Rich Kids

Houston, Texas | Film Feature


Laura Somers

2 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $22,675 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

271 supporters | followers

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Rich Kids is a narrative drama about a group of troubled teens in a low-income community who resolve to break into “Los Ricos”, the local mansion with a border fence, to forget their difficult lives and experience a different one. And check out:

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About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Our film's cast is comprised of at least 80% people of color, mostly Latino kids who have never acted in a film before. I wanted to create a film that shows the struggles of lower income communities through the lens of people living it. I am a female writer and director, also reflecting diversity.

The Story

The Story: Mattias is a teenager whose family is struggling from financial hardship. When he discovers a wealthy neighbor is out of town, he breaks into the mansion, "Los Ricos" (The Rich Ones), with his friends, spending the afternoon pretending to be wealthy. However, when a troublemaking relative shows up uninvited, loyalties are tested as Mattias’s desire for power in the house rises and his friendships are pushed to the breaking point.



The most important thing I'll take away from shooting Rich Kids was the creative joy and inspiration these young actors brought to my life.  Our cast's energetic presence on set made the whole experience feel like we were at sleepaway camp.  The nonstop laughs, music, and pranks kept an exhausted crew going well beyond a normal workday.   But when it was time to shoot, these actors always knew their lines and gave their whole hearts to their characters and their castmates.  We were all blown away by their professionalism and performances.  These young people are what makes this movie great.


One unexpected reward to come out of making this film, was how much my hometown got involved in helping us make Rich Kids.  My neighbors opened their homes to us for shooting or came by to visit the set to say hello.  One of my neighbors is a natural born location scout and I couldn't have done the movie without her.   My high school classmates brought their children to perform as extras or work as PAs for the day.  My favorite teacher stopped by to cheer me on, and I got many wonderful messages with well wishes from friends I hadn't heard from in years.  Our cinematographer commented on how she'd never had so many people visit a set in her career!   She'd never seen anything like it.  It certainly added to the fun and good energy on set.


Making this film has been an incredible experience. An entire community came together to support this project and now we're coming to you to help us finish it. 


About the script


From Laura Somers (co-writer/director):   Rich Kids is inspired by the kids from my old neighborhood, and by an incident that happened in the house I grew up in. We lived in South Houston, TX, in a working class neighborhood with a large Latino community. My house was ten times bigger than any of the other houses in my neighborhood and it was surrounded by a fence. Throughout my life, kids were always breaking in to the house, just because they wanted to know what it was like inside. The neighbors had lots of ideas about who we were and my parents had lots of ideas about who our neighbors were, but they never took an opportunity to get to know each other. A few years ago, a group of kids broke into the house while my parents were away. Evidence left behind tells us that these kids lived in the house for a few days, before it ended in tragedy. The film retraces their steps, using all the clues they left behind about what the night may have been like for them. I wanted to bring them to life because although I didn’t know these particular kids personally, I know what it’s like to be a young person and have to struggle to find your path in society, and it’s especially hard when the deck is stacked against you. In a way, this is a love letter to all the kids in my neighborhood.

This break-in got me thinking a lot about what it must be like for these kids who come from economically struggling families to live next to an affluent, white neighbor who had a big fence around their house. What message did the fence send to them? Then that got me thinking about ll our systems. All of them ( economic, justice, or education), create their own invisible fences which block equal access to working class, poor and ethnic communities.  

“Rich Kids” is witnessing a young man’s transformation from the person he is to the person he dreams of being. With hazy, dream-like cinematography and a moody score to match, we’re taking the audience far away from what they’ve been told Latino characters are. We always see Latino characters as one-dimensional day players with no internal lives. With “Rich Kids”, we introduce characters that seem familiar on the surface and then we slowly turn these people on their head, surprising the viewer with unexpected character twists and story turns. All the characters are fully-realized human beings who speak authentically. They will remind audiences of their best friend or maybe even themselves.


From David Saldaña (co-writer):  When Laura and I met to discuss her idea for the Rich Kids script she already had a basic story line mapped out in her head and ideas on shaping the narrative and characters. Having developed a familiarity with each other's work over the past six or so years we'd discovered our overlapping story telling sensibilities and love of character over plot. The choice to co-write the screenplay seemed like a no-brainer and luckily, we were rewarded with a relatively "effortless" process.


Before writing a single word we talked a lot, about being from Texas, about being a teenager, about being a parent, about groups unrepresented in film and television and how all those things have shaped us as screenwriters today.  For me, this was wonderful opportunity to develop and explore the lives of characters that I wanted to see on the screen without fretting about the mechanics and devices that I'd spent so many hours on when working on specs and pilots, story over plot we said. To me, this meant an obligation to be as honest as possible so that the story would be compelling-- provoking thought and emotion for the audience.






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

Sound Editor

Costs $3,000

One of the most important parts of post-production, all the sound must cut together seamlessly.

Picture Editor

Costs $3,000

Editing is where the entire film comes together, stringing images together to become a story.

Composer Fee

Costs $2,000

Music moves audiences, a good composer will allow a film to resonate with us emotionally.

Color Grading

Costs $3,900

A film's look is crucial, coloring the footage allows us to create a more vibrant image.


Costs $1,500

Deliverables are the final product of a film, and what allows it to be screened.


Costs $2,000

Titles can help a film set it's own unique artistic style for the audience right from the beginning.

Licensing Music

Costs $1,000

Licensing music is what allows us to use soundtracks composed by professionals in our film.

ADR Studio Rental

Costs $1,000

ADR allows us to record over any poor audio, giving the film's viewers smooth dialogue throughout.

Sound Effects

Costs $1,000

Sound effects create an immersive experience, they let us hear everything from footsteps to rain.

Audio Mix

Costs $1,000

Well mixed audio ensures that nothing will be too loud or too quiet throughout the film.

Stock Footage

Costs $1,000

Lets us show environments or special effects which would have been over-budget to film ourselves.

Hard Drives

Costs $1,000

In order to edit our movie, we need storage. Hard drives are where we keep all of our footage.

Editing System Rental

Costs $1,000

In order to edit our film, we need software which can handle cutting high-quality footage together.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team


Laura Somers

(Co-Writer, Director)


Laura is originally from Pasadena, TX. She wants to live in a world where female directors are hired for 51% of the jobs in film and television. She is a solid, nurturing, and enthusiastic director committed to being an in demand film director. Laura’s directing strengths lie with her solid storytelling skills, powerful use of imagery, and her ability to inspire passionate performances from actors.


A graduate of NYU's TISCH School of the Arts, Laura's work has been highlighted on, The W Hotels, UCLA Medical Center, American Theater Magazine, New York Magazine and Vanity Fair. Her films have played at festivals around the world and her work has received financial support from IBM, the Austin Arts Commission, and Banana Republic. Between 1999 – 2001, she was Co-Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed award-winning theater company the dirigo group in Austin, TX. Having directed over 30 plays, her work with the dirigo group was honored by American Theater Magazine as one of twelve rising American theater companies “to watch” that were “hot, hip and on the verge”. She recently was named as one of SHOOT Magazine's up and coming directors of 2016.


From 2006-2014, she was a Editor on reality tv, films, web series and commercials for networks including TruTv, Spike, SyFy, TV One, and Lifetime. In addition to being a filmmaker, she also teaches aspiring screenwriters with the Wounded Warrior Project and the Writer's Guild Association. She lives in Los Angeles.



David Saldaña



David Saldaña is from Austin, Texas. He started performing and writing in high school where he won numerous UIL acting awards and was a key member of Reagan High School’s Broadcast Journalism Program. He also made a bunch of goofy short films with his buddies. David was granted a Texas Achievement Award, academic minority scholarship, and graduated from the University of Texas with a BA in French.


After college, David spent five years as performer in Austin’s theater and comedy scenes. He was a company member at the critically acclaimed Vortex Theater where he participated in several original and adapted productions. It wasn’t long before David’s creative desire moved him into screenwriting. He’s written a number of features and pilots on spec. Along the way, David got married, started a family, and relocated to Los Angeles where he now works a corporate desk job and teaches Capoeira in Korea Town.



Eun-ah Lee

(Director of Photography)


Cinematographer Eun-ah Lee has emerged as a young talent in independent cinema, expressing the core emotion of every story through her atmospheric style and dazzling camera work.


Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, Eun-ah’s love of art developed in her youth. She landed her first commissioned painting project at age 12, and continued practicing her art after she moved to the States where she attended NYU Tisch School of the Arts in directing and cinematography. It was at this time that she began to develop her filmic style by incorporating her cultural background and artistic training into her work. To date she has shot more than 50 films.


She is known for her work on "Blackbird"starring Oscar winner Mo'Nique, released theatrically on IMAX and featured on CNN, "A Song Still Inside", winning the Best Cinematography Award at the Gene Art Film Festival in New York, Milcho Manchevski’s "Thursday", which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, and "Sea Is All I Know", starring Melissa Leo, which was an Oscar semi-finalist. Her works have screened worldwide, including at the Cannes, Sundance, Venice, Pusan, Hong Kong and Los Angeles film festivals.



Eddie Rodriguez



Eddie Rodriguez graduated with a BFA from Southwest Texas State University in 1999. He has devoted his life to the arts and has professionally freelanced in the Television and Film industry in Houston for over ten years. While working in a wide variety of media and content, his real passion has always been film. Rich Kids represents all the elements that have driven this passion encompassing great character, aesthetic and most importantly, story.


Carmen Morrow



Carmen Morrow is a feature film and television editor based in Los Angeles. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she has over 12 years of editorial experience with directors such as Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Red Riding Hood) and Mike Judge (Silicon Valley, Extract). Most recently, Carmen was an additional editor on Shirley MacLaine's film The Last Word. 


Ming Vauz


Ming Vauz is the Vice-President of newly formed LaunayVauz Music, Inc.,(2016) formed by Producer and President of the production company Nick Launay. Partnering with Producer Nick Launay in 2013 on a score for the film 'Plush', directed by Catherine Hardwicke, Ming has since worked in tandem with Nick Launay on numerous compositions including a remix for the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, and has contributed guitar, bass and synth tracks for artists including Cassandra Wilson and Gary Numan/Titan.


David Blum

(Visual Effects Editor)

Dave Blum is our Visual Effects editor, a miracle worker, and a generous guy.   Dave has worked on films including “Charlies Angels”, “Matrix”, and “Seabiscuit”.   As Director of Creative Services and Visual Effects Supervisor he created, designed, and coordinated special effects for feature films. His projects included using motion control, 3D, motion capture, and blue screen processing for films like “Buddy”, “Elvis Meets Nixon”, and “Jerry McGuire”. Focusing on the expansion of Theme Parks world wide, Mr. Blum used his talents to create and produce attractions for Universal Studios, Warner Bros., and many others. His projects are currently in use in five countries around the world.  



Current Team