Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Comedy, Drama

Annika Hylmö

1 Campaigns |

Green Light

This campaign raised $17,168 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

135 supporters | followers

Enter the amount you would like to pledge


An introverted graduate student struggles to finish her psychology dissertation when a psychic puppet shows up insisting on teaching her about the importance of intuition and the meaning of human connection.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Our story touches on universal themes that include reflections on cultural diversity and spirituality. PSYCHICOLOGIST is a story by and about women (although men love it, too!). We are signatories of Women in Media's 50/50 pledge to aim for 50% gender balance behind and in front of the camera.

The Story


"Psychicologist" is a play on "psychic" and "psychologist". Our story follows Julia who is an intellectual psychologist that also needs to learn to tap into her intuition. When Dr. Penelope appears, she instinctively tries to turn Julia into both a psychic and a psychologist - a psychicologist.




PSYCHICOLOGIST tells a story about a world that more and more people express curiosity about. Seers and fortunetellers have been around since the beginning of time, sometimes reviled, sometimes respected, and sometimes a bit of both.

Currently, more people than ever consult a psychic or intuitive about life questions, while the sale of spiritual candles, scents, and tools proliferate. People want personal growth, and often accept psychological therapy, psychic counseling, and various forms of religious/spiritual nurturing. It is not uncommon for the same person to have their angel cards and go to church. They are curious and growing more curious by the minute. They want to learn more, explore the world of psychics, and to be allowed to question and reach their own conclusions, thereby enhancing their spiritual awareness.

This is the world of PSYCHICOLOGIST - unwaveringly questioning, challenging expectations, and asking intelligent questions about the logic and intuition that drives all of us in our quest to become better human beings. These are the stories that people want to see, laugh at, cry at, and identify with. We get to experience the realities of coming of age and stepping into postgraduate adult life as we follow Julia's attempts to reconcile her familiar past and her uknown future at the same time as we are reminded of the importance of staying connected to our inner child and the joys of discovery that our puppet, Dr. Penelope, represents.
PSYCHICOLOGIST is a stand-alone short film ready to tell the stories that grown people yearn to see, talk about, and grow from... but as the story goes, who knows where it will grow!



PSYCHICOLOGIST is a stand-alone short comedy that has the potential to grow into something much bigger on the global market. The short film is destined to become a calling card for many of the people involved with the project. It will be screened at film festivals around the world.


Our intent is to target some of the larger festivals (aka qualifying festivals that would make us eligible for some of the major filmmaking awards).  While everyone knows about film festivals such as AFI, Sundance, Berlin, and Venice, we are also looking at Stockholm, Newport Beach and Palm Springs. We are also looking at a few specialty festivals that are of interest to our immediate audience. If you are close to a particular festival that you would like to see us at, please let us know!


In addition to film festivals, PSYCHICOLOGIST is a story that has the potential to be developed into feature and series versions intended for a global market when backed by a major media outlet. Our crowdfunding campaign has shown us the international appeal of the story, with supporters not only in the United States and Europe, but also Moscow, Bangladesh, India, Middle East, Australia, Mexico, Colombia, and many other places around the world. These connections will have a huge impact when we pitch PSYCHICOLOGIST for further development to networks, cable, and streaming outlets with the short film as proof of concept in hand. Julia’s story with Dr. Penelope captures us all!


Dr. Penelope combines a sense of innocence with Julia’s no-nonsense therapy, which means that we can explore sensitive topics and issues that appeal to audiences around the world. Our short version already touches on areas of inter-religious relationships, death and grieving, and inter-racial relationships, to name a few. The extended versions (feature and series) offer the opportunity to dig deeper into these and other areas of human connection that will allow us to laugh, cry, and heal individuals and communities everywhere.



As an academic and a creative, I have always been driven to explore the intersections between the known and the unknown. I have always been fascinated by stories telling tales that give rise to ourcuriosity about the mystery of faith and our need for logical explanations. Since childhood, I have had an awareness of the existence of something inexplicable in my existence.

Much as Julia in PSYCHICOLOGIST experiences a struggle reconciling these different parts of ourselves, I too am looking for ways to reconcile my beliefs into an integrated whole. Not easy in the chaotic world that we live in! PSYCHICOLOGIST explores these themes and their impact on family and community.

Like many, Julia resolves to detach herself emotionally by immersing herself in books and certainty, only to discover that the world is full of contradictions that can only be resolved by developing relationships and connections with other people, no matter how similar or different from herself they may seem. She finds that the only way to live is by accepting the existence of both science and mystery, not by living separately from either. It is a struggle that I think many of us can relate to.






We are ready to go into production in Los Angeles! We will be filming in an old Victorian residence close to downtown Los Angeles where we will have all of our locations and storage needs met. Having everything in one place will save us money and time. All we need is your support and a month or so of preproduction, then the camera will roll.


When you contribute to PSYCHICOLOGIST, you become a part of a larger community of people who want to grow as human beings and to help others to do the same. We are a nurturing team of high level filmmakers who are ready to support and mentor one another while telling quality stories that impact and affect everyone. We want to create female driven stories without losing connection to the amazing men that continue to be a part of these kinds of stories - in front of and behind the camera. Our focus is on commercially viable content that has universal appeal and a depth of story that challenges people to think, consider, and explore what it means to be a part of a community as a unique, complex individuals. We are all working together and by contributing you become a part of our community. 


Our PSYCHICOLOGIST team is already fortunate – with the help of early supporters, we have covered some of our pre-production costs, like paying for a custom-built puppet, our crystal ball, a casting director, and shooting a trailer. WE LOVE YOU ALL!!! We have our locations, most of our camera and lighting needs, and (very important!) our legal services covered. WOOHOO!! Those are huge costs that are taking care of about 35% of our production costs. But we still need help.

Here is the breakdown for where your donations will go:





Because we are so grateful to you for your donation, we wanted to be able to give you a little part of the movie to take with you. Here is a breakdown of the cool perks we want to give to you!




Learn More About Our Cast & Crew Under Tab "The Team"!



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

Insurance and similar unavoidables

Costs $3,500

Just in case...

A fantastic world

Costs $500

Our world will be as cool as the puppet! Crystals, tarot cards, candles, photos, textiles, magic.

People who work on set

Costs $8,000

We need skilled people who can work a camera, lights, sound, design, production, and so much more.

Lights and camera equipment

Costs $500

Lenses, cables, lights, filters... we have a lot, but need more.

Signs for psychic shop

Costs $300

Electric open/closed sign with on-off button, street signage

Graphic novel

Costs $300

Julia's love interest is a graphic novelist. We need to show his work!

Everything Sound

Costs $1,500

Imagine a movie without sound... now imagine it with BAD sound... you get it. We need sound.

Production Designer

Costs $1,200

The world is a character in this movie. We need help from someone who really knows how to create it.

Costumes, hair and makeup

Costs $750

What our characters wear and how they look help tell the story.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $3,000

Our actors need to be paid! Not you, Dr. Penelope.

Food and snacks and coffee!!!

Costs $1,000

Our cast and crew are working at minimal rates, so the least we can do is feed them well.

General production items

Costs $450

Paper, ink, first aid...

About This Team

We are a group of working filmmakers who are coming together to make PSYCHICOLOGIST happen! Each one of us brings her or his own special talents to collaborate and create the story. 


Behind the Camera!

Annika Hylmö, Writer/Director/Producer


CREATOR - Annika Hylmö loves fantasy, spirituality and pragmatic reality. She has a background in film and entertainment that includes academic research, consulting, and extensive work at the American Film Institute's Conservatory. She tells stories about active, smart women and girls who challenge themselves to create their own futures. In addition to PSYCHICOLOGIST, Annika is currently co-producing IMAGE MAKERS: THE ADVENTURES OF AMERICA's PIONEER CINEMATOGRAPHERS, a documentary about early filmmaking in Hollywood. Since that's not out yet, she's sharing some of the movies that inspired her while writing PSYCHICOLOGIST!





Geoff Schaaf, Director of Photography


CINEMATOGRAPHER -After Director/Cinematographer Geoff Schaaf completed his MA at the State University of California, he worked in documentary films, earning a total of 4 Emmys and 13 Emmy nominations. A mong Schaaf's documentary credits was the early reality show, LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS. Schaaf's first Hollywood DP credit was the 1990 CHINA LAKE MURDERS, starring Tom Skerritt and MichaelParks. Schaaf served as Director of Photography on hundreds of hours of episodic series including SEAQUEST DSV, FORTUNE HUNTER, EARLY EDITION, SWAMP THING, THE BURNING ZONE, FIRE COMPANY 132, CHARMED, and others.


Sydney K., Supervising Producer

Sydney K. is an independent writer/director, producer, editor, and sound designer from Los Angeles, and CEO of Rickety Wheels Productions. She went to UC Santa Cruz where she graduated as a double major in Literature and Film, with honors and awards in both her fields. Sydney never stopped working, even over the summers between college, taking summer courses and programs at schools such as the New York Film Academy and UCLA. In her senior year at UCSC, Sydney won the Eli Hollander Aspiring Filmmaker award for her work and used the resources awarded to her to create her senior thesis film "Thank You, Janet," which then became an Official Selection as a Semi-Finalist in the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival in 2017/2018. 


Associate Producers 



Our Cast!

Katie Koster as JULIA McLUHAN

JULIA McLUHAN - Katie Koster. Our story follows JULIA, a graduate student trying to finish her dissertation in psychology so that she can follow in the footsteps of her MD/Ph.D. father. Katie Koster is our perfect Julia. Katie is not only an accomplished actress with training from both Boston College and the William Esper Studio in New York, but she graduated from Boston College with a dual degree in Theater and Mathematics. She is known for Class Dismissed (2015) and Congratulations Mr. Gonzalez! (2010). Katie also brings her love of all things puppets and corgis to the project!


Jason Grasl as THOMAS


THOMAS - Jason Grasl. THOMAS is a Native American delivery guy with a talent for writing graphic novels who brings Julia surprisingly profound messages through his stories. He probably finished graduate school in philosophy or Native American studies.


Tom will be captured by Jason Grasl, who is a Native actor and writer, whose long list of credits includes CASSIDY RED (2017), and TV-series Hot in Cleveland and 9-1-1. Jason writes and performs on the stage as well as on the screen, and frequently performs at the Autry Museum of the American West. In addition to being an actor, Jason brings a passion for exploring the planet and anything related to Detroit pro-sports.


Carrie Madsen as LYNDA McLUHAN

You may know Carrie Madsen from shows like Gilmore Girls, Jane the Virgin, and Good Girls Revolt, but now she is ready to play Julia's mom, LYNDA McLUHAN who is a little more psychic than Julia wants her to be! Writer, actor, producer Carrie Madsen is fabulous as Julia's mom, bringing with her a sparkling energy stemming from her love of dance and traveling around the world. We can't wait to share her in PSYCHICOLOGIST with you and the rest of the world!


Sandi McCree as MRS. ELLIOTT

You have never seen her like this, but multifaceted Sandi McCree is showing her softer side as grieving mother Mrs. Elliott who lost her daughter a year ago and wants nothing more than to speak with her again. She brings warmth and community to Julia, much needed in her vacuum days of finishing that last piece of her graduate studies. Of course, Sandi McCree is otherwise known for her edgy, street-tough performance as "Delonda Brice" on HBO's The Wire, while her numerous credits also include recent critically acclaimed performances on The Bobby Brown Story and The New Edition Story as Bobby Brown's mother and she is a member of the prestigious Sunday Company of The Groundlings. when she is not mentoring young people in the arts and community building.


Jacqui Lynn Phung as SARAH

Perky and quirky Sarah is convinced that her romance and family problems can only be solved with the help of Dr. Penelope’s advice. Her dad is dead and of course when Sarah's boyfriend proposes to her in a dream, not being able to talk to her dad becomes an enormous dilemma. Who, to Julia's dismay, can she trust but Dr. Penelope? Sarah is played by amazing up-and-coming actress and producer Jacqui Lynn Phung, known for Happy Birthday, Claire, The Worst Year of My Life, and Hawaii-Five-O not to mention comedy sketches on Conan. Jacqui brings tremendous energy to her parts and often her rescue dog in a wheelchair in tow.


Dr. Penelope as HERSELF


Introducing - DR. PENELOPE - herself. DR. PENELOPE is Julia’s opinionated feisty childhood puppet friend who insists on challenging Julia’s assumptions about the world.

Born in Los Angeles, CA, Dr. Penelope plays herself as Julia’s opinionated feisty childhood puppet friend who insists on challenging Julia’s assumptions about the world. A long-time fan of puppets like Miss Piggy, Lambchops, and an occasional scare from Annabelle, Dr. Penelope has waited an equally long time for her own starring role. PSYCHICOLOGIST marks her debut on the big screen.



Tom Rickman, Executive Producer in Memoriam

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER (in Memoriam) - Tom Rickman has not only been nominated for an Oscar as writer of the film Coal Miner's Daughter in 1981 but he has also been nominated for 2 Emmy's for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries for The Reagans (2004) & Truman (1996). In 2000 he also won the Humanitas Prize in the 90 minute category for Tuesdays With Morrie. Without Tom, there would be no PSYCHICOLOGIST. Dr. Penelopetalks to him all the time.


Current Team