Dearly Departed

Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Comedy, Drama

Sebastian Ibanez

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $3,655 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

24 supporters | followers

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This funeral story tackles themes beyond just life and death. Jason's guilt drives him back to his hometown to attend his mothers funeral only to have the same Pastor "Father" figure from his childhood halt him from speaking up at the service. Jason must now stand up to authority to gain closure.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

As a filmmaker, I aim to bring levity onto the stress and worry we experience on a daily basis. Whatever may be bothering you, the narrative driven stories and characters I bring to life set out to give the message that even after death, our legacy can still live on to those that will remember us.

The Story


Dearly Departed follows Jason, an empty shell of the young man he once was before leaving his hometown as well as his mother after graduating high school to pursue his own selfish dream of becoming a hotshot anywhere else.

After finding out about his mother's death from cancer many years later, his guilt for abandoning her catches up to him. This drives him to go back to the hometown he left all those years ago to attend her funeral service, which so happens to be held at the exact same church she forced him to attend during his childhood.




We open up right at the start of the funeral service. Pastor Dudley, head of the church, bursts out the front doors. Greets in every person individually and appears to provide the light among this dreary day, seems a little too nice. All of this visible to Jason sitting alone in his car across the parking lot, he has not seen Dudley since his own high school graduation. The whole town loves Dudley, they see him as an absolute saint with no flaws to be seen. They are not aware of his darker side as of yet.

This whole facade instantly fades once Jason steps up to the church entrance. Jason is out of his element as he has not even come close to a church in well over a decade. Through wit and banter, Jason manages to convince Dudley to let him into the church sanctuary, promising to remain quiet during the service. It then becomes a duel for either of them to be in control of the funeral service once Jason takes the initiative to speak up at the podium against Dudley's will. 





The surface layer conflict between Jason and Pastor Dudley is well of that Dudley used to date Jasons mother, Esther, before her passing. Jason had to grow up being forced to follow a religion not of his choice by a step-father figure in the form of Dudley, so the two have a bitter history of resentment towards each other. Dudley see's Jason as unfit to be in the presence of him, his church, and especially his mother Esther's funeral service.

The more underlying conflict is that two characters who grew up and live in two very different worlds (religious and non-religious) can find a way to set aside their differences to both be present for the departure of someone that played a major influence in both of their lives. 





As of now, the whole production team is working vigorously and remotely in their own cities to assure the proficiency of the actual filming process scheduled out for this upcoming spring. With the official cast now greenlit, official table reads and rehearsals have already began! This whole campaign will assure the producers and I to have the most professional and safe work environment our school program can possibly create for each and every cast & crew member that will be present for the official shoot dates.

Once post production begins late spring into early summer, we aim to submit the finished product to a multitude of film festivals this fall season around the Los Angeles County. From there we plan to build up our independant production studio in pursuit of broadcasting more narrative short films like this to more screening events.   




I'm Sebastian, the director. I started off as your typical high school student that had no real plans or goals for my future. By the time I graduated, my future plans took a complete one hundred eighty degree turnaround from the usual acadmic careerpath. During my angsty days of high school, the biggest comfort for me was found in a variety of movies, television shows, and any other form of visual storytelling. 

I immediately sought out to not only analyze films in depth, but to create my own films as well. Starting my senior year, I got ahold of my very own camera and went out around my neighborhood to film random stuff with my friends. From there, my love for creating visual media immensed so much that I decided to just commit to the performing arts and attend film school at Columbia College Hollywood. 

My love and appreciation for filmmaking has allowed me to respect every aspect of making one. As a "Director", it gives me the right access to have a say and contribute in every department: Producing, Writing, Acting, Cinematography, Editing, Sound, etc. Without either of these elements present or even taken into consideration during pre-production, there is no quality film.   




Making films among a global pandemic ups the ante in terms of hard work and challenges. My main priority in making films during these times is to shed even the smallest amounts of light onto the dark times we all currently face. "Smile through the pain" as I would say it. Through our college and safety regulations, we aim to create the most efficient and professional indie film production for the health garuntee of our brillaint cast & crew.



The mandatory use of a medical mask for every crew member present on set. Only the removal of masks done when talent is giving a take for the camera or for when we break for lunch. Social distancing will be taken seriously even during lunch as meals and snacks are to be individually wrapped. Multiple hand sanitation stations are to be distributed across the premises of the church. As well as an offcial Covid Officer present all day on set who will document every cast & crew memebers temperature twice a day. I hope this dark-comedy film production will encourage everyone out there to take a step back, laugh, maybe cry a little bit, and just remember to not take life too seriously. As well as appreciate and cherish those you have in your life now before it is our time to go.       



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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Set Dressing / Props

Costs $600

Transform a local community church into a true house of worship

Transportation & Gas

Costs $100

Provide gas to the specific crew members that provide transport for equipment and other members

Rentouts & Permits

Costs $1,500

Fees for renting out the four prime locations for filming. Without them, we have no film to make

Craft Services

Costs $600

Feed the best crew the best food we can provide. With the proper fuel can everyone feel enlightened

Emergency Fund

Costs $500

A nice cushion in preparation for anything emergency related, any leftover will be divided elsewhere

COVID-19 Supplies

Costs $100

Gloves, masks, hand sanitizers, etc. Safety is our main priority with every single crew member


Costs $300

To really immerse the audience, everyone on camera must really dress for success

Exterior Lighting Equipment

Costs $300

To really go big with the ambient church setting, we need some high gear lighting equipment to rent

About This Team

The critical team members of this production consist of either my closest friends and associates I have had the privilege of meeting during my time at Columbia College Hollywood. They are some of the most hardworking filmmakers I have ever met and they give me the motivation to continue working on my craft as a filmmaker.


With a background in real-estate and other financial related business jobs, Orlando made the perfect slot for overseeing the films budget. With a life long love for cinema and overall storytelling, it's what inspired him to share his love for the craft to his own son, this projects own director, Sebastian (me).  

Through both of their love for films have they made a dynamic duo team with the future goals of collaborating in the start up to their own independent film stuido company.   


A soon to graduate senior at Columbia College Hollywood. The most definitve feature everyone will notice when first meeting Felix is his trademark thick German accent. Born and raised early in Germany (no shocker to the accent now), he moved to the United States pretty soon to pursue a dream of writing and directing comedy and drama driven films.

Out of every Directing emphasis student I met at film school, no director has had this many projects under his belt like Felix has. Nearly every quarter of school, I can recall always seeing a project he has directed be advertised and shared around the school campus. Felix motivates and pushes me to be an absolute try-hard in filmmaking, especially the pre-production and produciton stages which are arguably the most important stages in this group collaborative workflow setting. Felix can always be the firm loving backbone of my production team anytime. 


Another senior at Columbia College Hollywood, no other Director of Photographer was requested for this quarters senior thesis film project lineup more than this guy right here. Hundley has shot too many productions to keep track of and his experience makes him a veteran already at the campus. His adaptability and open-mindfulness of dfferent genres are some of the many reasons he is right for this project.

Besides his experience of shooting over at high paced/energy music events and comfortability with the most advanced equipment the school has to offer (which both can go hand to hand with a comedy film), it was his chivalry and respect for other filmmakers around him that made him top condendor to shoot this film. 


                                                                         ...AND THERE ARE MANY MORE...

The cast and crew list continues to grow as the days to filming approaches, so many more names I wish to add onto this list for their sheer commitment and passion for this project.  



Current Team