Austin, Texas | Film Short

Drama, Romance

Arora McCargar

1 Campaigns | Texas, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $18,050 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

91 supporters | followers

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This is a story about young love; how it can be all consuming, life changing, confusing, traumatic, and everything in between. Rye’s an escapist. Stella’s a dreamer. Both have their secrets, and together they’re a recipe for heartbreak.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

In this slice of life film, I invite you to allow yourselves to be taken back to adolescent naiveté & idealism. A time when emotional impulse quickly became regret-filled actions, when a crush & true love felt one & the same, & when a short adventure into the unknown was the journey of a lifetime.

The Story


HALCYON DAYS is a short coming of age drama written and directed by Sophie Penn, an independent Austin-based filmmaker. After meeting online, two young teenagers quickly develop romantic feelings for each other. When an incident with her parents sparks rebellion in Stella, the two decide to escape their problematic home lives and run away together. With the help of his dad’s “borrowed” car, Rye and Stella embark on a three day long escapade across West Texas in an attempt to start a new life together away from their troubles, parents, and everything they once knew. Tensions start to rise when Rye begins to display unstable tendencies, and Stella is forced to reflect on how deep her feelings for him truly run. In this unconventional romance, the implications of love are explored in a dark take on young relationships.


The media has an extremely violent way of portraying manipulation and emotional abuse in relationships. This results in an incorrect depiction of the reality of such relationships, while also perpetrating the fallacy that these signs are always blatantly apparent. People are not only nice or mean, relationships are not simply healthy or not, and love is sometimes given to those who don’t deserve it. We live in a world that is full of shades of gray. 

Halcyon Days is a story about one such pocket of gray. 

I was drawn to write this story because I believe it’s imperative to explore conversations about toxic relationships, mental health, first loves, and all of intensity and drama that comes with living through one’s teenage years. More than that, I’m making this film because in many ways, Stella was me, and because I like to think that had I watched this film at 15, maybe I would have gained some clarity on my own situation. 

Sophie Penn 


Halcyon Days will draw visual and tonal inspiration from films and TV shows such as Honey Boy, The End of the Fucking World, Euphoria, and Waves. These films all touch on unconventional relationship dynamics, intense emotions between characters, and the battle between self preservation and love. The visual aesthetic of the film centers around a contrast between static and dynamic camera movement as it’s used to convey emotional states, with a soft color palette to emphasize the intimacy of the relationship.



Seed & Spark requires that at least 80% of the project be funded in order to make our film. We need to reach our goal in 30 days or we don't receive the funding and all your contributions go back back to you.

Additional funds will help us through pre-production, production, and post-production. This means securing our crew, equipment, locations, food, PPE, editing, music composition, festival submissions, and more. 

Our current goal of $17,000 will help us achieve production of our film. However, we're eager to let the world see our project and any supplemental funding could go a long way...

Stretch goals and what they could provide: 

  • $20K: Secure ideal locations, better equipment, and better set design.
  • $25K: Secure higher end post production quality with editors, sound designers, colorists, and composers. 
  • $30K: More ability to distribute the film, allowing us to apply for more festivals/platforms that could screen the production.


Through community and individuals, we’re hoping to make this dream become a reality and YOU are our biggest source of support! 

If you feel compelled, here are other ways you can help and additional info on how to support our team :)

Share this Seed & Spark link with your followers. Here's a little blurb you can use. Feel free to copy and paste!
       "Here for #HALCYONDAYSFILM!  Just saw their Seed & Spark campaign for this short film from @halcyondaysfilm @sophpenn about two young teens on the run. Support the fundraiser here: seedandspark.com/fund/halcyon-days"

Use #halcyondays and tag @halcyondaysfilm on instagram. 

Follow @halcyondaysfilm @sophpenn on Instagram and @filmhalcyondays on Twitter for real time updates!

Other areas where we could use your help: 

  • Catering and Craft Services 
  • Production Assistants on set 
  • Extras!
  • PPE/extra safety precautions


We're more than excited to have the opportunity to make our production come to life, but still carefully monitor the current environment and risks of COVID infection. 

Currently, we are ensuring our crew members are vaccinated and have had a negative COVID test 72 hours prior to our shoot dates in December. We continue to monitor the current situation, and remain vigilant in ensuring safety on our set as a top priority. 


We appreciate your following our journey and spreading the word so that we can make this dream a reality!

We hope to share this story with you soon and contribute to a larger conversation about the very intimate relationships between individuals and the gray areas that can be explored. Even if you can't contribute, but you've made it this far, we welcome the opoortunity to talk and hear what you're thinking! Email us at [email protected].  We'd love to hear from you! 

Thank you so much for your support. 


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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $6,000

Our crew will bring this project to life, with their hard work, experience and talent.


Costs $1,600

Locations will be essential, as we experience the adventure alongside the characters!

Post Production

Costs $1,400

The editing, sound design and coloring of the film will pull it all together.


Costs $1,200

In order to bring the characters to life, having talented and passionate actors is key.

Craft Services and PPE

Costs $1,000

Help keep our crew SAFE & FED!


Costs $5,000

Help us secure the camera accessories, lighting and other equipment needed during production.


Costs $800

Help us cover the cost of misc fees for production, like binders, printing, and other materials.

About This Team


Sophie Penn has alway had a love for storytelling and collaboration. Born and raised in the Bay Area, she spent most of her youth exploring careers in journalism and event planning, but inevitably found herself drawn to film. She is dedicated to using her creative content to address current events and controversies in society. Through her four years of experience in both commercial and narrative film, she has developed a fierce passion for producing and directing. Sophie is currently working towards a career in narrative feature production. 



Arora McCargar's passion for visual storytelling started with photography and has since developed to an interest in videography, writing and editing. For Arora, it is important to  “remain stubborn on vision but flexible on details” and creative production is all about the team of individuals you put together, the planning you do, and all of the work throughout the process that creates the final vision. She hopes to further her career in the industry producing independent films and TV.



Maria Raad likes to make things look pretty. This need for aesthetics is one of the reasons she was initially drawn to filmmaking. She tells stories by setting the tone visually. Growing up in Lebanon, Maria learned to find the beauty in chaos. She strives to portray this duality in all of her work.

Current Team