Seattle, Washington | Film Short

Drama, History

Samara Lerman

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This campaign raised $11,410 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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A bold, independent, period short film, shot entirely in the Pacific Northwest with a regional cast and crew, Iron is a story aligned with history, outlining the rise of women in the workplace during World War I, specifically on the North American railroad. A story of hope, strength, & independence.

About The Project

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

The Story


PRODUCTION TYPE: Independent Short-form Motion Picture

Northwest USA
STATUS: Post-Production
TARGETED RELEASE: 2017/2018 National/International film festival circuit


THE SYNOPSIS: During World War One, a young woman defies traditional roles when she goes to work on a railroad.




 Iron is a short period drama set in the Pacific NorthWest inspired by the true stories of women railroad workers during the early 1900’s. Lily Cohen escapes the the crowded tenements of New York to take on a demanding railway job. Determined to work on a steam engine, a position not traditionally held by women, Lilly faces the hostility of her fellow railroad workers while finding her own inner strength.


The Iron screenplay was developed after the team was awarded 4Culture's highly competitive site-specific grant, and was written to be set along the Snoqualmie River with the picturesque backdrop of the surrounding mountainous region, employing the original steam engines and railway buildings that have been preserved by the Northwest Railway Museum.




While America is very familiar with the iconic image of Rosie the Riveter, the women laborers of the First World War are mostly forgotten by history. The American railroad represented freedom and adventure in a time when most women had very little opportunity for either. These opportunities disappeared when the soldiers returned home. We aim to tell the story of one woman who aspires not only to find her own purpose and future on the railroad, but who is also determined to continue her path, long after the powers that be aim to take her dreams away.


Another motivating factor for this production is to support and feature the talents of the independent artistic/film community in general, and of the Northwest, specifically. Our production utilized only regional actors, crew, and equipment. We have already employed 5 actors and 25 crew members to get the film shot, and the predominance of this campaign will go towards employing more regional talent in the post-production process.


It's an artistic passion project, which we trust will demonstrate and represent the strong talent that this area possesses. This film is not being shot for any financial gain. It is intended to serve as a showcase, experience, and credit for the many talented people in the area. The aim is for this film to be submitted to a wide range of festivals for the 2017/2018 circuit.



THE FUNDING: Our overall finishing budget for the project stands right now at $7,200, which pays for picture editing, color correction/grading, sound design/foley, music composition, and final mix/mastering. The remaining funds we're seeking will pay costs for duplication and distribution, crowdfunding fees, postage, and taxes. We have shaved the overhead down to a very reasonable budget, and especially thanks to generous donation of time and resources, we will be able to complete the film for this cost. every dollar that is raised above our goal and that we don't spend in production will go towards the finishing fund.


Thanks for your time, attention, and generosity in supporting our project. In doing so, you are helping to further the cause and spirit of independent filmmaking!


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

Consulting Editor

Costs $1,000

A poetic editor is essential to telling the story. We have just the one.


Costs $500

These are the finishing touches most rarely notice, but is essential for a picture's harmony.

Sound Design

Costs $3,000

All film needs help with sound. The ADR, foley, mixing, and design will be essential for the cinematic experience.


Costs $750

What's a film without music? Our story lives by the breath that our composer will provide.

Festival Fees

Costs $1,000

In order to be seen, the film must be shown.

Marketing Expenses

Costs $650

For print and digital amplification.

Fulfillment + Taxes + Fees

Costs $1,600

The costs of distributing the end product, including fees and taxes on the costs of goods and services.

Distributables Creation/Manufacturing

Costs $1,500

You want the rewards? We have to make the rewards! This also covers hard media for delivery to festivals.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

It's not often you're blessed with what the film community calls Crewtopia, but on the set of Iron, this was the case in spades. The Northwest film community is swimming with dedicated, passionate, gifted artists, and we were fortunate enough to have so many of them gathered together in one place. In every single position, cast and crew brought their A-game and their collaborative, encouraging spirits. Sometimes you capture lightning in a bottle, and despite the challenge of the wintery elements of the Snoqualmie area, Crewtopia was indeed achieved.


This is just a sampling of the brilliant craftspeople we had on the set of Iron:


DIRECTOR: L. Gabriel Gonda
PRODUCERS: Stefan Hajek, Rosalie Miller
STARRING: Samara Lerman, Kevin Mckeon, Stefan Hajek, Richard Carmen, Tony Doupé, Chris Morson


COSTUME DESIGN: Frances Kenny 
MAKEUP/HAIR: Lauren Young

FIRST AD: Landon Salyer
SECOND AD: Keaton Slansky


STUNTS: Peter 'Drago' Tiemann
GAFFER: Rory Emmons

BEST BOY: Richard A. Williams
FIRST CAMERA ASSIST: Coburn Erskine and Riley Keeton
SECOND CAMERA: Tracy Nystrom 
DIT: Jay Somsen
COSTUMERS: Elizabeth Raetz and Kim Tepe

See our entire talented cast/crew on IMDb



Bios from some of our key players:


L. Gabriel Gonda (Writer/Director) is a Seattle-based writer and director. His film Brightwood premiered

at SIFF in 2012 and has gone on to win several awards at other festivals, including best regional film at Tacoma Film Festival, best cinematography at HollyShorts Film Festival, and best production design at Filmstock Film Festival. His short films Tex: Vampire Hunter and Love and War, which he wrote, directed and produced, have played in film festivals all around the US and overseas. His latest project, Dark Dungeons, produced by Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, recently premiered at Gencon in Indianapolis and has received significant critical and commercial success.


Samara Lerman (Actor/Writer/EP) has appeared in numerous independent shorts and features, including starring in Zombie Orpheus Entertainment's The Gamers: Hands of Fate and the cult favorite webseries JourneyQuest. She recently starred in Chasing the Sun directed by Jeremy Mackie, which made its premiere at Seattle International Film Festival in 2015 and has since screened at festivals all over the country.  She has been seen on the stages of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Napa Valley Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Shakespeare Company and Book-It Repertory Theatre among many others. Samara is the recipient of a Puffin Grant in support of her original solo play Where There were Woods which recently workshopped at the Groundlings workspace in LA under the direction of Gary Austin. Samara is also Creative Producer and a member of the writing team for WA Filmwork’s 2015 Innovation Lab recipient, Strowlers.


Sam Graydon (Cinematographer), since graduating film school in 2008, has become an active player in the Commercial, Narrative, and Corporate video landscape. He has lensed a number of feature films, short films, and commercials. Some of the local companies that Sam has shot or directed for include: World famous, Creativello, Run Studios, Attack ships on fire, CreativeLive, Microsoft, and Amazon.


Rosalie Miller (Line Producer) is an award-winning filmmaker, actor, and co-founder of Wanderhouse Productions. She is producing the feature-length documentary, Personhood, which has won the Women in Film Seattle Professional Grant, the 2015 AmDocs Film Fund, and an Arts Project Award with 4Culture. Past producing credits include the short documentary, Throwing Punches, which screened in Canada and the US, and Decimation, winner of a 2013 ‘Jury Award’ at the Seattle International Film Festival. She recently completed post on the 2014 WA Filmwork’s Innovation Lab recipient, War Room (from the series, Chaldea) and production on the 2015 WA Filmwork’s Innovation Lab recipient, Strowlers. Her short documentary, The Things We Keep, which had its World Premiere at the 41st Seattle International Film Festival is making the 2015-2016 festival circuit. Rosalie is a member of SAG-AFTRA and Women in Film.


Stefan Hajek (Producer/Actor) has been working as a professional actor for well over a decade, having appeared in numerous films and television series, including Dawson’s Creek, Z Nation, Eden, and A Bit of Bad Luck. During his time living in Los Angeles, he discovered a love for working behind the camera, and has since acted as producer on studio-released feature films, Heart of the Country, Beta Test (PM), and I Am, award-winning short films, Turning Point, Decimation, and Solid Blue (also directed), a television pilot featuring Charlie Sheen, several music videos, and a handful of commercials. Under the Wanderhouse Productions banner, he is currently developing three films for production in 2016/2017, as well as serving as consulting producer on Personhood and consulting producer on the medieval episodic, Chaldea. Stefan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Appalachian State University, studied photography at Santa Monica College, and filmmaking at University of Washington.


Elizabeth Heffron (writer) is an award-winning, Seattle-based  playwright. Her plays include Bo-Nita,  Mitzi’s Abortion,  Portugal, The Weatherman Project, New Patagonia, Moses Lake, and Birds, and have been seen on stages across the country.  Elizabeth has received several grants from the Seattle Arts Commission, as well as a Playwriting Fellowship from Artist Trust and the Washington State Arts Commission, and currently teaches at Cornish College of the Arts, ACT’s Young Playwrights Program, and at Freehold Theatre/Lab, where she's spent six seasons working with the women of the Washington Correctional Center for Women on inmate-generated performance pieces.  Elizabeth is an alumna of the Seattle Repertory Theater’s Writers Group, and a member of the Sandbox Artists Collective, and the Dramatists Guild.


Current Team