Detroit, Michigan | Film Short


Dylan Trupiano

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $24,025 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

112 supporters | followers

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RECESSES is a coming-of-age film that pays tribute to the unrecognized work of public educators and explores how children begin to confront their subconscious.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

RECESSES was inspired by personal experiences I had as a child trying to navigate difficult moments without having the language to talk about it. This film explores these challenges as well as the teachers who try to speak up for their students, all set within the midwest culture I grew up in.

The Story

Set within a frozen midwest atmosphere, Sherry, a pushover elementary school secretary, is asked to stay after work until a rambunctious student, Bailey, is picked up by his father after being discipled for an “inappropriate” drawing. Eventually, the students and staff exit, leaving them as the only ones remaining in the building. As Sherry waits with Bailey, she begins to get to know him beyond the confines of school.


Played by Solia Cates

A kind-hearted pushover with a scream caught in her throat. Working as a secretary at the elementary school she attended, she often masks feelings of being overworked and undervalued with a cool, passive demeanor. Her work with the students is what fulfills her, and eventually leads her to confront what she's actually feeling.


A charming (if not sometimes annoying) mischief-maker carrying a sadness behind his eyes. He often bounces between spurts of rambunctious energy to spells of anxiety. He’s at a pivotal age where he’s beginning to comprehend and grapple with his emotions.


A caring yet shielding father who, for better or worse, just wants everything to be okay. He’ll do everything he can to support and care for his family; but when it comes to emotional support, he lacks the tools to address difficult issues.


Played by Jeremy Roth-Rose

A semi-accomplished gossip on track to becoming a local socialite. He is the face of hometown pride. He’s grown up and lived in his community for his entire life and wants to know everything about everybody who lives there.

RECESSES isn’t a personal film just because we’re shooting at the elementary school I grew up attending. It’s a story about what I’ve seen and what I’ve felt.

I grew up with several public educators in my family, one of whom was my father who taught at the elementary school I attended. Growing up with this so close to my life, I’ve seen the way teachers are constantly undervalued and unrecognized. I wanted to use this film as an opportunity to portray what that looks like through the lens of an educator’s relationship with one of their students.

Educators don’t just teach what’s in textbooks; they also give us the tools to help us understand ourselves. As a child, I often lacked the words to comprehend and communicate what and how I was feeling. This film is my way of visualizing that struggle and the support teachers offer through it.

RECESSES is a foundational installment in the filmography Sogbots is building; the result from years of artistic growth. Our film will do what has always drawn me to this artistic medium: discover a universal truth through a heartfelt, personal reflection.


The film will utilize a grainy, filmic look in order to create the sensation that viewers are witnessing a memory. The interior of the school has a cyan color palette and will be lit with fluorescent lights. In direct contrast to those colors, the outdoor scenes will be illuminated by orange sodium-vapor street lights. Throughout the film, the characters’ faces and bodies will be framed in close ups to amplify their subtle expressions and behaviors, allowing viewers to see the emotions the characters often try to conceal. After the school shuts down and empties, we’ll incorporate wider frames for the characters to inhabit, emphasizing the loneliness and isolation within their desolate surroundings.


The film will oscillate between realism and surrealism to form its distinct vision. Certain moments will be filmed in a docu-style, allowing the performers to behave naturally and engage with their environment. Meanwhile, devices such as slow motion and deliberate tracking shots will be used to capture each character’s interiority and experience of loneliness. Both of these approaches will inform and influence one another, seamlessly slipping back and forth between subjective to objective experience.


The elementary school will be shot on location in Michigan at the school that the director attended as a child, which served as a primary inspiration for the film's look.

Four years after moving to Los Angeles and forming our production company, Sogbots is gaining steam.

After a successful campaign last year to fund our film, MATTRESS EXPRESS, we were able to play it at festivals including the Oscar-Qualifying Hollyshorts Film Festival at The Chinese Theatre. Meanwhile, our film TRANSFERENCE, made during the Playlab Films Creators Lab led by Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or Winner, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, played at festivals around the world, from Baltimore to Berlin.

Not only that, we created our own film festival, "LA's Rich and Successful Film Festival", which has sold-out two years in a row and received coverage from Variety.

In order to continue building our audience, we need to continue making impactful films with strong production value. With RECESSES, we want to strike while the iron is hot and firmly establish ourselves as filmmakers.


It takes more than a good script to get a movie made, and in order to support our cast, crew, and larger production needs, we are calling on our community of filmmakers, film lovers, and any one who connects with the thesis of this film to help make it financially viable.

This fundraiser will help us:

  • Pay our cast and crew a fair wage
  • Get the appropriate gear and equipment to ensure our film looks and feels as it should
  • Cover transportation costs to get to Michigan as well as to and from set
  • Provide hot meals and snacks to our team during the frigid Michigan winter 
  • Secure insurance for our production

Our $28,000 goal is the minimum we need to get to Michigan, pay our team a fair salary and get this film out to the world. However, with more funding we can go even further.

  • If we raise $29,000, we'll have contingency and be able to cover our film festival festival fees.
  • If we raise $31,000, we'll be able to rent more professional gear to make the film look extra sharp.
  • If we raise $33,000, we'll be able to increase the rates of our actors, our producers, our DP, and additional crew members.

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.

Follow us on Instagram @recessesfilm to stay up to date with our progress and re-share our posts to help get the word out about our campaign. We even drafted a caption for you:

Help support indie filmmakers and contribute to #Recesses! Show them some love @seedandspark



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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $9,800

You can't have a movie without a stellar cast and crew. Help support their work!


Costs $3,100

Before we can make a film, we gotta get to Michigan!

Camera Department

Costs $6,000

Because having a camera and lights for the film is... pretty important.

Production Services

Costs $3,900

This will go towards essential production needs, including transporting the gear and insurance for the production.

Catering and Craft Services

Costs $800

We've got to eat! Let's feed our crew something real good.

Color Correction / Sound Mixing

Costs $1,700

The final touches of filmmaking. Before we can send it out, it's gotta look AND sound professional.


Costs $900

In order to set the right tone, we need the right score. This will pay our composer as well as any music licensing costs.


Costs $1,800

Things come up! This will ensure we can cover any last second costs.

About This Team

DYLAN TRUPIANO // Writer, Director

DYLAN TRUPIANO is a director, writer and editor from Metro Detroit. He is one of the co-founders of sogbots and has served as director, writer and editor on numerous award-winning short films including BYE BYE BUDDY, (Official Selection of the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival) TRANSFERENCE (Official Selection of Oak Cliff Film Festival) and MATTRESS EXPRESS (Official Selection of HollyShorts Film Festival). Recently, he was one of 50 directors selected for Playlab Films' Creators Lab, taught by Palme d'Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Currently, he works as a co-founder and Festival Director of LA's Rich and Successful Film Festival.


Solia Cates is an actress, writer, producer, and the first person to be raised in Los Angeles and come out completely unscathed :) As an actress, she has trained and performed at Yale University and the London Academy for Music and the Dramatic Arts. She has appeared in several films and a multitude of stage productions in Los Angeles, New Haven, and London. She currently works as the Writer’s Assistant on The Sex Lives of College Girls. Her first narrative series, Clique Bait, was picked up for development by Stampede Ventures in 2021. 


Born & raised in Los Angeles but based in Brooklyn, TALIA LIGHT RAKE is a multi-hyphenate director & producer working on projects on both coasts. She has produced for Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Festival, and most recently New York Fashion Week running their content studio. She launched her own production company, Heavy Shovel Productions, in 2022 working in the social media, creative development, and video production space with a slate of commercial and narrative projects.

NOAH MORSE // Producer

NOAH MORSE is a director and photographer from Johnston, RI. He has directed and served as director of photography on numerous shorts and music videos including Mattress Express (Grand Prize New England Director’s Award at the Rhode Island International Film Festival), Freak Accident by Al Menne, Doing Fine by Eliza McLamb, Bye Bye Buddy (Official Selection of the Rhode Island International Film Festival), and Going Green, winner of Best Editing at the 2017 Baltimore 48 Hour Film Festival. His work has also been featured on PBS’ documentary series, NOVA and in publications such as Variety, The Fader, Stereogum, Fashionista and The Film Desert.

PAGE BRADY // Producer

PAGE BRADY is a producer based in Los Angeles. She currently works on film and television projects at the production company Universal Remote. Previously, she was at Creative Artists Agency in the media finance department where she assisted in securing financing and distribution for independent films.  She’s passionate about finding and championing unique new voices in film and media. Page is originally from Battle Creek, MI - famously, cereal capital of the world. 

CECE CHAN // Director of Photography

Cece Chan is a New York–based cinematographer. She graduated from Tisch School of the Arts in 2020 with a BFA in Film and Television. She is a 2023-2024 ASC Vision Mentee. She has shot internationally, in Colombia, Canada, and the Czech Republic. Raised in Hong Kong, she’s proud to bring a global perspective to her work. She’s most interested in bringing underrepresented narratives to life, working primarily with dramatic narratives. Sean Baker recently shared a music video she shot (“Sole Obsession”) on Twitter.

JEREMY ROTH ROSE // Executive Producer, Actor

JEREMY ROTH-ROSE is an actor, producer, and writer originally from southeastern Massachusetts. As an actor, he is best known for playing Rob Lewis in the Netflix series “The Society,” the starring role in the 2023 feature film “F*** You Ashley,” and lead and supporting roles in two forthcoming TV pilots. On stage, Jeremy is a multi-season performer with the Tony-award winning Trinity Repertory Company. As a co-founder and head of programming at LA’s Rich and Successful Film Fest, Jeremy is passionate about short films, building community, and laughing with friends. He is a graduate of Brown University, where he was head of production with Brown Motion Pictures and a programming team staffer at the Ivy Film Festival.

NIR LIEBENTHAL // Executive Producer

NIR LIEBENTHAL is a producer, writer, and actor from Massachusetts. He is a co-founder and head of operations at sogbots where he has produced, developed, and acted in multiple award winning short-films. Additionally, he is the director of operations for LA’s Rich and Successful Film Festival, which is going on its third year. Previously, he has worked at Netflix, Marvel, and the Center for Scholars & Storytellers at UCLA. 


CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA Is A Sound Artist And Musician Living On The Outskirts Of Tokyo. He Has Performed For Years Under His Given Name And Also As One Half Of The Electroacoustic Duo Opitope, Along With Tomoyoshi Date. Hatakeyama Polychromes Memory-Evoking Soundscapes With Various Recorded Materials Of Electric, Acoustic Instruments Such As Electric Guitars, Vibraphone, And Piano. His Releases Is On Kranky, Room 40, Under The Spire, Hibernate Records, Magic Book Records, Home Nomal, OwnRecords And Spekk (As Opitope).

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.

Current Team