the dvd, and a chance to receive other goodies! Which leads us to…
T-Shirts, IMDB credit, copies of the film and soundtrack, special script/art/music/film downloads, a copy of a limited edition behind the scenes zine titled “Mythos & Eros,” autographed stills, scripts, and photos, and much, much more!
Risks and challenges
Overall this is a brave film in its subject matter and scope on a low budget. Rest assured, everyone involved is passionate about the project and wants to make the dream a reality!
If there are major setbacks, it would simply mean the completion date would be pushed back, effects scaled back, and the film would need to be re-worked to accommodate the budget. The film would still be made, but it would just take a little longer. All of the Tearful Surrender crew are quite organized and capable of avoiding and/or handling setbacks.
One challenge is the fact that all of our gore will be done with practical effects. That means prosthetics, fake limbs, gallons of fake blood, mounds of rotting flesh, and sculpted props! We are aware that this can become pricy, however our crew has worked on low budget films long enough to have quite a few tricks up our sleeves to make it happen, working creatively with DIY props with a limited budget!
Our team has worked tirelessly (for no pay) over the last several years to begin this project. No matter what, we are determined to tell this story and will do anything to make it happen! The more justice we can bring to it the better!
We at Dreams For Dead Cats Productions LLC have been working closely together with the cast and crew and are ready to go into actual production as soon as possible. Pending a successful campaign, the Tearful Surrender team is ready to start shooting in the fall of 2018 and wrap in the summer/fall of 2019.
We’ve set a reasonable production and fulfillment schedule, but there are inherent risks of delay in the process (this is the film business, after all!). We will communicate with our backers throughout the production to ensure the fulfillment process sticks to the timeline and that no matter what, this feature film gets made and out into the world! Siren’s honor.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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