Seed of Doubt

Rochester, Minnesota | Film Feature


Jessica Prihoda

1 Campaigns | Minnesota, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $14,380 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

20 supporters | followers

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"Seed of Doubt" is a suspenseful psychological thriller about Gaslighting abuse. Melissa and Scott’s dream home turns into a nightmare when they take on new tenants to make ends meet. As Melissa descends into paranoia and delusion, they must fight to save their unborn child.

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About The Project

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

Mission Statement

We are an ULB SAG production, and we plan to exceed the diversity-in-casting program requirements. Our cast is close to 75% female and will represent about 80% of spoken lines. We have a diverse cast & crew in terms of races, ages, classes and genders, from a 19-yr-old student to a veteran actor.

The Story

Hi there.

Did you sleep well last night?

Yeah, we didn't either.

Along with a lot of pre-production work, some really
haunting thoughts and nightmares have been keeping us up... 

We're not talking about monsters or serial killers or demons or even clowns...
we're more preoccupied with Gaslighting.

No, not that kind of gas light.

We want to help the world wake up from a very real -- and very common --
form of psychological manipulation known as "Gaslighting." describes Gaslighting as: 
“A systematic pattern of abuse by which the abuser manipulates factual information
to give the victim the impression that they cannot trust their own senses…
making them doubt their own memory, perception and quite often, their sanity.”

Wikipedia adds, “The instances may range from the denial by an abuser
that previous abusive incidents ever occurred up to the staging of bizarre events
by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim...

...The term owes its origin to the 1938 Patrick Hamilton play ‘Gas Light’
and its 1940 and 1944 film adaptations.”

When we did our first Seed & Spark campaign last fall to raise money for the film,
our working title was "Project Gaslight," as a nod to those classic films. Then, as the team further developed the story and the characters, we decided on the title "Seed of Doubt."

You know...planting the "seeds" of doubt, worry, or concern in someone's mind. Making a person doubt their sanity. And, as you'll see, the word "seed" has more than one meaning for the film ;)


Because Gaslighting is not well known, we wanted to bring this story to our current generation. In order to develop powerful and realistic characters, dialogue — and a riveting-but-accurate plot — we contracted with subject matter expert and Gaslighting victim advocate Angie Racine. Angie, a survivor of more than two decades of Gaslighting from her former abusive husband, is the founder and creator of of 4 I'Ve HOPE and #WhatIsNonPhysicalDomestic Violence. Angie has been an incredibly valuable script consultant and advisor for the film. She is excited to share the film with her thousands of followers on Social Media, and she plans to attend screenings and promote the movie through her speaking engagements and writings. 

Many of you probably know someone who has been traumatized by psychological manipulation and abuse as well. Heck, a lot of people think our whole country is getting "Gaslit" in the current political climate. So we developed a real-life story that we feel needs to be told. Now.

No, seriously, we are finalizing our cast right now (wait until you see who we have lined up!)...and we're getting all the pieces in place so we can start shooting as planned this summer. 

The clock is ticking.

All nightmares aside...Rest assured "Seed of Doubt" has a riveting plot line, well-developed characters, incredible cinematography, top-tier special effects, a fantastic original score, and (may we say) a pretty amazing cast and crew. Far from your standard horrific gore-fest, this feature film will be a sophisticated psychological thriller with a serious message.
Oh, and we'll have a few comedic elements thrown in there, too.


So...we need help from you to make it happen.

Give the project a "LIKE."

Check out our Campaign Initiatives and consider supporting the film.

You are going to LOVE the original songs and score by Dichotomy.
And if you're an audiophile, be one of the first to reserve an original VINYL LP.
Yes, for your recrord player. The mix tape is up to you.

Want your name up on the Big Screen? Opt to become an associate producer.

Want a weekend at Sundance Resort or BigSky, Montana?
Help make our dreams come true by supporting us with a nice contribution.


The great news is that this isn't a far-fetched dream that will take years
and years to become a reality. We are shooting this summer and moving straight into post...with the whole team focused on having the film finished by the end of 2018.


In addition to being an entertaining and beguiling film, we're hoping "Seed of Doubt" will also shine some light on this common but often misunderstood form of emotional abuse and manipulation. And we're hoping that awareness can help some individuals and our community wake up from the communal nightmare of Gaslighting.


  Melissa and Scott Henderson finally have it all. After years of struggling as Scott worked his way through medical school and residency, and as Melissa fought an opioid addiction, they are finally able to purchase their dream home. Melissa, an artist, is clean and expecting the couple’s first child, and Scott is at the top of his game, having just joined a private practice in Obstetrics.

  The reality of new homeownership, however, sends the couple into a desperate search for extra cash. Melissa’s sales dry up, and she finds herself exhausted, stressed, and uninspired to create new work. Scott, pulling 80+ hour weeks at work, is overwhelmed by house repairs and maintenance. So they take on tenants to live in the guesthouse on their property.

  Scott and Melissa are convinced that Tyler Thomas and Alex Schofield are a perfect fit. Tyler is a construction worker whose skills and tools are much needed around the house. Alexandra is a home health aide who can help Melissa around the house as her due date approaches. Melissa and Alex become fast friends, and for a while, life is great for both couples. And then it seems like Melissa begins to lose her mind. 

  It starts with her finding paintings flipped and art supplies being rearranged, although Tyler, Alex, and Scott swear they haven’t touched them. She also has dizziness spells of increasing severity, but her doctors can’t find a physical reason for them. As things are going downhill for Melissa, Alex announces that she, too, is pregnant. They start to grow closer as they share milestones and preparations for their babies.

  As time goes on, Melissa suspects Tyler is somehow responsible for all the odd occurrences, but she can’t prove it. Scott is concerned for his wife, but chalks it up to pregnancy hormones and stress about their ongoing financial issues. When he finds a bottle of prescription medicine, however, he feels like he needs to act. Melissa swears she’d never put their baby in jeopardy, but Scott doesn’t know what to believe. Concerned for her physical and mental well-being, Scott asks Alex to keep an eye on Melissa while he is out of town for his Medical Boards exam.  
  The night before he leaves for the trip, a drunken Tyler reveals his true character to Melissa. Given her recent track record, Scott thinks Melissa might be exaggerating. She wants to kick Tyler off their property immediately, but Scott convinces her to wait until he returns from his trip.

As soon as Scott leaves, Melissa takes an immediate turn for the worse. She can’t focus or figure out what is real or not. Her life and her child’s life are at stake, and she needs to take matters into her own hands to save them both...

Thank you for your consideration
and support of "Seed of Doubt"!

(And if you've gotten down to this last line, thanks also
or taking the time to read all of this. You get an extra Gold Star :)


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


Costs $3,600

We need an RV on location to work as a production office & a place for talent to retreat and relax.

Muscle Car

Costs $1,750

Tyler's a passionate guy, his passion shines in the love for his car he painstakingly restored.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Art work

Costs $5,000

$ for artist Pete Nawara for a commissioned piece used as poster art/cover of our VINYL and DVDs

Production Insurance

Costs $3,000

We aren't idiots.

Craft Services

Costs $2,000

A well fed cast & crew is a happy cast & crew. We have > three weeks of meals to cover + beverages

Sound Dept.

Costs $2,500

Ever seen a film that looks good but doesn't sound so great? Yeah, we aren't going to do that.

About This Team

The "Seed of Doubt" team is growing rapidly
as we approach our summer product dates.


Actors who have been cast so far include:

Sarah Utterback, IMDb

playing the role of "Melissa"


Paul James IMdB

playing the role of "Scott"


Naiyah Scaife IMDb

playing the role of "Alex"


Brandon Van Vliet IMDb

playing the role of Tyler


Raye Birk IMdB

playing the role of "Dr Larson"



And our production team includes:


Will was born on an Air Force base in Florida, and he grew up in Minnesota with a love for filmmaking. After receiving a BS in Visual Effects & Motion Graphics from the Art Institute International in Minneapolis, he moved to LA and began his career working on Apple product commercials. Will’s work spanned from commercials and television to feature films, including "Captain America: The First Avenger," "The Muppets," "Fury" and "Wonder Woman." While freelancing at Hollywood studios, Will started a post-production company with his friend and business partner, Jon Julsrud, and together they worked on a number of independent feature films and shorts. Will recently moved back to Minneapolis, where he works as a visual effects compositor. "Seed of Doubt" will be his directorial debut.



Jon is an accomplished producer and VFX artist who has been involved in the film industry for more than a decade. After graduating from St. Olaf College with a degree in psychology, Jon received a second degree in visual effects at the Art Institute in Minneapolis. He spent eight years in LA working in visual effects and post production on projects including "Captain America: The First Avenger" and "Titanic." In addition to working on VFX projects for major studios and producing feature films, Jon also started a boutique production services company offering Marketing & Distribution services and product placement consultation. He is currently living in California and working as as a teacher at Exceptional Minds Studios, where he mentors adults with autism for careers in the film industry.

You may have seen Jon's name most recently in the credits on "Avengers: Infinity War." His teaching gig at Exceptional Minds ends on June 11th and he'll be heading back to Minnesota the next day to start shooting "Seed of Doubt."   



Sara is a passionate producer, project director, marketing strategist and business consultant with more than 25 years of experience. After earning a degree in Broadcast Journalism/Communications from the University of Illinois, Sara got an additional degree in Graphic Design/Advertising from the Academy of Art in Chicago. She has held roles in innovative, industry-leading firms and organizations around the country — from start-ups and boutique firms to non-profits. Sara produced the award-winning feature-length documentary TIME ZERO: the last year of Polaroid film,” which screened at top film festivals around the world and is currently in distribution. In addition to producing films and consulting for businesses and development firms, Sara volunteers with several national charities.


cinematographer BEN ENKE

Ben is an award-winning DP from Seoul, South Korea, living in the Twin Cities. Ben has lensed numerous films that have been featured at festivals and in theaters across the country, including the award winning short films "Clean Cut" and "Shear Madness", feature length documentary "Out in the Cold," and the feature length narrative "Miles Between Us." Ben is currently an instructor at the Institute of Production and Recording, and enjoys street photography and thumbing through Instagram in his spare time.


line producer ALEX KOHNSTAMM

Alex is a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He learned how to create film productions during his time at Lawrence University. After graduating, Alexander went from agency life to working at PBS local affiliate TPT, where he was part of the Regional Emmy Award Winning Documentary "The Past Is Alive Within Us." Alexander also worked as a mentor for the Independent Filmmaker Project of Minnesota, now FilmNorth, to help high school students learn the process of filmmaking. Alex started producing projects with his own production company, Kobamm Productions in 2013. He continues to create award-winning work around the country.


screenwriter ELYSE FORBES

Elyse Moretti Forbes is an experienced writer and technology professional who was born in Pennsylvania and currently resides in the Midwest. She spent time at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Hawaii studying virtual reality and special education, then moved to Chicago to pursue comedy. There she completed the improvisation and writing programs at iO Chicago and the Conservatory Program at Second City. Elyse has performed in the Chicago Improv Festival and Chicago Women's Funny Festival, and her work has been featured in the Mary Scruggs “Works by Women" festival. She has written numerous screen plays for feature-length and short narrative films.



Alex is a guitarist, violinist, producer and composer and is the bandleader of Dichotomy, an indie electronic band based in Minneapolis. Alex grew up in Minnesota and began playing the violin at age 4 and the guitar at age 12. While in college in Minneapolis, Alex started producing hip-hop and electronic beats with roommate and keyboardist Joe Laurin, in what would become Dichotomy. Alex played guitar for touring alternative hip-hop bands before he and Joe released their first album in 2013. Since then, Dichotomy has made a shift towards a grittier, more rhythmic-based sound, and has released two additional albums and a series of singles.


fine artist PETE NAWARA

"Seed of Doubt" is honored and thrilled to have artist Pete Nawara as part of the team.
Pete's work has been featured in galleries around the world. His "mirror image" work is a perfect reflection (pun intended) of the internal conflict of the mind experienced by Gaslighting victims.

In addition to his work being featured on our posters and DVD/BluRays, we're also planning to use Pete's art for the cover of our Vinyl LP soundtrack!


script consultant ANGIE RACINE 4hopeoutofdv

In order to develop powerful and realistic characters, dialogue — and a riveting-but-accurate plot — the “Seed of Doubt” team contracted with subject matter expert and gaslighting victim advocate Angie Racine. Angie, a survivor of more than two decades of gaslighting from her former abusive husband, is the founder and creator of the organizations 4 I'Ve HOPE and #WhatIsNonPhysicalDomesticViolence.


production assistant JESSICA PRIHODA

production assistant GRIFFEN HUELER

Current Team