Annabelle Crane

Orange, California | Film Short

Drama, Mystery

Wyatt Lake

1 Campaigns | California, United States

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This campaign raised $10,200 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

45 supporters | followers

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Hoping to re-create the success from her first bestseller, Annabelle Crane searches for inspiration at a writer’s retreat, Blackpoint Manor. As anxiety, isolation, and obsession take over, her experiences at Blackpoint may unravel her forever.

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About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
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  • The Team
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Mission Statement

This short film will be made by a majority female crew, specifically our director, producers, UPM, production designer, and editor, making up 80% of our key creative crew. Additionally, it is a story that circulates around a strong female lead depicting an accurate portrayal of the modern woman.

The Story

During the past few years I have witnessed, more or less directly, several breakdowns of young peers, family or friends. The mental discomfort that makes one feel imprisoned within the boundaries of oneself. As I find this theme very compelling, I started researching about the particulars of mental health related to adults mid life.


I took psychology classes that studied the brain and the brain on medication. I also focused on literature that spoke on the topic of mental discomfort. I focused on David Foster Wallace and Sylvia Plath, both of whom I have always admired. Around that time I bought a copy of a collection of poems written by Plath throughout her life. My interest landed on her, and the lurid particulars of her life and death. Her work had a sort of peculiar intensity about it that I had never experienced in literature before. 


Annabelle Crane is inspired by the legacy of Sylvia Plath, and it focuses on the darker parts of a writer’s imagination. I used the life of Plath as a point of departure and introduce my own protagonist, Annabelle, a novelist who somehow belonged to everyone, just not herself. She searches for inspiration at a writer’s retreat, in an effort to fight the anxiety of recreating the early success of her first bestseller. This anxiety and fear has been projected outwards in figments and characters from her past works, which haunt her and prevent her from committing thought to paper. It’s fear and anxiety that catapults her into the arms of another retreater/writer at Blackpoint, Riley Carter. Annabelle and Riley enjoy an idyllic time together in the “Garden of Eden.” But her demise also awaits with open arms, and it's this delusionment of grandeur which sends her fighting for her life.


Blending the dark, foreboding nature of Hitchcock’s “Vertigo,” and the unsettling, fantasy aspects of "Black Swan," Annabelle Crane seeks to tell a female-driven story that is visually beautiful and emotionally gripping. 


Why place Annabelle at a writer’s retreat such a Blackpoint Manor?  I was inspired by “walkabouts” – an aborigine ritual of sending one off to the unknown to gain new knowledge. Once alone, it is a very terrifying experience to be forced to face one’s inner doubts and fears, but when you finally do, it gives you access to a deeper spiritual meaning of yourself.  I know for me personally, the rituals of silence and mindfulness are tarnished by my own chaotic mind. It’s hard to tune-out the world when it’s trying hard to impound down on your thoughts. This tale seeks to emanate the feeling of self-doubt that does not stop within us. How do we combat it? Do we have the courage to face it? What then? Will Annabelle have the courage to face her inner demons, or will she remain a puppet to a system that owns her? A system that pressures writers to please audiences, fans and publishers. Will she choose her own destiny, or is hers already picked out for her?


I believe this tale is relevant to all artists and workers alike. The uncertainty and anxiety for my generation to view career as a ladder. We are conditioned to perceive our future as a straight-shoot to our dreams and ambitions, without realizing that we’ll be spending time jumping from place-to-place until we land on what aligns us with our dreams. Inching towards adulthood, we tend to measure success off of financial, material or status achievement and not by internal mental emotional and spiritual development. By overdeveloping and conditioning one side of ourselves, our mental states try and play 'catch up.' We experience breakdowns, bouts of loneliness, stress and emptiness. Annabelle Crane is a visual expression of the mental and spiritual process we go through as humans. The film is essentially a story about trials and challenges that come with success. Annabelle is one to want to see her career as a "jungle gym," but she is forced to view it as a ladder. She wishes she could escape this overbearing system of busting-out sequels and follow-ups to stories that feel finished. How can one maintain sanity and cohesion in the face of such a paradox?


With a female writer/director and producers driving the project, we're fighting to break into and change a male dominated industry. You can be part of a film which will provide a platform for discussion, debate, and most importantly, change. We are making this movie for anyone who struggles with any kind of mental situation that prohibits their growth.  It is our hope that this movie will speak to them in particular. Let Annabelle Crane stand as a timeless lesson about purpose and well-being. "Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness." - August Wilson. 


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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $4,000

Blackpoint manor and the forest surrounding is a character itself in our film and finding the right location for this will be essential.

Production Design and Wardrobe

Costs $2,000

The feel and look of the film is the most important aspect, dressing our set, as well as our main characters, will be essential and costly.


Costs $2,000

In order to aid with the time constraints and capture the themes and feel of the film accurately, we are currently looking at Alexa Mini.

Distant Shoot

Costs $2,000

We will need to film outside of our 30 mile zone in order to film at our needed locations and therefore need to put up our cast and crew.

About This Team

The key creative crew for "Annabelle Crane" is as follows:




Wyatt is a Los Angeles born and based writer/director, and has studied directing and psychology for the past 4 years. One of her most recent credits includes directing A Dixon Twins Mystery, a parody of The Hardy Boys books in the vein of a 1950s show. The film was chosen to be screened at the Fargo Fantastic Film Festival, Rivercity Underground Film Fest, and the Los Angeles Cinefest. After flexing her comedic muscles, Wyatt is now taking aim at the psychological thriller genre in Annabelle Crane. “Annabelle Crane is thrilling and rooted in character. This piece will surely be a testament to our filmmaking abilities.” In May 2017, Wyatt will graduate with a B.F.A. in Film Production from Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Wyatt’s passion to succeed as a female filmmaker in this business never ceases with each new project she takes on.




Payne Cowley is a senior, Creative Producing major at Chapman's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. As the Co-Producer for “Annabelle Crane,” Payne Cowley has been given the challenging task of presenting this psychologicaly thriller to the up and coming audience. She herself is not a stranger to the odd, having produced the Cold War satire “A Tale of More Woe" Fall 2015 and a psychological drama, "Many Faces" Fall 2016. She was originally drawn to the story due the its' intrigue and depiction of one's inner-mind and what keeps her on the project is the knowledge that she and crew have a great story to tell and the optimism that they can achieve telling that story. She is excited by challenging and different stories and is excited to take her past knowledge and management skills to create this story.




Born and raised in China, Sol is a senior Creative Producing major at Dodge and Annabelle Crane's Co-Producer. As a bilingual filmmaker, she's worked on several international productions where she assisted Academy-winning producers like Charles Roven and Vincent Landay. Her past works have been accepted into Cannes Court Métrage and Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival. As a long-time admirer of Sylvia Plath, Sol immediately got interested as soon as she learned the story was inspired by her, and she thought Wyatt did a great job in delivering the emotional portrait of Annabelle Crane with sensitivity and subtlety. Sol believes the team has the ability and ambition to make it an unforgettable and powerful piece, and she is thrilled to join them to bring its vision to life. 



Director of Photography

Adam Hull is a cinematographer at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, and most recently worked with Wyatt, the director of Annabelle Crane, on her 3rd year production: "A Dixon Twins Mystery". He has also recently shot such festival-awarded short films, such as "For Old Times' Sake" and "Thicker than Water", and just recently wrapped production on his latest short: "Our Way to Fall". Adam has also photographed music videos for multiple artists, as well as, speculative pilots "Arcadia" and "Apprentice of Venice" within the last calendar year. He looks forward to crafting the dark and unsettling visuals of "Annabelle Crane" throughout pre-production, and bringing them to the screen once production commences.



Production Designer

Leah La Masney is current senior at Chapman University working towards degrees in Production Design and Economics. She has worked in the art department on numerous short productions and is excited about the opportunity to design Annabelle Crane. In her free time she is captain of the Chapman Equestrian team and works freelance production jobs. In her future she hopes to work in the industry as a designer.




Unit Production Manager (UPM)

Nathalie Warner is a soon to be graduate of Chapman University with a B.F.A in Creative Producing and minor in Political Science. She has worked on a number of student films at Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts and is currently producing her senior thesis which tells the story of an Asian-American trying to find her identity in a bicultural world. Nathalie is passionate about character driven stories and exploring complex social issues, which is what drew her to the story of Annabelle Crane. As a proud native of Phoenix, Arizona, she has become a self-appointed spokesperson for the beauty and local coffee shops of the Grand Canyon State.




From Orange County, CA, Sara currently is studying for a BFA Film Production with an emphasis in Editing and a BA Public Relations and Advertising at Chapman University. She is a member of the Fraternity, Alpha Phi. Her hobbies include watching vines, editing movie trailers, and playing with her cat Bellatrix. In conclusion, Nicolas Cage is her everything.


We are fortunate to be apart of a crew with both familiar and new crew members. Wyatt, Adam, and Leah have all had the pleasure of working together before, and the addition of all the other crew members has made this team even stronger. We are focus-minded, creative individuals, who are excited to bring this thrilling story to life.

Current Team