Pear, a short comedy

New York City, New York | Film Short

Comedy, Sci-Fi

Peter

1 Campaigns | New York, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $18,686 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

127 supporters | followers

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During a year-long hiatus from Instagram, Peter signed back on to retrieve his lost phone contacts. When he was “welcomed back” by friends & followers, we started to wonder where the hell he went. Pear explores what it means to live on social media, and whether we even exist without it.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

While we want to acknowledge how integral these apps have become in our lives and admit how difficult it is to avoid them, we’re most interested in using humor to encourage skepticism about the cost of being so thoroughly online.

The Story

WHO:

Madeline Mahoney + Peter Molesworth

Maddie & Peter met at NYU (yes, it's a real place!) ten years ago and have been collaborating on projects together ever since. Their work has traversed continents and has even elected City Council members (see here). From Portuguese Sardine Commercials to New York Indie Episodics, Maddie & Peter have been ruining takes with behind the scene bits for nearly a decade and have finally decided to put your money where their mouth is!

If we make our goal, we will poll all donors to determine which TikTok dance would look worst on us and promise to deliver the goods, if you can even call them that.

 

 

WHAT IS PEAR?

two sociopathic wellness experts start a rehabilitation program for social media addiction that causes some participants to physically vanish.

Wellness experts Charlie and Jack have set out to disrupt the tech industry by diagnosing social media addicts through their app, Pear, and treating them in clinically unproven rehabilitation meetings.

The short film opens on week three of the second trial group’s treatment. Charlie and Jack use the app’s surveillance data and the psychological manipulation of manufactured friendship to convince the participants to deactivate their social media accounts.

Upon persuading the majority of the group, all participants agree to deactivate their accounts. In the aftershock of deactivation, Charlie and Jack come to discover that one of the participants, Bree, has physically vanished. Confronted with the potential of derailing the trial’s success, Jack and Charlie must finish the meeting at risk of losing everything.

You'll love Pear if you also love...

  • Dark humor and naiveté of Search Party
  • Magical realism/tech fantasy of Black Mirror & Her
  • Visual aesthetics like Midsommar & I Care A Lot

"Science fiction properly conceived, like all serious fiction, however funny, is a way of trying to describe what is in fact going on, what people actually do and feel, how people relate to everything else in this vast sack, this belly of the universe, this womb of things to be and tomb of things that were, this unending story."

- Ursula K. Le Guin, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction

SO, WHAT'S NEXT?

1. Pledge! Right here, right now.

The most impactful action you can take is to join our team by pledging. Whether it's $10 or $1000 or somewhere in between, your contribution will go directly toward making this film.

That means making sure we get the very best crew, securing great equipment and locations to make sure the film looks top notch, hiring an excellent post-production team, and feeding everyone along the way.

2. Share! Tag! Comment! Post!

Yes! We absolutely are asking you to do the very thing that our short is critical of! Social media is this campaign's best friend, so if you can't support us with a pledge, any re-posts/shares/tags/comments are most appreciated and will help us reach audiences that we aren't directly connected to already.

We'll be posting throughout the campaign and make sure to stay tuned for BTS content come our shoot in January! We promise the content will be *chefs kiss*.

Tag creators @madelinemahoney, @petermolesworth, and director @bkenney

THE TEAM

Betsy Kenny, Director

is a comedy writer, performer, and voiceover artist based in Brooklyn, New York. She writes and directs with collaborator, Dara Katz (Cool Right Productions). Their short film Tapes, a dramedy about a mother/daughter relationship, was selected to premiere at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival. Their 2018 film, Amazing Bagel, a comedy about a miscarriage, was an official selection of the 2019 Maryland Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival and won the Audience Choice Award at the Nitehawk Shorts Fest. Their previous series, The Place We Live, a ‘90s evening soap parody, can be viewed on IFC.com.

 

Peter Molesworth, Co-Creator + Charlie

is an actor and writer based in New York. A dual national of the US and Italy, Petergraduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Upon graduation, Peter taught for the Stella Adler Studio, devised theater and film with his production company, Cue, (co-founded with Chelsea Frei of The Moodys on Fox) and began performing Shakespeare in New York and regionally (Smith Street Stage’s The Tempest, cue’s The Merchant of Venice, Westport Country Playhouse’s Romeo & Juliet). At 24, he was an artist-in-residence at Villa Lena in Palaia, Tuscany. His debut short film, fix, was completed in 2019 and an official selection of the 2019 Tacoma Film Festival. It premiered on nobudge.com. fix features actors Brigette Lundy-Paine (Atypical, Bombshell) & Annie Young (The Knick).

Madeline Mahoney, Co-Creator + Jack

an actor-writer-producer based in NYC. A graduate of NYU Tisch's Drama BFA, she's worked extensively in the NYC theater scene, notably the verging-on-cultish Flea Theater (Neighborhood 3, dir. Joel Schumacher). On screen she’s appeared in A Thousand and One (dir. AV Rockwell), at SeriesFest, Slamdance, and Funny or Die. She regularly lends her voice to commercials, is an active improviser with UCB, and has been a writer-actor on house sketch comedy teams at The Pit 2019. As a producer, she's worked for MTV, Paramount Pictures, and recently brought a web series to premier at Slamdance 2021. Current on-camera acting faculty at NYU Tisch's Stonestreet studio.

 

Brendan Swift, Director of Photography

Brendan’s recent work includes the short film Class, executive produced by Hank Azaria and starring David Krumholtz, Interested In season 1 (Frameline Film Festival, Cinema Diverse Palm Springs, Out on Film Atlanta, Qflix Philadelphia, season 2 in pre-production), short film My Annie Hall (featured in The New York Times and CBS’s Sunday Morning), and forthcoming full-length comedy Dream House, featuring Catherine Curtin and Joel Marsh Garland. As a member of ICG Local 600 he’s worked as a Camera Operator with credits including Showtime’s The Desus and Mero Show and BET’s The Rundown with Robin Thede.

 

Julie Balefsky, Producer

is a Brooklyn-based producer whose work has been featured at film festivals around the United States, including Slamdance, Indie Memphis, & Atlanta Film Festival, among others. In addition to producing short films and web series, Julie has served as an assistant to various film and TV professionals. Most notably, she assisted creator Jenji Kohan on season six of Orange is the New Black and showrunner David Hollander on seasons six and seven of Ray Donovan. Currently, Julie is the associate producer of scripted podcasts at Gimlet Media. She holds a BFA degree in Drama from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.

 

A note on the pandemic:
Our first priority is ensuring the safety of everyone on set and we'll be complying with SAG's COVID safety guidelines. We've successfully produced several projects over the course of this pandemic and remain committed to adapting safety protocols as necessary.

 

Wishlist

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

Costumes

Costs $700

Pear is verging on full cult-dom, so all participants will be outfitted in matching sweatsuits.

Pear HQ

Costs $1,200

The look of Pear's HQ is integral to the story - clean, minimalist, with bright pops of color.

Crew

Costs $4,700

It takes a village! We want to pay the amazingly talented people we've gathered to work with us.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Camera + Accessories

Costs $1,350

We quite literally can't do it without a camera and lenses! We're shooting on an Arri Alexa.

Lighting

Costs $600

We're inspired by Dan Flavin's light design - pops of soft, warm color.

Drives + Expendables

Costs $350

Hard drives store footage for us after filming and expendables cover all last-minute purchases.

Food + Crafty

Costs $1,000

Our cast and crew will be working hard and they deserve to be fed the best!

Transportation

Costs $900

This covers a van for transporting equipment, cars for cast and crew, parking, and gas.

All Post Production

Costs $4,200

This will go toward hiring an editor, colorist, sound designer, and a composer for post-production.

Contingency

Costs $1,000

The just-in-case fund.

About This Team

Betsy Kenney, Director
is a comedy writer, performer, and voiceover artist based in Brooklyn, New York. She writes and directs with collaborator, Dara Katz (Cool Right Productions). Their short film Tapes, a dramedy about a mother/daughter relationship, was selected to premiere at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival. Their 2018 film, Amazing Bagel, a comedy about a miscarriage, was an official selection of the 2019 Maryland Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival and won the Audience Choice Award at the Nitehawk Shorts Fest. Their previous series, The Place We Live, a ‘90s evening soap parody, can be viewed on IFC.com.

 

Peter Molesworth, Co-Creator + Charlie
is an actor and writer based in New York. A dual national of the US and Italy, Petergraduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Upon graduation, Peter taught for the Stella Adler Studio, devised theater and film with his production company, Cue, (co-founded with Chelsea Frei of The Moodys on Fox) and began performing Shakespeare in New York and regionally (Smith Street Stage’s The Tempest, cue’s The Merchant of Venice, Westport Country Playhouse’s Romeo & Juliet). At 24, he was an artist-in-residence at Villa Lena in Palaia, Tuscany. His debut short film, fix, was completed in 2019 and an official selection of the 2019 Tacoma Film Festival. It premiered on nobudge.com. fix features actors Brigette Lundy-Paine (Atypical, Bombshell) & Annie Young (The Knick).


Madeline Mahoney, Co-Creator + Jack
an actor-writer-producer based in NYC. A graduate of NYU Tisch's Drama BFA, she's worked extensively in the NYC theater scene, notably the verging-on-cultish Flea Theater (Neighborhood 3, dir. Joel Schumacher). On screen she’s appeared in A Thousand and One (dir. AV Rockwell), at SeriesFest, Slamdance, and Funny or Die. She regularly lends her voice to commercials, is an active improviser with UCB, and has been a writer-actor on house sketch comedy teams at The Pit 2019. As a producer, she's worked for MTV, Paramount Pictures, and recently brought a web series to premier at Slamdance 2021. Current on-camera acting faculty at NYU Tisch's Stonestreet studio.

 

Brendan Swift, Director of Photography
Brendan’s recent work includes the short film Class, executive produced by Hank Azaria and starring David Krumholtz, Interested In season 1 (Frameline Film Festival, Cinema Diverse Palm Springs, Out on Film Atlanta, Qflix Philadelphia, season 2 in pre-production), short film My Annie Hall (featured in The New York Times and CBS’s Sunday Morning), and forthcoming full-length comedy Dream House, featuring Catherine Curtin and Joel Marsh Garland. As a member of ICG Local 600 he’s worked as a Camera Operator with credits including Showtime’s The Desus and Mero Show and BET’s The Rundown with Robin Thede.

 

Julie Balefsky, Producer
is a Brooklyn-based producer whose work has been featured at film festivals around the United States, including Slamdance, Indie Memphis, & Atlanta Film Festival, among others. In addition to producing short films and web series, Julie has served as an assistant to various film and TV professionals. Most notably, she assisted creator Jenji Kohan on season six of Orange is the New Black and showrunner David Hollander on seasons six and seven of Ray Donovan. Currently, Julie is the associate producer of scripted podcasts at Gimlet Media. She holds a BFA degree in Drama from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.

Current Team

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