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Lucas Neff presents: A married woman in an extramarital affair must find her wedding ring in the woods before the sun sets. Read more

Los Angeles, CA Shorts
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This project was successfully funded on June 15, 2013.

Lucas Neff presents: A married woman in an extramarital affair must find her wedding ring in the woods before the sun sets.

Los Angeles, CA Shorts
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About this project

For the past three years, our team has been collaborating on Meditations, an award-winning narrative film series that illuminates unobserved moments of life. Our artistic enterprise has laid the foundation for increasingly larger, more ambitious projects.

From our first short, “Man in Water”, produced in 2010 on a shoestring budget, to “ItsOkayItsOkay”, built last year on the sound stages of Raising Hope, we’ve managed to consistently stretch our abilities beyond anything we’ve done before. Lay in Wait is the culmination of this hard work, a new short film that remains true to the cinematic integrity we’ve maintained over the past four years while developing an original narrative voice.

The Story

Maggie, a young married woman, awakens to the final morning of an extramarital camping trip with her lover. During the drive back home, she is shocked to discover her wedding ring is lost. The couple returns to the forest, and in the entangled thicket of nature, Maggie desperately searches for the symbol of her matrimony. As the day yields into night, the search becomes more and more punishing. What will be lost as the sun sets? And as it rises again, what will remain?

What We've Done So Far

We began pre-production on Lay in Wait over a year ago, just days after wrapping production on our latest Meditation, “ItsOkayItsOkay”. The script was written specifically for Elizabeth Olin, a phenomenal new talent set to appear in Killing Season, a new thriller starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta, to be released this year.

We’ve spent the last year methodically gathering the immense resources necessary for this film. In the summer of 2012, we partnered with the production company Infinite Lives Entertainment and designed our fundraising promotional packets with accomplished designer and filmmaker Brad Champagne. We used these packets to promote Lay in Wait at numerous festivals that were already showcasing our work. That fall, we obtained 501(c)(3) non-profit status for the first half of our financing through the prestigious organization Independent Filmmaker Project in New York City. In January of 2013, we toured the Northeast with our Meditations films, hitting Connecticut, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Northern Virginia, bringing our work to the community that has supported us. Our films were shown to over 300 people in four consecutive days.

In February of 2013, award-winning playwright Lucas Neff, star of Fox’s Raising Hope, signed on to be our Executive Producer, taking us to the next tier of our pre-production. In March, we hired production designer Mars Feehery, casting director M’saada Nia, and costume designer Robin Vane. We began our location scouting and with the help of Panavision, Kodak and Deluxe, we were able to conduct 35mm film tests for free.

Why $33,000?

In the past four months, we’ve raised more money than our three previous films combined, putting us at $25,930. As substantial as that amount is, it only covers the cost of equipment, locations and film stock. We need an additional $33,000 to provide the most valuable resource of all, the resource that makes cinema what it is: the people. We’ve developed relationships over the last four years with extremely talented industry professionals. Without them, the past three projects would never have happened, and wouldn’t nearly be as good as they are. This $33,000 only represents a small fraction of what their worth actually is, but as filmmakers, it is our obligation to take care of the people who take care of us. True intelligent filmmaking means hiring the right people and trusting them to do their job. We want this to be the best film we’ve ever made, and we need the right people to make it happen.

What Happens When We Reach Our Goal

$33,000 is the exact amount (before Kickstarter’s fee) required to enter production. This number, in conjunction with what we’ve already raised, allows us one week of filming on location in the central California mountains. It houses and feeds our crew, it pays for insurance that protects all of us, and it provides not only the necessary equipment but also the appropriate transportation to get it to our shooting site.

We plan on going into production the last week of June 2013, with a 2-3 month post-production period for editing, sound design and music composition. We will then premiere the film and begin submitting it to first-tier film festivals across the country, including the Sundance, South by Southwest, Tribeca and Los Angeles Film Festivals.

What We’re Offering

We’ve got a lot of great kickstarter rewards for patrons’ generosity, including special access to behind the scenes featurettes, signed posters, signed copies of the final script, a visit to set and even a cameo in the film! In fact, it’s the ONLY cameo in the film. This is a movie about three characters in an isolated environment. Believe us when we say you’ll be noticed.

Our Team

Jonathan Ade

Raised in suburban Washington DC, writer/director Jonathan Ade has engaged in cinematic pursuits nearly his entire life, arising from a long-held desire to tell engaging human stories. He wrote, directed and edited short films throughout his teen years before attending Emerson College’s BFA film program. His thesis film, “Through and Away” premiered at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth in 2008, where it won the Jury Prize for Best Feature.  

After graduation, Jonathan developed his craft of storytelling through the field of editing, honing his narrative skills by sculpting the cinematic projects of industry professionals. “Lay in Wait” represents his sixth production overall in the role of writer/director, and his work can best be described as honest examinations of the human experience.

Alexander Paul

Award-winning cinematographer Alexander D. Paul’s love for all art has lead him to strive for innovative ways of expressing meaning within the proscenium of the motion picture. After leaving his hometown of New London, CT to study film at Emerson College, Alexander moved to Los Angeles to begin working as a union camera assistant on television shows, including, “My Name is Earl”, “Raising Hope” (FOX) and “American Horror Story” (FX). 

He has worked under the guidance of cinematographers such as Walt Fraser, Jamie Thompson and Michael Goi, recent President of the American Society of Cinematographers. Under their leadership, Alexander has been exposed to a wide range of technique and skill, providing him with a full pallet that he uses to create imagery rich with meaning. From commercial pursuits such as ad spots and music videos to experimental shorts and thoughtful narratives, Alexander has always approached his art form with both monastic discipline and comic touch. 

Lucas Neff 
Executive Producer

Born in Andersonville, Chicago, Lucas's acting career came about by mistake after he was assigned to the performing arts department at the University of Illinois. He won his first television role in an episode of "The Beast" in 2009, followed by roles in the films "In Memoriam" and "Amigo" before winning the role of Jimmy Chance on the Emmy-award nominated Fox show "Raising Hope" in 2010.

In addition to being an extraordinarily talented actor and producer, he has also proven himself as a playwright and comedian. His play The Last Duck opened last year in Chicago to superb reviews and was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work.

John Negropontes

Born and raised in rural Alberta, John Negropontes has been an avid filmmaker from a young age. Traveling to the big city to seek his fortunes, he attended the American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles, earning his Master of Fine Arts degree. Over the last decade, John has produced numerous award-winning shorts and a handful of feature films. With a keen eye for story and a background in Economics, John is intent on producing quality and poignant narrative entertainment on both sides of the border. To this end, he is currently developing several projects across a variety of genres, building a network of talented individuals in both Los Angeles and Alberta. 

Elizabeth Olin

Originally from Louisville, KY, Elizabeth Olin began her career co-starring in the 2011 Academy Award Winning Short Film “God of Love” (Dir. Luke Matheny). Since her move to Los Angeles, Elizabeth has appeared in major national commercials and is the new face of Garnier’s BB Cream campaign. Along with “Lay in Wait”, Elizabeth will star in the Robert De Niro, John Travolta feature film “Killing Season”, to be released in 2013.


From 2010-2012, we’ve been building our artistic foundation with the Meditations series. 

These shorts have appeared in film festivals across the country, including the Film Independent Cinema Lounge in Los Angeles, the Big Muddy Film Festival in Carbondale, IL, the Recession Art’s Emerging Filmmakers Showcase in Brooklyn, NY, the Clifton Film Festival in Virginia (awarded for Best Editing and Best Cinematography), the San Francisco New Media Film Festival (awarded for “Best Film Shot on Red”), the Los Angeles Movie Awards, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles, the Cine Gear Expo (nominated for Best Short), and, most recently, the Woods Hole and Indianapolis Film Festivals. These films continue to gather audiences even as the filmmakers build the foundation for Lay In Wait.

Please display full screen in the dark and watch with either headphones or large speakers.


Man in Water

ItsOkayItsOkay (Trailer) 

Because our third Meditation is currently in festival consideration, please contact us for the link. We think it’s the best one yet, and we’re sure you’ll agree.

Final Words

Too often, purveyors of popular entertainment fail to think critically about what they are making. We believe the act of telling stories simply and honestly is the greatest achievement a filmmaker can hope to obtain. More than any other art form, filmmaking relies on patronage to execute a final, meaningful product. It is solely with financial contributions that we are able to explore the most important questions only cinema can ask. We’ve spent nearly our entire lives in pursuit of this goal, and we hope, just as we believe in the authority of the moving image, you’ll believe in us. 

Jonathan and Alexander
Writer/Director and Cinematographer

Risks and challenges

Though filmmaking must embrace artistic risk, it also has to find ways to minimize logistical and financial risk. Part of this responsibility is taking full measures to establish the efficiency and safety of our cast and crew. The reason we're asking for $33,000 is to hire the industry professionals that will ensure a smooth production with minimal loss and damage. Stuff happens, as it does with any production, but we can control our preparation, our exposure and our response with proper funds and prudent decision making.

We've taken a year and a half to prepare for this project because we insist on doing it right. In the last four years, we've never rushed a production, never overworked our crew and never demanded more than what we could get. And we've proven ourselves, year after year, in the quality of films that we make. We know this is the right way to do it.

Let us know if you have any specific questions about our project. We want to give you confidence in your contribution.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


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

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    Exclusive Backer Updates from the team, eternal gratitude, and a completely justified sense of superiority.

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    STREAM THE FINISHED FILM - We'll give you exclusive, PASSWORD-PROTECTED ACCESS to the finished film, as well as Exclusive Backer Updates and 50 lbs of our eternal gratitude (use as directed).

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    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the film, optimized for the device of your choice. Watch an existential drama whenever and wherever your heart desires! We'll also include downloads of all behind-the-scenes extra features, as well as a digital copy of the shooting script, an online copy of our promotional packet, and password-protected streaming access to the finished film whenever you'd like to watch it. As always, Exclusive Backer Updates and eternal gratitude come complimentary.

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    SMALL MAIL PACK - For this, you deserve to get something in the mail. You'll get a DVD COPY of the film, including all previous work by the filmmakers, behind-the-scenes extra features, photos and more. You'll get a physical copy of the script as well. Don't worry. All rewards at previous tiers will be received as well. You'll get the digital download, the behind-the-scenes features online, the password-protected streaming access, and every digital document you could possibly want.

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    BIG MAIL PACK - Now we're getting into the big leagues. You'll get a SIGNED THANK-YOU letter from the entire cast and crew, a phenomenal MOVIE POSTER with original art, and a beautiful BLU-RAY copy of the film, complete with the filmmakers' previous works and all BTS extra features. Add that to your DVD version, a physical copy of the script, digital download, digital copies of the script and promo, behind-the-scenes features and password-protected access to the finished film.

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    PRINT PACK - We'd like to offer you a special PRINT EDITION of our LAY IN WAIT NEWSLETTERS. Every week for the last four months, we've detailed the creative and logistical work we've done to prepare for our project. It's an unprecedented, comprehensive look at our filmmaking process, and we'd like to specially print and bind our work as a way of saying thank you. And of course, you'll still receive the movie poster. Only we'll FRAME it for you. Add that to the thank-you letter, the Blu-Ray and DVD copies of the film, a physical copy of the script, and all the digital downloads and streaming you can eat.

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    DELUXE PRINT PACK - We'll take that framed poster, and we'll SIGN IT for you. We'll also give you a PRINTED BOOK of our SET PHOTOS, a wonderful memento of our time shooting this project. It'll look really nice next to the printed book of our newsletters, the signed thank-you letter, the Blu-Ray and DVD copies of the film, and the physical copy of the script. All previous digital rewards are honored at this level too, including all-access downloads and streaming.

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    VIP PACK - This is serious. You'll get an invitation to our WRAP PARTY in Los Angeles (specifics TBD), where you'll meet a ton of talented people and hear firsthand stories of our finished production. At this level, ALL REWARDS are SIGNED by the cast and crew: the script, the thank-you letter, the book of photos, our newsletter collection, the Blu-Ray and DVD, the poster, and, in THIS PLEDGE AMOUNT ONLY, headshots from the cast. All digital rewards will not be signed, as it is currently not feasible.

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    DELUXE VIP PACK - In addition to everything above (the wrap party invitation, the signed scripts, thank-you letters, books of photos and newsletters, framed poster, Blu-Ray and DVD), we have two INCREDIBLE rewards to offer for those contributing at the $1000 level.

    First, Lucas Neff, our Executive Producer, will record a PERSONALIZED GREETING for your voicemail, to be delivered as an audio file. (All content must be approved by Lucas prior to recording)

    Second, we want you to receive a unique gift from our film. In February, we conducted 35mm film tests. We will take a single frame from our print and construct a lightbox for you to always enjoy the fruit of our labor. A 35mm print frame may be a rarity even ten years from now. This is a special opportunity that you don't want to pass up.

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    PRIVATE DINNER - At this level, you become a significant member of our team. When the film is finished, we want to invite you to a PRIVATE DINNER and screening with our team. This is the ONLY level where we're offering a full ROUND-TRIP TICKET (within the continental US), plus a night of housing.

    Before you leave, we're proud to give you all the items from the previous reward categories: Lucas Neff's personalized voicemail, a light box from our camera tests, signed headshots, poster, script, book of photos, book of newsletters, Blu-Ray, DVD and thank-you letter.

    And don't forget all the digital download and streaming rewards.

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    SET VISIT - For this tremendous, earth-shattering level of generosity, we want to offer you something we've never offered anyone else: a chance to SEE the movie being made.

    At this level, we will fly you out for a SET VISIT, including a PRIVATE LUNCH with our Executive Producer Lucas Neff. Come see filmmaking in action and witness all the hard work it takes to make a movie happen.

    (Please note: we plan on shooting the film the last week of June and can only offer travel from the continental US)

    Of course, as one of our primary benefactors, you can expect all measure of invitation to every one of the rewards previously identified. That includes the private dinner, the wrap party, the personalized voice mail, the light box, the signed collection of virtually everything, and all digital media that we've ever made for this project.

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    CAMEO - In addition to everything above, for this unprecedented level of generosity we'd be honored to have you as the ONLY CAMEO in the film. (Please note that we are filming the last week of June 2013 before claiming this reward).

    How does that work in a film about two people alone in the woods? The answer is for the cast and crews' eyes only. Join us and find out. This reward includes every single perk listed above, including the private lunch with Lucas, the private dinner, the voicemail greeting, light box of our camera tests, signed Blu-Ray, DVD, books and posters.

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Funding period

- (32 days)