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A darkly funny short film that puts a feminist twist on serial killer archetypes.
136 backers pledged $10,480 to help bring this project to life.

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$10,480

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Ted Bundy. Charles Manson. Rodney Alcala. All these serial murderers had something in common: they were good-looking—dare I say fuckable?—and deeply charismatic.

Also, they were pathetic, whiny baby-men who were so pathologically incapable of handling rejection that they literally had to kill people to feel better.

Let’s face it: true crime is having something of a moment. From podcasts like Serial to fictionalized retellings like American Crime Story, murder media is saturating our airwaves. But the real horror story—the one going untold—is that so much of this is happening because dudes don’t know how to handle their feelings.

Enter RIDING IN SUBARUS WITH BOYS. 

When Iris’ friends drive away from a campsite parking lot while she’s in the bathroom, she’s stranded in the middle of nowhere with an overstuffed backpack and a dead phone. She decides to hitch a ride, and as luck would have it, the first person to stop for her is a cute guy named Noah who likes the same weirdo music as her. But as soon as Iris lets her guard down, she discovers that Noah may not be as harmless as he looks...

Tonally, RIDING IN SUBARUS WITH BOYS is what would happen if the protagonist of IT FOLLOWS stood up halfway through the movie and was like, “Wait, what the fuck?” 

Much like the patriarchy, this project straddles the line between a horror film and a dark comedy: it’s a story about how women are expected to work overtime to help emotionally stunted men deal with their feelings, even if it means putting ourselves in harm’s way. Depending on how you hold it up to the light, that fact is either terrifying, bleakly funny, or both.

Visually, RIDING IN SUBARUS WITH BOYS combines the lush scenery of northern New Jersey with a rich, dark palette heavy in blues and greens. The goal is a dramatic, almost romantic look, to be juxtaposed with unsettling, awkward shot composition. Examples? Sure, we've got examples! 

Visual reference: IT FOLLOWS
Visual reference: IT FOLLOWS
Visual reference: DEATH PROOF
Visual reference: DEATH PROOF
Visual reference: MILLENNIUM MAMBO
Visual reference: MILLENNIUM MAMBO
Visual reference: HEATHERS
Visual reference: HEATHERS
SUBARUS writer/director Keely Weiss on location
SUBARUS writer/director Keely Weiss on location

I’m making this movie because I believe we need to find a new way to talk about toxic masculinity. The attitude that “boys will be boys” is not yet extinct: Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation last year served as ample evidence of this. And we already know that the consequences of this conditioning are dire—for proof, look at just about any news story involving the rape or murder of women.

And even though movies and shows like Big Little Lies have us finally talking about the consequences of this kind of masculinity, it sometimes feels like we’re missing the point. Sure, men like Donald Trump or Alexander Skarsgard’s Big Little Lies character Perry Wright pose a real and dangerous threat, but the root of toxic masculinity isn’t “manly” behavior or even aggression: it’s entitlement. From GamerGate to “incel” culture, the internet is rife with examples of “nice” guys who feel so entitled to women’s time and attention that when they don’t get what they want, they believe they have a right to go out and take it.

But we are afraid to offend the delicate sensibilities of the men around us by acknowledging that male fragility is putting us all in danger. I say screw that: it’s high time that we recognize “manliness” for the farce that it is. The sooner we decide it’s okay for men to be laughed at, the sooner women will stop dying.

We're working with a badass crew featuring women in all lead roles. Meet our key collaborators:  

Keely Weiss (Writer/Director) is a writer and filmmaker. Her short film THE THING ABOUT US has screened at film festivals all over the world, including Outfest and BFI Flare, and was executive produced by Jill Soloway. Keely was previously the Features Editor at Harper’s BAZAAR and has written for Interview, Nylon, LA Weekly, and elsewhere.  

Marie Bardi (Producer) is a Brooklyn-based producer with experience in narrative features, branded content, and short films. Recent credits include the features HER SMELL (dir. Alex Ross Perry; Official Selection - TIFF and NYFF) and MODERN PERSUASION (dir. Jonathan Lisecki / Alex Appel; currently in post), and the shorts 86’D (dir. Alan Palomo; Vimeo Staff Pick) and THREE STARS (dir. Emily Yoshida; currently in post). She graduated with honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BA in Cinema Studies and Producing.

Charlotte Hornsby (Director of Photography) is a cinematographer based in New York. She shot the 2017 and 2018 Sundance Film Festival Narrative Short Film Jury Award-winning films HAIR WOLF and LUCIA BEFORE AND AFTER. Her work has appeared in Pitchfork, Nylon, Rolling Stone, the Fader, MTV, The New Yorker, Vogue and at the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, BAM Cinemafest and MoMA.

We are currently working with a $15,000 budget which is coming entirely from personal savings.  This money will cover most of production, but it's not quite enough, so we're looking to grants and this Kickstarter campaign to make up the difference. 

Here's the breakdown of where your $10,000 will go:

Camera and equipment rentals: $4,300

Meals for cast and crew: $700

Post-production: $5,000

Any extra money raised past the initial $10,000 goal will help us cover submissions to film festivals and marketing materials.

Risks and challenges

Look: filmmaking is expensive! We tried to finance this project using only personal savings, but at the end of the day, that wouldn't have allowed us to tell this story at the level of quality it deserves. That's why we're asking you for help.

We already have our production dates scheduled. We are closing in on our cast and crew. This movie is as close to happening as it can be without your support. Help push us over the finish line!

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    Creative consultation session

    Developing a story or film of your own? Trying to nail down a brand strategy for your new startup? Meet with writer/director Keely Weiss in-person or via Skype for a half-day creative consultation session. Keely has lent her creative expertise to Topple Productions, Harper's Bazaar, Adolescent Content, and many other clients. Also included: an Associate Producer credit and all previous digital rewards.

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    Story time

    Wow, thanks! For this amount, writer/director Keely Weiss will write an original crime-themed short story to your specifications. (This includes fanfiction, BUT Keely doesn't promise to actually read/watch the original material before writing her fanfic.) Max 3,000 words unless Keely gets carried away, and Keely will retain all rights to the story. You'll also get an Executive Producer credit on the film, and all previous digital rewards.

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    Feminist killjoy, live and in person

    Damn, okay. For $5,000, I'll fly anywhere in the contiguous United States to attend the family function of your choice and make everyone uncomfortable by talking about politics and/or true crime. Pick me, pick me! I'd LOVE to ruin your family function!

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Funding period

- (21 days)