Inspired by the award-winning short, FACE ON is the story of a beauty-obsessed woman and her blood-soaked quest to create the perfect face. A dark, fun, and diverse film, FACE ON takes aim at today's image-obsessed social media culture, with the ultimate message of self-love and human empowerment.
Mission StatementFACE ON is a story of the masks we wear and the lengths that people go to in an attempt to fit in. It’s a fun, stylized, independent film full of dark comedy, bloody horror, and ultimately a heartfelt message, as told by a young and diverse crew. Plus, there's a badass woman chopping faces off.
About The Project
FACE ON is the story of SHERYL, a beauty-obsessed woman who, after being dumped by her serial killer boyfriend, goes on a blood-soaked rampage to create the perfect face, while navigating her new relationship with the cop investigating the murders.
SHERYL is a woman with two disturbing quirks: She’s obsessed with her looks, and she loves to kill! She combines these two habits in an attempt to create the perfect female face by harvesting the “perfect” parts from different models, celebrities, and influencers.
At the same time, Sheryl must avoid her ex, TED, and navigate the ups and downs of a budding new relationship with her new boyfriend, REYES, who, unbeknownst to her, is in charge of investigating the recent rash of face-cutting murders.
Through her journey, Sheryl learns that no matter how attractive you might look on the outside, if you want to be truly beautiful, you just might need to look inside.
While it’s told in a fun, fast, thrill-ride of a way, FACE ON is ultimately a story of self-acceptance. Too many of us know what it’s like to hide our true feelings or to feel the sting of comparing ourselves to someone else (even when we know what we’re comparing ourselves to isn’t real.). FACE ON shows the dangers of hiding behind the mask and what can happen when the mask comes off.
FACE ON draws equally from the gruesome tradition of horror-slasher films, while also interjecting action, humor, and heart. We are creating a film that is, not only visually stunning but will also leave the audience questioning today’s ever-prevalent comparison culture.
FACE ON is based on the award-winning short film, which was an official selection or finalist in eight different film festivals and currently holds a score of 4.6/5 stars on Amazon.
Director and writer, Justin Best, returns for the feature. Justin has been mentored by Michael Weiss (JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH) and Adam Pava (THE BOXTROLLS, THE LEGO MOVIE) and his scripts have been finalists at the Austin Film Festival, Script Pipeline, Screencraft, and many, many others. The FACE ON script was also recognized in the Academy Nicholl Screenwriting fellowship.
Anthea Neri-Best returns as Sheryl, the film’s strong anti-hero. Anthea has been featured in Tacoma FD, Mr. Mayor, Brooklyn 99, and more.
Sheryl’s love interest, Detective Bruce Reyes, will be played by Christopher Cendana. A United States Marine Corps veteran, Christopher has appeared all over your TV screen in Silicon Valley, Kidding, How to Get Away With Murder, Lucifer, and others.
As for the entire cast, roughly 70% of the main cast are female characters.
To best tell the story of FACE ON, we sought out the best up-and-coming storytellers and found them, creating a team of young, diverse, hungry, award-winning filmmakers. And while we believe anyone can relate to the pains of today’s comparison culture, our team is comprised of nearly 75% women, including our cinematographer, production designer, composer, costume designer, hair and makeup artist, and two of our producers, among others.
We are currently planning to begin production in the Spring of 2022 over approximately 20 days. As our post-production team is already prepared, we will quickly move into post with a goal of releasing the film near the end of 2022. Once the film is fully 100 percent complete, we will begin submitting to festivals, aiming for acceptance into a major, Tier One festival, such as Sundance, Tribecca, SXSW, etc., while also seeking distribution through streaming or video-on-demand.
During production, we will follow all COVID-19 requirements, such as social distancing, testing, mask requirements, etc. as detailed by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the state of California.
FACE ON is something we are all very passionate about. All of us have, at one time or another, thought we weren’t good/pretty/smart/perfect enough. We’ve felt like we didn’t matter, no matter how hard we tried. FACE ON is not only designed to entertain, but to shatter the illusion of these impossible to achieve standards.
Good question. While, as humans, we’ve always compared ourselves to one another, today we are bombarded 24/7 through always-on social media and internet content showing us exactly how we’re lacking in our fitness, diet, wardrobe, income, or any other area of our life. Girls and women seem to be hit especially hard. According to the book, Beauty Sick by Renee Engeln, Ph.D., 34% of five-year-old girls have already engaged in dietary restraint. With social media being as popular as ever, we believe this is the perfect time to tell this kind of story.
Now is also the perfect time for some new blood (ahem…) in the horror market. Horror fans are the most loyal in the industry. Also, 60% of horror fans are female. And 58% are people of color. We believe it’s time that the majority of horror fans had a crazed psychotic killer that looked like them. :)
And who doesn’t want to see a bad-ass woman chopping people’s faces off? (Plus, movies starring women do better at the box office.).
Finally, coming out of the pandemic, it is the perfect time for independent filmmaking. As we’ve all experienced over the last year or so, art is valuable. We need stories to get us through those many days and nights stuck indoors. As an independent film, we can move faster than larger studios, and we can ensure that we tell the story that we believe horror fans want to see.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably a person who loves horror movies or maybe film and/or the arts in general. Or maybe you get excited about the opportunity to find cool stuff before everyone and say, “I told you so!” Or maybe you’re my mom.
Regardless, if you’re the type of person who loves dark comedy like American Psycho or Pulp Fiction, slasher horror films like Halloween or Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or just wants to see a new face (ahem again…), then you need to join us on this adventure!
Seriously, we appreciate your support and, with the FACE ON team, we believe in eating our own cooking. That’s why we’ve already put over $20,000 toward this movie, and we will continue to fund it to the best of our ability, but we also know that there is a whole army of horror fans who want to see a badass female serial killer chopping off people’s faces and are eager to help make this dream a reality. So, please know that this movie is going to get made. And with you joining in, we can make it that much bloodier, more fun, and much more face-cuttingly awesome.
FACE ON approaches topics of beauty and self-love in a fun, exciting, and extreme manner, while also flipping traditional genre tropes on their head.
Our cast and crew are ready! Please join us as we create a new and modern horror film. Together, we can leave our mark on the industry and start a whole new chapter in horror history!
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About This Team
FACE ON – CREW BIOS
Please find our crew bios below. Some have won awards. Some are established in the film industry, and some are established in other industries, but all are skilled, talented, and absolutely ravenous about telling the Face On story. They live and breathe this story and will not stop until it’s complete. They are young, hungry, and scrappy filmmakers eager to create their next –or first– feature.
JUSTIN BEST – Writer & Director, Producer
Justin Best is an award-winning writer and director who has studied feature film writing under Michael Weiss (Journey to the Center of the Earth), Adam Pava (The Lego Movie, The Boxtrolls), and others. His script, Darryn the Bold and the Sword of Boldness, was a finalist in multiple screenwriting competitions, and he is currently the writer for The Days After, a virtual reality video game, selected by Oculus as part of its indie-developer START program. The short film version of Face On appeared in numerous film festivals and won awards for directing, editing, and sound design. The feature version of Face On is currently in pre-production.
ANTHEA NERI-BEST – Producer, Actor
Anthea Neri-Best is an actress, singer, and human empowerment ambassador who appears as Kailani on TruTV's Tacoma FD, NBC's Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Mr. Mayor and as a chef and judge on Yummy TV's HMExpress. She can also be seen in numerous commercials and heard in many video games. Throughout her career, Anthea has performed at Carnegie Hall, Dodgers' Stadium, the Staples Center, and Lincoln Center; and she was a top-four finalist on GMA7's Pinoy Pop Superstar. In addition, she has appeared in Here Lies Love, Oliver!, Mamma Mia!, and the off-Broadway musical, Disenchanted.
CHRISTINE CHO – Producer
Christine Cho earned her Master's in film and television production from Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University. Already, she has produced a number of short films, one of which was shot on location in South Africa. Christine is also a recipient of the Free Market grant via Chapman University and the Caucus Foundation grant.
YIYAO “KELSEY” ZHU – Director of Photography
A recent graduate of Chapman University's MFA in cinematography program, Yiyao "Kelsey" Zhu has shot over 30 projects, including short films, documentaries, and music videos. Her thesis project, Paz, was selected as one of her classes’ best shorts and was a finalist in the Top Shorts Film Festival, 2020. Her short film, Green Tomatoes, won the Gold Award for Best Cinematography in the L.A. Shorts Festival and was the winner of the Global Film Festival, 2020.
EMILY WARD – Production Designer
Born in the heartland of Indiana, Emily A. Ward graduated with a BA in design and production from the Media School at Indiana University, where she worked on a variety of short films, one of which earned her an Honorable Mention in the Producer Guild of America's Make Your Mark short film competition. A true Hollywood Hoosier, Emily is an experienced filmmaker who has been thriving in Los Angeles since 2018 and is excited to be working on her next feature film.
AUGUSTINE SO – Editor
Augustine So is an LA-based film editor from Hong Kong, with years of experience in producing and editing commercials and branded content, before making the switch to narrative film editing. In 2018, he produced and edited Ups and Down for Bulletproof, a music video featured on MTV Philippines. He also produced and edited The Windsor Paradox, a dark comedy short film nominated for The Best Editing Award in the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival Fall 2018.
MOLLY ISAAC – Composer & Sound Designer
Molly Isaac, based in the UK, loves working on the darker side of sound. After getting tired of the classical training she was brought up on, Molly embraced the dark side - inspired by the insane and the illogical aspects of sound. She is always looking to put her own unique sonic spin on any project she works on, creating distinctive soundtracks using a mixture of abstract instrumental techniques and sound manipulation. She enjoys being a part of the reinvention of the world of horror music and discovering how it can be used to scare and unnerve new audiences.
STEPHANIE NGUYEN – Costume Designer
Trained with an MFA in costume design from Purdue University, Stephanie Nguyen is an experienced costumer designer who has created costumes across the country, including her work for Assassins, Mamma Mia!, and Vietgone at East West Players (Los Angeles); The Sword in the Stone and Evy and the Pirates at Birmingham Children’s Theatre (Alabama); The Firestorm at First Folio (Chicago); and Footloose at Wilmette Center for the Arts (Illinois). She also designed costumes for Storefront Theatre of Indianapolis’ inaugural production, Infinity.
ASHLEY FRANCISCO – Key Makeup Artist
Ashley Francisco is a professional makeup artist, groomer, and makeup instructor based in the Los Angeles area. Educated at the E.I. School of Professional Makeup, Ashley has worked on music videos for artists such as Doje, Emmure, and Future Feats; while her work has been featured in Vogue Italia, Sheeba, and Elegant Magazine. When not working on set, she is an instructor at the prestigious Theater of Arts in Hollywood. Ashley has a passion for makeup and horror and is excited to be a part of Face On.
KATE LUGTU – Assistant Director
An experienced assistant director, Kate Lugtu, started her career in the Philippines where she enjoyed a successful career producing TV shows, commercials, industrials, live events, and much more. Since moving to Los Angeles, she’s become a go-to AD for many independent filmmakers.
THOMAS MORINAKA – Stunt Coordinator & Fight Director
A proud member of SAG-AFTRA and Equity, Thomas Isao Morinaka is a director, writer, actor, stunt performer, and an award-winning fight choreographer. He earned a BA with Honors in Theatre from the University of Hawaii with an emphasis in stage combat. He has performed as an actor and stunt person both on stage and on the screen, including work in the popular Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and Clint Eastwood’s Letters from Iwo Jima. His awards include a Los Angles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) Award for Distinguished Achievement in Fight Choreography (2018) and a nomination for an Ovation Award for Fight Direction (2019).
TAI WEINMAN – Script Supervisor
A former educator and slam poet, Tai Weinman has seen it all, which helps her to see it all as a Script Supervisor in Los Angeles. In addition to her work on feature films, television, and commercials, Tai is also an administrator for the Los Angeles Script Supervisors Network, working to increase the diversity in, and knowledge of, this historic department head position.
JULIA WANG ZHU – Art Director
A recent graduate of Indiana University where she earned her degree in cinema and media arts, Julia Wang Zhu is already a seasoned veteran of multiple feature films, which have appeared at film festivals, including Cannes, SXSW, and many others. Most recently she art directed The Miseducation of Bindu, the award-winning feature film starring David Arquette and produced by the Duplass Brothers.
ANYA GUBISCH – Set Decorator
Driven by her passion for architecture, and her background in interior design, Anya is a driven, creative, and self-motivated professional excited to further establish her career in Set Dressing and Set Decorating. Highly energetic and results-driven with an enterprising nature, she brings her collaborative nature, attentional to detail, and years of experience in organization and design to the art department. She is very motivated to grow, learn, and excel with this team.
GINO JOSE – Assistant Editor
Gino Jose is an award-winning filmmaker raised in Manila, Philippines. Through the years, he has developed his diverse set of production skills, as well as his directorial eye through short films, branded content, and lifestyle videos. His short films have received recognition from film festivals around the world, including Outfest, Courts des Illes, and the Cannes Short Film Corner. Gino moved to Los Angeles in 2017 where he is pursuing his dream to make his first feature in Hollywood.
ZHE "JIM" SONG – Colorist
Zhe "Jim" Song is a film editor and colorist who graduated from Chapman University Dodge College of Film & Media Arts MFA. His films have been selected to approximately 100 different film festivals or awards over the last three years. He looks forward to continuing his career as both an editor and colorist.
FRENCHESKA FARR – Health & Safety
Frencheska Farr is a model, singer, and actress born and raised in Manila, Philippines, and is known for playing "Amelia" in Chito Roño's movie musical, Emir and as the winner of the Philippines’ singing competition, Are You the Next Big Star?, as well as performing on various variety shows, musicals, and live concerts. Farr is currently based in Los Angeles and most recently performed as "Maya" in Marie Jamora's short film, Harana, in 2020.
MARISSA KING –Production Assistant
A recent graduate of The University of Southern California with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Cinematic Arts. Marissa has experience in both scripted and non-scripted productions. She was an associate producer for Trojan Vision TV, as well as a production assistant for several studios and companies. Recently, she had the opportunity to create high-profile screenings for the Academy Awards.