Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Horror, LGBTQ

Zoe George

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $12,030 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

89 supporters | followers

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This is a unique story about a Trans-masc character in an affirming environment. We didn’t want to make this a coming out story, or have Transphobia in any part of it. Instead we wanted to show a glimpse of what gender dysphoria can feel like.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Our film features underrepresented perspectives that haven't had their moment in the spotlight. From top to bottom we've made a commitment to hire as many Queer, POC team/crew members, because we think it's important that what we show in front of the camera is also reflected behind the camera. 

The Story


The day after the 2016 Presidential Election, I cut off all my hair. As a queer person horrified by the potential direction of our countries trajectory, I thought it was pertinent to show up for my community and be “visible” wherever I went. A few months into the new hairstyle and the new government regime, I noticed I began to feel differently about my gender. Through a long tumultuous journey of Youtube videos, Medium articles, and Instagram captions, I discovered that I was a masculine-presenting non-binary person. By March 31st, 2017 (that year’s Trans Day of Visibility) I came out to the world through a cliche Instagram post. 


However, my journey with myself didn’t stop there - masquerading my way through the Trans and gender nonconforming world continued to be lonesome and scary. Like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the more I learned about Transness and the more enlightened I became, the heavier the burden I bared from my own dysphoria. I knew that at some point I would need to explore my gender through the medium that I know best, screenwriting. 

I decided to apply to and was accepted into the Outfest, Outset 2019 Fellow class where I was instructed to write a LGBTQ focused script. This felt like the perfect opportunity to create a story about the complicated emotions that I felt inside but wrap it in the horror themes that I grew up with. Thus Meta was born. Taking lots of inspiration from such classics as Carrie, American Werewolf in London, and Black Swan, Meta has become an exceptional Transgender story about the amalgamation of dysphoria and the horrors of our own body. It’s a pure Self vs Self piece, with a unique lead that we never get to see. 


Too often Trans stories are either told through the eyes of a dead stripper in an SVU episode or a child who’s been exiled from their home. I wanted to turn that narrative on it’s head and make this a story about a Trans person who’s in a safe space but who is still struggling to accept himself. Therefore when writing this piece I focused on a Transmasculine character that lives in an affirming environment.

Most Trans people who go through gender reassignment surgery report that they have higher dysphoria after the surgery. And this is not to say that those surgeries are not life-saving or life-changing, but I wanted to highlight that the journey for most Trans people doesn’t stop with their families, friends, and peers accepting them or the medicalization process. This is a story that I have yet to see on-screen and one I truly believe is important to cultivate visibility for the Trans community and to help bridge the gap between hegemonic perspective and queer reality. 

After workshopping the script with other professional writers and feeling confident of its current state, I immediately reached out to Sydne Horton and asked her to direct. With another project currently under our belt as a writer/director duo, (and hey it's Premiering in July at the LA Shorts Film Festival) we already have a communicative pattern down and an understanding of how to bring a vision together. Sydne shares my love of horror and is a member of the LGBTQ community, and as a team we can breathe life into this story that no other pair could.

We understand the importance of funding needed to bring Meta to life and help materialize the caliber of the film.  Meta is a unique take on the coming of age genre, that highlights the battle of internalized transphobia and self-acceptance - and with the proper funding, we can transcend this story into the media. 


- Savannah



To help bring this piece to life and construct a realistic and unsettling visual to the psychological turmoil this unplanned period moment brings to Artie, our team aspires to pull from self vs self pieces like Black Swan and Birdman for inspiration - along with classic films like “Carrie” and “American Werewolf in London” & more. Before Artie’s unplanned period appearance, we want the night to feel like your stereotypical prom set up – neon lights, high schoolers dancing, the punch bowl line along with steady shots and clean cuts before delving into the “Birdman” and “Black Swan” style of filming with long takes and tight shots on our lead as his transformation begins to attack his psyche.




In these psyche moments, it’s all about the mental and emotional battle Artie is being thrown into and we plan to shoot this experience in a similar regard to Natalie Portman’s character in “Black Swan” as the emotional stress of her performance begins taking a toll on her mental sanity. Picture unsteadiness in these moments with the camera movements emulating what it means to be unstable and a shift from the neon lights to a cold and harsh blue on Artie.



To aid in our long shots as we follow our lead through this experience, we plan to utilize similar techniques that “Birdman” relied on such as providing intention to show part of Artie’s surroundings by moving the camera - for example moving the camera from Artie to the toilet paper roll in his bathroom stall and then back to his face, allowing us to accomplish the appearance of these long takes and allow for a quick cut in takes if necessary.


With experience directing and working on prior short films, as well as working on professional projects and sets with companies like Blumhouse Productions, Indie Horror features, and more, our team is aware of the challenges presented with a visually heavy and stylized piece and we are more than confident in our abilities to pull this off. Our biggest challenge currently is finding the right amount of funding necessary to back up everything that we need to effectively bring this psychologically thrilling transformation to life.


- Sydne


META Poster:

Created by Charad Perkins


Target Audience: 

LGBTQIA+ 16-35 years 





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

Location Location Location!

Costs $7,000

This would cover location (Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center) + insurance +permits

Lights! Camera! Action

Costs $2,000

This would cover our light & camera package!

Prom Decoration

Costs $300

'Prom' is a very important character in this story! This would be spent on the art dept. decorations

Fixing It In Post

Costs $1,000

For when we need to do exactly that ^

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

FX Make-up

Costs $300

This will be used for the werewolf special effects + the amazing makeup artist that will do them!

About This Team

Who Are We?:

Our team is comprised of amazing queers of all colors. We are striving to bring new and diverse stories from an actual diverse collection of people in the LGBTQIA community.


Savannah Ward (they/them), Writer

Savannah Ward is actively pursuing a TV writing career and is currently a Writer's Assistant on an NBC Show. They are Trans-nonbinary/genderqueer and focus their writing on perspectives/voices that are marginalized within marginalized communities. 


Sydne Horton (she/her), Director

Sydne Horton is driven with a passion for directing impactful content that both challenges and sheds light on the world we know. With prior production experience from Nickelodeon and Blumhouse, she’s had a first-hand look at how to effectively delve into the various demands each project requires. At a very young age through her adoption and personal battles with self-identity, she found not only a form of escapism through directing projects but a way to express her introverted self.


Mitchell Kerby (He/Him), Cinematographer

Mitchell Kerby is a cinematographer based out of wherever the creative process takes him. His love for the camera quickly grew into a passion for storytelling through film and with these stories he hopes to inspire others to tell their own.


Zoe George (she/her), Producer

Zoe George is a down to earth, hard working, and aspiring TV producer with an interest in writing. One of her goals is to share and create stories by, for, and about people whose voices are not often heard. Some of her past experience includes working with and for the marginalized creators as the Marketing Coordinator at Ava DuVernay's, ARRAY as well as producing content for a pop culture site, FANDOM. She also enjoys long walks on the beach, pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. 


Benj Bermudez (he/him), Co-Producer

Benjamin “Benj” Bermudez is a recent graduate from California State University, Northridge where he studied Screenwriting. Alongside his passion for writing unique and diverse stories, he’s also seeking work in the development side of film and television production.


Taylor Gates (she/her), Social Media Producer/Set Photo

Taylor Gates earned a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Evansville and currently works as a content specialist in Los Angeles. Last December, she wrote and executive produced her first short film: a comedic, LGBTQ+ take on the noir genre called Make Yourself at Home. She recently directed her first short film through Outfest’s Outset fellowship, a high school comedy called Academic Super Squad.


Chad Jimenez (he/him), Social Media Producer/Set Photo

Chad Jimenez graduated from Pepperdine University and had the opportunity to be the Editor-in-Chief of Currents Magazine Spring 2018. He was accountable for leading a team of student writers, photographers and designers to produce one issue in a three month period. The magazine won First Place Best Magazine, Second Place Best Magazine Photo, Third Place Best Magazine Photo Series, First Place Best Magazine Story and Honorable Mention, Best Magazine Cover Design at the 2019 California College Media Awards.


Polly Gregory (she/her), Costume Design

Polly Gregory is a costume designer originally from Nashville and came to LA in 2015 for the Television Academy Foundation as the costume design intern.  Since then she has been costume designing shorts and has become a member of Motion Picture Costumers. She is a big fan of the horror genre and character-driven stories and can’t wait to help bring Meta to life.

Current Team