Office newbie, Trish, finds popularity when her coworkers realize that whatever she writes in their birthday cards comes true...until they forget her birthday. Based on true events, this comedy horror film is for anyone who ever worked in an office or froze when they had to sign a birthday card.
Mission StatementOur long-simmering tensions about treatment in the workplace have come to a head during the pandemic, and as we re-enter office culture, I hope that Greetings will serve as a reminder of how toxic work environments come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they're even gift-wrapped.
About The Project
As of 5/14/2022, our project is 100% FUNDED! But there's still plenty of need for help - there are contingencies (for instance we just learned our location's insurance requirements are greater than a typical productions), expenses outside of production like festival submissions and marketing materials, not to mention the opportunity to upgrade our color correcting and sound design. We can still use your help!
Here's a list of our stretch goals:
Goal #1: If we raise an extra $1K, we can comfortably cover additional insurance costs!
Goal #2: If we raise an extra $2k, we can bring in help for hair and makeup!
Goal #3: If we raise an extra $3k, we can beef up our production design budget!
Super Stretch Goal #4: If we raise an extra $5k, we can upgrade our sound design and mix along with covering the costs of our festival submissions.
No matter what, we are going to get this film made, but if you came here hoping to help, let me assure you, your contribution will be greatly appreciated.
If money is tight and you're still looking for a way to help, don't leave without following the campaign! We're less than a hundred followers away from getting access to some of Seed&Spark's really amazing rewards. And tell your friends! And thank you for stopping by!
You might remember me from my work as an archival researcher/producer on one of many award winning documentaries. You might know me from my comedy writing, whether it’s one of my humor pieces or a sketch of mine you saw online or the UCB stage. You might just also know me as Stephanie, the woman who never shuts up about movies. You definitely know me as that. I’m sorry if I was annoying. I probably was.
Today I come to you as a director in need of support for my latest project, Greetings, a comedy-horror based off of real life events. Greetings is the story of Trish, a shy newbie in an office that’s big on birthdays. After struggling over what to write in a coworker’s birthday card, Trish discovers that whatever she writes comes true. At first this goes really great, but when her coworkers accidentally forget her own birthday, things...take a turn.
As I mentioned, this is based off of real life events. No, I do not possess the ability to control the world through birthday messages to coworkers. But for a number of years, I worked in an department that was big on birthdays. Like, banners and tiaras big. Even if you didn't tell our supervisors the date, they would find out. Even if you'd only been there for a week, everyone got an over-the-top celebration. Everyone, that is, except me. But I’m fine, guys. Seriously.
Directing my own films has always been the goal, but it’s been a leap I’ve struggled to take. There were practical reasons, like earning a living and raising a family, but the main reason is that up until very recently, I believed I didn’t have what it took to be a director.
As far back as film school, I had a very specific idea of the tyrannical director who would berate their crew, manipulate their actors, and stop at nothing to realize their uncompromising vision. As someone never especially comfortable with berating or outright manipulation (maybe a little passive aggressiveness, as a treat), I packed it in pretty early and decided that directing wasn’t for me.
But now I have my own uncompromising vision, which is that you can do this without being a complete asshole about it. And that’s what I’m setting out to prove. I want to make a film that is as close to the vision I have for it and do it while being a decent human being. As the industry is at a crossroad, I want to be on the side that shows that there’s a better way of doing this.
I’ve always used my writing as a place to blow out my own personal anxieties, whether it’s misreading the nature of a relationship (Caper Breakup), agonizing over how I look (The Scarf), or feeling pressure to capitalize on personal trauma (The Violated). Greetings mines that same vein, this time exploring the casual cruelty of office culture, where seemingly nice gestures can be weaponized to let you know where you are in the pecking order.
Up until now, everything I’ve done has been on a low-no budget scale, and now I’d like to see what I can accomplish with some actual resources behind it. Greetings will pay tribute to The Twilight Zone and films like Shaun of the Dead and The Stepford Wives. It will be highly composed, with extensive production design, special effects and ambitious camera work.
I've been working closely with my cinematographer, Matt Antonucci and production designer, Mary Marxen to find a way to marry my love of film with my background in comedy. As we're working with a limited budget, we will be going into production with a strong plan of attack to ensure that all of our hard work and vision will be up on screen.
Nothing sets my teeth on edge quite like a person describing their office like a family. It's been my experience that the more "fun" the office is, the worse the culture is. The more they try to ply you with deep-fried Oreos, the longer they want you to work. And if you ever see a ping-pong table in the conference room, I can all but guarantee that your boss is a nightmare human.
If this pandemic has thrown anything into relief, it's that our relationship to our jobs has to change. As many of us start back to our offices, I hope Greetings serves as a reminder of the more toxic aspects of work culture in the hope that we can reshape it.
My work has always been strongest when I have had great collaborators. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm I have received in trying to get this project off the ground. And in wanting to tell the project of a toxic work environment, I want to do everything I can to make sure I’m not creating one of my own (and as we all know, film sets can easily turn into them!) So in order for me to do this right, I need a healthy budget that will support the project's ambition, to ensure that everyone working on it has the resources to do their job as easily as possible. Everything you contribute will go to the look of the film and making sure the crew is taken care of.
Below is a nifty pie chart that breaks down where all of your money will be going. As you will see, the largest piece of the pie is going to cast and crew. While this is a labor of love for us all, it is, nonetheless labor, and whenever possible, we want to pay crew for their time.
Another large chunk will be going to our location. Now, finding an office location in New York City, even in the middle of a pandemic, is no easy feat. We have been fortunate to luck into a remarkable space in Downtown Manhattan that is not only give us full access to their space, but have done so at a very affordable rate and have granted us a fair amount of flexibility, should we have to reschedule in these uncertain times.
COVID Safety: We take the safety of our cast and crew very seriously, and will be providing testing and PPE while insisting that our crew be fully vaccinated. We are fortunate that our location allows for ample social distancing and zoning along with flexible dates.
The script is locked, the cast is set, the location has been secured, and the greeting cards have been designed. Seriously, we have an actual greeting card designer! All key crew is in place and have been working with me for months, despite the fact that I have not been able to compensate them beyond a few cups of coffee and a lot of me saying, “You’re the best!!!!”
This fundraiser will finally give them the resources to do their job. We’ll be raising enough to cover both production and post, with a lot of people doing a lot of favors for us. If this is funded, Greetings will be a finished film that we intend to take to film festivals.
But as I’ve said, a lot of people are doing us a lot of favors. In a dream scenario, where we surpass our goal, the first thing we will be doing with additional funds is paying everyone for their labor. I’m overwhelmed by the show of support I’ve gotten from everyone involved with the project and their commitment to getting it made. But in an ideal world, I would also like to see them being more amply compensated for all of their hard work.
Obviously, we are raising funds, so the simplest way you can help is by, well, giving funds. But, the world is chaos and this isn't necessarily an option for everyone, so here are a few more ways you can help out:
- Shout us out on Social Media! This project needs as many supporters as possible, and we're not going to get there unless we get the word out. Tweet us! Gram Us! Share our pledge video on TikTok. The more our project gets shared, the better our chances of success! If you're not feeling especially creative, just copy and paste this:
Do you dread signing your coworker's birthday card? There's a film for that! Follow @GreetingsMovie and join them on @seedandspark: bit.ly/greetingsmovie
- Check Out Our Wishlist! One of the reasons that we chose Seed&Spark was because it was the one crowdfunding site where in-kind donations went toward meeting your goal. Maybe cash isn't flowing, but you have a storage unit with grip equipment, or have a hookup to a great caterer, or know someone who is looking to unload some old greeting card stands - there are so many ways you can help us without a straightup cash donation, so check out our list to see where you can help!
While this project was born out of an awkward experience where I felt isolated by the people around me, I know that I am surrounded by wonderful, supportive people, otherwise I would never be able to undertake such an endeavor. Thank you for visiting, thank you for sharing and thank you for donating. I can go on forever, but instead I'll close out with a stunning design from our very own Lauren Harms. The message is a bit subtle, but I think you'll get it.
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team