Demon for Hire

Aurora, Colorado | Film Short

Comedy, Horror

Travis Heermann

1 Campaigns | Colorado, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $7,005 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

83 supporters | followers

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After everything we've been through the last year, we need some dark comedy and icky, squicky laughs with a touch of noir. Join Sully the little blue demon detective as he helps his human partner confront an otherworldly monster from beyond time and space, even as he corrupts her to the Dark Side.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

DEMON FOR HIRE thrives in that shadow zone between laughter and horror. We aim to tell a story that will make the audience laugh, even as they're cringing. Our team is committed to hiring an inclusive cast and crew and paying them with actual money, not exposure.

The Story

Who I Am

I'm the author of fifteen fantasy, scifi, and horror novels and almost forty short stories of many dark and crunchy flavors. I'm a member in Active standing of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and the Horror Writers Association (HWA). I've written several short and feature-length screenplays on my own and in collaboration.

Here's a selection of film festivals and screenwriting contests where my screenplays have been recognized.

Making a movie, however small, has been a dream of mine since I was probably twelve years old. But it's only been in the last decade that I've incrementally, by baby steps, come to believe I could make it happen. I've spent the last several years going to film festivals and events trying build my know-how and network of friends, professionals, and passionate filmmakers, and now I've invited some of them to join this project.

Your help is critical to making this the best project it can be. Filmmaking is expensive, and while this is strictly micro-budget, I feel strongly about paying artists and professionals for their work.

I'm a jack of many trades -- in the publishing industry, one has to be, plus I was an engineer in a previous life -- so I'm going to do a lot of the work myself, but I still need the help of skilled people to help shepherd the project. To that end, I've assembled a super-team of Horror Avengers.

Why this Project

When I made the decision that 2021 would be the year I made a movie, I needed a story, then a script.

I love cosmic horror. I love dark comedy. I love the Muppets. And I love social commentary. Mashing up all of these with a little blue puppet came in a burst of inspiration that told me I was onto something.

We have a script, and we have a team. Full steam ahead.


To give you sense of where this film is coming from, and what to expect when it's finished...

Why Now?

How many of us spend years waiting for something? The time isn't right. Too much in the way. Fear of risk or failure. The older I get, the less patience I have for things that stand in my way, including myself.

By now, it's a cliche to say the year 2020 was utter hell, and it's not over yet. But it was the kind of hell that can focus one's priorities. I'm an artist and a storyteller, and the world needs more art. It is how we cope with hell. As endless crises stacked up on top of each other over the last year, art and entertainment became our lifeline. How many hours have we all spent trapped at home bingeing shows and movies?

This project is your opportunity to bring more of that into the world, with new faces and voices.

So the question should be: why not now?

What We Need

I believe very strongly that creative people should be paid in more than exposure, and those costs are reflected in our wishlist.

With your help, we increase production value at every level. The more money we raise, the slicker and more professional everything will look. If we meet our goal and go beyond, the stretch goal funds will be used to enhance post-production and to pay festival entry fees so that our movie gets seen.

We'll do our best with every penny we have.

What's in It for You

Aside from the obvious benefits of getting to see the final film (on DVD or by digital access) and the satisfaction that you helped bring it to life, you'll get updates throughout the course of making the film. You'll be able to watch it happening.

The goal is to be open, honest, and having fun with making a movie we'll love, and then sharing all that with our supporters at every step of the way.

We also have some amazing incentives, as you can see right here.

Pandemic Problems

Everyone on set will be required to have had their COVID vaccinations. We're going to be shooting in late July and early August, so our hope is that everyone will have had the opportunity by then, and the crisis will have largely subsided. We'll be following whatever the current public health guidelines are at that time.

Other Risks & Challenges

If I've learned anything since I started learning filmmaking is that it's literally a miracle that any film gets made. Filmmaking is an enormously collaborative endeavor, and the multitude of ways a production can go disastrously off the rails, human-caused or otherwise, makes any filmmaking project an effort of will, determination, and the shared belief in doing something cool/meaningful/artistic.

My first experience on a set was as a production assistant on a music video. A few hours into the prep for shooting, some personal drama among performers emerged on set, which threatened to torpedo the entire production. It was only the quick thinking, empathy, and quiet determination of the director that got things back on track and finished the shoot. I intend to emulate that approach if adversity arises.

I'm old enough to have a firm grasp on the long list of things I don't know. Filmmaking is such a collaborative endeavor because there's so much to know, a huge array of very specific skills, one person simply can't do it all. Fortunately, I'm putting together a professional team.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you can't contribute right now, but you still want to help, here's how:

  • Follow this project.
  • Please share this campaign with friends who love horror and indie filmmaking. Tell them about it. Instagram it. Tweet it. Share it on Facebook. Tell your parents, your sister, your cousin, your comic shop friends, your roleplaying group, your co-workers, whoever you geek out with when you're excited about horror movies and creative indies.


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

Hair and Makeup

Costs $400

An experienced makeup artist will make our actors look fabulous AND horrifying.


Costs $200

We're booking a couple of locations for shooting, and even a daily rental requires some funds.

Creature FX

Costs $1,000

Help make our monster real!


Costs $1,400

This cost includes cameras and cinematographer.

Production Sound and Lighting

Costs $1,400

This cost covers production sound and lighting, including equipment.


Costs $1,100

We're paying our actors SAG short film rates.


Costs $350

We need a grimoire and some odds and ends.

Digital Assets

Costs $425

Need some musical score, digital FX and software for post-production.


Costs $300

We're going to have insurance for the shooting days.

Costumes and Production Design

Costs $400

A real production designer will make sets come alive and costuming is essential.


Costs $300

Cast and crew gotta eat.

Tribute to Murphy

Costs $500

Faulty equipment, dead batteries, unforeseen problems. Our tribute to Murphy's Law.

Festivals and Promotion

Costs $500

Festival fees are the beginning of getting in front of audiences. We want people to see our movie!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

The Cast

Savannah Mortenson - Savannah has been acting for 8 years. She graduated in spring of 2020 from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting. During her time there, she indulged in many forms of the craft. She was the president of UNCo's Shakespeare club, and a proud member of the resident sketch comedy troupe, Hello, My Name Is!. Her training there was diverse, namely including classical and modern styles and theory, Suzuki movement, and film acting techniques. Favorite roles performed include Richard in Richard III, and Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (for which she received a KCACTF Irene Ryan award nomination, and was awarded Best Actress in a Lead Role at the 2019 Tommy Awards). With film being her predominant pursuit, and with a vast love for comedy and fantasy/paranormal genres, she is elated to be a part of this production!

Thompson Powers - Thompson Powers is an actor, puppeteer, improvisor, and jack of trades in Denver, CO. A graduate of Shenandoah Conservatory with a BFA in Music and Theatre, he has acted in hundreds of productions across dozens of states over the past 2 decades. He has received awards for his work on the documentary “Touche: A Blind Fencer’s Story” (Best Short Doc at the Madrid IFF; Second Best Doc at the Seattle True IFF; Gold Reel winner at the Nevada FF). His puppetry work has entertained audiences in the original children’s series “The PreTend Frend Show,” pop-up art exhibits with Denver Zoo and The Handsome Little Devils, and as host of the monthly comedy game show “Show of Hands” as a giant Australian monster named Munthly.  Thompson can currently be seen performing regularly with some of Denver’s longest running improv comedy shows, including “On the Spot,” “Makeshift Shakespeare,” and “Hit and Run: The Improvised Musical!” 

Phyllis Ramie - As a child, Phyllis had dreamed of being an actor, but she was a shy, awkward little thing and, well, life can take unexpected turns. Those turns included a 10-year stint in the U.S. Navy, several years working on merchant marine ships, one marriage (still going), several houses, one daughter, and several years as an ex-pat living in Australia. Eventually, Phyllis landed in San Diego and decided to take an acting class. One acting class led to more until Phyllis finally found herself on a film set and knew that she had found her place. Since that first film set, Phyllis has pursued this acting career with firm focus on telling stories that are compelling and a little off the beaten path


Dylan LaRay - Dylan LaRay is a professional actor of stage and screen. He played the lead role in his debut feature film, Fang (2021), opposite cult film star, Lynn Lowry, and was a featured protester in Aaron Sorkin's Oscar-nominated film, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020). He has starred in 19 short films and 40+ theatre productions and has been cast in Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival's 2021 summer repertory season. He earned his BA in Theatre Arts and Italian Studies at the University of Arizona and studied physical theatre at the Accademia dell'Arte in Italy. Dylan is also a devising artist who has co-created 9 original theatre productions, most notably, The Camino Project (2019) with Theatre Y. He currently works out of Colorado and is represented by Eden Talent Agency.

The Production Team

Cinematographer - Sophia Cacciola

Sophia Cacciola is a genre cinematographer and director. Recent, award-winning festival short films she’s shot include: Re-Home (Izzy Lee), Half-Cocked (Aaron Barrocas), Shiny Diamonds (Seth Chatfield/Toni Nagy), Tea Time (Tara Price), Umbilicus Desidero and Pride (Michael J Epstein).

As a director she primarily works under her production company, LAUNCH OVER, with partner, Michael J. Epstein. Their feature films include the horror social satire, Clickbait (2019); the feminist vampire throwback, Blood of the Tribades (2017); the cerebral time-loop apocalyptic sci-fi, Magnetic (2016); the murder mystery, TEN (2015); and the upcoming mockumentary, The Once and Future Smash (2022).

Sound - Michael J. Epstein

Michael J. Epstein is a Los Angeles filmmaker, scientist, and musician focusing on horror and sci-fi feature films. He often works with his partner, Sophia Cacciola, with their production company Launch Over.

Creature Effects - Kevon Ward

Kevon Ward is a special effects makeup artist living in Denver, CO. His work covers several mediums including puppetry, set and prop design, illustration, graphic design, fine art, body painting, and film production. Kevon is primarily focused on his YouTube web series Bored as Hell. He has appeared in the Syfy series Face Off.

Production Designer - Troe' Williams

Current Team