It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

San Antonio, Texas | Film Feature

Comedy, Horror

Stephen Gutierrez

1 Campaigns | Texas, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $12,220 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

36 supporters | followers

Enter the amount you would like to pledge


Jeremy Adams, a hopeless romantic high school senior, just scored a date with his dream girl, Amanda Lawton, but she is kidnapped causing him and his best friend, Minka, to go on a horrific quest to save her and the school from a ruthless serial killer.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

I have a deep love for horror films, especially those that revolve around characters that feel real and you can identify with. Along with this, I want to create stories dealing with issues that involve today's generation of movie goers such as social media, bullying, friendship and high school love.

The Story


It Came Upon a Midnight Clear is a romantic horror comedy in the vein of Wes Craven's Scream series meets the John Hughes produced, Some Kind of Wonderful all set during the warm and cozy time of Christmas.

The film is about a hopeless romantic high schooler named Jeremy Adams who finally gets a date with the girl of his dreams, Amanda Lawton, just in time for the Christmas Winter Wonderland Dance at school. The only problem is, Amanda is kidnapped which jettisons Jeremy and his best friend Minka, who secretly has a crush on him, to save Amanda and the school from a ruthless serial killer, known as The Santa Slayer, who is hellbent on delivering the ultimate slay ride to the student body.

The film, while being part of the teen slasher genre, also touches on today's high school culture of popularity and the social media age, where popularity doesn't just end at school, but based on how many followers and likes you get on social media. The film subtly takes on the differences between real love between friends and relationships and the superficial love and lust for fame from social media.


We are a quarter way through shooting the movie, and we are raising funds for bringing in additional talent as well as for post production and deliverables for distribution.

Why Me?

While we at Mutt Productions have been making films for many years, we just only recently started making high school genre films starting in 2016 with Colossal Youth. Since then we have made several high school films utilizing students from the NESA Program (North East School of the Arts) here in San Antonio, Texas. By casting these students, we help them develop their talent and prepare them for a future in the arts.

In particular, this film is personal to me, because I have always loved horror films like Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street so I wondered how it would be like to fuse the high school genre of movies we are currently doing to the horror genre. With that, for my directorial debut, I wrote, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, blending together a John Hughes influenced teen romance story and a Wes Craven inspired slasher film all set during Christmas.


Why This?

What makes this film different from other horror films out there is the blending of the genres of doing both a high school romance and a straight up slasher film during Christmas. By blending both genres we will continue to attract our current audience while expanding into a new genre of audience members.

Why Now?

What makes this story topical for today is that it touches on this generation’s obsession for social media and becoming a social media personality. With this film, we juggle the difference between real and pure love and the fake superficial love from social media.

The production side of the film is comprised predominantly of Latino filmmakers and has a 50/50 split between male and female crew members. In addition, we have several current high school students and first year college students all coming from the NESA program (North East School of the Arts) volunteering and interning on the film, most of which are female.

We are crowdfunding for this and making it now, not only because of the relevancy of the film’s narrative to today’s youth, but because of the current aspect of COVID-19. Since the pandemic struck in the United States in early 2020, school were shut down. With this, it is much easier to film in schools because they are now mostly empty and with our cast all being homeschooled (high school and college) and in quarantine, it makes it a much safer work environment for everyone in the film. (Read more of our COVID-19 Plan below)


Why You?

You should be a part of this film because it is a fun romantic horror film that will both scare you and heart-warm you. In addition, by joining our film, you will be helping expand the film industry in San Antonio, Texas. Plus, you get to be part of a horror film? What's not cool about that?


We are currently filming It Came Upon a Midnight Clear during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are following all COVID-19 precautions, which have been approved by SAG earlier this year at the beginning of summer. Along with this, all cast and crew members have their temperatures checked when arriving to set by our set medic. Once on set, everyone has to be wearing a mask at all times, except for actors when filming scenes. After the scene, the actors put back on their mask. 

If someone contracts COVID-19, production will immediately halt for a span of 2 weeks with everyone in quarantine.


-When we get to $5,000, we will post the first 5 pages of the script (the opening sequence) for backers exclusively to read so you can be able to image the world of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.

-When we get to $10,000, we will post a video update exclusively for backers to watch us test out the gory special effects that are going to be used in the film… One of them possibly involving a severed arm…

 -When we get to $15,000, we will post a video of a zoom recording of our table-read of a scene in the film with the entire cast.

-When we get to $20,000, we will post the entire opening sequence of the film for you to watch, exclusively for backers to see. It will give you a sneak peek into the world of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.

-More Extra Perks will be added as we go along!



Drew Pipkin as Jeremy Adams

Jeremy Adams is the main protagonist of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. He is a good hearted, hopeless romantic who is head-over-heels in love with the most popular girl in school, Amanda Lawton. After Amanda's boyfriend cheats on her, Jeremy asks her out and she accepts. The night of their date, Amanda is kidnapped, causing Jeremy to go on a quest to save her and, in the process, discovers a dark secret about his family that has been kept from him since birth.


Jaeden Riley Juarez as Minka Del Toro

Minka Del Toro is Jeremy Adams' best friend in high school, who secretly has a crush on him. Minka is a loving and caring young woman who will go to any lengths to help her friends.  When Amanda is kidnapped, she joins Jeremy to help save her and the school from a ruthless serial killer.


Katerina Rakosky as Amanda Lawton

Amanda Lawton is a sweeter-than-candy over-achiever and the most popular girl in high school. When her boyfriend, Trent cheats on her with her best friend, she decides to give Jeremy Adams a chance when he asks her out on a date. Right before their date she is kidnapped, causing Jeremy and Minka to set out on a quest to find her.


Christian Piercy as Trent Billington

Trent Billington is Amanda's football quarterback boyfriend and the student that bullies Jeremy Adams the most at school. When Amanda is kidnapped, he immediately suspects Jeremy of kidnapping her and makes it his goal to pin Jeremy for her kidnapping.


Rachel Schott is Elise Chandler

Elise Chandler is Amanda Lawton's best friend and is one of the most popular girls at school. Elise constantly bullies Minka for being a nerd and causes Amanda's boyfriend to cheat on her.


P.G. Marlar as Mr. Campbell

Mr. Campbell is Jeremy, Minka, Amanda, and Trent's English teacher. Mr. Campbell takes a fatherly liking to Jeremy and Minka and helps them outside of school to take on The Santa Slayer.


Arlene Cavazos is Coach Prescott

Coach Prescott is the PE coach  at the high school who not only cares about her students health, but their safety as well.



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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $4,000

Cost of deliverables for distribution.


Costs $3,000

Additional talent for the film.

Post Production

Costs $8,000

Money for post production.

About This Team


Aaron Lee Lopez founded Mutt Productions in 2004 after gaining much experience in Hollywood, while on some of the biggest blockbuster movies and television shows produced in the Entertainment Business. Mutt Productions has expanded its production facilities in San Antonio, it’s hometown, in order to help grow and advance the local film industry of Texas.
In 2010, our San Antonio facilities created a mentoring program that engaged local young filmmakers to learn the craft of film and television while working on productions produced by Mutt Productions. In that same year, a Mutt Productions film gained notoriety and critical acclaim after winning Best Reality Documentary in the New York/Los Angeles International Independent Film Festival.


The cast and crew of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear is predominantly latino with the writer, director, and cinematographer being of latino descent. Also, the crew is a 50/50 split between both male and female members bringing more diversity to the film set. In addition, several of the crew members working on the set, have just recently graduated from high school and we are giving them the opportunity to learn, first hand, the ropes of working on a feature film.

Current Team