Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Drama, Thriller

Eva Swan

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $6,390 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

57 supporters | followers

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A pandemic has abolished most of the world's population and all that Woman has loved is lost. Fighting a haunted psyche in the midst of isolation and extremity, the lesson of Woman's pilgrimage is clear: we must hold dear to what matters most - at any cost - til the very end.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

At first, GARDENIA was a small thriller born from a long-intended collaboration. But the pandemic experience informed a new depth of story, theme and filmmaking opportunities that we quickly embraced. Underneath the entertainment, our team seeks to uplift hope and strength amidst impossible odds.

The Story

In the aftermath of a global pandemic that has wiped out 95% of the world’s population, Woman arrives to Los Angeles on the last leg of an arduous pilgrimage. Alone with her traumatized psyche, she must find the only destination left of importance: Happy’s Place. But the journey comes at a price - and when traversing the city streets, she can feel a dark creditor coming for its due….

She knows her time is running out, but the life she once had drives her to finish this journey with no compromises.



Our short film Gardenia was simply meant to be.  Every element to this production fell into place naturally and it all started one afternoon after our world was suddenly flipped upside down and we were trapped in the midst of a quarantine.  In need of some fresh air, I took a walk around Los Angeles and found myself looking at the vast, desolate streets. Always thinking like an indie filmmaker, I saw a golden opportunity. Production value like this would never happen again.  Our lead actor, writer and co-producer Eva Swan and I had been discussing a collaboration for some time. Inspired, I went to her with a basic concept and the writing began.  Our cinematographer, James Smith, was another person with whom I was eager to work with once more - so off into the cinema sunrise we went.

Once the script was ready, we dove into an accelerated pre-production phase for when filmmaking could resume again.  Our approach had to be simple while also motivated.  Relying mostly on available light, it took rigorous location scouting to ensure our shooting time would be of most efficient use.  And in that same vein - we mainly chose a handheld camera style approach that would simultaneously create the uneasiness, paranoia and anxiety driving our main character on her journey. Of course, sticks were used when in need of stillness and control. Once principal photography began, we were successful in getting everything in the can before the city streets fully resumed their life again.  

One of the things I love most about filmmaking is using the limitations of a production to harness new and creative choices. Our story blossomed into something far more special and nuanced than was originally intended - and that is a beautiful feeling. 

I’m honored and proud of what our small, talented team has accomplished and excited to share our story with the world.  My hope is that GARDENIA will prove to be an exhilarating and entertaining experience for audiences while still conveying a powerful message:  that love can drive us even in our weakest and most vulnerable moments.



As a self-financed film thus far, our goal now is to obtain remaining funds to cross that post-production finish line. Your pledge will be watering this short film that was once a seed and now a growing, gorgeous flower that is set to blossom in 2021! We will be entering GARDENIA into numerous festivals to showcase our hard work and to spread an entertaining message of love amidst a very isolated and difficult year. 

Also, we’d like to pay those who have helped make this film. Except ourselves, of course (Caleb and Eva), because we believe strongly in our own art, its message, and consider this a wise investment into our future careers. 

Plus - is it possible this will become a feature length film? What began as a tiny story grew into a lengthy short - and won't stop growing as far as we are concerned. Anything is possible.  


The integrity of this film has allowed us to work with incredible post-production talent at indie budget cost. For that we are very grateful - and there are a few things left to do. 

We will schedule one day of pickup shots / re-shoots. This requires extra equipment rental as well as crew labor and is necessary to the refinement of our story. 

Editing will be finalized to commence picture-lock and Sound Design and Music can be completed. 

Color correction will begin and trailers cut for promotional materials. 

Key art will be locked and posters sent to those who pledge for incentives!

GARDENIA will be submitted to a wide variety of festivals on local, national and global levels.


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

Editing / Color Correction / VFX

Costs $750

For precision editing, optimal color correction, and minor VFX.

Sound Design / Music

Costs $1,000

Sound for this film is KEY - and that includes an original score to create our thrilling dystopia.

Marketing / Promotional Materials

Costs $750

Ads & presence on social media platforms plus key art for posters, swag, and rewards.

Festival Circuit

Costs $1,500

Entry fees, entry fees, and entry fees plus additional costs to represent / distribute the film.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Caleb King

Caleb King is an award-winning filmmaker who has directed short films (LOVERBOY, SEND HELP), web series (WAIT CRIMES) and music videos.  He is currently wrapping post production on his latest short film Gardenia and will be starting development on his first feature film in 2021. 


Eva Swan

Eva Swan mainly pursues screenwriting these days and has had two comedy pilots optioned thus far. She usually writes things that make you guffaw with laughter, but GARDENIA is the first work she has ever produced of her own volition - and it's a thriller! Go figure.   She most recently starred in GEHENNA: WHERE DEATH LIVES and is writing a fantasy/drama feature about a boy addicted to magic.


Darren Collinson

Darren is a director, producer, artist and lecturer. He is the Director (10 years + strong) of Small Dog Design, and he continues to enjoy the rewards of working with a great 'pack', and the pride of seeing quality projects produced at the 'Kennel'. Because of his love for art and movies, he produced on GEHENNA: WHERE DEATH LIVES, delving him further into the world of film. He also directed on KILLING THE CURE as well as wrote, directed and produced a 2018 short, THUMB A RIDE. Darren continues to love all things film, whether it simply be watching films, collecting memorabilia, designing posters, producing to (hopefully one day) working on his own feature.


James Smith

James Smith is a DP originally from the Midwest who can run a five-minute mile (on a good day with a tailwind) and carry a 45lb camera for up to six hours. With an impressive collection of anime stickers and a constantly-growing inventory of lights, lenses, stands, dollies, and film trinkets, most of his time is spent either editing, composing, shooting, or sleeping. Eating optional. His favorite movie is TITANIC and his favorite film tool is a 22lb anamorphic projector lens he found at a West Hollywood pawnshop.


Jacquie Joy

Jacquie is an Australian composer/sound designer who has a background in writing corporate music, but has more recently focussed on film music and sound.   Jacquie was recently nominated for the prestigious 2021 Hollywood Music in Media Awards ‘world music’ category.  She has also recently won soundtrack awards for horror and drama short films,  and has also appeared on MPath’s “Phenomenal Women- Vol 8” album.   
Jacquie is intuitive and innovative, tech savvy and has a tendency for ‘bold’, and loves being involved in all aspects of audio post production.


Aidan Bristow

Aidan was born in Preston, England, and grew up in Perth, Australia before making the US his home. He went to the College of William & Mary where he studied Finance and successfully got a job offer working on Wall Street with JP Morgan Chase. Cinema has always been a love for Aidan, and he knew his path didn't involve working 100 hour weeks in a bank. He took it upon himself to find the best teachers to train with and studied with David Giella, Larry Moss, Aaron Speiser, and at the Aquila/Morong studio. Aidan has put together an impressive resume of feature films, network TV shows, and gotten to work on projects with impressive talent such as Kathy Bates, Bruce Dern, Corbin Bernsen, Joe Mantegna, George Takei, Danny Trejo, Michael Madsen, and Peter Krause.


Kyle Shaw

Born in West Texas, Kyle is an actor, writer, stunt man, stunt driver, PA, and AD. He moved to LA in 2001 to pursue acting. He played semi-professional football while simultaneously shooting action scenes for the film "Race To Witch Mountain" with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Kyle has studied Meisner Technique, Method at Lee Strausburg Theatre Institute and a variety of improvisation. He heralded a lucrative career in commercials while playing lead in several indie films. He has had the privilege to work with top producers and directors such as Kathleen Kennedy, Michael Bay, Tom Dey, Fredrick Bond, Andy Fickman and Marcus Nispel to name a few. 

Current Team