Only the Dead

New York City, New York | Film Short

Drama, Horror

Maid & Prince Productions

3 Campaigns | New York, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $14,000 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

111 supporters | followers

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A fragmented fable about power, helplessness, and hunger, Only the Dead, is a grimy, go-for-the-jugular waltz between its two female characters: one a seemingly helpless girl and the other a hunter who wants more than blood. Should we become a monster to fight monsters? And would it be worth it?

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Only the Dead is the next project from Maid & Prince Productions, whose mission is to create space for women in film. Our company is dedicated to women-led storytelling on- and off-camera. This film explores our relationship to power: who should hold it and what we will do to obtain it.

The Story

Joining us after the campaign ended? Welcome! 

We're still accpeting donations for finishing funds through Cinefemme or Venmo (@maid.and.prince.productions)!

 

-Teresa Catherine, Producer

It started innocently enough. A simple Instagram story - calling into the void, wondering if anyone wanted to make a movie about vampires.

…It’s me. Hi. I’m the problem…

No - but truthfully, my calling has always been first and foremost - storyteller. Plus, I’m a sucker for the fantastical. And an absolute fan girl of Matt’s writing. This was meant to be.

What was created though, turned out to be a vital story that absolutely needs to be shared.

“She bends whichever way she has to.”

A sentiment women understand all too well. But what happens when we cannot? What happens when we reach our breaking point? What happens when we realize all the bending we did to avoid trouble has simply created more trouble?

“I say those who are hurt deserve to be bestial for once.”

A universal sentiment, and a well-known cycle of violence - those who are hurt become those who inflict pain.

Only the Dead is unique, in that this conversation is often dominated by men. Men are allowed to lash out. To feel the full force of their rage. Women (emotional creatures that we are... *cue eye roll*) are expected to come from a place of forgiveness. Of compassion. Of understanding. But a breaking point exists for all of us. And when we reach it, we are all faced with a choice.

It is not gendered, but simply human, to crave justice. Maybe even revenge. The real test is what comes next. Is becoming a monster to fight monsters a worthy justification? Or are you no better than what you were fighting?

1899, the eve of a brave new century – a young girl named Alice is held prisoner in a dank room awaiting her fate, desperate to escape. But her captor is not what she appears – Hawthorn, a hell-bent hunter of a very particular prey: blood drinkers who never die. She believes Alice has something she wants – the power to take back the world from corrupt, patriarchal regimes on the precipice of their own destruction – and she’ll stop at nothing to take that power for herself, even at the cost of her humanity. But Alice refuses, and both women must prove what they’ll do to protect their version of the future.

Carlotta Summers as Alice and Teresa Catherine as Hawthorn

-Matthew Minnicino, screenwriter

Bram Stoker's Dracula was published in 1897. It was an era of emerging wonders, glittering technological achievements and watershed moments in human rights and understanding – and an era of unspeakable cruelty. The scandalous murders committed by Jack the Ripper, H. H. Holmes, and Lizzie Borden revealed the depth of secret human evil. Global turmoil propelled the world towards its first great war, which would be fought with terrifying new weapons. The immortal blood-drinker enthralled and appalled a public that knew it was on the brink of a new age that would be both beautiful and terrible.

Only the Dead draws from both the High Gothic supernatural traditions of TV like Penny Dreadful, as well as the stylized period viscera of Deadwood or The Lighthouse, and the historical perspective of books like Devil in the White City. And, of course, Dracula and its delectable predecessors. It’s a fragmented fable about power, helplessness, and hunger – a grimy, go-for-the-jugular waltz between its two female characters. With an anachronistic touch amidst careful evocation of the period, the story weighs the complex relationship between those on society’s margin seeking rightful justice and the corrupting quality of power for whoever holds it. A vicious debate made flesh and fluid by the stakes of bloody transformation or annihilation. 

Set at the moment when the idea of vampires was ignited in popular consciousness, Only the Dead is just as much about our modern confrontation with power—can any individual assume the responsibility of eternity without falling to corruption, becoming part of a system that oppressed them. Only the Dead asks if we would become a monster to fight monsters, and would it be worth it.

A collection of images from the early moodboards from director Audra Bryant.

Pictured: Audra Bryant (Director), Teresa Catherine (Producer/Actor), Matt Minnicino (Screenwriter), Carlotta Summers (Actor), Jamie Monahan (Intimacy Coordinator) , Stephen Canillo (Director of Photography), Sarah Edison (Producer), Mitchell McCoy (Fight Director)

We are collborating with a great team. Visit our Team page to read their bios and learn more. 

How will we be using your donations, you might be wondering?

A quarter of our budget will be ensuring our team is fairly compensated for both their time and talent. In a field that sometimes pays in "experience," Maid & Prince strongly believes in honoring our team as both artists and professionals. And with a committment to a team of at least 50% female-identifying, we want to ensure we're leading the way by example.

Through this campaign, we're focused on raising just a portion of our overall budget ($14k of the overall $30k). There's a breakdown of the specifics of this campaign in our wishlist, and below is our complete budget. 

As a historical period drama with horror elements, Only the Dead demands a highly specific locaiton and deeply detailed art department. We're thrilled to be filming at the historic Bartow-Pell Mansion in The Bronx, which will be doing some of the heavy lifting for both set dressing and ambiance.

Bartow-Pell Mansion

We'll also be choreographing a bad-ass fight sequence. And you already know we've got vampires, which obviously means blood and some exciting special effects. 

Bartow-Pell Mansion attic; filming location

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PLEDGE
To get our "greenlight", we have to collect 80% of our crowdfunding goal to keep our funds. No pledge is too small!

We are proud to be fiscally sponsored by Cinefemme! If you are interested in making your donation 100% tax-deductible, please check out our Cinefemme profile HERE to process your donation. 

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Wishlist

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

Camera and Equipment

Costs $2,500

Camera, Lighting, Sound, and other equipment rental needs

Cast and Crew

Costs $5,350

The people that make the film happen.

Costumes & HMU

Costs $1,500

Period piece costumes, hair, and makeup for the cast

Art Department

Costs $2,500

Historically accurate props and set dressing. Blood effects and weapons rental.

Food & Transportation

Costs $2,100

Food and transportation for the cast and crew

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Teresa Catherine (Producer/Actor) is an NYC-based actress, writer, and producer. She is the founder of Maid & Prince Productions, an NYC production company committed to ensuring female storytellers a space to take center stage. Teresa holds an MFA in Acting from The Catholic University of America. In addition to being a classically trained actress, she is also a skilled actor-combatant, film collaborator, and award-winning creator.

www.teresacatherine.com

Audra Bryant (Director) is a NYC based Director, Choreographer, and Educator.  Originally from Kansas, Audra trained in classical ballet, classical voice, and jazz dance prior to pursuing a bachelor of fine arts in Musical Theatre from the University of Oklahoma. Director/Choreography credits include Cabaret, Into the Woods, Matilda, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Black Rock Theatre); SpongeBob SquarePants (Music Theatre of Wichita).  Choreographer/Associate Choreographer credits are Annie, The Little Mermaid (Westport Country Playhouse); Mary Poppins (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma). She has also choreographed, movement coached, and Assistant Directed on projects for Maid & Prince Productions and on music videos for artists such as Bruce Sudano, Lenii, Nick Deutsch, Rachel King, Jerusha, and Michael Perrie Jr.  Audra serves as the Resident Director for Broadway Method Academy, a musical theatre training non-profit organization located in Fairfield, CT.  She continues to collaborate with artists in NYC, and to take on various projects for stage and screen as choreographer and director.

www.audra-bryant.com

Matt Minnicino (Screenwriter) (he/him) is a queer Jewish storyteller, award-winning writer, and teacher. His plays and adaptations for the stage have been the recipient of multiple awards, nominations, residencies, and commissions (including the Arts & Letters Prize, a Helen Hayes Award nomination, Jeffrey Melnick New Playwright Award nomination, and the David E. Einhorn Memorial Prize), developed internationally (most recently at Dublin’s prestigious Gate Theatre), and have been taught in curricula at several universities. He has also created numerous texts for dance theatre, immersive theatre, installation art, and more. As a screenwriter he has penned multiple short films and co-produced five in post-production, notably writing for Wild Obscura Pictures, Modest Productions, and Little Crush Film Co. He co-founded the COVID-related artist initiative Theatre Without Theater. He has acted in 30+ plays; produced, directed, choreographed, or acted as dramaturg for a number of others; taught art and writing to students from 6 to 60, and his articles have been published by HowlRound, The Dramatist, Gathering of the Tribes, and others.

www.mattminnicino.com

Carlotta Summers (Actor) is a multiple award winning, biracial (mixed Black and White/Italian) actress, writer, and filmmaker based in NYC. She was most recently the recipient of the Slamdance Mentorship Award out of 4,200 submissions for her pilot, THE WANDERER, and was featured in Variety! A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, a few of her feature film and television credits include the series BIG DOGS (Amazon Prime) & a supporting role in LUPE which premiered at the Cinequest Film Festival in 2019 (HBO Max). Carlotta’s first short film BUTTERFLIES won Best Short Film and Best Actress at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival as well as Best Screenplay at Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema. It is now streaming on Amazon Prime! Subsequent films that she has worked on have screened at Tribeca, New Filmmakers LA, Hollyshorts and at the Anthology Film Archives in NYC. She is currently in development for her first feature film, AMERICAN RETAIL.

www.carlotta-summers.com

Stephen Cannillo (Director of Photography) is a filmmaker who grew up in New York's Hudson Valley. He fell in love with creating videos at a young age and went on to study Mass Communications at SUNY Oneonta. He got his start in the film and TV world as technical director / DP for a number of live PBS productions including Hank Williams Jr, Little Feat and Lady A. His work has ranged from documentaries and music videos, to multi-camera live-streams for artists including Jack Harlow and Kygo.  Stephen is eager to take his vast knowledge of cinematography to the world of dramatic narrative film. 

Mitchell McCoy (Fight Director) is a Fight Director, Stunt Coordinator Intimacy Director with
Intimacy Directors and Coordinators, Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors, actor, and Reiki Master based in New York. He has most recently assisted with the violence for Pretty Woman (Broadway),Therese Raquin (Broadway), Aladdin (Broadway), Aladdin(Japan), the first U.S. national tour of Newsies, and Cleveland Playhouse's Sherwood: The Adventures of Robinhood, and made his Off-Broadway Intimacy Direction debut with Camp Morningwood.

www.mitchellmccoy.com

Jamie Monahan (Intimacy Coordinator) is an award-winning filmmaker, director, intimacy coordinator, and actress. Jamie executive produced, wrote, directed, and starred in the original sci-fi series LUCID, garnering a Best Pilot nomination at NYC Web Fest, digital distribution from DUST, and acceptance into the Sundance Institute TV Writing program. Her latest project LEGACY, earned finalist status at the Sundance 2020 Episodic Makers Lab and will be premiering in festivals in 2023. Jamie completed Level 1 and 2 of IDC’s Intimacy Coordinator training, fostering intimate safe spaces for performers. She is one of five USA Intimacy Coordinators listed on the SAG-AFTRA Intimacy Coordinator Pre-Registry. Jamie was the intimacy coordinator on the short films IN THE NIGHT, HEALING TREE, BETTY BITES BACK, and THE BIG 3-OH. She also worked as an intimacy coordinator on the feature film ESCAPING OHIO. Jamie intimacy directed POWERHOUSE Off-Broadway last October and is currently working with Theatre Fairfield and Fairfield University as the intimacy director for their 2022-2023 season. 

www.jamiemonahan.com

Visit us on Instagram to meet the rest of our amazing team including

Sarah Edison, Producer

Mathilde Suissa, Art Department

Cynthia Bryant, Costume Designer

Grace Morgan, Hair and Makeup

Current Team

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Incentives