New York City, New York | Film Short

Drama, Other

Giulia Rocca

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $11,258 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

79 supporters | followers

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HEY BOY is the story of a young immigrant stuck slaving away in his uncle’s restaurant, who attempts to realize his American dream by escaping to the one place he can: his dreams. We believe that this is a film that speaks to anybody who may feel small, but dares to dream big.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

HEY BOY began as a conversation between two American immigrants. Over time, our stories of shared struggles and aspirations coalesced into this short film. We have now built up a team of passionate immigrant filmmakers dedicated to honoring the millions of people like us across the country.

The Story


Brooklyn, New York: a teenage boy escapes to America hoping to live a better life. Unfortunately, what he finds is a life slavishly working in a restaurant run by his uncle, who’s burned up what money and family heirlooms the boy had trying to pay back gambling debts.

Forbidden from exploring the world outside the restaurant's walls, and merely referred to as Boy to the few people he is allowed to interact with, he finds his only escape in the form of an outdated TV set. Through this, he fantasizes about living the life of the 80s teen sitcoms he watches: the romance, the hormones, the angst...and basketball. When the boy realizes that his uncle has stolen this dream from him, he starts looking for whatever escape he can find…




Our silent protagonist, we see the world through the Boy’s eyes. Smart and imaginative, he’s an innocent dreamer, and prone to flights of fancy. 

He wants nothing more than to go to school like all the other kids. The Boy is our avatar; he’s drawn to a fantasy version of the American dream, only to be stymied by family obligations and outside machinations. 



Eric has been where the Boy is now, and he’s lived to talk about it. Unfortunately, in the process, he picked up a nasty habit...and luck no better than his nephew’s. 

While he empathizes with the Boy and genuinely does want to help him, he also depends on the free labor to keep his restaurant running. 

Eric is the Boy through a lens, darkly; he’s long traded youthful hope for a selfish cynicism, and his compulsive gambling habit stands as a twisted counterpoint to the boy’s fantasies. 



Pam may seem superficial...she may seem aloof...she may seem obsessed with MTV and celebrity culture…but...um...ok, guilty as charged. But somewhere deep beneath that veneer of superficiality…there's...well something. We’re sure of it.


Pam, like the Boy, dreams of living the bright and colorful life she sees on TV, but experience has jaded her. 



While the Boy of HEY BOY may be a fictional character, he was very much informed by the lives and experiences of our entire crew.

Since this is such a personal story to us all, and especially me as director, I’ve decided to take the audience’s identification with the Boy as far as we can: by placing the viewer literally inside the Boy’s internal world.

Like a Method actor, I want the viewer to see like the Boy, to think like him, to walk in his shoes…

For example, in this scene, the Boy is sweeping his uncle's restaurant’s dining room floor.
As his mind wanders, he sees his favorite 80s teen sitcom on a cathodic wall-mounted TV. As the characters on the show banter and play basketball, we see the Boy’s eyes close…



…and his imagination takes over as the TV show and the restaurant merge into a phantasmagoria: a basketball court scattered with dining room tables and chairs. Dodging these obstacles as he dribbles up the court, the Boy aches to disappear into his fantasies, but the reality of the real world continues to insert itself in his path.





It’s no secret that things in the world are pretty rough right now: the COVID pandemic currently spreading across the world has shone a light on innumerable issues that have long been simmering beneath the surface.

We feel that’s exactly why we need stories like this right now; as dark as the news may be, we feel that cinema is one of the greatest possible mediums by which to bring some light back into the world.

Film isn’t just entertainment; it cures, feeds, and enlightens the soul, and we believe that despite everything the show must go on.



We can’t go at it alone, though; we need your help to bring HEY BOY into the world!

Any money you can contribute will go straight into production and post production - check out our budget section.

With you on the team, and your help spreading the word, our dedicated cast and crew is ready to show the world what we can do!



Our total budget is a mix of personal funds we've put aside and what we hope to raise:



Making movies is never easy, but we realize that now is an especially challenging time. Having said that, we intend to take every precaution to ensure our sets stay safe!

We will start by arranging for our crew members to be tested multiple times prior to the start of filming: first 14 days out, then 7, then 1-2.

Our precautions will continue on set: we plan to decrease the size of our production crew, having no more than 12 people on set at any time.  6ft marks will be placed throughout our locations for the crew to ensure social distancing from one another. Masks will be mandatory for everybody not actively being filmed! If at any point a crew or cast member feels light-headed from the mask, they will be free to step away from the set and get fresh air until they feel better. While filming we will advise all crew members who are not needed to wait in a separate area, allowing our cast to film mask-free with minimal risk of infection.

For craft and catering, we will have pre-boxed lunches and pre-packaged snacks; hand sanitizer will be available for before and after eating. All drinks will be labeled, and any that are left unattended will immediately be thrown away. 

Cast and crew safety is our first priority!


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


Costs $370

Bring stuff around


Costs $540

To buy vintage clothes and set the atmosphere

Set Operations

Costs $800

For the film crew

Red Camera

Costs $1,800

We need the Red camera because the quality fits with the style of the film


Costs $2,188

Locations fees

Astera lights

Costs $980

A set of lights for different locations

Post Production Sounds

Costs $432

Sound editing

Sound Recording

Costs $1,060

Sound is important!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Permits & Insurances

Costs $355

Permits, Insurance & Covid-19 Safety Protocols


Costs $475

Props to use on set

About This Team


Giuseppe De Lauri

- Producer, Director, & Writer of HEY BOY -

The visionary behind it all. This is his second short film, following several documentary shorts.

Since 2014 he has been spreading his passion for political and social issues by writing for newspapers and magazines. 




Giulia Rocca

- Producer -

The organizer, glue, and cheerleader. Giulia is already on her second career in the film industry.

She has worked on numerous feature films and a TV series in both production and post-production roles.




Emilija Gašić

- Director of Photography - 

Our lens literally and figuratively. Passionate about film, photography, and experimenting with different formats.

She has shot films in the US, France, Norway, and the Czech Republic.






Current Team