Mission StatementInspired by the Rhode Islanders I grew up with and the lenses through which they see the world, MATTRESS EXPRESS examines the selfishness and complicated nature of the grieving process. Our production prioritizes fair pay for our crew to combat the film industry's history of labor exploitation.
About The Project
After their mother’s death, Ben and Rosie attempt to steal mattresses to prevent the foreclosure of their house. When the robbery takes a turn, the twins are forced to reckon with their grief.
Months after the death of their mother, townie Rhode Island twins Ben and Rosie are trapped in a cycle of denial and grief.
As Rosie pretends like everything's fine and Ben is bogged down with inconsolable sadness, the twins' inability to face their issues results in them drowning in bills up to their necks.
Strapped for cash and unable to stay afloat, they now face the loss of the last physical relic of their mother and their only socioeconomic life raft: their house.
But Rosie has a plan: loot a mattress store, steal at least five high-end mattresses, and fence them for cash with the help of the closest thing they have to a godfather: their delinquent Uncle Lloyd.
In an attempt to further avoid her grieving process and ignorant to Ben's despair, Rosie pushes him into joining her. But unfocused and unprepared, Ben cracks under the pressure and the robbery takes a turn for the worst.
Now Ben and Rosie are trapped, and with no options left, they're forced to reckon with the impact their own selfishness has had on themselves.
ROSIE (late 20s)
A thrill-seeker with a clownish disposition. She’s ready to lean into any bit. Her unpredictable energy is often masking deeper feelings. Yet, her ability to add levity to any situation helps balance the darkness she often finds herself in.
BEN (late 20s)
A smartass that ultimately wants to do the right thing. He often resorts to keeping his mouth shut and his feelings in. Despite sometimes being a grump, he tends to be pragmatic and honest. In many ways, he’s the yin to Rosie’s yang.
UNCLE LLOYD (60s)
A good guy who’s never made a good choice in his life. He has a history of ne’er do well-ism that’s ultimately a by-product of arrested development. He’d give you the shirt off his back even if it was covered in mysterious stains.
THE CLERK (early 20s)
An eager young buck with a desire to please. His only goals are to do a good job and earn the respect of his boss. He has a secret lust for mattresses, too.
MS PALMIERI (late 50s)
A grumpy old shop-owner who’s been beaten down by the woes of running a small business. Her laissez-faire attitude has left her feeling like a robbery is more of an inconvenience than anything else.
This story meets at a crossroads between where we’re going in our lives and where we’ve been.
Telling this story in Rhode Island matters to me not only because I want to shed a light on my home state, but because it’s what I know. There is nobody better suited to telling this story than myself because of how heavily it’s influenced by the Rhode Islanders I grew up with and the lenses through which they see the world.
Recently, our team has dealt with intense grief in many forms. Trying to understand how you’re supposed to “keep going” and how self-involved that process can be has been at the forefront of our minds. Working on this has been a cathartic experience in understanding how we’ve suppressed our own feelings, and we seek to capture that strife within our film.
MATTRESS EXPRESS is not just a heist film. We intend to capture our audience with comedy and thrill to explore grief, emotional repression, and complex family dynamics, and we believe that our style of filmmaking is best suited to do so.
MATTRESS EXPRESS garners inspiration from 70s "bad criminal" films and pulpy 90s movies. Key films like DOG DAY AFTERNOON and FARGO have informed our interest in taking on a genre-bending crime film with subversive themes. The film's essence combines the paranoia of GOOD TIME with the quippy and absurd humor of BOTTLE ROCKET, and subverts the audience with an emotional root akin to MANCHESTER BY THE SEA.
We want to take you on a ride, and to do so, we'll channel the distinct 70s filmic look with intention in our lens, color, and compositional choices. Extremely tight framing, lots of camera tracking, and climactic pacing is our focus in an effort to create claustrophobia and paranoia that will seldom give the audience a chance to catch up with the action.
The sogbots team is a group of filmmakers who are dedicated to building community and expanding their vocabulary of expression through film.
I’ve been directing since I was 18 years old. In college, alongside the rest of the sogbots team, I created films with a camera in hand, a rough script, and no money. Alongside the rest of the team, I realized we were able to make shorts that spoke to people without taking ourselves too seriously, and we decided to continue to pursue the medium through that lens.
Sogbots has been working as a collective for three years and has created award-winning short films, music videos, promotional pieces, and has produced a sold-out film festival that was featured in Variety.
Joining our campaign is an investment in early-stage filmmakers on our team and a commitment to fair work environments. Film sets have a long and complicated history of labor exploitation, and our set is prioritizing fair compensation to set a precedent for a new generation of filmmakers.
Right now, we're in the pre-production phase of the film where we finalize our locations, our cast, our crew, and everything else. Our film will shoot in late August for four days in Rhode Island. Covid compliance on our set will require pre-shoot testing and mandatory indoor masking. The funds raised through this campaign will help us:
- Pay our talent and crew properly
- Cover the costs of transportation to and from our set
- Support our gear rentals, props, and wardrobe
- Cover PPE to keep us safe
- Pay an editor to help us cut the movie
Your contribution helps carve a path for us to continue creating impactful pieces and reshaping the film industry for the better.
Our $23,425 goal is the minimum needed to get the film made to look good, feel good, and ensure fair treatment of our crew.
If we raise $26,000, we'll have contigency and be able to cover our film festival festival fees.
If we raise $27,000, we'll have greater flexibility with gear rentals
If we raise $29,000, we'll be able to increase the rates of our actors, our producers, our DP, and additional crew members.
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP
Follow our campaign on Seed & Spark. It won't cost you anything, and every follower gained helps us get closer to accessing additional perks that will help our project during and after production.
Keep an eye on us and tell your friends. Follow us on instagram @mattressexpressthefilm and stay up to date with our posts and stories, and reshare our posts to help get the word out about our campaign. No idea what to say? Try something like this:
Help @sogbots execute the best bad heist of all time by supporting their upcoming genre-bending crime film, #MattressExpress. Show them some love @seedandspark www.seedandspark.com/fund/mattress-express
Share this with someone you know. Text about it, share it on instagram, heck--you could even email it! Anything is a massive help to us.
And don't forget after all this -- FOLLOW US ON SEED & SPARK! Your follow really, really helps.
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP! We can't wait to make this film a reality.
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About This Team
Noah Morse // Director, Writer, Producer
NOAH MORSE is a filmmaker and photographer from Johnston, RI currently based in Echo Park, CA. He is the co-founder of sogbots, a production collective based in LA, and has written, directed, and produced award-winning short films and music videos under their name. His film and photography work has also been featured on PBS’ documentary series, NOVA and in publications such as Fashionista and The Film Desert.
Previously, Noah has worked at Paradigm Talent Agency, WME, and as assistant to Larry Charles for A24's F**KING IDENTICAL TWINS.
Frank Sun // Director of Photography
FRANK SUN is a cinematographer based in NYC. His work has been exhibited at SFMOMA, Zaha Hadid Gallery, and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. His work in commercial filmmaking, which has been shown in Times Square and around the world, includes TV spots for clients like Peloton, Norwegian Air, Lexus, and Google.
His narrative short films and documentary films have been shown at festivals including Vail, Santa Monica, Colorado Adventure Film Festival, St. Louis, and others.
In television, Frank has traveled the world with the Emmy-nominated show Survivor, where he was a story producer for several seasons.
Dylan Trupiano // Writer, Producer, Script Supervisor
DYLAN TRUPIANO is a director, writer, editor, and composer from suburban Detroit. He is one of the co-founder of sogbots, and has directed and served as editor on numerous award-winning shorts and music videos, including Bye Bye Buddy, winner of of Best Short Comedy at The Kansas Arthouse Festival. He was also recently one of 50 directors from around the world selected for Playlab Films' Creators Lab, taught by Thai artist and Palme d'Or winner, Apichatpong Weerasethakul. During the days he works as an editor with Indigenous Media, having worked on several commercial projects and for their documentary series, 60 Second Docs.
Talia Light Rake // Producer, Assistant Director
Born & raised in Los Angeles but based in Brooklyn, TALIA LIGHT RAKE is a multi-hyphenate director & producer working on projects in both LA & New York City. She has served as the lead producer for multiple media production companies including Are You Happy Media & Puff Media, bringing their work to the viral social media space. She is the founder of Playdate, an online theatre company dedicated to exploring the space between theatre and film. She launched her own production company, Heavy Shovel Productions, in 2022 focusing on the social media, creative development, and video production space.
Page Brady // Producer
PAGE BRADY is a producer and entertainment coordinator based in Los Angeles. She works in the independent film space, and is currently a member of the film team at AGC Studios. Previously, she worked in the media finance department at Creative Artists Agency where she assisted in securing financing and distribution for indie films. Page is a graduate of the University of Michigan, and grew up in Battle Creek, MI - famously, the cereal capital of the world. Aside from independent film, Page is passionate about stand-up comedy, film photography and Guitar Hero.
Nir Liebenthal // Writer, Actor, Producer
NIR LIEBENTHAL is a producer, actor, and writer from Boston/Milwaukee/Winnipeg/Israel. He currently works at Netflix Animation, having worked on two animated features coming out in 2022. Prior to Netflix, he worked at the Center for Scholars & Storytellers, a psychology lab at UCLA that does research on entertainment media.
Nir is a graduate of The George Washington University. He has a background in theatre and improv, likes to play (and watch) basketball, and indulges in long games of online chess.
Isabella Tagliati // Actor
ISABELLA TAGLIATI is an extremely beautiful and well-read actress and filmmaker from Los Angeles. Isabella loves to tell anyone who will listen she’s not really from LA (she grew up in New York until the age of 13 , ok?!) She spent the last 8 months assisting director David Nutter on HBO’s The Time Traveler’s Wife and in her free time wrote a short about a foot fetish that is set to shoot in July. Isabella still lives on the westside (she’s working on moving out of her dad’s place) with her wonderful cat, Mango.
Jeremy Roth-Rose // Actor
JEREMY ROTH-ROSE is an actor, writer, and producer originally from the countryside of southeastern Massachusetts. While studying at Brown University, he was head of production with Brown Motion Pictures and a member of Ivy Film Festival's programming team. As an actor, he's appeared in over 12 films and 10 stage productions, including as a guest star in Netflix's The Society and multi-season performer with Trinity Repertory Company. Most recently, he starred in both a pilot and comedy feature film slated to be released in Summer/Fall 2022.
He also is a producer with Echo Park-based production company Sogbots and director of indie film fest "LA's Rich and Successful Film Fest" held in Beverly Hills, CA.
He also likes to boogie.
Ronni Shaw // Development Consultant
RONNI SHAW, principal at Ronni Shaw Consulting, specializes in all aspects of fundraising, including but not limited to corporate development, grant writing, and foundation and individual donor expansion. Her current passions in this field are training a new generation of fundraisers and strategic planning for meeting financial goals. Ms. Shaw also has extensive experience with board building, program creation and management, CEO and executive director mentoring, community organizing, and non-profit governance and strategic planning. She loves books and movies although not generally where the two intersect, is the mother of two 20-something daughters, and resides in her lakeside home in northern New England.
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