Behind the Screen

Atlanta, Georgia | Film Short


Michelle Caruso

1 Campaigns | Georgia, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $5,945 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

64 supporters | followers

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A silent short film that explores the emotional labor in a day of a millennial Girl. She learns just having fun with a Dude can feel lonely without a true connection. Doing well at work, just means more work with little recognition. Galfriend helps Girl to affirm her worth & foster positive changes.

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About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Women lead nearly every stage of the filmmaking process including writing, directing, producing & acting. With the only form of communication as text messages, it aims to minimize language barriers & emphasizes the universal struggle of pursuing desires that feel just beyond our reach.

The Story


Living in a digital, information age has re-defined how we communicate, listen, process, and ultimately how we feel.  


It has become harder to keep someone's full attention in a conversation or a relationship.  When we say or do something that displeases a partner, they are more likely to move onto the next, thinking it will be better.  Then the person that is left or ignored can be made to feel inadequate. 


People who work hard at work are often rewarded by more work instead of credit, recognition, or promotion.  Lack of acknowledgment of the contributions from the supportive workforce and the expectation that it's just part of the job can feel unfulfilling.  We flourish more when we feel we're making a difference, otherwise, it can feel like our work doesn't matter.  


Behind the Screen voices this emotional labor that can build up over a day.  With it being a silent film, we are better able to communicate the inner dialogue.  


Girl struggles with the dissatisfaction from the monotony of her workplace. She looks to Dude as a welcome distraction.  Ultimately, he's looking for something more casual and can't satisfy her craving for attention and affection.  Fortunately, Galfriend is a reliable source of comfort and voice of wisdom to help Girl grow.  Let's not forget her co-worker, Man, who could potentially meet Girl's needs, if she wasn't so preoccupied. 



To emphasize the lack of life luster, we'll have a pale color palette for the scenes and locations where the characters are feeling unfulfilled. 


To illustrate the lightness of doing something that feels rewarding or seeing someone that brings joy to the character, we'll use higher contrast and more saturated colors.


The cast and crew have personal stories that resonate with the themes of the film. It was a cathartic experience for Michelle (Writer/Director) as she wrote the script which is loosely based on her past year.  It also took her a few months to write as new revelations came to light. 


Angelina (actress who plays Girl) upon first reading the script immediately called Michelle to say how the role had some similarities to what she had been through in her own life.  Being able to draw on real-life experiences will certainly bring an authenticity to the role.   


Bill (actor who plays Dude) has experience with both aspects of the relationship: wanting something more from his partner or wanting to keep it more casual.  Having both perspectives will help give his character added depth.


Michelle happened to meet John Levee, the composer, at Ponce City Market when she was out for drinks after the Atlanta Film Festival and he happened to be in town doing a presentation about his research (very serendipitous).  He heard her talking about the film to a friend and the rest is history. John already has an impressive body of work and we're so excited to hear what he comes up with for voicing the emotional journey through sound.


We plan on filming during a weekend this September.  We'll set our Goal to help us with the biggest chunk of spending: Production.  Then will set Stretch Goals for money already spent during Prep and money to be spent in Post-Production.









If you can't offer financial support, then we'd appreciate your emotional support by following our Seed & Spark campaign page and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.  Please feel free to share this story with your friends and family to help spread the word.

Thank you for your support!


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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Camera & Lighting

Costs $1,000

Camera & lighting will be a combo of renting from equipment houses & personal crew inventory.

Production Insurance

Costs $800

For general liability and to cover equipment rentals.


Costs $600

Rent equipment to record sound


Costs $600

Meals and craft service for the cast and crew


Costs $500

To secure our filming locations

Composing Music

Costs $500

Cost for composing & recording original music

Hair and Make Up

Costs $400

For hair/make-up artist & kit

Set Dressing & Props

Costs $400

For set dressing and props to enhance the character's worlds


Costs $200

To buy character appropriate wardrobe

About This Team

Writer & Director


Michelle Caruso is the Writer & Director on Behind the Screen.  She's been working in Atlanta, GA as an Art Department Coordinator in Film & TV for the past 7 years.  Ultimately she got in film to Write & Direct and she's working hard to reclaim that dream. 


The last short film she Directed was a western, called Dig Your Grave.  With this next project being a modern silent film, she's aiming to continue to flex her muscles as a filmmaker.  It takes a lot to make a film and she wants to make sure she's learning & growing each time.  Her ultimate goal as a storyteller is to have characters & stories that resonate with the audience, either they learned something that will stay with them or felt a personal connection. 


Director of Photography

Super excited to have Aaron Marsh on board.  Find out more in the links below:


Talent: GIRL


Miss Angelina Wong began her acting career as a child in Knoxville, TN. After high school, she studied fine arts and theatre. Once there, she discovered marketing and sales, which then she had to put her dreams on hold.

Flash forward into today, she relocated to Atlanta, GA to expand her corporate career but then decided to start her own digital marketing agency, so she can pursue back to acting as Atlanta has now become the next Hollywood of the South as she now has been a working actor, auditioning and taking classes.

What fuels her acting is the ability to bring a story to life and to really just play and have fun. To be able to be creative and have the ability to use my imagination. " I find acting therapeutic as it allows me to express my emotions and reach into unexpected places within myself to bring a character to life, which excites and drives my passion for the craft of acting and life." 

When she's not on set, you will find her in acting classes or working on her music. For more information, please go visit her website at: and social media via Facebook and Instagram.



Talent: DUDE


Bill comes from the business world. He went to college at the University of Illinois for management and marketing, where he played baseball as well. He initially moved to Atlanta, from his hometown in the Chicago suburbs, to pursue playing golf and for a girl at the time. He was serving tables at a Carrabbas in Peachtree City, south of Atlanta, when he met a photographer who introduced him to modeling. Through modeling, he was introduced to acting. 

When Bill initially began acting, he did numerous short films and student films in order to get experience and to learn. It was invaluable in order to be able to fail and thus understand more about what acting is and understanding how production works. Driven to improve, he took classes from numerous teachers at the Robert Mello Studio, all of whom have given great insight and tools for the craft. At this point, Bill continues to take classes and to work hard towards making this career a full-time reality, which the past four years have taught him that this is something he wants to do over anything else, if he should be so fortunate.


There are multiple things that fuel Bill’s acting. The opportunity to create a character based on our perspectives and different truths is fun. To then feel that character’s truth while connecting with another person is a beautiful thing. Bringing a character to life and performing it also gives Bill a similar feeling as to when he played sports, a presence of mind and focus, where nothing else matters besides that moment. Lastly is the understanding of the impact that a good story or character can have on someone else. When Bill was growing up, he would get lost in stories and be inspired by those that he related to or connected with the most. So the idea of being in a story or playing a character that another person can emotionally connect with or relate to is a great feeling. 



Brittany Myers has a background in theatre and production for concerts and events, and she been doing sound for picture for the past two years. Her aspiration is to continually learn and improve her skill set to be an asset to her teammates on each and every project. She loves the work she does and believes every adventure and opportunity provide the chance to build and grow.



John Levee (b. 1998, Jacksonville, FL) is a composer and multimedia artist, producing both electronic works and pieces written for traditional acoustic ensembles.


Recently, he has focused on acousmatic composition for multichannel speaker arrays. He also spends time engineering and producing music in popular genres, including Jazz, Rock, and Hip-Hop. He was a SURE Grant (Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience) recipient in 2018, where he worked under Dr. Nathan Wolek to compose a series of works for octophonic ring, and to research ways to solve incompatibility issues between software programs used in the composition of acousmatic music. This composition, titled Gu, was premiered at Kennesaw State University, and his research has been presented at conferences both in the United States and internationally. Notably, his research has been presented at the World Congress on Undergraduate Research (Oldenburg, Germany), the British Undergraduate Research Conference (Pontypridd, Wales), the National Undergraduate Research Conference (Atlanta, GA), and the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference (Jacksonville, FL). This work has been published in the Journal of Student Research. He is also a 2019 SURE Grant recipient, and he is collaborating with the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at University of Central Florida (FIEA) to create an immersive art installation for VR headset and 5.1 surround sound speaker array.


He is currently a fourth-year student at Stetson University in Deland, Florida, where he is a member of the Honors Program. Through the Honors Program, he is pursuing a self-designed degree as a Bachelor of Science in Audio Technology and Industry and a second degree as a Bachelor of Art in Digital arts with minors in Music, Music Technology, and Entrepreneurship. At Stetson, he works as the Greene Sound Studio intern as well as a Production Assistant for the ESPN Broadcast Team, where he runs the soundboard, cameras, and replay equipment for all of the university’s televised sporting events. He is also a member of the University Concert Band, in which he plays Tuba.

Current Team