Final Dress

Dallas, Texas | Film Feature


Michael Federico

1 Campaigns | Texas, United States

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This campaign raised $12,550 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

102 supporters | followers

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Theatre Camp is all fun and games until the killing begins. Final Dress is a horror movie that takes on current social issues in the performing arts, while drawing inspiration from classic slasher films, old ghost stories, and even some Broadway musicals. Help us make our nightmares come true!

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Director Christie Vela has long seen a lack of representation of Mexican-American women in the director's chair and a general lack of representation of women of color in horror. For FINAL DRESS, she has assembled a diverse cast & crew and is creating a film led by a woman of color on screen and off.

The Story

Final Dress

directed by Christie Vela

written by Michael Federico



Our Story

Several years ago, director Christie Vela (above) and writer Michael Federico had the dream of making a horror movie that nodded to some of their favorites, added something new to the slasher sub-genre, and called out the hypocricy and abuse of power they saw happening in the performing arts world that they were a part of.

All of this came to fruition when they teamed up with actor/producer Brandon Potter (above, with blood on his face) and started developing Final Dress, a horror movie set at Stage Left, an elite musical theatre camp where those in charge have preyed on youth or looked the other way for decades. The three of them, with help from filmmaker Jon Collins and others in the Dallas/Ft. Worth film and theatre communities, have begun to assemble the resources and talent needed to make it happen. 


Final Dress takes on the egos of performers, the sins of the past, the consequence-free lives men in power seem to enjoy, and the cycles we can't seem to break. Also, it's got some great kills and it's funny. Created by artists in Dallas/Ft. Worth, the project will employ all local talent on camera and behind the camera. DFW is home to a diverse group of filmmakers, actors, and prodcution teams, and we hope to further highlight their talents with Final Dress and scare some people in the process.




Our Goals

We are currently in pre-production with a lot of our cast and crew lined up. Our goal is to start shooting this year. The $15,000 we are asking for will go towards paying and feeding our people, creating some specific practical effects for the movie (killing and gore isn't always easy), a few unique pieces of equipment (galaxy projector, theatrical lighting units, etc.), and the mask design/creation for our killer.


When completed, we plan on submitting to horror film festivals, as well as festivals that welcome movies in all genres across the country (maybe the world!). We are also going to explore direct-to-streaming distribution opportunites.


Meet the Counselors of Stage Left Theatre Camp!

We'd be lying if we said we weren't freaking out a little about the ridiculously talented group of actors we have playing our "camp counselors."


Kenneisha Thompson (A Ghost Story, The Old Man & the Gun) as the world's best stage manager and keeper of the ghost light, Lindsey Carr.


Grace Montie (Hellraiser: Judgement, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich) as voice coach and queen of the bite and smile, Steph Hudson.


Jeffrey Schmidt (Bad Kids Go to HellParkland) as Camp Director and all around handsome bastard, Thomas Graham. 


Liza Gonzalez (American Dynasty, Attack on Titan) as Associate Camp Director and underappreciated acting genius, Margo Medina. 


Brandon Potter (Little Woods, Special) as acting coach and one-time guest star of The Wolves of Westlake, Bernard Thewson.


Blake Hackler as famed choreographer, avid CD collector, and brutally honest note-giver, Charles McMasters.


Meet the Campers of Stage Left Theatre Camp!

Not all of our campers have signed on yet, but we're excited to let these actors take over Stage Left.


Gabrielle Reyes (You PeopleHow to Make a Reality Star) as brilliant dancer, incredible actor, and only person who seems to know something is really wrong, Sagan.


Madison Calhoun as musical theatre/magic mushroom lover, Rachael.


Isa Flores as kleptomaniac and fan of nail guns, Kylie.


Parker Gray as wannabe Hamlet and secret muscial theatre star, Nixon.


Carson Wright as self-proclaimed "triple threat," Tim.

Tex Patrello as lover of Grease and giver of notes, Austin.


Meet Our Very Special Guest Star!

All good theatre camps need a truly killer guest star, and we completely lucked out in that category. Our favorite Cenobite has joined the cast!


Paul T. Taylor, (Pinhead in Hellraiser: JudgementSin CitySoul Men) as regional theatre legend, Alistair Crane.



Meet the City Folk

Every camp has those pesky "city folk" lurking around. Can they be trusted?


Natalie Young (Spider VeinsDallywood) as "professional actor" according to her Instagram page, Amber.


Aspen Taylor (Gun and a Meatball) as local hotel employee and gun aficionado, Shailene. #glamourshot




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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

DP, Production Crew, Gear

Costs $6,000

Help us support the crew and procure theatre lights, a galaxy projector, a general projector, etc.

Costumes, Makeup, Blood

Costs $4,000

Everyone wants to look their best. Even when covered in blood. This will help us make that happen.


Costs $3,000

They run, they scream, they sing, they dance! We love them. We want to give them as much as we can.

Props and Special FX

Costs $2,000

Knives and nail guns make the magic happen. And milkshakes. We need some milkshakes in the movie.

About This Team

(Michael Federico & Christie Vela)

Christie Vela (director/producer/actor): The first movie Christie saw in the theater at age 6 was Burnt Offerings. The very next week her sister took her to see Disney’s Cinderella. And that’s pretty much all you need to know about the kind of stuff she likes to watch and also the stuff she creates on stage. She’s been in love with horror movies for as long as she can remember, and even moved briefly to LA in the early 90’s only to discover that giving up hamburgers was too high a price to pay for becoming a starlet. So she opted to come home and make a life in the theater as an actor, writer, designer and director. She is currently a proud member of AEA and has worked across the country at various LORT theaters as an SDC director. She co-hosts Terror and Tacos, a horror movie podcast with Michael Federico, and has a freaky encyclopedic knowledge of the B-horror movies of the 60’s and 70’s. She would be delighted if you made her dream of directing this HORROR EPIC come true. 


Michael Federico (screenwriter/producer/actor): Michael has worked as a writer for longer than he realizes, since he's convinced the 1990s were only ten years ago. As a playwright, Michael has had his work produced in Dallas, New York, Chicago, San Diego, and Austin. Along with his work in theatre, Michael co-wrote and co-produced the audio drama Terms for Wondery, rewrote a teen comedy movie for Legenday Digital, and had his horror short story "Five Steps" published in Voume 2 of The Endlands Anthology. Michael also works as an actor (you may have seen him try to sell you stuff on TV) and a Theatre History professor. He lives in Dallas with his wife Aspen and their two cats Fiddle and Teeny, and along with Christie Vela hosts the horror movie podcast Terror and Tacos.


Brandon Potter (prodcuer/actor): Brandon has been hacking and slashing... Um... I mean... Acting in theaters and onscreen here in D-town for the last 5 or 6 years. He's been in big ol' plays like All the Way and Great Society at Dallas Theater Center and itty bitty tiny plays like his one man show Sex, Death, & Light Switches in Fair Park where the cast outnumbered the audience on more than one occasion. Look for him onscreen in Little Woods and in the Netflix series Special; both coming out in April.


Max Hartman (producer/actor): Max is a veteran actor, composer, singer, and musician who works constantly both on screen and on stage. This year alone, he's appeared in the  films Never Goin’ Back and Little Woods, he'll take on the title role in Sweeney Todd at Circle Theatre in June and July, and he can be heard on TV as the voice of Domino’s Pizza. Max had been working with the Final Dress team behind the scenes for a while, helping pre-production take major steps forward, so we are overjoyed that he's officially joined on as a producer on the project!

Current Team