ACID TEST (feature development)

Houston, Texas | Film Feature

Comedy, Drama

Jenny Waldo

3 Campaigns | Texas, United States

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This campaign raised $7,535 for development. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

87 supporters | followers

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Debut feature film exploring teenage-dom and a dysfunctional family that loves each other while managing to do just about everything wrong. Based on absurdly true stories that expand around the short film ACID TEST and the rebellion that follows. Made in Texas by Texans.

In Partnership With

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

As a 40 year-old female filmmaker working in Texas, I represent a voice and a region that gets little support in this industry. I always hire a diverse cast/crew. As a film instructor at Houston Community College, I'm also dedicated to supporting the development of other marginalized filmmakers.

The Story

Rebellion happens in every generation - against oppression, injustice, and hypocrisy in hopes of a better life. Sometimes those rebellions happen on the world stage, and sometimes they happen in your living room.


ACID TEST centers around a teenage girl who launches a rebellion when she drops acid and goes home to her parents. It’s an absurd drama, darkly funny, about coming of age in the 90’s in a dysfunctional family that loves each other while managing to do just about everything wrong.


Through the overly dramatic world-is-ending lens of being a teenager, our story shines a light on the complicated, ugly, dark truths within relationships and families, and how we learn to live with ourselves and each other in this messy adult world.


Last year, I did a crowdfunding campaign on Seed&Spark for a short film that explores the night that the main character Jenny drops acid at a concert and then goes home to her parents and tells them she’s tripping. The ensuing parental meltdown reveals truths about these characters and how they relate to one another. The short film recently had an amazing premiere at the Literally Short Film Festival where it was called the “best stateside production” by MovieMaker Magazine. "This coming-of-age-drug-experience-gone-sideways-comedy-drama delivers the psychedelic goods with a homegrown story of adolescent rebellion." Soon it'll screen at BendFilm Festival and across the nation!



Now, we are adapting this short into a feature film that explores what happens to Jenny, her family, and her friends as she descends into her rebellion. 


Through Seed&Spark we are looking for contributions to develop the feature film adaptation of ACID TEST and get it ready for production. Over the next 6 months, we will develop the script, cast the remaining roles, scout locations, and create a schedule and budget, to be able to approach investors with a strong package to finance the feature.











Our crowdfunding campaign is part of Seed&Spark’s Hometown Heroes Rally, a crowdfunding competition where filmmakers need to raise at least $7500 and gain at least 500 followers. The top 10 qualifying projects with the most followers will get to pitch their projects to Mark and Jay Duplass and up to 5 winners will have their narrative feature executive produced by the Duplass Brothers and receive up to $25,000! This is such an amazing opportunity to get ACID TEST from script to screen and we need your help to get there!


The idea behind this initiative is to support regional filmmaking and stories. As a Texas filmmaker, I am committed to hiring local cast and crew and shooting right here. I’ve been living in Houston since 2005 making educational, documentary, and scripted films. For ACID TEST the short film, our entire crew came from Houston, and almost everyone from our cast was from or has roots in Houston. As a filmmaker with children and a day job teaching film, I’m committed to staying in Houston and building my career as a filmmaker here.


As everyone saw during Hurricane Harvey, the people are fearless, their hospitality unparalleled, and Houston needs more film projects to build an infrastructure for a thriving film industry. Houston is still recovering, but we will recover. I want to look toward the future; I don't want to miss an opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of Houston's film scene. The 4th largest city, the most diverse in the US, Houston’s got an incredible depth of talent and amazing stories that need to be told.  Houston has a variety of landscapes RIGHT HERE from the beach, to the city, to industrial, to rural. Since moving here, I’ve been working to support and grow the filmmakers in Houston, and Texas at large, through my work at the Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP), a 40 year-old non-profit film organization, and also by teaching film at the Houston Community College Filmmaking Program. But we need opportunities connected to the larger film industry in order to grow.


Between September 12 - October 13, 2017, we need to raise at least $7500 and get over 500 followers. Here’s how you can help:


1. Follow ACID TEST the feature film on Seed&Spark! It’s FREE and gives you sparks to watch stuff on Seed&Spark. If you followed our short film campaign, all you need to do is click on the feature film project page!


2. Tell a friend! This is an audience-building challenge! Share our posts on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. They can also FOLLOW FOR FREE and tell their friends!


3. Contribute to our goal and be a part of the ever-expanding world of ACID TEST! $5 will get you a private link to the finished short film! If you followed the short film but never contributed, now’s your chance to see the film that started it all!


As part of this campaign, I’m also offering my support back to YOU. I’ve helped produce award-winning shorts and feature films, scripted and documentary, and with your contribution in support of ACID TEST at the $25 and $50 level, I will read your scripts, watch your rough cuts, and spend an hour giving you notes or providing consultation on your questions in any phase of your production. Check out the rest of the incentives you'll get with a financial contribution!


This will be my debut feature film and I’m so excited to collaborate again with my amazing team of actors and crew from the short film and connect with new actors, investors, and everyone else who comes on board. Together, I know we can do something just as kickass as the short we just finished. And the opportunity to pitch to Mark and Jay Duplass – icing on the cake!


Here’s the breakdown of where the funds will go and how we’re going to get ACID TEST ready for production!


Developing the Script. Right now, I have a 140-page first draft that needs a lot of work. In addition to editing and refining on my own, there are 3 things that will help get the script in shape:


Workshopping the script with my actors. One of my favorite things about filmmaking is the collaboration with cast and crew; it always results in something amazing and better than what I started with. A huge part of that is finding the right people to collaborate with and trust and thankfully I had amazing actors come on board the short film that I want to workshop the feature film adaptation with. I want to bring everyone back for a weekend to discuss and improvise from what I’ve written and solidify a kick-ass script.



Table-read. I want to cast the remaining speaking roles and do a table-read of the script. This is a tool used in the industry and the theatre world to listen to the dialogue and the flow of the story and figure out what’s working and not working. 


Script Coverage/Consultation. In the early days of my short film, I hired the company Production for Use in Austin to consult on the script and write coverage about what was working and what wasn’t working. Once we have a solid feature length adaptation, I want to hire Production for Use again to get their thoughts on the script and any other considerations for the story and production.


Locations. Houston provides a great backdrop for the scenes at home, but for the 4 camping scenes, I need to find places that have the right aesthetic for the story while also being practical for production. I want to showcase the vast and varied landscape that Texas has to offer and I’ll need funds to look at places I think will work.



Schedule & Budget. Once the locations, the script, and the cast are found, I want to work with my Assistant Director to come up with a tentative production schedule, which will help determine the final budget and equipment needs.


I want to find and share stories that speak to the human experience, something true, something recognizable regardless of culture or perspective in order to connect with other people. By sharing my own family stories, I hope you recognize something within yourself too. I believe that art, and especially media, has the power to push our world little by little, person by person, toward acceptance, empathy, and respect. ACID TEST offers an opportunity to enjoy a voice, a place, and a story not often heard. 


Connecting with others begins with the script and the collaboration with my cast and crew. If I can’t win them over, I have no hope to win over an audience of strangers. Our short film turned out rock solid and the feedback from audiences is overwhelmingly positive. I look forward to the opportunity to do expand on those characters and stories in the feature length version!


We can't do it without you! Join me in the rebellion of ACID TEST.






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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Script Coverage/Consultation

Costs $500

Getting good feedback is a critical part of script development. Help hire a consultant.

Location Scouting

Costs $2,000

Texas is a huge state! It'll take time & money to scout the 4 camping locations featured.


Costs $1,000

To move into production, we'll need to work with our AD to schedule and budget our cast and crew.


Costs $4,000

The most important part: the table read with all 19 roles & workshopping the script our main talent!

Meal & Snacks

Costs $500

For the 2 days (table read and workshop), we need to feed our actors!

About This Team

Jennifer Waldo, Writer/Director 


A native of Washington, DC, Jenny Waldo graduated from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with a MFA in Film Production where she won a coveted directing scholarship and focused on writing, directing, and producing fictional and documentary films. Jenny's short film version of ACID TEST premiered at the 2017 Literally Short Film Festival, and her previous short SISTERS was selected for the 2016 Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI) Short-case. Also a producer, the short film MEGGAN'S JOURNEY was selected for the 2016 Houston Latino Film Festival and 2017 Baytown Film Festival while NEXT EXIT which was selected for the 2015 Cannes Short Film Corner. Other credits include associate producing the independent feature THE PREACHER’S DAUGHTER which sold to Lifetime, and associate producing the feature documentary THE CUTTING EDGE: THE MAGIC OF MOVIE EDITING. She teaches scripted and documentary filmmaking at Houston Community College's Audio and Filmmaking Program. Blogging about books, movies, writing, and photography, you can see more of her work on her website!


Juliana DeStefano - "Jenny" 


Juliana Destefano is best known for HELEN ALONE (2014), CHIAROSCURO (2009) and SECRET DIARY OF AN AMERICAN CHEERLEADER (2012). Originally from Houston, she says "When I was little, I watched a ton of Jim Carrey movies. He inspired me to start acting and made me fall in love with acting and comedy. When I was 10, I started doing plays and commercials. At 19, I finally moved to Los Angeles to continue acting and started doing stand up comedy!"





Patrick Sane - "Jack" 


Patrick Sane is an Actor and Producer who got his start in film in the Texas region while residing in Houston. He has appeared in a number of local Texas productions honing his character work and building a repertoire of unique performances. He is most well known for his recurring role in the final season of BREAKING BAD as Frankie and his role as Gorgo in SIN CITY 2: A DAME TO KILL FOR opposite Mickey Rourke and Jessica Alba. He is the honored recipient of a Screen Actors Guild award for an ensemble Actor in the final season of BREAKING BAD. He is currently following the dream in Los Angeles.



Mia Ruiz - "Camelia" 


"I'm adventurous by nature," says the Texas native. The actress has dabbled in everything from fast cars to the homely lifestyle. But what really gets her going is the totally addictive feeling of being somebody else. Early on of her career she enjoyed modeling but quickly aspired to acting. She explains, "modeling is where you can induce a stimulation through an image that you create, but the emotional power it delivers, can be breathtaking. Similarly with acting you can create a fictional character entering an imaginary world pursuing a goal and create something inspirational." She's traveled throughout the country performing and continuing to study her skills. A perfectionist, excels to the fullest. Besides her acting, she practices kickboxing, boxing, swords, firearms, and will never pass up on any form of yoga. She is looking forward to taking challenges that may come forth, of course with her main man, God guiding her. She seeks a path with no boundaries and living life to the extreme. Keep your eyes out for this up-coming actor Mia Ruiz.


Jasmine Balais - "Drea" 


Jasmine Balais was born in Chicago, IL where she began her training at 19 while attending Acting Studio Chicago. She has enjoyed a diverse interest in acting, dancing, directing and writing. Her first performance was in a school ballet recital at the age of 8. Throughout her teen years she took interest in various genres of dance such as salsa, belly-dance, hip-hop and Argentine tango. After high school she decided to travel Buenos Aires, Argentina for a few months to further practice Argentine Tango while teaching english abroad. During that time she met some producers who invited her to train with Argentine film Director Diego Rafecas who held an On-Camera Acting seminar which also helped her practice her castilian spanish dialect. Upon returning to the states she moved back with her mother in Houston, TX where she attended community college and studied TV and Film Production. Jasmine has written and directed various short films, one in which she was awarded for in 2012 by HCC's Movie Makers Academy. She was even one of writer/director Jenny Waldo's former students!


Jacob Hoving - "Owen" 


Born and raised in Panama city, Florida, Jacob's passion for acting started when he fractured his wrist playing football, which turned out to be a good thing when instead of pursuing sports he chose drama and won the lead of role in his first play titled "Anonymous." Shortly after this, Jacob decided to begin taking his passion more seriously and now has over six years of theater experience including lead roles in "The Crucible," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and "Seafarer­­." During this time Jacob also employed his theater experience into making short skit videos and uploading them to the newest social media video sharing service at that time which was vine. By mid-2013 Jacob was able to grow his personal vine account to over 100,000 followers and sometimes having as high as ten million monthly views. Jacob is now branching out into film with the short film ACID TEST because he is excited to work with traditional media and wanted to work on something with such a fascinating premise.


Steel Herrera - "Michael" 


Steel was born in Houston, TX but calls Corpus Christi, TX his home. This old soul loves all things from the late 50’s to the early 60’s, especially the music. His favorite song right now is the Wanderer by Dion. He is quick-witted and relishes in telling dramatic stories that are both engaging and fascinating. He loves making people laugh and has aspirations to be a stand up comic. He also enjoys playing video games when he’s not busy with school or acting classes. He is dedicated to improving his acting skills and looks for every opportunity to perform. Steel is a member of the Actor's Club that meets every Saturday. This past summer he participated in two summer camps, Hello Hollywood and Broadway Bound, both had finished products that were presented to an audience. His favorite of all his acting classes are Improvisation and Acting for the Camera. Steel has been on several auditions for various movies and commercials. He knows that every audition offers a great opportunity to shine and show his talent.
Michelle A. Robinson - Houston SAG-AFTRA Representative
Helping ACID TEST find the right cast for the remaining speaking roles, Michelle A. Robinson brings her experience and network to the team.  Michelle is an actor, director, producer, and writer, and received her Master's Degree from the University of Houston. An award winning actor and director, Michelle was recently the first Female President of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) in Houston.  She has been a local Board Member and the AFTRA President for 10 years.  She recently directed and starred in "First Kisses," at CCCT in Houston, in addition to directing AND starring in "Graceland" as a fund-raiser for the Theatre Company where she is the 1st Vice President.  She is also in the Lifetime movie "The Preacher's Daughter," filmed in Houston, TX.  Michelle's goal: "I want to bring more movies (both TV and feature film), commercials, and theatre into the city of Houston and the Gulf Coast area, so Houston will be known as a LEADER in this genre." As a force to be reckoned with, Michelle Robinson will be as asset as we work on getting the feature adaptation of ACID TEST ready for production!

Current Team