Benny - An Original Short Film

Hamden, Connecticut | Film Short

Drama, Comedy

Noah Watson Glenn

1 Campaigns | New Jersey, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $12,443 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

62 supporters | followers

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Benny is a story about family, childhood, and the loss of both. 10-year-old Benny wants to be an adult and take care of herself. 21-year-old Val can't let go of her past. After Benny becomes a regular at the diner, Val comes to realize the two have more in common than she thought.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

The Benny crew is a team of college students working to create their senior graduation short film. We want to create a project that spreads love and warmth in a time of darkness. This film is everything we've been working for over the last four years, and we need a little help to get us on our feet.

The Story

   At its core, “Benny” has been the same story we’ve known and loved from the beginning.  Back in March, our director Julianna wrote the rough draft of “Benny” in quarantine as a short story about the importance of holding on to your inner child.  Originally taking place in a southern California fast food joint during the summer, the story followed Val and the mysterious Benny through a journey of learning the importance of holding onto your youth.
   Once we picked up the script, we knew we’d have to get to work on making “Benny” the best it could be.  From moving the location to transitioning the time of year, we were able to keep the same sweet story and clean up the corners.  With an additional tie in to family, our story still follows the unforgettable bond between the confident little girl and the brooding fast food worker that we know and love.

   Our story takes us through the mundane life of Val, a 21-year-old high school dropout wasting away working in a run-down New England diner.  She’s got regrets and resentment that follow her through her days like a ball and chain.  When Benny, a precocious and curious little girl, keeps mysteriously appearing in the restaurant alone day after day, Val begins to take an interest.  We don’t want to give away too much, but our story follows the duo in their unconventional relationship on their journey to teach each other who they should be.

   We’re working to make “Benny” as enticing on screen as it is on paper.  Through a robust color palette of reds, greens, and golds, we want to paint a picture of Christmas, but not the fun and warm Christmas that you’re used to.  The key location in our story is a run-down diner, so we’ll need to make sure you’ll hate it just as much as Val does (in a good way, of course).  For casting, we’ll need actors who can balance Benny and Val’s humorous back and forth with the bleak backstories that make these characters who they are.   

   We want this short film to capture you like it did us.  Through some laughs, beautiful images, and an enticing soundtrack, we hope Benny will grab your hand and pull you along for the ride. 

   Our crew is a group of college film students finishing up our undergraduate degree.  Over the last four years, the six of us have taken courses on screenwriting, cinematography, editing, graphic design, animation, independent and studio production, directing, and even acting.  Through the skills we’ve learned at our university and the passion we have for this short film, we’re going to do what it takes to make “Benny” the best it can be.  We hope you’ll be on the journey with us along the way.

   The money you pledge to our campaign will go to all the necessities of our production.  Down to the basics, this will include transportation, lodging, equipment, props, and salaries.  But let’s explain that a little further.

 - Transportation & lodging: We’ll need to make sure we can provide transportation for our cast and crew.  The amount of money we raise will determine which locations we can use, and since our actors  may not necessarily live near all the locations we use, we’ll need to make sure they can get to us.
 - Equipment: while we’re able to use the equipment our school provides, there’s some items we’ll still need that they can’t provide – for example, a stabilizer so our camera isn’t shaky when we’re filming off a tripod.
 - Props: Our story takes place at Christmas time, but we won’t be filming until a few months after the holiday.  This means we’ll need to pay for decorations to stay in the holiday spirit.
 - Salaries: this one’s obvious: our actors need to get paid!

   During the pandemic, our number one priority is safety. In order to ensure everyone stays healthy, we may need to provide testing for the cast and crew on our own.  Luckily, our story follows only two main characters in a deserted restaurant, allowing us to limit the number of people on set.  However, this may prolong shooting dates and spread out our schedule.  The longer we shoot, the more it costs.  We need extra precautionary room in our budget to cover the necessary costs to keep everyone Covid safe.  Rest assured, every dollar pledged will go towards our production, and any extra money unused for Covid precautions will be allocated right back into any of the other production essentials previously mentioned.

For visual inspiration, we're looking to films like Baby Driver to achieve the dramatic, high-contrast looks we want.  Our story is emotional, and although it's about family and childhood, our main characters are in a dark place.  We're looking for color and special lighting to set the mood for our story. We want our film to look and feel real and hard-hitting.

Baby Driver (2017)


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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $1,700

We can’t have a film without actors. This will help us find and pay for our cast.


Costs $2,250

The locations we have don’t come cheap. Pledging this will allow us to rent locations for shooting.


Costs $700

For feeding our cast and crew on set.


Costs $750

We don’t have all the equipment for our film. Pledging this would help us gain it.


Costs $400

We need to get the clothing and costumes needed for our cast. Pledging here would help us here.

Covid -19 Safety Precautions

Costs $1,200

This will ensure we have the necessary tools to prepare for shooting during this pandemic.


Costs $1,000

Set during Christmas, and having a diner as the main location, this film needs props.


Costs $800

During shooting, we need to take care and move our cast and crew. Pledging here will help that!


Costs $1,200

We'll need to hire a composer to produce a score/manage our audio as well.

About This Team

Julianna Coscia: Director

Julianna has had a love for all things creative since she was a kid.  Growing up in Old Bridge, New Jersey, she's always been interested making her ideas real - through writing, drawing, and now film.  Since being in college, Julianna has enjoyed learning as much as she can about the art of film, and is looking forward to being able to make her vision for Benny come to life.  As the director, she'll be planning the actors' performances, organizing the shots and camera angles, and making sure the script is portrayed in the best way.  Benny is her baby, and she's willing to do whatever she can to make her audience fall in love with her story.


Alex Bottari: Cinematographer

Alex first fell in love with with film in the form of still images. Growing up in Torrington, Connecticut, her father was a photographer and after years of him putting the camera in her hands, she finally realized how much she loved being behind the lens. It wasn’t long before that passion translated into film. Because her first love was photography, she feels at home in the role of DP, and she couldn’t be more excited to begin her career with Benny. Alex will be designing the look of the film, like the lighting, the colors, the camera movements, etc.  This is a special project that she hopes will win your heart as it has hers.

Tom Hoffman: First AD

Tom, from Simsbury, Connecticut, had a passion for film all throughout high school. He believes that film has the power to display and empower minorities and those struggling with mental health. As the 1st Assistant Director, Tom is tasked with the job of scheduling and coordinating production activity; this assures that everything runs smoothly and safely. He is the direct line of communication between the director and other crew members. He will also be the one yelling the iconic "quiet on set!" before shooting every take.

Louisa Harris: Production Designer

Louisa is from Boston, Massachusetts, and she's the set designer for the film. She'll be the person in charge of the artistic look for the film. That means designing the overall look and design of the set, props, costumes, etc. She's always loved these elements, and worked as a costume designer in her high school. She has always been very interested in art and artistic design since she was young, so she's excited to get creative and help bring the story of Benny to life through different visual elements.  She can't wait to begin production!

Noah Glenn: Producer

Noah is from Mountainside, New Jersey, and he’s a film geek through and through (seriously though, like a little too through and through). He’ll add a knowledge of the film industry to the team as well as making sure the funds for this film are distributed and used properly. Noah wanted to produce to further understand the intricacies of the money that goes into each and every avenue of film.  He'll be in charge of all of our budget and funding needs, organizing what goes where and how much we can do with what we have.

Laura Smullen: Editor

Laura is from Clifton Park, New York. She first found her passion when she downloaded the app Vine in 2014. She used to want to be a movie star, but quickly realized how hard it was to become famous, not to mention her social anxiety. When she discovered her love of editing, she realized she could turn it into a career in the industry she had long since been interested in. She will be arranging all our footage, working our sound, chopping up our audio, and creating the final version of the short film.  Laura is very excited to help bring Benny to life, and hopes it brings joy to all who get to experience the story.

Current Team