Gap Year

New York City, New York | Film Feature


Justin Giegerich

1 Campaigns | New York, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $4,410 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

53 supporters | followers

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This past fall, two college aged filmmakers and over 100 incredible cast and crew volunteers shot a feature film in only 10 days. We are nearing picture lock, and ready to get this film into the world. Please check out our trailer above and help us out with our finishing funds. Thank you!

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Gap Year's crew is spearheaded by the film's writer, lead actress, editor and co-director, Jessica Ryan. Beyond Jessica, our crew was DP'd, Produced, and Sound Recorded by 3 incredible women alongside a diverse cast and crew comprised largely of women, LBGTQ+ identifying people, and people of color.

The Story

In April 2018, Jessica Ryan finished a feature length screenplay based on her experiences during a gap year. It was funny, heartfelt, and highly representative of many millenial experiences. Fresh off their award winning short film, Green Shoes, co- directors Jessica and Justin Giegerich, both senior BFA Actors in Pace University's School of Performing Arts, knew that this was just the story they wanted to tell.


1st AC Andrew DeNatale looks on with Gaffer Jake Letzia before a take. 


There was only one problem: it was a feature film. And a feature film is, well, pricey. This would not stop Ryan and Giegerich, though, and through a great deal of support from friends, family, actors, and creatives, they somehow managed to shoot Jessica's 75 page coming of age story over the course of 10 days and with only $20,000.


DoP Kate Montgomery shoots a scene with Jessica. 


Jessica is now in the process of editing, and things are coming together just as the creatives beyond Gap Year had hoped. We are now in the process of funding the last leg of our journey with Gap Year before we send it off into the world: post- production.


On set at Virginia's on Manhattan's Lower East Side. 


With our goal to make a splash into the festival circuit, most notably the Toronto International Film Festival (as Jessica is a Toronto native), we are hoping to raise funds that support our color correction, post sound mixing, ADR, marketing, festival submissions and fees. This movie has come a long from against all the odds, and we would be so deeply honored if you would be willing to come with us on the rest of this journey. Many thanks! 


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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Film Festival Submissions & Fees

Costs $1,600

We have big hopes for our festival run, and need help with submission fees and the cost to attend!

Marketing & PR

Costs $850

We would like to get our name out there leading up to festival run!

Post Production Sound

Costs $750

It's time to mix our sound with the amazing Chris Okawa! We are also hoping to ADR several scenes.

Color Correction

Costs $750

Our DoP, Kate Montgomery, is ready to make Gap Year look even more stunning.


Costs $750

We hope to film additional B-Roll in Canada, furthering our submission to TIFF as a Canadian film.


Costs $300

We would like to pay our actors for their time doing post production VO!

About This Team

Jessica Ryan (Writer, Co-Director, Lead Actress, Producer, Editor): Jessica Ryan is a NYC based actor and writer from Brampton, Ontario, Canada. She am the youngest of four girls, and the daughter of a detective sergeant and a pilot. When Jessica was 14, she started writing her first feature-length screenplay (Green Shoes) under a pseudonym, pretending to be a 45 year-old man. The script has gone on to win several awards and a short version was filmed in the summer of 2017. The feature is set to be filmed in the summer of 2020, currently seeking funding. At the moment, she is editing her first feature film (Gap Year) which she wrote, co-directed, composed, and starred in: with the hopes of premiering at TIFF in September 2019. Following that, Jessica is signed on as a writer and actor for a comedy pilot filming in the fall of 2019. BFA Acting Pace Performing Arts.


Justin Giegerich (Co-Director, Producer): Justin Giegerich is a NYC-based, New Jersey-raised,  director, writer, actor, and producer for screen and stage.  Cinematic directing credits include "Green Shoes,""The Jar," and "Wednesday." Upcoming: "The Meditater," "Touring," "Neither" (post- production). NYC theatrical directing credits include "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" (Stand Up Productions) and "Much Ado About Nothing" (The Hive, Brooklyn). "Green Shoes" (written by Jessica Ryan), recently completed a festival run with 14 Official Selections, including New Filmmakers NY, Toronto Youth Shorts, and the Hang On To Your Shorts Film Festival in Asbury Park, NJ where it won Best Picture, Best Actress and was nominated for Best Director. Acting credits: "God The Worm" opposite Annabella Sciorra (dir. Eric Schaeffer/ Mainstay Entertainment), "Teach" opposite Reggie Watts (dir. Joey Garfield/ Ghost Robot), Cow-Boy (dir. Bronson Aznavorian/ NYU). In December 2018, Justin wrapped principal photography on his first directed feature film, Gap Year (written/ co-directed by Jessica Ryan).  Justin is most driven to produce work that addresses class and power structure by means of dark comedy. Beyond his creative pursuits, Justin is an avid baseball fan, cinephile, and owner of a very sassy tortoiseshell calico, Atticus. BFA Acting Pace University School of Performing Arts Class of 2019.


Samantha Widmer (Producer): Samantha Widmer graduated from Pace University in 2017 with a BFA in Acting for Film, Television, Voice-Overs and Commercials. Since then, she has wrote, starred and produced the first season of her web series, Laila's Lair under her production company, Swïdz Productions. Swïdz Productions has had the pleasure of producing one short film (currently circuiting festivals), an independent feature film and two other web series. She looks forward to seeing what the future holds for her in this industry!


Kate Montgomery (Director of Photography, Colorist): Kate Montgomery is an NYC filmmaker, with southern roots, who works on both narrative and commercial projects primarily as Director of Photography. She loves creating worlds and telling stories in them, and it is this creative impulse that draws her to filmmaking. From crewing on sketches for The Daily Show as well as virtual reality spots for The New York Times she is no stranger to thinking outside the box! Her film, CHRISTINE, premiered at OutFest LA in 2017 and has been in a total of 22 film festivals to date. The film has won six awards including  Best Short Film, Best Director, Best of Fest, Best Cinematography, Best Southern States Short, and Best Lead Actor in a Southern States Short. In addition, it has been nominated 5 times, including at Shindig: A Southern Celebration of Queer Cinema for the Prism Prize which "specifically recognizes the film that we believe has the greatest cultural significance - a film that is making the world a better place through film." In partnership with the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC) CHRISTINE is available for use in educational settings.

Current Team