Emma Was Here

Medford, Oregon | Film Feature


ROW 211 Films

1 Campaigns | Oregon, United States

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This campaign raised $24,200 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

107 supporters | followers

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EMMA WAS HERE is an upcoming feature film based on an award-winning screenplay that explores the unique subject of Death with Dignity in the state of Oregon -- and is populated with four female lead characters.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Emma Was Here contains strong, multi-layered female characters while tackling the subject of terminal illness in young people. Its explorations also dive into religion, sexuality, and more in dramatic ways while also not forgetting a sense of humor in its reflections.

The Story

Full Cinematic Concept Trailer

This is not a trailer for the film itself as we have not shot the film yet; that's why we have the campaign, to be able to fund the production shoot. This is a concept trailer that represents what the look and feel of the film will be like. 


Our cinematic concept trailer stars Sydney Langlie, Alyssa Mathews, Mig Windows, Helen-Thea Marcus, Taylor Hood and Aleah Zimmer. Windows will also be starring as Jenn in the feature film. 

The Story

Emma Was Here presents a different take on cancer dramas.  


The story follows the title character, her estranged younger sister (Courtney), and her two best friends (Jenn and Star) as they travel to the Oregon coast for a few days. Emma, only twenty-four, has a form of brain cancer called Astrocytomas -- which has given her less than six months to live.  


The trip is meant as a last meaningful vacation before Emma plans to end her life peacefully on a set date via physician-assisted dying. As the vacation goes on, the women come to face the reality of the situation and the various consequences it holds. 


The Main Characters 

Emily "Emma" Marshall -- A girl next door with an honest and beautiful outlook on life. Despite her deteriorating health and unfulfilled dreams, she tries to keep a positive attitude as she potentially lives out her final days. 


Courtney Marshall -- Emma's soulful younger sister. She's frustrated and confused, back in Emma's life only because of the terrible situation at hand. She often clashes with Emma's best friend, Jenn, believing that Jenn doesn't have Emma's best interests in mind. 


Jennifer "Jenn" Harlton -- A successful author, mother, and wife, and the best friend of Emma. She is writing an autobiography for Emma, despite feeling a gap in their relationship since her busy life has brought a distance between the two. She has that feeling of "having everything and nothing at the same time."


Star -- Bubbly, funny, and unexpectedly insightful, she is a long-time friend to Emma and Jenn. She's the rock in many situations, trying to keep everyone together and happy despite the circumstances. 


The Style


As a creative team, ROW 211 Films has never shied away from taking on serious topics while also applying shades of humor to their material.  


Daniel Rester, the writer-director of Emma Was Here, has many stylistic touches of his own, but he is also influenced by the subtle, thoughtful character examinations and soft, slightly muted color palettes found in such works as Her, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Boyhood.



Emma Was Here Concept Images by Jimmy Leavens


$ The Production Phase -- Where Your Money Goes! $

The funds we raise from Seed & Spark will go towards some of our costs during the production phase of the film, such as paying the cast and crew, catering, equipment rental, and much more. 


ROW 211 Films and their team plan to shoot Emma Was Here in the winter and summer months of 2018 in the southern and coastal regions of Oregon, with a release planned for 2019. The cast and crew will mostly be made up of terrific local filmmaking talents. 


Stretch Goals

In the event that we reach our $25K Seed & Spark production goal early (fingers crossed!), we have stretch goals as well.


With further funds for the production phase, we would be able to have more days for shooting, a larger crew on deck, and more. And if we go even further, we will put extra funds toward our post-production costs, which include film festival entry fees, music scoring, and more.


Director's Statement

by Daniel Rester


Emma Was Here is a thoughtful account of the troubles and triumphs someone faces in potentially living out the last days of their life. 


Cancer (in the film's case, terminal brain cancer) is a very unfortunate thing that affects many, many people. My film seeks to be a unique and heartfelt take on how young people deal with such an event. It also tackles a subject (physician-assisted dying, different from Euthanasia) that hasn't gotten the amount of cinematic coverage it deserves and features four female leads and beautiful Oregon locations.


The main character of the story, Emma, chooses a route of physician-assisted dying, but will she go through with it in the end? Her decision greatly affects not only herself, but also her soulful sister Courtney and her best friends Jenn and Star. The story explores how these characters navigate the complex emotions and arguments surrounding the film's subject -- covering topics ranging from suicide to religion to impossible romantic futures to hopeful beginnings and more. 


I've lived and breathed movies since the age of 12 when I first saw Pulp Fiction. Since then, I have been building my way towards sharing my own cinematic voice with the world. I've created a lot of projects I've been proud of over the years, but nothing quite like this. Emma Was Here has a story that aims to leave audiences thinking and feeling long after they have left the movie theater. The ROW 211 Films team and myself can't wait to share it with you. 


Screenplay Awards  

 "...profound and thought-provoking...[the Emma Was Here screenplay] made a statement without being overtly political." -- Jefferson State Flixx Festival  


Keep Up to Date with Us


ROW 211 Films Facebook Page        Emma Was Here Facebook Page




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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $5,000

Paying our hard-working local actors is a must!


Costs $3,000

The crew is the glue that holds a production together!


Costs $5,000

An awesome Director of Photography to capture the most artistic shots with the best equipment!

Costumes, Hair, & Makeup

Costs $2,000

To make our cast look their best!


Costs $5,000

A happy cast and crew is a well-fed cast and crew!

Props/Set Dressing

Costs $2,000

Props and decor to bring our sets to life!


Costs $3,000

Securing the stunning Ashland-Medford and Brookings-Gold Beach locations in Southern Oregon!

About This Team


ROW 211 Films is an award-winning group of filmmakers from Southern Oregon including Daniel Rester, Mig Windows, and Rory and Angelica Owens. We've produced plenty of well-received short and long-form short films in the past, but Emma Was Here will be a step forward for us into feature territory. Learn more about the ROW 211 Films key members HERE and check out our past projects HERE


For Emma Was Here, the core ROW 211 Films members will all take on producer roles while Daniel Rester will also be directing the picture, Mig Windows will be acting in the role of Jenn, Rory Owens will be editing the film and Angelica Owens will be a production manager. We will filling out the rest of our cast and crew with other great filmmaking talents, many of them local to Oregon. 

Current Team