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CHRYSALIS - A Post-Apocalyptic Horror Film's video poster

Chrysalis is a post-apocalyptic horror film in the vein of 28 Days Later and The Road, produced by the award-winning Glass City Films. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on September 1, 2012.

Chrysalis is a post-apocalyptic horror film in the vein of 28 Days Later and The Road, produced by the award-winning Glass City Films.

About this project

UPDATE 8/30/12: Almost to $33,000!  If we cross $40k, we'll be designing and distributing a prequel comic book to our backers; more information in this update HEREWe've also still got our backer-exclusive DVD promotion and our Zombie, IL contest going on till our Friday deadline.  Check 'em out and keep spreading the word!

UPDATE 8/28/12: We've crossed our $30,000 threshold, which is AMAZING!  But the journey's not over yet.  If you're still interested in backing the film, don't hesitate to take advantage of our prizes and promotions in the next three days!  Every extra dollar makes Chrysalis a better film, and in the next few days we'll be outlining other possibilities for reaching higher targets as well!  Thank you all SO much - you rock our world.  Let's shoot for the moon!

UPDATE 8/21/2012: We've just crossed $20,000 in backer pledges, with over 200 backers and counting! We're so incredibly thankful. As a reward, here's a scene from the script, courtesy of screenwriter Ben Kurstin, in which Abira chronicles the history of the Drone Virus for Josh and Penelope. Keep in mind the final script may differ, as we're still revising and fine-tuning here and there, but we hope you enjoy this insight into the Chrysalis mythos!

Download the scene here by right-clicking on the link and choosing "Save As...":

Check out previous projects of ours:

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Follow Glass City Films on Twitter:

And look for us on Instagram (user: GlassCityFilms, #chrysalis)!


ReelCHICAGO - 8/19/12 audio interview with John Klein and Ben Kurstin

Post-Tribune (a Chicago Sun-Times publication) - interview with director John Klein

Scott Kenemore's Zombie Blog

Port Clinton News Herald - quoting producer Caleb Thusat


Chrysalis is a post-apocalyptic horror film, set 25 years after a bio-terrorist attack unleashes a virus upon the world, transforming much of humanity into vicious creatures and laying waste to civilization.  The remnants and survivors have staggered about for years, as the "infected" slowly starve and die off. 

Our story follows Joshua (Cole Simon) and Penelope (Sara Gorsky), two such survivors who have banded together in the hope of rescuing others and hopefully rebuilding civilization.  When they encounter Abira, the lone survivor of another group, their worlds and goals are irrevocably altered, and they must face new and terrifying challenges if they are to survive.

This is our fourth feature film as a company, which means a couple of things to YOU, the donor:

- WE'VE DONE THIS BEFORE!  We know exactly how much this film will cost to make, we already have our entire creative team on board, we've been through the stress of crazy on-set emergencies and last-minute tweaks in editing, and we've gotten very good at this.  So you can rest assured your money's going to a project that will get finished on time, under budget, and at a high quality, far outstripping most indie films.

- WE LOVE THIS STUFF!  Our deep catalog of short and feature films shows that we're not only experienced, but also itching to keep making films at all costs.  To that end, our production team includes a core group of incredibly talented and professional volunteers, generously donating their time, talents, and energies and allowing us to put more of our resources towards what really matters: making the film look and sound awesome and scary as hell.

(And if you want evidence of both things, the teaser above was shot just two weeks ago, in one day, with no budget, by the same cast and crew who will be making the feature!)

Now, you may be asking a very real question:


Why not just go to a single investor and ask for money? 

First of all, Kickstarter is ALL OR NOTHING.  If we don't make our goal, you don't get charged a dime, and we don't get a dime!  Other sites like IndieGoGo would give us a portion of our funds even if we didn't make your target, which in our minds results in too much compromise.  We know how much Chrysalis will cost to produce, and to ask for any less would mean giving you a finished product that doesn't reflect the quality of work YOU signed up to create!

Secondly, if - and when - we're able to raise more than our goal, we've got a lot of other exciting additions to share with our fans and backers.  Plans to craft a graphic novel that will expand the scope of the Chrysalis universe.  Pursuits of loftier distribution deals.  More behind-the-scenes elements.  The possibilities are endless, and YOU have the power to make that happen.

And the truth is this: a lot of indie films get made whether the fans want it or not.  We want YOU to have the right to say whether or not you want to see the next feature film from Glass City Films.  We want YOU to help us make it a reality.  It's not just about donations and cool prizes (but seriously - you could get to be a zombie!), but about the excitement of being a part - even a small part - of making a labor of love a reality.  It's not about sponsoring our lives or funding us as artists, but about connecting us, the creators, with you, the audience.  What do YOU want to see? 

We hope it's our next film.

And we hope you'll join us in making that happen.

~ John Klein, director of Chrysalis and producer of Glass City Films

Poster and artwork design by Dan Pedersen and Dariya Trot.
Poster and artwork design by Dan Pedersen and Dariya Trot.

Teaser script written by Ben Kurstin and John Klein.

Executive produced by Glass City Films.


Cole Simon as JOSHUA

Sara Gorsky as PENELOPE


DIRECTOR - John Klein

PRODUCER - Caleb Thusat


1st AC - Lawrence Marshall


MAKEUP (contributions) - Cirque Du Face

EDITOR and ON-SET SOUND - Mike Molenda


COMPOSER - Darren Callahan

Shot on location in Gary, IN with the assistance of the Gary Film Office, and in Chicago, IL.


Northwoods Revolution

Gary Film Office

Ben Clement

Good Deal Garage

Elvis Dardagan

Limegreen Entertainment

Michael Stratta


  • We plan to shoot in either mid-to-late December or January, with a single day of shooting in the spring. We anticipate about a 16-day shoot schedule, maybe more if we get the necessary funding! As such, we're planning for VERY cold days and possibly snow. (Things have to look dead, after all.)

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  • First of all, we hope you're right in predicting that we will raise more than our goal! Our $30,000 budget is a bare minimum estimate of how much we expect this movie to cost, and every little bit beyond that helps even more.

    If we raise more than $30,000, first and foremost we'd put the surplus towards boosting the production value of the film, through visual and makeup effects, post-production sound design, etc.

    Ideally we'd also like to offer increased compensation for cast, crew, equipment, and locations. We expect to call in a few favors for this film, and pay for a number of equipment costs out of pocket.

    We've assembled a very talented cast and crew, many of whom are dedicated to the project to the point that they are willing to make some pretty significant personal sacrifices for the sake of getting it done under budget. It would be nice to be able to pay them what they're worth. Many of these people are also key crew members, and being able to book more of their time would only increase the production value of the finished film.

    As far as locations are concerned, the city of Gary, IN, has been extremely accommodating, and very flexible given our low budget. Again, we'd like to be able to offer them more than we currently are able to, for example by booking additional shooting days at locations in the city. This would help us, and would help them.

    Finally, raising more than our goal would help us beyond the production stage, in marketing the finished film. This includes everything from paying for film festival submissions, to holding public screenings, to developing some really cool tie-in ideas we have, such as comic books, fully-produced soundtrack albums, and so on.

    So...that's a very long-winded answer to a problem we can only hope we have at the end of this amazing journey!

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  • Absolutely! If you don't want to be an infected in the film, but you know someone who would love nothing more than the taste of rotting flesh in the winter time, donate away and message us with more details! We think this is one of the coolest prizes we're offering, and as long as the people purchasing that prize are enthusiastic about it, so are we. (This goes for any other prize level, too!)

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  • We're tentatively planning to shoot this November and December, so our post-production team has plenty of time to finish the film in time for a September 2013 submission to Sundance 2014. Our goal, then, is to premiere the film for our backers, cast and crew, press, families and friends in late October or early November at the latest. Nothing says Halloween quite like a heaping helping of infected creatures!

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  • Unfortunately, no. Because all our generous professionals are donating their time to the cause, we can't book them several months in advance, particularly during the Kickstarter campaign when it's not 100% assured we'll have the funds to make the film in the first place! We wouldn't want to make people lose out on paying work.

    What this means is that we've got a window of time in which we'll probably shoot the film, but it's nebulous as far as specific dates until at least a month or so out from shooting, when we know precisely how many days and locations we can afford. This extends to the "infected" backers as well. We'll do our best to accommodate schedules, and we'll most likely film the bulk of the zombie scenes on the weekends to allow people to not miss work.

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  • The pledge amount takes into account makeup, wardrobe, food, and other basic crew overhead necessities. Due to our budget, insurance, and size, however, we can't pay for anything beyond a carpool from Chicago to Gary and back. So if you're flying in from outside the Midwest, I'm afraid you're on your own in terms of getting here, and while we can happily recommend plane flights, routes, or hotels in the area, we unfortunately won't be able to pay for travel or lodging. Welcome to the reality of indie filmmaking!

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  • This is an excellent question! Every filmmaker obviously has dreams of seeing their film on the big screen, whether through some sort of blockbuster deal or even at one of the premiere festivals like Sundance or Cannes. And with our shoot and post-production schedule, we're aiming to submit to Sundance 2014 by completing the film hopefully in September of 2013.

    However, that's not to say we're only exploring the options of huge festival success and theatrical distribution. Part of the excitement of raising funds via Kickstarter is being able to forge our own path in the world of distribution, and we've seen magnificent strides made online via Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and iTunes, to name but a few. We've also had some success selling our films via our website (shameless plug: www.glasscityfilms/shop.php). These are both potential options for us.

    Lastly, though, we also acknowledge that the very act of getting a film sold requires hiring people who know the business side better than we do. If we were able to go beyond our target, another potential use of our funds would be to hire a producer's representative who could market Chrysalis to domestic and foreign distributors, ensuring that the film gets seen in as many markets as possible.

    At the end of the day, we just want our work to be seen by as many people as possible. We believe very firmly in the democratization of film, and what Kickstarter presents us with is the opportunity to choose our own road as filmmakers and give YOU the film you want to see. I imagine, when the film is closer to completion, we'll have a better sense of what that road is. For now, though, the sky's the limit.

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  • Generally, when people ask us this, we kindly ask for an extra $5-15 depending on your location and prize. It's entirely up to you, though!

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  • You're referring to the prize for pledging $1000 or more. Anyone who donates this much to Chrysalis gets their name on a title card, shared with however many donors pledge for that level. It refers to the credits at the beginning and/or end of the film, where certain people's names appear on screen by themselves or with others in similar positions.

    As an example, each screen from this sequence is a title card:…. (Yeah, we're LOST fans.)

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  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    20 backers

    Acknowledgement on the film’s WEBSITE for your donation, and receive a POSTCARD featuring messages from characters in the "Chrysalis" universe, complete with blood spatter!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    29 backers

    A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the film's soundtrack, plus all of the above prizes!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $13 or more

    4 backers All gone!

    DVD copies of Glass City Films' two horror short films "Under the Table" and "Hangers" plus all of the above prizes!
    (PLEASE NOTE: This offer only applies to backers who donate or increase their pledge on 8/13/12. Backers who increase a previous pledge, or who choose the $25+ prizes, on 8/13/12, do NOT need to choose this as their prize, it will be added to your currently chosen prize package automatically)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    124 backers

    A SIGNED DVD of the finished film, plus all of the above prizes!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    43 backers

    A SIGNED COPY of the LIMITED EDITION POSTER, and your name in the film's CREDITS and special thanks on our IMDb PAGE, plus all of the above prizes!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    13 backers

    Two FREE TICKETS to the film's premiere, plus all of the above prizes!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    50 backers

    The CHRYSALIS SURVIVOR PACK, which contains a SIGNED copy of the Extended Edition DVD (which includes limited-edition DVD cover art, behind-the-scenes footage, cast video diaries, a retrospective on how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign, and MORE), first aid kit, Chrysalis T-shirt, and a few other SURPRISES as well, and all of the above prizes!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    20 backers Limited (5 left of 25)

    LIMITED SUPPLY – BE AN INFECTED IN THE FILM! This standalone prize includes full costume and makeup, as well as a signed copy of the DVD, two tickets to the premiere, your name in the film's credits and on IMDb, and an ON-SET PHOTO SHOOT which includes an 8x10 and three 3x5 prints! (NOTE: does NOT include any other above prizes unless you pledge those amounts separately! Duration of appearance in the finished film is dependent on final creative approval from the director.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    17 backers

    A signed copy of the production book “FROM INFECTION TO RESURRECTION” (which includes behind the scenes photos, designer’s sketches, concept art, story boards and stills from the film showing the evolution and execution of the design of the Chrysalis universe), and an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER’S CREDIT on IMDb! Also includes all of the above prizes (except the $200 prize).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    7 backers

    An EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit on IMDb and an INKED PORTRAIT of you as a zombie, signed by the artist! Also includes all of the above prizes (except the $200 prize).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    7 backers

    A TITLE CARD in the credits of the film, to be shared with another donor! Also includes all of the above prizes (except the $200 prize).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers

    Your LOGO or ANIMATION shown before the Glass City Films logo at the start of the film! Also includes all of the above prizes (except the $200 prize).

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)