The Light of The Moon

Brooklyn, New York | Film Feature


Green Light

This campaign raised $44,200 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

231 supporters | followers

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Bonnie, a young, professional New York City woman, is sexually assaulted when she is walking home from an evening out. She attempts to keep the assault a secret from her boyfriend and friends, but the burden of the truth breaks down her relationships.

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About The Project

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The Story

At the end of 2013, our friend was violently assaulted by a stranger in New York City. I was horrified to find out about the incident, but also to discover the necessary, but painful and intrusive investigation by the hospital workers and the police afterwards. My friend went through a hard recovery period, finding it difficult to leave her apartment, trust her relationships and to re-acclimatize to the world.


My friend and her experience inspired the character of Bonnie, the protagonist in The Light of the Moon. The film is essentially a love story between Bonnie and her long-term boyfriend, Matt, and it explores the pain, shame, anger, and forgiveness within their relationship following Bonnie's sexual assault.


One in five women will be raped in her lifetime in the United States. This statistic is horrific and we feel it has no place in a modern, “equal” society. Yet, considering the amount of people who are affected by sexual assault in the world, it is an issue very few people want to discuss and that has rarely been explored in film in a realistic manner.


I know it’s not an easy topic to discuss, but I am interested in telling stories that push the boundaries on what is “acceptable cinema”. I feel that cinema is yet to portray a story of rape accurately, fairly and focused on the individual survivor’s recovery and how the assault affects their world and their relationships.


Due to my experience in making documentary films, I tend to approach narrative filmmaking in a similar fashion - both in the development of the script and through my visual aesthetics. I am influenced in this naturalistic style by great filmmakers, such as Richard Linklater, Nicole Holofcener and Derek Cianfrance.


Before writing the first draft of the script, I thoroughly researched the events and characters within the film. I have spoken to several rape and assault survivors, nurses, doctors, social workers and therapists as research for the script. By doing this, it allowed me to strip down the story to the bare facts and focus on the realities of the situation and the natural reactions of the characters.


I trained as an actor from the ages of 12 to 21, and also recently returned to the craft. I love to work intensively with my actors and allow them to explore and create the characters in the rehearsal phase, as much as in the writing process. I encourage them to research real life scenarios and meet with people who have shared similar experiences with their characters. This allows myself and the actors to create multifaceted characters that react in real and deeply personal ways - characters that are driven by complex histories and back-stories.

I prefer a hand-held, fly-on-the-wall approach to my visuals, usually sticking to long, wide and meandering tracking shots with little editing in post-production. I like to allow the audience to lose themselves in the characters and story, almost to the point that they become unaware that they are watching a movie. All of the scenes in the film have Bonnie present on camera and are largely told from her viewpoint. This generates a deeply unique and personal experience, where the audience feels they have a privileged insight into her character, and thus develop great understanding, identification and empathy for the protagonist of the film and her story.


We are making this movie because it is one that needs to be told and sheds light on the reality of sexual violence. For far too long, rape has been shrouded in secrecy due to the stigma placed by society on survivors of rape, which quite often results in victim-blaming. Though it is challenging, we strongly believe that sexual violence needs to be more openly and widely discussed at all levels of society and through art. Within this challenge is an incredible opportunity to tell a story that raises more much-needed awareness about the physical, mental and emotional trauma that is experienced by survivors of rape and to present such a struggle in a realistic manner on film.


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

G-Technology® Hard Drive ($1200)

Costs $1,200

G-Technology® is the gold standard for storage solutions specifically designed for content creators. We’ll get a storage grant from them when we get the Green Light!

HD - Arri Alexa

Costs $7,500

To capture the raw, realistic and beautiful imagery for our film.

Walkie Talkies

Costs $600

To keep open lines of communication between crew members during the shoot

Production Insurance

Costs $3,500

Covers the cast, crew and gear against any unforeseen incidents.

Legal Services

Costs $2,500

For all the legal advice, documentation and management required for an indie feature film

Production Sound Mixer

Costs $3,000

Captures all of the raw and emotionally-charged dialogue

Lighting & Electric

Costs $4,000

Lights to show off the characters, sets and intricate details in front of the camera

Grip Kit

Costs $4,000

Stands, clamps and supports for gear, cast and crew

Location Rental Fee

Costs $2,000

From apartments, bars, cars, hospital rooms, police stations and everything in between.

Craft Services Food

Costs $2,400

A way to a crew's heart is through their stomach

Cargo Van

Costs $3,000

For all the times we cannot carry our gear on the subway

Makeup Kit

Costs $1,500

"I woke up like this," said no one.

Wardrobe package

Costs $1,500

So our actors aren't in their pajamas all day AND all night

Music Licensing

Costs $3,050

Every story has a soundtrack

Sound Editor

Costs $1,500

NYC is a noisy city, let's harness that awesomeness!


Costs $1,500

Consistency is key, especially when it comes to skin tones and the film's overall look.


Costs $2,750

Realizes the director's vision through the camera lens.

Production Designer

Costs $2,250

Takes a blank space and makes it into a home, even for just a few hours.

Make Up Artist

Costs $2,250

So that we can all say, "I woke up like this!"

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

JESSICA M. THOMPSON – Writer/Director/Producer/Editor

Jess studied acting at three major drama schools in Australia between the ages of 12 and 21. She attended film school, majoring in Writing/Directing, at the University of Technology, Sydney, where she met Carlo Velayo. They quickly formed a formidable filmmaking duo and have made several short films together, including the award-winning films Hike and Percepio. Jess won the Kodak Award for New Directors for her first short film, Hike.

After graduating and globe trotting for a year, Jess became a Junior Editor at Mike Reed’s, the first post-production house in Australia. Here she quickly progressed the ranks to become a full time Editor, working on various television series, films, music videos clips and commercials.

In 2011, Jess traveled across North America for nine months and filmed a documentary series, The Land of Milk and Honey. She finished the trip in NYC and co-founded Stedfast Productions. Stedfast is a collective of visual storytellers who use imagery to entertain, inspire hope, provoke thought, and explore the human story.

During her time in NYC, Jess wrote, directed, and edited the short film, Across the Pond, which was selected as a finalist at Tropfest NY and the Bath Film Festival. She has worked as an Editor with Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, Liz Garbus, as an Additional Editor on the Sundance-winning film Watchers of the Sky, and as an Associate Producer on both the Indie Thriller 419 and on Academy Award-nominated, Sandy McLeod’s Seeds of Time. Jess just recently finished editing Cheryl Furjanic’s award-winning documentary, Back on Board: Greg Louganis and she looks forward to making her feature directorial debut with The Light of the Moon with her best friend, Carlo, by her side.



Carlo Velayo attended film school and completed a double degree in International Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. This is where he met Jess Thompson, with whom he has been making films with since 2003. In 2006, while Carlo was completing his year of exchange in Manila, the Philippines, their short film Hike was shortlisted for Tropfest Sydney. Seven years later, their short film Across the Pond was a finalist in Tropfest New York.

Carlo is a Producer at Stedfast Productions – a small production company he started with Jess Thompson in New York City. He is an Associate Producer on Cheryl Furjanic’s award-winning Back on Board: Greg Louganis and was a Researcher on Academy Award-nominated, Scott Hamilton Kennedy’s forthcoming documentary, Food Evolution. Carlo started out in VFX and post-production on Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby and George Miller’s Happy Feet 2 respectively.

Although Carlo holds a Masters in Anthropology, he is as skilled operating a Super 8 camera, recording sound, editing, or keeping a shoot day on schedule and on budget, as he is at writing a scholarly paper. He is keen to produce his first narrative feature, The Light of the Moon with his best friend, Jess, by his side.


Current Team