Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Mental is a comedic web series about two neurotic best friends, Shirin and Julie, who struggle with anxiety and depression.
Mental is a comedic web series about two neurotic best friends, Shirin and Julie, who struggle with anxiety and depression.
158 backers pledged $14,844 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Mental project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$14,844

158

We (Shirin and Julie) have been best friends since our freshman year of high school, when our odd senses of humor and disturbed temperaments immediately brought us together. As aspiring writers/creators, we talked for years about making something that captured the dysfunctional but loving nature of our friendship. The stars and prescription medications have finally aligned, allowing us to bring you our dream project in full force. It's a comedy called MENTAL about two neurotic best friends who both struggle with anxiety and depression.

MENTAL:

In each episode, Shirin and Julie will navigate the minutiae of day-to-day life through the lens of extreme neurosis. It's a humorous show that depicts mental instability in a relatable way, which is something not often seen in mainstream media.

We’ve filmed one episode already to give a sense of what the show will be like, and we are asking for help to fund six more. In this episode, “Palm Springs,” Shirin and Julie go on a relaxing weekend getaway, but their five million neuroses get in the way of them falling asleep in the same hotel room together. You can watch it here:

This is a female-driven show. Shirin and Julie will be writing, directing, editing, and starring in every episode. Additionally, the director of photography (Kristen DiLiello) and producer (Samantha Simon) are both women, which makes for an unusually female-heavy cast and crew in a typically male dominated field.

We feel it's empowering to create relatable female characters who struggle with anxiety and depression. Often in media, we feel that women who suffer from mental illness are portrayed in a 2-dimensional, unsympathetic, or caricatured way. We also hope to break some of the taboos associated with taking psychiatric medication and seeking help through therapy. It's unfortunate that many people feel that admitting to taking an anti-depressant is like admitting to having leprosy.

Another cool thing is that most (if not all) of our episodes pass the "Bechdel Test" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test). It's kind of sad that this test even exists, but if you haven't heard of it, a work of fiction only passes this test when there's a scene between two women who are not having a conversation about men. It turns out characters Shirin and Julie are not super preoccupied with men because they are more concerned with trying to find environments with suitable air conditioning and noise levels.

FUTURE EPISODES:

In future episodes, characters Shirin and Julie will continue to grapple with mental instability as they navigate their day-to-day lives. Here's a snapshot of 3 of the 6 episodes for which we are trying to fundraise.

Shishito Peppers: A pleasant birthday dinner turns into a maddening state of internal disassociation for Julie when a too-spicy dish of shishito peppers arrives and she feels justified in sending them back but can’t bring herself to ask the waitress.

Crazy Friend: Julie and Shirin's college friend Emily, now a professional dominatrix, comes to town and shows them the true meaning of "cray cray" when they take her to a house party and she ends the evening rolling around naked in a blanket on the grass, sobbing in the backyard. 

Shirin's Therapist Goes on Vacation: When Shirin's therapist goes on a vacation, her world becomes a bleak 1800s winter, the wind raging against a gray sky. In contrast, Shirin's therapist, a man in his 60s, wears Hawaiian print clothing and walks blissfully in the sand to happy xylophone music, enjoying his paradise vacation.

The episodes will range from 5 to 12 minutes long. The best way to describe the tone is hyperrealistic, yet simultaneously absurd, similar to the FX show Louie. Each episode is a self-contained saga and has the feel of a short film. Our ultimate goal is to sell the show to a cable network so that we can make episodes over several seasons and develop these characters and their storylines.

Right now, the one thing we really need to bring this show to life is your help. We have the episodes written and the team in place, but we can't afford to fund this on our own. We hope that with the help of generous friends like you, we can make our dream project a reality.

BUDGET:

We self-funded our first episode, Palm Springs, which cost $906 to make. We did it on a very tight budget, paying the least amount we could possibly pay to make it. We asked our crew to work for less than their normal rates with the promise that we would be able to fundraise and pay them closer to their normal rates for subsequent episodes. We had no PA's on set and managed all of the logistics, equipment, errands on our own, which can be difficult to do when trying to focus on the acting and directing.

Our cost breakdown for Palm Springs (a 10-hour shoot) was as follows:

We calculated the costs for a future episode in which we'd pay the crew closer to their rates and have 1 PA on set. We will also have multiple locations in some of the future episodes (unlike Palm Springs, which was all set in one hotel room), which means additional days of shooting and extra costs for food and crew. We averaged the additional costs considering these factors and calculated those as $450. This brings us to a total cost of $1,356 per episode. 

We are making 6 episodes, so this brings us to $8,136. The remaining costs include marketing, insurance, unexpected expenditures, a stipend for our producer, and the fees to Amazon and Kickstarter.

MORE ABOUT US:

Shirin and Julie have collaborated on several projects. They created the web series "George and Julie" in which Shirin plays the voice of George the cat (an asshole cat connected in Hollywood) and Julie plays a struggling actress. Watch the full series here.

In this episode, George explains to Julie that he doesn't feel comfortable introducing her to his friend, Matthew Weiner. Click the photo to watch the video.
In this episode, George explains to Julie that he doesn't feel comfortable introducing her to his friend, Matthew Weiner. Click the photo to watch the video.
In this episode, George tells Julie she's unskilled in the art of sexting and refuses to consult any further. Click the photo to watch the video.
In this episode, George tells Julie she's unskilled in the art of sexting and refuses to consult any further. Click the photo to watch the video.

 In "Please Go" (written/directed by Shirin, performed by Julie), two women approach a stop sign at the same time and have rage outbursts.

 In "Hollywood Party" (written and performed by Shirin and Julie), a studio producer has no interest in hearing a woman's web series pitch.

Outside of their work together, Julie is on the show Orange is the New Black as the role of meth-head Angie Rice. 

A meme featuring a classic exchange with Julie's character Angie Rice.
A meme featuring a classic exchange with Julie's character Angie Rice.

Shirin writes and directs comedy videos, which have been featured on the Funny or Die homepage and written up by various media. In "Before and After Uber," Shirin parodies the culture shift that occurred in Los Angeles after services like Uber and Lyft were introduced.

 The video was written up by Los Angeles Magazine

Shirin wrote and directed a parody of the Steve Jobs movie trailer, which was featured on Funny or Die's homepage. Click the photo to watch the vid.
Shirin wrote and directed a parody of the Steve Jobs movie trailer, which was featured on Funny or Die's homepage. Click the photo to watch the vid.
Angie seeking spiritual guidance from Norma.
Angie seeking spiritual guidance from Norma.
Shirin and Julie celebrating Shirin's birthday at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2011. Not pictured: Shirin's sister's boyfriend who was also present and paid for their drinks, since they had roughly zero dollars in their bank accounts at the time.
Shirin and Julie celebrating Shirin's birthday at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2011. Not pictured: Shirin's sister's boyfriend who was also present and paid for their drinks, since they had roughly zero dollars in their bank accounts at the time.

And if you've read this far in our page, you possess the attention span needed to appreciate one of our favorite videos we created together, "Zoloft and Klonopin: An Opera." This video wasn't very popular on YouTube (perhaps due to the fact that it's a 6-minute puppet opera), but we believe that, much like the work of Vincent van Gogh, it will be appreciated after its time.

A tumultuous love story about a woman in a relationship with Zoloft forced to reveal that she's also seeing Klonopin. Click the photo to watch the video.
A tumultuous love story about a woman in a relationship with Zoloft forced to reveal that she's also seeing Klonopin. Click the photo to watch the video.

Risks and challenges

We are very confident that we will bring Mental to completion. We successfully filmed one of our longest episodes, completed the post-production (editing, musical score) and released it. Our production team and process are all in place.

The primary challenge, as in any film shoot, is the unpredictable aspect of production. With an unforeseen event, the consequence is that we would have to postpone the shoot. For instance, if it rains on the day of an outdoor shoot, or if a location falls through last minute, or if an actor gets sick. Our scheduled date of completion is September 2016, but it’s possible that the project could take up to a year (March 2017) if unforeseen obstacles slow the process.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Good karma. Every dollar helps, so thank you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A thank you email with photos from our shoots.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A thank you email with photos from our shoots plus a video link to on-set bloopers.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    **For ORANGE fans**

    Julie will follow you on Instagram!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    **For ORANGE fans**

    A personalized "thank you" Tweet from Julie!

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Your name on the Thank You page of our official "Mental The Show" website.

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots
 and a video link to on-set bloopers.


    Less
    Estimated delivery
    32 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    **For ORANGE fans**

    A personalized thank you video from Julie to you on Instagram!

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots
    Thank you page credit

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A video link to Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie about Mental.


    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots
    Thank you page credit
    A video link to on-set bloopers

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    19 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    **For ORANGE fans**

    A personalized happy birthday Tweet from Julie!

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots
    Thank you page credit

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    **NEW REWARD**

    15-minute Skype Therapy with Shirin and Julie.

    In Skype therapy, we will listen to your problems and give you real advice that a licensed therapist would *most likely* give you (because we are really skilled at therapy after having had years of therapy). We can also provide dream interpretation (loosely based on Freudian theories and our own ideas).

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots

    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A "Mental The Show" coffee mug.

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots

    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    **For ORANGE fans**

    A personalized happy birthday video from Julie on Instagram!

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots
    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A "Mental The Show" t-shirt with a humorous/uninspiring quote from the show written on the back. 


    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots

    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    11 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    **For ORANGE fans**

    An autographed picture from Julie!

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots
    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A signed "Mental The Show" poster.

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots

    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    **For ORANGE fans**

    A 15-minute phone call with Julie about all things ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. Ask Julie all your questions about the show, the cast, the gossip -- anything you want except for information on what happens in upcoming seasons.

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots
    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    A SNUGGIE for a mental health day.

    A snuggie (full body blanket with sleeves) for when you don't want to leave the house all day.

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots

    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    **For ORANGE fans**

    A 20-minute Skype session with Julie about all things ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. Ask Julie all your questions about the show, the cast, the gossip -- anything you want except for information on what happens in upcoming seasons.

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots

    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    A SNUGGIE plus a 30-minute SKYPE THERAPY with Shirin and Julie.

    In Skype therapy, we will listen to your problems and give you real advice that a licensed therapist would *most likely* give you (because we are really skilled at therapy after having had years of therapy). We can also provide dream interpretation (loosely based on Freudian theories and our own ideas).

    It's recommended, but not required, that you wear the snuggie during therapy.

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots.

    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  20. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    The MENTAL GIFT PACK:
    Mental t-shirt
    Snuggie
    Mental Coffee Mug

    With this gift pack, you can wear a Mental t-shirt, wear a snuggie over it, drink coffee in a Mental coffee mug, and watch all of our episodes in the video links included below. What a great way to spend the day.

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots

    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  21. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    The DELUXE MENTAL GIFT PACK (including poster):
    Mental t-shirt
    Snuggie
    Coffee Mug
    Signed Poster

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots
    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  22. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Your name in our credits at the end of every episode under "Special Thanks."

    Plus The DELUXE MENTAL GIFT PACK:
    Mental t-shirt
    Snuggie
    Mental Coffee Mug
    Signed Poster

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots.
    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  23. Select this reward

    Pledge $550 or more About $550

    **For ORANGE fans**

    Hang out with Julie in LA! (Must be able to travel to Los Angeles.) Your choice of a 2-hour hangout (coffee, lunch, dinner, museum). Ask Julie all your burning questions about Orange is the New Black!

    Plus the MENTAL GIFT PACK:
    Mental t-shirt
    Snuggie
    Coffee Mug

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots
    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  24. Select this reward

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

    Associate Producer credit on IMDB and your name in our credits at the end of every episode under "Special Thanks."

    Plus The DELUXE MENTAL GIFT PACK:
    Mental t-shirt
    Snuggie
    Coffee Mug
    Signed Poster

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots
    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  25. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Co-Producer credit on IMDB, your name in our credits at the end of every episode under "Special Thanks," and a SET VISIT. (For set visit, must be able to travel to Los Angeles.)

    Plus The DELUXE MENTAL GIFT PACK:
    Mental t-shirt
    Snuggie
    Mental Coffee Mug
    Signed Poster

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots.

    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  26. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    
Co-Producer credit on IMDB
, your name in our credits at the end of every episode under "Special Thanks," and 
an EXTRA ROLE in an episode of Mental. (For extra role, must be able to travel to Los Angeles.)

    Plus The DELUXE MENTAL GIFT PACK:
    Mental t-shirt
    Snuggie
    Mental Coffee Mug
    Signed Poster

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots.
    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  27. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    **For ORANGE fans**

    Shirin and Julie will fly out to you (anywhere in the United States, excluding Hawaii and Alaska) and hang for a day. Ask Julie all your pressing questions about Orange. We'll party, chill, take a million Instagram photos, whatever you want to do!

    Plus:
    Co-Producer credit on IMDB
 and your name in our credits at the end of every episode under "Special Thanks."

    Plus The DELUXE MENTAL GIFT PACK:
    Mental t-shirt
    Snuggie
    Mental Coffee Mug
    Signed Poster

    Plus:
    A thank you email with photos from our shoots.
    Thank you page credit
    Video links to on-set bloopers and Behind the Scenes interviews with Shirin and Julie

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)