Atlanta, Georgia | Film Short

Drama, Horror

Mariana Gomez Ruiz

2 Campaigns | State of Mexico, Mexico

Green Light

This campaign raised $6,440 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

52 supporters | followers

Enter the amount you would like to pledge


Serotonin is a body horror/drama film that focuses on a girl named Lily, a self conscious teenager who turns to Instagram models for advice on improving her life, and begins a series of dangerous self-inflicted body modifications.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Although Serotonin is fictional and presents an exaggerated reality, it is meant to be a call to action. Its ultimate goal is to highlight the various ways in which toxic beauty standards, often perpetuated by social media, are harming young women, mentally and physically.

The Story

While there are films that focus on body image issues, there are few that explore how social media complicates them. Magazines, television, film, and social media play a large role in influencing how vulnerable adolescents perceive their bodies. While social media has succeeded in connecting so many people, it has also perpetuated toxic beauty ideals that have made negative impacts on adolescents' mental health. The more time that children spend online, the worse that their mental health can get. 

The impacts of social media activities carry over into adulthood as well-- according to one 2014 survey from the Renfrew Center, nearly 70% of women over the age of 18 edit their pictures before posting them to social media networks. Approximately 1 in 8 women feel compelled to edit themselves simply because they aren't happy with their bodies. Because of the high prevalence of edited or fake images on social media, it can be extremely difficult to distinguish the difference between fiction and reality... something that our film's protagonist, Lily, struggles deeply with. 

As someone who has struggled with my weight and appearance my entire life, I wanted to create a film that would represent the complexity of these issues, as well as motivate audiences and the film industry as a whole to change the way in which they approach these conversations. 

Serotonin is a body horror/drama film that focuses on Lily, an average teenage girl who has struggled with her appearance her whole life. Her friends tell her that she's not pretty enough. Her mother nitpicks at her appearance. Even after bearing her heart and soul to her crush, James, he still chooses his "hotter" ex Vanessa over her. Now, Lily can no longer accept who she is. When she looks in the mirror, she sees a horrifically ugly version of herself: someone that could never be loved. 

In order to transform herself, Lily turns to social media stars, such as the ever-popular Lucia Lovely, for help. But Lily's quest for beauty, and her desperate need to gain the approval of others, slowly leads her down a dark path... one that she may not be able to come back from. 

Ultimately my hope is that Serotonin will inspire a change in its audience, regardless of who watches it. For young girls, I hope that they understand that the relentless pursuit of beauty ideals will only bring them pain and not joy. I want to inspire them to develop a healthy relationship with their bodies. I want to provide representation for young men who experience body image issues, but also motivate them to change the ways in which they talk about women’s bodies. For social media stars, I hope that they learn to be more honest, and understand the ways in which they influence the youth that support them. And for parents, I want them to learn how to have conversations about body image and eating with their children that isn’t toxic or shameful. 

I am confident that Serotonin will create conversations around these subjects and motivate change, but the film must be brought to fruition, and in order to do that, we need your help. By donating to this project, you’ll ensure that we’ll be able to secure our locations, pay our actors, and safely provide for our crew on-set. We hope that you believe in our mission, and will contribute to our campaign. 

We will be bringing on a certified ORP to our set whose sole job will be to clean and ensure that cast/crew are following COVID safety protocols, and troubleshooting any potential situatinos that we may have. The director is also a certified ORP, and can help reinforce the primary ORP's guidelines.

Everyone is required to wear a mask on set, and actors are required to wear their masks in between takes. All members of cast and crew are required to test for COVID 72 hrs prior to the shoot, and will be required to take COVID tests after the shoot. We have mapped out a three page COVID safety plan with industry-standard protocols, including but not limited to: 

  • Requirements for catered meals to be labelled for each cast/crew members.
  • Hand sanitizer, disposable masks & gloves, a touchless thermometer, and disinfectant spray must be on set at all times. 
  • Designated spaces will be set aside for cast/crew eating, and lunches will be staggered. 
  • Everything on set must be sanitized every 2 hours. 

Over the course of our planned three day shoot, we will only have our makeup artist on set for 2 days. She will need to wear a faceshield and mask, along with disposable gloves, in order to ensure that she and Lily's actress are protected. 


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

Hard Drives

Costs $120

We need hard drives to back up our footage and ensure its safety!

Film Festivals & Publicity

Costs $350

This will allow us to pay for the major film festivals we plan on entering, plus advertising costs!


Costs $200

We are crafting original music for this film to make it unique.


Costs $100

To ensure the protection of our crew onset and adhere to safety guidelines.


Costs $540

We need to safely feed everyone on set across our 3 day shoot.


Costs $150

We would love to provide our cast nutritious snacks so they stay energized throughout the day!

Moving Truck

Costs $150

We will need this to transport equipment and props/furniture to our set.


Costs $1,000

We are hiring an extremely talented makeup artist, and getting her additional PE for her safety.

Lead Cast

Costs $1,125

This will pay our extremely talented lead cast for all days that they are on set.

Office Supplies

Costs $100

It's important that we have enough office supplies so we don't have to share on set and stay safe!


Costs $400

We are hiring a skilled gaffer to work with us and help us pull off the look of the film.

Post-Sound Package

Costs $100

This is to ensure that our editor has all the sfx he needs in order to edit the film.


Costs $750

The entire film takes place in a house, so we need to pay any necessary fees!


Costs $615

Just-in-case money to be used in the event of emergencies or last minute changes.

Props, Set Dressings, and Makeup Purchases

Costs $600

This will help us cover any props that we need for the production!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Chloe Spencer is an award-winning game developer, filmmaker, and writer originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was written for numerous publications such as TechRadar, Kotaku, and GameLuster, and to date, has published over 100 works. She has won five different screenwriting accolades, and her pilot VFXX (set to enter production this summer) was ranked at the top of the Red List for half-hour thrillers in 2020. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Oregon and is currently pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in Film and Television from SCAD.

Suraj Savkoor was born and brought up in Bengaluru, India where he first developed a passion for the performing arts. While serving as president of his college theater club, he soon realized his higher calling, which was in film and television. Suraj obtained his second undergraduate degree from Vancouver Film School and is currently an MFA candidate at SCAD. He is an award-winning filmmaker who was written, produced, and directed numerous short films. He has even had the opportunity to write a feature screenplay for a studio that has been acquired by Netflix and will be hitting screens in 2022. Suraj's biggest goal is to make it as an accomplished screenwriter.

Mariana Gómez Ruiz is a Mexican Latina author, actress, and filmmaker who first cultivated her talents at NYFA in Universal Studios and Harvard University at age 12. Ten years later, she has now acted in over 40 productions and has over 50 behind-the-camera credits. Her documentary LATINOS + FILM +USA won three awards and got 13 official selections after premiering in NYC at the Latino Film Market Film Festival in 2019. Nowadays, she continues fighting for inclusion and giving a voice to the silenced and marginalized, as she explains in her articles in the Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunities Project.

Andre Wynter is a current MFA student at SCAD Atlanta, as well as the CEO of JA Films, which aims to tell multi-layered, authentic Jamaican stories. Andre is also an award-winning director, receiving honors from the LA Sun and Brazilian Independent Film Festivals. 

Jenna plays Lily, the protagonist of Serotonin. Lily is described as demure and anxious; someone who suffers from low self esteem— but this doesn’t mean that she’s incapable of taking charge or working towards her own goals, often with a frightening tenacity.

Claudia McDonald has recently worked on short films such as “Forever, “Battered Beauty” and currently “Exit Ticket.” As a new transplant to Atlanta she has enjoyed learning from the Drama Inc and Dads Garage instructors to continue mastering her craft. You will find her studying plants, reading and roller skating in between filming and classes.

Claudia plays Lucia, the deuteragonist of the film. Lucia is the primary social media star that Lily idolizes. Lucia is a talented makeup artist who preaches about perfection, but is dishonest towards her audience
and herself.

Roland has been in several television and theatre productions. You may have seen him in “All My Friends are Assholes” an Amazon pilot or on a reenactment of MTVs Catfish. Also appearing in Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth at the Whoitmore Lindley Theatre. Roland is currently a working finalist at The Actors Studio West, and is excited to a part of the Serotonin cast!

Roland plays James, Lily's athletic and handsome longtime friend and crush. He's been struggling with an on-again, off-again relationship with his ex-girlfriend Vanessa. Although not vindictive, he is definitely indecisive and easily overwhelmed, which sometimes lead to angry outbursts.


Current Team