Relentless Reflection

Hamden, Connecticut | Film Short

Horror, Drama

Haley Ruccio

1 Campaigns | Connecticut, United States

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This campaign raised $11,685 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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Mallory, a lonely woman living in a cabin in 1983, fights her addiction for killing with her desire for human connection. When she meets a father and daughter harboring secrets of their own, will she finally find what she’s looking for? Or will it end, yet again, in bloodshed?

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Relentless Reflection looks to dive into the dark depths of addiction and the powerful drive for familial connection, addressing themes of trauma, abuse, self-discovery, and introspection through the lens of a blood-soaked horror movie.

The Story


The product of an abusive household, Mallory Devlin reached a breaking point 12 years ago, entering a cycle of an unusual addiction — an addiction to killing. Though isolated in an old cabin in the woods, the craving never goes away, and the casualties slowly tick upward. Unable to control her actions despite her attempts to stay "sober," Mallory feels helpless that she will never find the true connection she longs for: a family that will accept her for who she is, or maybe someone who is just like her. Then, father and daughter Corey and Evelynn Samson show up on Mallory's doorstep seeking shelter from a storm. Despite her better judgment — and the secrets they’re obviously hiding from her — she lets them in. Is it because she recognizes herself in Evelynn? Because of her need for companionship? Or because she’s looking for her next victims? 



This film depicts the best and the worst sides of humanity while keeping a nostalgic 80s look and feel at the forefront. We derived our story from classic horror, adding a modern-day spin. Our film is in the final stages of pre-production with a locked script, budget and full crew. As we move into casting, location locking, and shooting, all our proceeds will go towards the production stage of “Relentless Reflection.” To find our three actors, we will prioritize finding a diverse and exceptionally talented cast to take on these tense and complicated characters. 


Mallory is complex. Coming from an abusive household she is psychologically torn between her internal desires: her cravings for killing and her want for a familial connection. She is isolated, on edge, and skillful at hiding her secrets, but her worst fear is herself.



Evelynn is complicated. She is an angsty teenager with a manipulative side but has experienced so much already at such a young age. She isn't the best student at school since she isn’t able to keep parts of herself at bay that even she doesn't fully understand. Her worst fear is losing control.



Corey is conflicted. He is the helpless father of Evelynn, hopeful she can still change after her destructive actions. He is caring and family-oriented and would do anything to protect his daughter no matter the circumstances. His worst fear is losing her.


- Julia Schnarr, Director


Plot and Character Inspiration

We wanted to combine the setting and time period of many classic slasher horror movies, a 1980s cabin in the woods, with more modern characters and themes like feminism and female rage. We’ve been very inspired by films using the concept of the Monstrous Feminine, and as Livia Rappaport, who helps put on the Etheria Film Festival, wrote, characters whose actions are “out of [their] control and simultaneously horrifying and gratifying.” Some of our favorites with these themes include Raw (2017), Carrie (1976), Ginger Snaps (2000), and Jennifer’s Body (2009).



Visual and Production Design Inspiration

Setting our story in the 1980s has been a source of a lot of ideas. The colors, fashion, and language of the period have all been considered heavily while coming up with how the film will look. Specifically, though, the technology of the 80s has been incredibly important to development. Not only is a classic tape player used heavily, but the film also utilizes radios, phones, and headphones that would have existed in the 1980s. Media that has inspired this part of our film include Stranger Things (2016), Monster (2003), Bones and All (2022), and The Breakfast Club (1985).




Development (February 2023-August 2023)

We’ve been planning this film since the beginning of 2023 when we began putting our group together and locking down our roles! We began meeting as a group, discussing general themes and ideas that we’d like to implement into our script. Almost immediately, we all loved the idea of doing a horror film with elements of female rage. During the summer of 2023, we pitched different loglines to one another and chose our favorites to write some first drafts. After a few rounds of edits, we decided on the film that we later titled Relentless Reflection!


Pre-Production (September 2023-January 2024)

Since September, we’ve been meeting at least twice a week to discuss all of the elements that are going into this film, from final script edits to budgeting to everything in between. Our group has already worked on two smaller productions during this period together to work on our chemistry on set. Moving forward, we’ll be working on location scouting, actor auditions, and equipment rentals to prepare for when we get into our official filming dates!


Production (February 2024)

This is what our hard work has all been in preparation for! We’ll be taking a week in February to film the entirety of Relentless Reflection and bring our script to life. We’ll be working closely with our actors, PAs, and each other to make sure that every day is going smoothly and on schedule, as well as making sure that everyone is safe and having fun!


Post-Production (March 2024-May 2024)

After shooting is completed, we’ll be moving into post-production led by our editor Ronnie! We’ll be cutting together all of our footage, choosing the best takes from our scenes, and working with other professionals like a sound mixer to put all the finishing touches onto our film. This is also the time when donors will start to receive their incentives.


Distribution (Fall 2024 and beyond!)

Once our film is picture, sound, and color-locked, we want as many people to see it as possible! We’ll be submitting to film festivals across the country in order to share the story of Relentless Reflection

 


Make a pledge to help us make Relentless Reflection a reality! We’re so excited to share this story with you, and every little bit you decide to contribute will help us make this film as wonderful as possible. 


Follow our social media accounts! We’re @relentless.reflection.film on Instagram and Relentless Reflection on Facebook. You can also find our pages by clicking on the icons right below our promo video! We’ll be posting updates on the campaign, production, and post-production, as well as posting everyone who donates $10 or more through our “Here’s Johnny!” incentive. Also consider following our Seed&Spark page, as every follow helps us reach more people and unlock special perks on the platform!


Spread the word by sharing our Seed&Spark page or our social media accounts! We’ve always heard that the best type of advertising is word of mouth, and we’d love to have your help. If you’re excited to see our film come to life, let people know about it!


Thank you so much for your interest in our film. We are beyond thrilled to be telling this story, and we deeply appreciate your support! Without people like you, student creators like us wouldn’t be able to produce films of this scale. 


Wishlist

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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Cast

Costs $2,500

We’re looking to cast talented, experienced actors who can portray these complex characters.

Location

Costs $2,000

We need the perfect 80’s era log cabin that will contribute to the mood of the film.

Post-Production

Costs $2,250

We need the proper resources to make our final film look and sound perfect, including a professional sound mix, color grade, and composer.

Catering

Costs $1,200

To work effectively on set, we want to provide our cast and crew with meals from local caterers each day.

Equipment

Costs $2,000

We’ll need to rent and buy equipment in order to effectively portray our story.

Transportation

Costs $500

We’ll be paying for travel expenses, including gas and lodging, for our actors and crew.

Production Design

Costs $500

To transport our audience to the early 1980s, we’ll need era-accurate props and costumes.

Contingency

Costs $2,800

We need to be prepared for anything and everything unexpected that may come our way.

Festival Fees

Costs $250

Once the film is complete, we want the world to be able to see it! This will cover any fees for submitting to festivals.

About This Team


Julia Schnarr is an ambitious aspiring filmmaker, currently working toward her Master's Degree in Film, Television, and Media Arts at Quinnipiac University after growing up attending the NJ Film School. In her time at university, Schnarr won 1st Place at Quinnipiac’s 25-Hour Film Challenge for a project titled, “She’s Perfect.” In 2019, she won Best Homegrown Student Documentary for her film Relay For Life at the Garden State Film Festival. She recently wrote and directed the short film production, “All Is Well”.



Mikela Picard is an ambitious and motivated filmmaker and writer with unique creative vision and a passion for filmmaking and production. She is currently working toward her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Film, Television and Media Arts at Quinnipiac University, and Master’s Degree in Cinematic Production Management. Mikela has written, directed, and assistant directed a number of productions from her time at Quinnipiac. Most recently she wrote and co-directed the short film “Channeling” through the Quinnipiac Film Society, a student run organization which she is the also the Secretary of. This film has since placed as a Semi-Finalist at the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival. She has also won “Best Cinematography” at the Quinnipiac Film Society’s award show The Quinnies, where she wrote, co-directed, and was the cinematographer of a music video for “All The Stars.”



Haley Ruccio has been making films since she was 9 years old, creating music videos with her iPod in her bedroom. Now, she is a passionate and hard-working accelerated dual-degree Film, Television, and Media Arts BFA major at Quinnipiac University, working towards her Master's in Cinematic Production Management. Haley has worked extensively in the non-fiction genre, winning 10 awards during her time with Q30TV, including Entertainment Member of the Year, and the METG Spirit of Festival Competition in 2020. Haley is also an avid theater lover, having been in over 30 theater productions on stage and currently serving as the Treasurer for Quinnipiac’s Fourth Wall Student Theater.



A visual creator, Julia Kusmenko has over seven years of experience crafting shots and operating the camera as director of photography. From documentary to fiction, Julia has worked on a variety of films during her time at Communications High school and Quinnipiac University. Recently, Julia was director of photography for the short film “Channeling,” which placed Semi-Finalist at the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival in 2023. With this, Julia has professional experience working as an editor at the production company Gellman Images. 



Charlie Lebron is a driven and determined filmmaker who is currently pursuing her master's degree in Cinematic Production Management at Quinnipiac University. With a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail, she brings creativity and dedication to her craft. In the dynamic world of filmmaking, Charlie stands out for her innovative approach and ability to manage complex production processes seamlessly. By doing so she has received multiple awards including a scholarship presented by New York Women in Film’s Sabrina-Wright Gillard Award and 1st place in Quinnipiac University’s 25 hour film challenge for her film “She’s Perfect”. Working in film since high school Charlie’s commitment to honing her skills and contributing to the world of cinema makes her a promising talent in the industry.



Ronnie Dinnel has been editing films and music videos for nearly a decade. He has a keen eye for color and an attuned ear for sound and music. His expertise lies in Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Davinci Resolve. Most recently, he worked on “Channeling”, a short film which placed Semi-Finalist at the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival in 2023.



Joe Monte is an experienced content creator, having made many of his own movies and YouTube videos for more than ten years. He’s currently pursuing a degree in Film Television and Media at Quinnipiac University where he's learned how to efficiently assist his team in the various stages of production. Monte is currently a producer for a Quinnipiac-based Newscast where he works to build a live and professional show every week. His day to day tasks include research, on camera work, conducting interviews, gathering video, and editing the visuals and sound to create new and fresh stories. His knowledge in Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, After Effects, and Final Cut Pro are extensive.

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