Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Drama, War

Lisa Ferris

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $10,400 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

82 supporters | followers

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The story of a wounded soldier who, after a brutal attack destroys her unit, makes a perilous escape through an unforgiving wilderness aided by an enemy combatant she once scorned in the name of patriotism.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Cowardice and courage exist in all of us regardless of constructs like race, gender or nationality. We are a group of men and women committed to telling stories in unexpected ways that expose our humanity with thought provoking, cinematic films that, in the end, offer a sense of hope.

The Story



The often heartbreakingly divisive times we are living in inspired writer/director, Mark Kaercher to ask himself: "What if two people with nothing to gain and everything to lose by seeing each others' humanity were able to do so anyway?" And from there, the idea for our film began to take shape. 



"It really boils down to this, that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  

We cannot deny our connection to both each other and to the natural world. Our movie is a parable about compromise and community under seemingly impossible and volatile circumstances. In our film, the countries are fictional. There are no stereotypically Russian, Middle Eastern or German villains and no stereotypically white, male, American or British heroes. It strips those facades away and examines honestly how each of us is capable of both the most despicable gutlessness and most profound selflessness.



We're a bunch of nature nerds who really love making movies and have all spent the better part of our lives doing just that. We even got college degrees in film to prove it!




Epic films! Since the first time Mark saw Jaws at age 7 and Lisa saw Titanic at age 14 we fell in love with films of grandiose scale and unimaginable stakes. Stories that provoke thought while taking you on a rollercoaster of suspense, heartbreak, tragedy, humor and spine-tingling stimulation like you've never encountered! 



Romanova's setting plays as much a character in the film as the actors do. We've found breathtaking locations in the mountains and deserts of California to pit against our two soldiers' quest for freedom. The bulk of principal photography will take place in and around Death Valley before it gets too hot to film there (110°F, on a chilly day).



A cut-throat assessement of costs has brought Romanova's price tag down to $10,000 - thanks to generous contributions of time and talent from many of our friends who have offered reduced or pro bono rates. Once this project is greenlit, we will be able to use the funds to purchase and rent the following: 

  • Camera lenses
  • Production design elements (props, set pieces, period costumes)
  • Location permits 
  • Production insurance
  • Food for the cast and crew (for six days of shooting)
  • Travel expenses
  • Overnight accomodations
  • Production Designer fees
  • Actor fees

For further clarification, take a gander at our stylish visual aid:



We love our team and we refuse to put any of them in harm's way. Therefore we will be implementing the "Safe Way Forward," a set of guidelines developed by our industry's trade unions.

  • Each cast and crew member will be tested for COVID-19 and quarantine within a proper timeframe before fiming commences
  • Before being granted access to set, all cast and crew will be temperature checked
  • KN95 masks, gloves and face shields will be worn at all times
  • Hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes will be available on set
  • We have the benefit of primarily outdoor locations which prevents the cast and crew from working in confined indoor spaces for extended periods of time



Romanova is our chance to introduce ourselves to the independent film community! So, once the gate is checked and the cutting room floor has been swept, we plan to submit our final cut to film festivals at home and abroad. After our festival run, we plan to release Romanova to streaming audiences everywhere via Vimeo, YouTube, Argo and Sofy.TV.


This project will only be greenlit by Seed & Spark if we reach 80% of our goal amount, so please click that button and make a pledge! "But what if I'm as broke as you are?" We hear you artist community - and we know this is a crazy time. If you are unable to make a financial contribution you can also help us out by sharing our campaign with friends, family or anyone else who would be interested in supporting us. 


With so much gratitude, 


Lisa, Mark and the entire Romanova team



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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $1,100

We are shooting in a national park and the rate is pretty darn steep

Production Design

Costs $1,625

This includes set pieces, costumes and props

Camera Lenses

Costs $1,600

This is the key to the look and feel of the whole film!


Costs $1,600

We have some very talented actors who are going to be working hard in challenging locations


Costs $1,200

We need to be protected in case anything goes wrong!


Costs $1,000

Much of our crew has offered to work for free but we do need to pay a fee for a few key positions


Costs $900

We need to keep everyone well fed over the course of a 6 day shoot!


Costs $800

One of our locations will require an overnight hotel stay for cast and crew


Costs $175

We need to purchase additional masks and face shields to have on hand for newly added crew members

About This Team

Lisa Ferris – Producer


Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Lisa graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music in musical theater from The Catholic University of America and a Master of Fine Arts in acting from The University of Nevada Las Vegas. She transitioned to producing after a nearly 20 year acting career, most notably having worked three seasons at the Tony Award Winning Utah Shakespeare Festival and two seasons at California Music Theater's Sacramento Music Circus. Lisa has also traveled the world with various theatrical productions, is a three time best actress nominee for her work as Carol Burnett in the award-winning short film Pipe Dream and has been seen in everything from national commercials to caroling professionally at Disneyland. Since shifting behind the camera Lisa has worked on HBO’s Westworld, Nickelodeon’s Ryan’s Mystery Playdate, Paramount TV’s Made For Love and several other scripted projects. Lisa is also a certified yoga teacher with more than a decade of teaching experience.


Mark Kaercher – Writer/Director



From Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Mark has been directing films for more than half his life. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with his Bachelor of Fine Arts in film with a concentration in directing from Temple University and moved to Los Angeles shortly thereafter. Mark has directed a commercial spot for the lifestyle brand Hook & Albert, produced and directed a number of spec spots and been a member of production teams on everything from prestige dramas like Westworld to reality TV. Mark also has experience as a VFX coordinator at Pixomondo, working on such projects as Midway, Star Trek Discovery, The Orville, Counterpart and even a Bud Light Super Bowl commercial. Mark has a keen eye, a knack for suspense and a penchant for creative problem solving on set. His short film Lost Dog was an official selection at the Golden State Film Festival and had its west coast premiere at the world-famous TCL Chinese Theater in 2019. Mark continues to conceive and write his own creative projects whenever he has downtime from work and has a growing library of films and commercials ready to be greenlit.



Tristan Moffatt – Cinematographer



A native of southern California, Tristan has been a part of the film industry for years forming bonds with people across the spectrum of production. These connections have helped him grow as an artist and make him an asset on set. He graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Film Production and Film Studies from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA and has worked in Los Angeles as a cinematographer, gaffer, camera operator and key grip on countless professional TV shows, music videos, and shorts. Some of Tristan's most notable projects to date include, Princess Rap Battle, Water’s Edge, The American Wake and Netflix’s acclaimed documentary, The Social Dilemma. Tristan is a gifted photographer and has a knack for capturing rich textures and exceptional colors. He has undeniable charisma and approaches the challenges of filmmaking with a positive attitude and an unmistakable laugh. 


Eric Burleson – 1st Assistant Director


Hailing from Sewell, New Jersey, Eric is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Temple University earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film with a concentration in directing. While at Temple his senior thesis film, Return Safely was the recipient of several awards including Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Producer at its official screening. Since graduating in 2017, Eric has gone on to work professionally as a 1st AD on over 15 independent projects, including features, shorts and commercials. Eric has additional professional experience as a camera operator and production assistant with HBO, Vice, Atlantic Records and others making him a well-rounded and efficient AD with hands-on knowledge in several departments. He is skilled at budgeting, scheduling, building call sheets, creating production spreadsheets and continually demonstrates excellence in leadership, time management, and organization.


Eric Gauntt - 1st Assistant Camera


Originally from Bensalem PA, Eric Gauntt is a Temple University grad who has made a name for himself as first AC and focus puller on numerous indie films, music videos and commercials. Some of his notable work includes shoots for Unsolved Mysteries, American Airlines, Adidas and Hook & Albert as well as music videos for artists like Tyler The Creator, Kelly Rowland, Maluma, French Montana and Lil Xan. Eric is also a talented still photographer shooting on both 35mm and digital mediums. When he's not framing images you can typically find Eric snowboarding the southern California slopes or skateboarding the streets of L.A.


Luke Rihl – Steadicam Operator


Born in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, Luke holds a Bachelor of Arts in film from Temple University. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2018, Luke has made a name for himself as a highly sought after steadicam operator. Not only is he an excellent technician, he comes equipped with his own state-of-the-art rig lending a polished look to anything with his name on it. Luke’s work can be seen in commercials, shorts and music videos featuring notable artists such as Rosalía, The Black Eyed Peas, Future, and David Archeletta. He has also shot for brands like Nike, Levi’s, Tumi and Sirius XM. Luke demonstrates a versatility of roles and expertise within the camera department from 2nd AC to director of photography. His innate talent is matched and even exceeded by an extraordinary work ethic and total commitment to whatever he’s working on. Luke is also a hobbiest interior designer with a flair for styling from the mid-century modern era.


Nicolette Tereshko - Wardrobe/Hair and Makeup


Nicolette is a licensed cosmetologist with nearly a decade of professional experience. Thanks to her love of movies she has lent her HMU skills to several short films working seamlessly with both adult and child actors. She is a wizard with a pair of scissors, specializing in bespoke hair color as well as possessing exceptional skill at sfx makeup. She creates disturbingly realistic wounds with intricate detail making it impossible to tell what is real and what is prosthetic. Nicolette is also quite creative when it comes to wardrobe design, using costuming that tells a vivid story. 


Emily Shock - Storyboard Artist


Originally from Arkansas, Emily graduated with a degree in Visual Effects from The Savannah College of Art and Design. She has worked with several VFX houses in Los Angeles as a 3D Generalist, Modeler and Animator. Emily is gifted in multiple mediums with her most notible projects including Digital Artist on the film Greenland, Rigging Artist for Star Trek: Short Treks and Previz Artist on 2019's Midway





Current Team