Ghost of you

Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Drama, Experimental

Chloe Xtina

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This campaign raised $5,020 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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In a worn-down house full of women, 16-year-old Mae is watched by a sheet ghost. Suffocated by fire season, she fights a surrender to the ghost’s gaze.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

"Ghost of you" visualizes what it is to be intoxicated and consumed by an internalized male gaze. The film explores the confusion of hyper-sexualization and desire surrounding girlhood. "Ghost of you" is the burn of being watched.

The Story

Hey there! I'm Chloe Xtina, writer-director of "Ghost of you"

-- a short film about voyuerism, desire, and girlhood. 

This July, our fem-led team will shoot this Southern Gothic fever dream

in the slimy, orange heat of a smokey summer and we need your help. 


The Story

Mae spends a scorching gummy summer battling a heatwave and fire season with her two sisters, 18-year-old Louise and 12-year-old Jenny. She lives in a crumbling California house with her sisters, mother, and grandmother -- all seemingly haunted by the presence of something absent. 

While Mae spends very limited time outdoors due to a grotesque AQI, she becomes enamored with a Ghost dressed in a sheet that seems to watch her every move. At first, Mae finds herself attracted to the Ghost but over time the Ghost becomes a sinister presence in Mae’s life -- she never spends a moment alone, every detail in her life is watched by him.

As Mae navigates her own relationship to the Ghost, she becomes more aware of a male gaze that sexualizes her and her sisters. Louise is protective of Mae and Jenny, fighting back against grown men who ogle at them. Jenny is newly transitioning from child to teenager and is becoming aware of the space her body takes up. Mae is embarrassed by her own body but also craves being desired. She obsesses over her memories of Toby, a crush that moved towns. She lets her fantasies run wild. But her desire to be watched fuels the Ghost to a place where Mae loses control of conjuring her own fantasies and instead becomes a fantasy for the Ghost.

The Production

Last year, I directed a film called The First Taste about an army of Catholic high school girls preparing for a school play while dealing with the teenage transition from child to sex object. This concept was a familiar one in my body of work. I had been writing the rage of my teenage self over and over again and trying to unearth the moment when I noticed I existed under a patriarchal gaze. This was only the tipping point for me to analyze how a patriarchal gaze interacted with my own adolescence.

There is something even more invasive to me than this public gaze. There is a more private gaze I battle with. For so long I've been living with the intrusive thought that a man is watching me. This man watches me in my room, outside of my window, or behind my eyes. As I've more critically engaged with this, I've recognized it as an externalized gaze becoming internal. This causes my own fantasies to not be watched only by myself but to be watched by an invisible man. This is something that Margaret Atwood calls "male fantasies". The goal of this fantasy is to be desired by a man even though that is not actually what I desire. It's what I've been conditioned to desire. More recently, I've recognized these intrusive thoughts as a direct result of being hypersexualized as a teenager. I was attempting to take control of men's gaze onto my body by imagining men I could desire desiring me. But ultimately, this thought is unhealthy. It can be obsessive, consuming, and distracting. In my private space, I can feel the same gaze on me that I do in public spaces. It is hard to imagine any realm of my life where men are not taking up space -- even in my own head.

These intrusive thoughts were something I kept secret for so long. But once I began to open up to friends about my male fantasies I learned that it is a very common phenomenon. So many people I know feel invaded by an internalized male gaze. This is what compels me to make Ghost of you. I want this to stop being a private experience and instead, analyze how and why men live in our heads and bodies. I want to pinpoint the moment in which young girls recognize a gaze upon them and how that changes their relationship to themselves. I want to understand what is real, yummy desire and what is socially instilled in young women to make them obsessive about appearing desirable. I want to chomp up performativity and spit it back out and call it what it is. I want this feeling to no longer feel so lonely and crazy. I want it to be seen as real.

Because this gaze can feel so outside of ourselves, we're implementing the supernatural through the Ghost. This film, although grounded in plot, is a magical and surreal one. To highlight the voyuerism that Mae is experiencing we will approach our cinematic gaze with the implementation of multiple cameras. A steadier Sony to ground Mae in her home and a camcorder for more frenetic memory sequences -- to make it seem as if Mae is being watched without her knowledge. We will also shoot through windows, behind fences, and within frames surrounding Mae. Our lighting design of red smokey heat in a sweaty summer will further trap Mae with the Ghost. And because the Ghost's gaze is so consuming, there will always be the presence of him even when he is not literally on camera. This will be done through hanging laundry, onion skins on the kitchen counter, lace curtains -- all reminding us of the Ghost's presence. The literal act of consumption also plays a role in the film. Mae watches the men around her eat and gnash while she struggles to consume. This is reflective of feeling literally consumed by male fantasies. 

It is also very important that the film is structured through Mae's POV. Although Mae is trapped within a patriarchal gaze, it is important that we are capturing the film from her own gaze. There is always the presence of something masculine lingering but ultimately it is Mae grappling with her own relationship to her body and family. The household is filled with women and is falling apart. Mae and her sisters are reassessing their relationships to their own bodies. Mae is struggling with seeing herself through her own eyes. All of this is incredibly intimate, messy, and tender. To reflect this, we have carefully assembled an empathic fem-led crew. Many of us worked on The First Taste together which proved to be a safe and healthy set. Our set will be collective-based and will prioritize collaboration above all. To us, the process is even more crucial than the product.

The Budget

We are seeking a budget of approximately $5K. That's right! $5K in 45 days! With your generous donation, we will be able to pay for:

  • Our Crew
  • Camera and Lighting Rentals
  • Sound Equipment
  • Costumes
  • Production Design
  • Transportation
  • Catering and Craft Services
  • Post-Production Costs

Don't forget to head over to our incentives to the right to ensure some dreamy perks for your contribution! Postcards, posters, BTS, producer credits, and more galore!

How Else You Can Help

Donations aren't the only way you can help bring our film to life! We'd be so happy to see this link shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email blasts, whatever works for you! When you use the hashtag #ghostofyoufilm, you're supporting fem-centered narratives and empowering a story very special to us.

Equipment, props, costumes, and food are also all essential donations our team could use. If you'd rather donate something to us directly, don't hesitate to reach out or check out our wishlist in the tabs above.

What's Next + COVID-19 Safety

We are currently in pre-production and are off to the races! We shoot the film July 9th, 11th, 17th, and 18th in Los Angeles. We have an exciting cast and crew already attatched and are eager to share this story with you! 

Everyone on our team is fully vaccinated and will be working on a closed set to ensure complete COVID safety. Two days of our shoot take place completely outside where there's plenty of room to be apart from one another. The final two days of our shoot take place in a house where no one besides cast and crew will be able to walk through. This project is one that we've been planning for over a year and we now feel it's finally safe to shoot this summer.

We really appreciate you taking the time to look over our campaign! Any and all donations push us forward. We've loved creating this community thus far and can't wait to welcome you into it.

On set of The First Taste (2020) <3




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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Stipends for Crew!

Costs $1,800

Stipends will help us financially support our team <3

Camera + Lighting Rental

Costs $800

Covers all camera + lighting costs -- allowing us to create the illusion of heat + fire season.

Production Design

Costs $300

Funding for all the galore of a run-down house and other scenic details of the film.


Costs $100

Covers all costume costs (like our sheet for the Ghost)! <3

Catering + Crafty!

Costs $800

Covers all meals and snacks for the cast + crew on set to keep everyone nourished and healthy :)

Transpo for Cast + Crew

Costs $100

Covers all travel costs for cast + crew.

Post-Production Costs

Costs $1,000

Covers all post-production costs such as editing, sound mixing, and color correction.

About This Team

Chloe Xtina / Writer-Director


Chloe Xtina (she/her) is a filmmaker and playwright based in Los Angeles. Her work explores girlhood, fem desire, and the body through the lens of magical realism. Her first film, The First Taste, was an official selection of the 2020 FemFilm Fest in NYC and NoBudge -- where it made NoBudge’s 2020 Films of the Year list. Her plays have been produced in New York, London, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area. This year, she was a Playwright-in-Residence at Project Nongenue. Chloe also directs music videos and is a member of several film collectives including Project Glitch and Film Utopias Coalition, both aiming to reimagine filmmaking from a community-based perspective. In addition to Ghost of you, she is developing a project with director-actor Gabrielle Carrubba and producer Thomas Laub to be shot Summer 2021 in NYC and Delaware. She is currently finishing up her final year at UCLA where she studies playwriting and film. Ghost of you will be her second short film.

Michelle Jihyon Kim / Director of Photography

Michelle Jihyon Kim is a filmmaker and painter who is currently finishing her last year at the University of California, Los Angeles as an Art major and Film minor. Her interest in writing and cinematography began during her time at Ghetto Film School, through which Kim has completed a residency at NYU Tisch as well as served as 1st AC/Camera Operator for short film Charley Horse in Tel Aviv. She has gone on to intern for Karga Seven Pictures and A24, and is currently interning for Paul Feig’s Powderkeg Media. Most recently, she premiered her short Crenshaw and West 8th St and Lights and Camera and Action (and So On) at Frieze Los Angeles 2020 as a fellow for the inaugural Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award as well as served as Director of Photography for Chloe Xtina’s short The First Taste. Michelle currently serves as Co-Head and Digital Editor for the Hammer Museum’s GRAPHITE Journal, the only student publication officially affiliated with an arts institution, and writes film criticism in her free time. During COVID-19, Kim has been working on her first feature-length script. 

Lucy Urbano / Mae, Co-Producer

Lucy Urbano is an actor, writer, and producer from Berkeley, CA who believes in uplifting the unheard voices of mixed women such as herself. She is the co-founder of HIGHBALL Media, currently pursuing a BA in Acting at UCLA, and looking for a piece of pie to eat.

Sara Silva / Louise

Sara Silva is a Brazilian-American actor and filmmaker hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area. As the first member of her family to attend college, Sara is very proud to have recently received her B.A. from UCLA's Department of Theater, Film & Television. Sara’s goal as an artist is to uplift the voices of the Latinx community through intimate and provocative storytelling.

Alyssa Grace / Producer 

Alyssa Grace is a World Arts and Cultures major at UCLA trained in performance theory, arts activism, and visual studies. She works to create in a variety of facets including photography, film, poetry, dance, acting, and music. Alyssa explores the meaning of body and performance and its location in the political and cultural discourse. Alyssa seeks to create content that lives outside the confines of comfortability and instead reveals the beauty of disorientation and ambiguity.

Olivia Handrahan / Producer 

Olivia is a UCLA alum who has been producing for 3 years. She currently works at a literary talent agency while producing through her company, Black Dove Films. Her favorite director is Taika Waititi and she loves to paint in her free time.

Charlie Stuip / Production Designer, Co-Producer

Charlie Stuip is a writer from Oakland California. She studied writing at Oakland School for the Arts where she wrote her first novella, Everyone’s Itching for a Good Drive. Currently she’s working on her bachelors in film at UCLA, where she works on student film crews as a production designer. She is a staff writer and copy editor for FEM magazine, and Co-Founder of HIGHBALL media, a student production collective. She has written radio pieces for NPR’s All Things Considered–which won her a Gracie Award for Women in Media. Her plays have been produced by Bay Area Zeta Players and the Inferno Theater Festival. She currently is a resident copywriter at the PEER Lab at UCLA, which conducts multisensory study into the creative practices of oppressed groups. 

Tatum Anderson / Sound Designer + Mixer

Tatum Anderson is a sound designer and stage manager from the East Bay Area currently studying in her final year at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television. Her passion for sound design is rooted in the storytelling abilities of dynamic audio arrangements and the ever-evolving technological tools of the trade. Tatum has both crew member and leadership experience in film audio post-production and on-set recording/mixing, as well as live sound system design, game engine sound design, and stage management. In her free time, Tatum can be found volunteering at live music events and studying Star Wars lore. Check out her recent works on her website: 

Autumn Sylve / 1st Assistant Director

Autumn Sylve is a multi-faceted performer and artist who is currently based in Los Angeles, California. Having starred in multiple theatrical productions, short films, and a feature; she owes her education to UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television where she graduated in 2019 and received a BA in Theater. Her writing has been published in the digital publication, Girls Write Shit, where she dedicates her work as a storyteller to the advocacy and honest representation of Black womanhood. 

Naomi Schiller / Line Producer 

Naomi Schiller is a recent graduate of Occidental College where she studied sociology and gender studies. Naomi first became involved in the creation of art spaces as an actor and board member for Bay Area Zeta Players while she was in high school. Since then, she has worked at Berkeley Rep, Berkeley Playhouse, Ubuntu Theater Project, and the UC Botanical Garden’s Summer Concert Series. Her past roles at these organizations included being a costume designer, wardrobe coordinator, and stage manager. More recently she worked as the script supervisor for Chloe Xtina’s short film The First Taste. Though many of her past jobs have been related to theater, she also enjoys photography, painting, printmaking, collage, and bookbinding. She is interested in the creation of interdisciplinary, communal, multi-use arts spaces and non-hierarchical arts organizations.  


Our team also includes Abe Soane (supervising sound), Kavi Dalal (1st assistant camera), Franchesca Edhlund (set decorator), Calvin Brady (script supervisor), and Max Havas, Michael Hackett, and Roma Edwards (production assistants). Additional cast includes Toby Echeverria (Toby) and Hunter Saling (Timmy).

Current Team