From the River

Hesperia, Michigan | Film Short

Horror, Thriller

Karson Kent

1 Campaigns | Illinois, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $5,950 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

12 supporters | followers

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This short horror is about a struggling couple, hoping to bond during their weekend getaway. Emily and John go up to Emily's cabin only to be met with rage, broken trust, and eventually a demonic force, attempting to rip away every remaining shred of their relationship.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

We are about building experiences that include everyone. Not only is our lead actor a talented young woman, but when it comes to our crew, picking the best people we can find, regardless of their age, class, race, gender, sexuality, religion, or otherwise, is extremely important to us.

The Story


In an attempt to get away from everyday life, the story's characters, Emily and John, decide that a trip to Emily's family cabin may be just what they need. Instead of a weekend full of bonding and relaxation, John's secrets are accidentally revealed, causing their relationship to fall apart instantly. In a flurry of intense emotion and anger, Emily kicks john out, leaving her stranded and alone for therest of the day and overnight. Following John's worry driven return, due to lack of response from Emily, the two are faced with an overwhelming threat to both their relationship and their lives.


This film is about bringing back the picture-perfect enjoyment of sitting down and watching a film for the first time as a little kid. While many of the films we all watch today have heavier and more emotional plots, this short film is meant to be purely about the enjoyment surrounding the experience of the viewing. We aim to remind both our crew and our viewers what caused us all to love cinema in the first place.


Look Book


Here are some frames from other productions that inspire the look of what we are aiming to achieve.




This storyboard example shows some of the setups were are expecting to use in the film.



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Meals (4 Shoot Days)

Costs $2,500

We will have to feed our crew of 25-35 people, as well as our actors three full meals a day.

Craft Services (coffee, healthy snacks, drinks, etc.)

Costs $650

Having healthy snacks and drinks is imperative to the crews on set productivity. Coffee is key!

People and Gear Transportation Costs

Costs $850

Gas isn't cheap. Since our crew and actors are not from Michigan we will be traveling for the shoot.

Production Design/Art Budget

Costs $1,000

It's all about making the audience believe that the space the film exists in is real and true.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Actor Payment

Costs $900

Any film worth watching hopefully has good acting in it. For us paying our actors is essential.

About This Team

Maggie (Emily)

Maggie Hall, from Louisville KY, received her Bachelor's of Art in Theatre from Murray State University. Experienced in theatre and wanting to pursue film, she moved to Chicago last summer and in the last year has been involved in five film and television projects, one being a visual album that toured select US movie theaters. She's excited to be a part of this horrifying film!

Nico (John)

Nico Krauss is a native of Boston, MA. He had an interest in theatre since elementary school that turned into a passion as he progressed through high school. After that, he enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he recently earned his BFA in Acting. During his time there, Nico was involved in various productions with Illinois Theatre and the Armory Free Theatre including Gloria directed by Kevin Woodrow, Marat/Sade directed by Laura Hackman, and Mr. Marmalade directed by Kate Fenton. As Nico developed his talent at the University of Illinois, he found a new interest for camera acting. Eager to leave a footprint in the field, Nico immediate began working on productions in the Chicago area. His most recent short film was The Interrogation by Blue Otter Studios. Now he is excited to be working on his first horror film and deliver a shivering performance.

Karson (Director)

Karson Kent is from Grand Rapids Michigan. For a long time, Karson had always a fascination with entertainment, but never quite figured out quite where, in such a broad industry. While attending high school, he discovered his passion for filmmaking and what the development process behind the camera entails, while taking a TV Studio class. Today, Karson works in the camera department as an Assistant Camera pulling focus, or as a Camera Operator. At the beginning of his time at DePaul, Karson was intrigued by the idea of directing. While he still loves directing, he discovered that being behind the camera, in the more technical roles, was something that felt natural to him. As a creative and technical person in many of the other projects and hobbies he engages in, such as prop making, 3D printing, woodworking, mechanical builds, etc., learning to put together the many cameras the industry uses, as well as how to best operate and use them to their fullest extent, allowed Karson to become even more enamored with the art of filmmaking. As well as another film he wrote and co-directed awhile back, Karson has worked on many different short films, thesis films, music videos, commercials, and passion projects. He puts his all into everything he works on, as he loves what he does and doesn't accept mediocrity from himself, otherwise, it wouldn't be worth doing at all. To Karson, the art of filmmaking and narrative films, in particular, brings him back to a place in his childhood that was always captivated by the big screen. The relationships and teambuilding that creating a production fosters, makes the end product even more fulfilling when you look at what a whole team of people came together to create. He plans to continue working professionally in the camera department, while also working to achieve his own films on the side. 

David (Producer)


David Foy is a Producer and Director of Photography who was born and raised in Kaneohe, Hawai’i; a small town on the east side of O’ahu. He is of Chinese and Irish descent. David discovered his passion for filmmaking in his Sophomore year of high school at the age of 15, while in a film studies class. Now, six years later he is going into his senior year in DePaul Universities Bachelor of Fine Arts Film program. David’s aims to create and be a part of only the most personal projects, which in turn allows him to express himself and make the art he is always striving to make. In the last two years, he has either acted as the Producer, Director of Photography, or both to 10 projects. Most notably a short narrative film he shot in the summer of 2017, titled Six Hundred Lux, which screened at the 39th Annual Hawai’i International Film Festival in the “Made in Hawai’i Shorts” category and was nominated for the “Best Short Film” award. Additionally, a short narrative film he produced earlier this year during the winter, titled Bovine is set to premiere at the 50th Annual Nashville Film Festival in October.

Steven (Cinematographer)

Steven Garcia was born in the small town of Woodstock Illinois. Raised in a Mexican-American single mother household, he moved around a lot at a young age. Steven is currently attending DePaul University after dropping out of community college and attending Columbia College Chicago for audio engineering. While at Columbia, he discovered his love for filmmaking and photography after inheriting his grandfather's collection of film cameras. Steven’s approach to photography comes from his belief in photography as a subtractive art form. He yearns to find the meditative moments of life because he believes that not every moment should be photographed. To him, art is about being alive, it’s about finding that moment in time where no one is faking.  Steven has shot two music videos with a third on the way totaling in 200K+ views on YouTube. From the River will be his narrative short debut. 

Ashlyn (Producer)


Ashlyn Kelley is a recent DePaul graduate who studied directing and screenwriting. During her time at DePaul, she produced and 1st ADed a number of projects as well as directed and wrote a few of her own. She found her passion for film when she was 15 during a high school broadcasting class, spending the rest of her high school career making the promotional videos for every play performed by the drama department. Ashlyn could not imagine doing anything else with her life and hopes someday to be able to write and direct her own independent films that truly mean something and create change. She is passionate about everything she does, recognizing that film is an incredible medium to explore humanity and make people think. She loves people-centric films, believing that creating real characters enables viewers to place themselves within a character on screen. She recently finished directing, writing, and filming her first experimental film and can't wait to keep exploring new mediums in. On the side, Ashlyn does SFX makeup on films and is working on creating a web series with an all-female crew. She is currently a content writer for Reel Mamas Chicago, a company focused on promoting female filmmakers.

Laura (1st Assistant Director)

Laura Pearson is Assistant Directing on From the River. She was first introduced to filmmaking by some friends and people close to her who are studying the field. Starting out as a Production Assistant, Laura climbed up through various positions in the filmmaking process, as she gained the skills and knowledge allowing her to do so.  As someone with a very creative and artistic background, it's no surprise that Laura came into the realm of film. Art, in all of its various forms, is something that she has always cherished. It's always been her way of destressing, relaxing, and another way for her to enjoy life to the fullest. Film to her, allows teamwork, friendship, and another way to create art, in a way that relies on all of the people you are working with to come together with the same common goal and vision. Unlike many art forms that are done alone, finishing production with so many individuals who have put the same time, effort, and dedication into creating something, really brings a special type of fulfillment to her when it's finished. 


Trevor (VFX Supervisor)


Trevor Leach is a multidisciplinary artist from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He specializes in editing and visual effects. He got started in VFX at an early age trying to mimic his favorite Youtubers. He graduated from Rockford High school where he participated in there TV studio program for 4 years with the director Karson. He is now attending Grand Valley State University as a Fiction Filmmaking major. In 2017 he started a company called Lossi Media. Through collaborations with local and other company's, he has worked on a multitude of different projects such as helping the event planning and filming concerts of musical artists such as 21 Savage, to making a national TV commercial for a children's trampoline park, to filming a runway for New York's fashion week, or photoshoots in Los Angela's for various clothing lines. His most recent project was an interactive art exhibit at the Nike Re-creation center in Chicago, lead by Louis Vuitton head designer Virgil Abloh. He never would have guessed where his career would take him and is proud of his accomplishments looking back, however, storytelling and fiction filmmaking has always been where his heart lies, and he is ecstatic to get back to his roots of fiction filmmaking.


Natalie (Production Designer)

Natalie Bonanno was born in Chicago, Illinois but raised in Charlotte, North Carolina as the oldest of three children in a Mexican-Uruguayan family. In Charlotte, she attended a language immersion primary school where she studied French language and culture for eleven years. Her multicultural upbringing has shaped her to be the serious and adventurous filmmaker she is today. She returned to Pilsen, Chicago for college and is currently attending Columbia College Chicago where she's majoring in Filmmaking with a concentration in Production Design and minoring in Art History. Natalie pulls from the world around her for design and costume inspiration and filters what she creates through the experiences that have shaped her. In her work on short narratives and music videos, she often explores motifs influenced by juvenescence, kinship, nature, and desire. 

Current Team