Between The Trees

Austin, Texas | Film Short

Fantasy, Horror

Kelli Horan

3 Campaigns | Texas, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $4,400 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

51 supporters | followers

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Alone on a camping trip in a national forest, Darcy must overcome the threat of a serial killer and a supernatural being to survive. This is the story of embracing the primal rage in reaction to being targeted as a victim and how women can support each other – presented as a horror fantasy film.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

The crew of Between The Trees is enthusiastic about using supernatural elements to convey human emotions and revelations. We have women in leadership behind and in front of the camera to tell this intimate and powerful story about a young woman in the grips of death in more than one way.

The Story

Alone on a camping trip in a national forest, Darcy must overcome the threat of a serial killer and a supernatural being to survive.

Darcy is on a journey of healing as she hikes through various trails throughout the US. Her recently deceased father left her rolls of 35mm film – she’s on the last roll and the last stop of her trip. Her road trip takes her past a broken down car with a man, Adam, waiting outside. She doesn’t stop to help. However, Jessica, in the car behind her does. She pulls over to give him a ride – a decision that proves fatal.

Darcy and Adam collide in the forest, where, unbeknownst to either of them, a mythical creature roams between the trees as a protective and vengeful apparition.

This is the story of embracing the primal rage in reaction to being targeted as a victim and how women can support each other – presented as a horror fantasy film.

This is a minimalistic short film that focuses on creating an emotional journey for the viewer to go through with our lead, Darcy.

Dialogue is used very sparingly, so dynamic visuals and music will help drive the story forward. The idea is to make the audience not know who is more of a threat to Darcy – is it Adam or is it The Vila?

We will utilize long takes with movement throughout the majority of the film until the conflict between Darcy and Adam. At this point, we will speed up the pace to match the tension and desperation of our lead. Then at the final conflict and resolution, we will slow it back down – allowing for a refractory period for the audience to process in the same way our lead does.

The team is composed of women and men who are all enthusiastic about using supernatural elements to convey human emotions and revelations.

Many of us have worked together previously, creating a trust that will allow us to push ourselves further while being vulnerable enough to produce a film that transcends genre.

CLICK HERE to learn more about our TEAM!

To make sure everyone is healthy, we will implement safety protocols with PPE and social distancing when possible. Luckily since it will be a small cast and crew, this should be easy.

Additionally, in the spirit of respect for nature the film shows, we want to make sure our production is as eco-friendly as possible. We are committing to only using second-hand or vintage costumes, digital only scripts and call sheets, low impact craft services, and any other eco-friendly strategies we can implement.

This campaign will take us all the way from production through post production. Our goal is to have a finished film by Summer 2021!

After that, we will be submitting to a variety of film festivals to share the film. Beyond the festival run, we will be sharing the finished film with everyone by releasing it digitally.


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

Cast and Crew

Costs $1,200

Our amazing cast and crew are small but mighty! They bring this story to life.

COVID 19 Precautions

Costs $500

Keep cast & crew as safe as possible with PPE, testing, and other COVID precautions.

Catering & Craft

Costs $600

Individually packaged food to keep cast & crew safe during the pandemic.


Costs $500

The music creates the tone of the film – help support our amazing composer!

Special FX Makeup

Costs $500

To create The Vila, we need an amazing FX Makeup Artist!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team


Kelli Horan – Writer/Director – Kelli has written, directed, and produced feature and short films that have been featured in festivals such as SXSW (AFS Shortcase), Other Worlds Film Festival, Arizona International Film Festival, and more. Active in the filmmaking community, Kelli is currently the Screenwriting Co-Director and Programmer at Other Worlds Film Fest and was the Marketing Chair for Women in Film & Television Austin (2019).



Elena Weinberg – Producer/Production Manager – Elena Weinberg co-owns TurtleDove Films based in Los Angeles, CA & Austin, TX. She co-created and executive produced the critically acclaimed Austin, TX based webseries, #ATown. She is currently a producer and casting director for goodr. Recent Crew credits include: A Room Full of Nothing ​(Line Producer/Director), Songwriters Across Texas Season 8 (1st AD), Time Trap (2nd AD) and Fear The Walking Dead Seasons 4 & 5 (2nd Team). She previously Production Managed Hindsight and Produced A Grievance With Gravity with Kelli. When she's not taking on the world one tweet at time, you can find her watching basketball and drinking wine with her cats. Go Spurs Go!


Phillip Lybrand – Producer/Director of Photography/Editor – Phillip is a screenwriter, director, cinematographer, and producer. His feature films have played festivals around the world, and even picked up an award or two. Phillip has a BFA in Media Arts and an MFA in Film, so you gotta know he’s not just some guy. He is currently in development on his 5th feature film, AIN’T NO GRAVE, which he hopes to make once the pandemic subsides.


Danielle Evon Ploeger – Lead as “Darcy” – Danielle is an actress now based in Austin, who grew up in small town Texas on a cattle ranch. After graduating high school, she moved to NYC and attended the New York Academy for Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. It was here that her desire to be an actress was solidified and nourished. Danielle has gone on to star in more than 5 independent features, hold supporting roles in over 10 features, and worked on countless short films. Notable credits include: Last Girl Standing, The Pale Door, Climate of the Hunter, Special (Netflix), The Son (AMC), Summer League 



Duncan Coe – Supporting as "Adam" – Originally from Austin, Texas, Duncan started acting in high school, earning a state championship in competitive theatre through the Texas University Interscholastic League. He graduated from St. Edward's University in Austin with a BA in Theatre Performance and a minor in English Writing and Rhetoric. He is an actor, writer, producer, and director.




Chelsee Jernigan – Supporting as "The Vila" – Chelsee Has been performing on stage for the last 20 years. Having grown up in musical theatre she has been in over 60 productions including popular musicals. Chelsee hit the Austin film scene in 2017 and has been here ever since. In 2018 Chelsee was hired on as a cast member and magicians assistant at Esther’s Follies where she performs 5 shows a week.Chelsee also likes to write, dance, karaoke, and wax her upper lip while eating a hotdog in her spare time.





Roxy Castillo – Supporting as "Jessica" – Roxy Castillo is a comedian, burlesque dancer and wrestling person based in Austin, TX. Featured on PBS ‘Stand Up Empire’, FunFunFun Fest and was a 2019 Funniest Person in Austin Finalist. You can find her in the wrestling ring with Sabotage Women’s Wrestling and Inspire Pro Wrestling and is a twice nominated ‘Best Burlesque Dancer’ in Austin Chronicles ‘Best Of Austin’ poll.




Tessa Morrison – Production Designer – Tessa Morrison graduated from Marshall University with a bachelors in Visual Arts with emphasis in Printmaking and Sculpture. Experience working for, MTV, FUEL, and SONY in Art Department positions. Along with being able to complete standard art department duties, am also a prolific puppet maker and fiber artist. One of my puppets was featured in BAD DADS: Art Inspired by Wes Anderson Films curated by SPOKE ART Gallery with a foreword by Wes Anderson.  


Hamdija Ajanovic – Composer – Hamdija Ajanovic, is an American composer, music producer and multi-instrumentalist. Born in May of 1973 in Derventa, town in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina (former Yugoslavia), Ajanovic spent most of his childhood in music school, where he studied music theory and received a classical music education with guitar as the major instrument. Ajanovic stirred his career towards creating musical scores for motion pictures and video games.  For more than a decade, he has been scoring award winning films and composing music for video games that had both national and international success.

Current Team