Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Action, Satire

Green Light

This campaign raised $24,275 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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When two hit men kidnap Jeff, an aspiring actor whose father put him up as collateral for an unpaid gambling debt, his life depends on the kindness of strangers... who want him dead.

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About The Project

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

The Story

As a native New Yorker, I view Los Angeles with a cynical eye, and HEADSHOTS is deeply reflective of my personal experience as an outsider in LA trying to find a balance in the art and commerce of the film industry. I'm a fan of action films, which I feel are not frequently enough represented at major festivals, even though they historically genre films form the cornerstone of American cinema--we like to wrap our personal stories with a melodramatic cloak of kidnappings, explosions, serial killers, and drug cartels. Think of Sidney Lumet's DOG DAY AFTERNOON, or John McTiernan's DIE HARD; both deeply personal films involving love, family, gender identity--and hostage situations. However as Hollywood has grown away from an artistic, risk-taking business into a more conglomerated corporate business, genre films have become depersonalized, VFX driven rather than character driven.

I am passionate about creating an action film that is both artistically sound and enjoyable by a diverse audience, much like the RAID films of Gareth Evans, which have played at both Sundance and SXSW.

I wrote HEADSHOTS in 2011, intending to shoot it in the fall of that year; At the time I had interest from a wonderful producer friend who had relationships with an awesome cast. I've always wanted to make genre films, but I've never had the budget or resources to make an action film with real stunts; the last action film I made was in college and had a budget of $500.

I had only begun to wade into the crowd-funding waters in Summer 2011 when I was asked to participate in the development of the Digital Bolex, an innovative camera project that was also going to be raising funds on Kickstarter. Almost two years later, the Digital Bolex is about to be shipped, and I finally feel that it's time to return to this project that I'm so passionate about, but had to put on the sidelines to help make a friend's dream come true.


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

Production Insurance

Costs $1,200

Production insurance makes sure that everyone on set is covered in case of accident or emergency.


Costs $450

Santa Clarita Film Office Fee for use of first location.

Location fees

Costs $250

LAFD Fee for use of first location

Location Rental Fee

Costs $1,600

Location rental for our second location.

Realistic handguns

Costs $200

Purchase or rental of handgun props to be used by lead characters.

Realistic retractable knife

Costs $200

Rental/purchase of retractable dummy knife.

Rusty Shovel

Costs $20

Someone's gotta dig their own grave.


Costs $10

Headshots of our lead character.

Misc small props

Costs $15

All the little things. You know?

Set Decor: Old flats & ephemera

Costs $700

Theatrical ephemera for our second location where all the action takes place.

Production Crew

Costs $8,000

The crew is who makes the film really happen, from pre-production, through shooting, and into post!

Picture Car

Costs $300

Police car plus uniformed officer.


Costs $675

Costumes for our lead characters and citizens of the background.

Main Talent

Costs $2,500

Salaries for main talent and featured and background performers, because they are AWESOME!


Costs $25

Bullets/add'l magazine for prop guns.

FX Makeup Artist & FX expendables

Costs $150

You didn't think we'd miss the other kind of headshot, did you?

Stunt People & Safety Equipment

Costs $2,000

Stunt coordinator, safety equipment, and one stunt double. Because safety pays!

Travel for talent & crew

Costs $700

Gas stipends for cast & crew and other travel expenses.

Footage Backups/Hard Drives

Costs $200

So we don't lose the footage, and have copies for every person in post.

Publicity, Authoring, and Festival Fees

Costs $2,150

Authoring of Blu-Ray/DVD, Unit Publicity, Publicity materials, Festival submission fees.

10% Contingency

Costs $1,500

Dedicated to combating Murphy's Law. (Normally productions ask for 10%, but we're low-budget here!)

Lighting Package

Costs $1,500

Lighting & grip rentals, so we can make pretty and gritty images!

Crowdfunding Fees & Rewards

Costs $2,000

Cost of fulfilling all of our super neat rewards to our backers and the costs of the platform usage!

Sound Editor

Costs $500

Sound editing so all the dialog is clear, so you can hear all the jokes and all the bullet shots!


Costs $1,000

Coloring, to make the images we create POP! off your screen.


Costs $500


Costs $1,650

Catering, craft service, and craft people for 4 days of production plus rehearsal and table read.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

ELLE SCHNEIDER (Director/Writer) is a graduate of USC's Writing for Screen and Television program, and a two-time winner of the Marguerite Roberts award for feature screenwriting. As a cinematographer, she has shot documentaries including Jeffrey Schwarz' I AM DIVINE, which premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival, and THAT GUY DICK MILLER, which premiered at SXSW 2014 and has played a dozen of other major festivals. She has directed music videos for the Emmy-nominated Gangstagrass and PA band Mock Sun, in addition to numerous shorts and commercials. Her first short film, CONFESSION, was a winner of the Duke City Shootout script competition, and premiered at the 2006 festival. Her short drama ONE SMALL STEP premiered at the Short Film Corner of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, and her short CUDDLE premiered at the 2013 HollyShorts Film Festival at Grauman's Chinese Theater.

Born and raised in New York City, Elle is a disciple of Roger Corman and David Lean, mixing a love of the exploitation genre and low-budget filmmaking with a classically-educated storytelling background. She is the co-developer of the Digital Bolex cinema camera, currently being used by Spike Lee, Ondi Timoner, and Darren Aronofsky.


JACK BENNETT (Producer) is an avid genre fan and has produced and directed four horror features and numerous short films, most recently Fangoria marketing director Rebekah McKendry's Viscera award-winning directorial debut THE DUMP. He is currently the producer and director of Nerdist's BLOOD AND GUTS series, and recently produced the short film NANOBLOOD directed by Lindsey Haun starring Amanda Fuller. He is currently producing a feature adaptation of Moonstone Comics' graphic novel The Night Driver with Barry Navidi and director Jeremy Weiss and wrote the upcoming Sleep No More with director Robert Sexton.


LAUREN HAROUTUNIAN (Cinematographer) is a visually striking grene cinematographer who has shot a dozen narrative shorts and countless online sketches, including the hugely popular Flower Warfare for FreddieW's YouTube channel RocketJump, which has received over 10 million views and spawned a mobile game. A graduate of USC's School of Cinematic Arts, Lauren has been shooting professionally for nearly a decade, and was recently named Dean of RocketJump's new "Film School" initiative to teach aspiring web filmmakers how to create professional content with minimal resources.

Current Team