Strawberry

Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Horror, LGBTQ

Jordan Pfeifer

7 Campaigns | California, United States

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This campaign raised $7,107 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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STRAWBERRY follows Nova, a woman attempting to gain closure on her past after she discovers that her abusive ex has died. However, her trauma bubbles to the surface when she connects with his current girlfriend. Strawberry touches on cycles of abuse and how we bond over trauma.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

ONYX Films is a non-binary and female-led production company with the goal of introducing more stories about underrepresented folks to the film industry. Bringing these groups together behind the camera allows us to create raw, accurate, and visceral female and non-binary-centric stories.

The Story

Nova's ex-boyfriend has passed away...

One day, after enduring Jonah's abuse for long enough, she packed her things and left without him knowing, never fully gaining closure. The past follows her. Haunts her. Nova thinks that attending his funeral will help her finally move on and close a dark chapter of her life.

But when she meets his current girlfriend, Chloe, it opens another one. 

Chloe and Nova connect quickly and bond over their shared past. This deep sense of understanding causes their bond to develop into one that's more romantic, even compelling Nova to spend the night in the house Chloe and Jonah shared. 

But as day turns to night, Nova starts to suspect Jonah's spirit hasn't gone anywhere, and no one is to be trusted.

 

My very first relationship in high school was a toxic one.

Once I finally got out of this relationship (after many tries), I wrote about it online to help me cope. His ex-girlfriend (whom he'd barely mentioned) found my writing and reached out to me. From there, we formed a very unexpected friendship, and found out that we had several commonalities. We even looked the same. We not only bonded over our inherent similarities, but the trauma that we both went through with our shared ex. 

Once I got closer with her, she opened up to me about her attraction towards women as well as men. This was never something that I explored. Growing up in Texas in the 2000's, being LGBTQ+ was not something that people were open with or proud of. I believe I only knew one or two people who were out as gay in my high school at the time. 

Jordan in highschool (age 17) - eating strawberries!

Once she brought it up, I recognized that I was also attracted to women and we began to date. However, the relationship didn't work out, in part because, according to her,  "I was acting like him." That's when I reflected on it - and she was right. I had picked up some of the manipulative tendencies he acted out on me. That's when I realized the scenario I was in was a cycle of abuse.

I want to create this story to talk about how easy it is to bond someone when you've been through the same trauma - but also how people who have been abused may continue the cycle. It is important for us to recognize when these cycles are happening and look inward and stop them. 

 

Nova used to be feisty, energetic, fiery, and assertive - but her ex really brought her down. He made her more timid, stoic, serious, and closed-off. She carries these self-destructive behaviours into her everyday life despite wanting to change. When she opens up to Chloe, we realize that she is extremely psychologically affected by her ex - but to what extent?

Chloe is much more naive than Nova. Her parents passed away recently, which caused her to cling to Jonah - even though she experienced a very co-dependent, verbally and mentally abusive relationship with him. However, their relationship wasn't as dark as his and Nova's.

Chloe is bubbly and extroverted - all Chloe truly wants is to love and be loved. She is a people pleaser, and really cares about what people think and wants them to like her.

She’s more “Type A” than Nova is. While she is emotional, she is more stable and even-keeled with expressing and interpreting her emotions.

Appearance-wise, Chloe and Nova's boyfriend had a type. Both of them share freckles, light skin, and red hair. The director, Jordan, and her ex-girlfriend looked alike as well- and after he dated them, he went on to date another woman who looked just like them.

Chloe and Nova connect quickly and bond over their shared trauma. This deep sense of understanding causes their bond to quickly develop into one that is more romantic.

 

Strawberry will be the 7th film I have directed within 2 years.

The most recent film I directed, Noxious, was selected to participate in 3 festivals so far, and we are still waiting to hear back from over 30 more festivals. Necromantic, my first film, was selected to be in multiple festivals, and even won Best Student Short at the Ethereal Horror Festival in Austin, Texas in 2020. You can watch Necromantic on LesFlicks here: Watch Necromantic on LesFlicks

 

I am also the founder and leader of ONYX Films LLC, a female and non-binary-led production company that now has over 70 members. You can check out our work on our website here: ONYX Films Website

I founded ONYX in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic while I was studying Film Production at Loyola Marymount University. There, I noticed I was surrounded by so many talented women and members of the LGBTQ+ community, but they often did not have leadership roles on sets. Now we have produced around 15 shorts and 1 feature-length film. 

ONYX members (Jordan center) on the set of Noxious

Strawberry will be another film to add to ONYX's growing female and LGBTQ+ filmography. It is extremely important to me to create authentic and genuine stories that are told by the people who have experienced the situations the stories are discussing. It is a goal of mine to have people who have been through abusive, toxic relationships like the one in Strawberry feel less alone. 

My work that I have created before, during, and outside of my time in film school at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television (through my female-led production company ONYX Films LLC), is predominantly female and LGBTQ+-centric. I have the goal of telling authentic stories about underrepresented groups, like women and the LGBTQ+ community, from the perspective of someone who is a part of both. In addition to this, the horror genre and anything dark in general has always called to me. I feel like it is the best method of delivering the message of what it’s truly like to experience womanhood, which can often be a horrific experience.

Apart from having female protagonists and side characters that pass the Bechdel Test, I prefer to dive into the psychology of the protagonist and really capitalize on how they are feeling and what they are experiencing. Methods I tend to use to express this closeness are through close-ups and a more handheld cinematography style. As someone who started my film career in production design, it’s essential for all of my films to look visually interesting. Experimenting with color and light helps me create an appealing visual palette that sucks the viewer into the story.

 

Now for the fun stuff...

The atmosphere of Strawberry will be unsettling right when the film starts. It will represent Nova's mental state when attending her ex's funeral - her trauma and memories of their relationship bubbling to the surface. We will convey this through slow push-ins, handheld camerawork when she is panicking, and dark, moody lighting. 

Comps for the tone, atmosphere, camera work, lighting and color scheme are: IT FOLLOWS & PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE.

For the color scheme of the film, we aim to create a palette of neutral, natural colors. We want the film to be as raw and real as we can make it, and we believe using colors that you can find in nature will help accomplish that. This will include browns, forest greens, warm yellows, golds, and hints of whites and reds that we will use intentionally to stand out against the more natural colors when we need something to feel important and significant.

We already have $6,000 for the film, but we still need $8,500, with our total budget sitting at $14,500.

In order to make the film, we need to pay and feed our hardworking cast and crew, who are either about to graduate film school or have recently graduated. These are all working professionals who deserve to be paid a living wage. In addition to this, we need to transform our house location into a family-style home that matches our color palette. We need to rent out a church, and get permits for the locations.

We need to rent camera equipment and lighting equipment that will help us achieve the look that is displayed on our mood boards above. Additionally, in order to rent the equipment, we need insurance. Lastly, we need to pay our post-production team to edit, color, sound design, and score the film to create the best final product that this film can possibly be. 

In exchange for your extremely generous and kind contributions to Strawberry, we are offering a number of incentives.

These incentives range from a shoutout on social media to a strawberry-themed goodie pack, to exclusice VIP seats at the film's first screening, to an Executive Producer credit in the credits and on IMDB. 

However, if you aren't interested in any of the incentives, feel free to enter a custom amount that you would like to contribute. 

It is extremely important to us to protect our cast & crew against the spread of COVID-19, and for us to run a safe, efficient set. 

The precautions we will take to make sure everyone stays healthy are as follows:

  1. We will require everyone to be fully vaccinated and ideally boosted.
  2. Masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves, etc. will be provided on set and required for everyone to use when touching surfaces and others. 
  3. Crew will be required to wear masks, and the cast will be required to wear them when not performing.
  4. We will be taking everyone's temperature at the door, and making sure that no one arrives to set feeling unwell. 

Jordan will be submitting Strawberry to film festivals and using the film to apply to graduate schools in order to showcase her growth in her directing abiliites. 

I am extemely serious about directing. My goal is to be able to direct films for a living, and I won't stop until that becomes a reality. The next step for me is to apply to graduate schools to continue to learn, grow, and create in the directing field. I will also be submitting Strawberry to film festivals, and then hopefully get it on a streaming platform so it has a home to live in after its festival run. 

Strawberry will be significant next step for my efforts to represent women and LGBTQ+ people in the media, and tell authentic stories about the various struggles all of us face. 

The Strawberry team sincerly thanks you for your contribution to our project. We would not be able to make it without you!

If you cannot contribute to the campaign monetarily, we would love for you to share and promote the film!

Please find some messages below that you can copy and paste onto social media, emails, or texts or spread the word about our project!

 

Strawberry, a short horror film produced by ONYX Films is crowdfunding for their project! If you are interested in contributing and supporting female and LGBTQ+ filmmakers, please check out their campaign here: https://seedandspark.com/fund/strawberry

 

Help the Strawberry short film team reach their crowdfunding goal! Contribute here: https://seedandspark.com/fund/strawberry

 

Do you love It Follows, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and Hereditary? Consider supporting the female and LGBTQ+ led horror short film, Strawberry! Check out their campaign here: https://seedandspark.com/fund/strawberry

Wishlist

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

CRAFTY

Costs $600

For snacks and lunches needed to feed our cast and crew that dedicate their time to being on set!

CREW

Costs $2,350

Our amazing team members are working professionals and deserve to be paid for their time!

CAST

Costs $1,000

Our actors work hard to make the vision come true. They need to be paid for their time!

CAMERA + LIGHTING

Costs $1,500

We need the best equipment to create a spooky, eerie vibe to the film!

PRODUCTION DESIGN + COSTUMES

Costs $750

This helps us complete the look and bring the vision to life!

LOCATION

Costs $900

We need to rent out creepy spaces to film!

INSURANCE

Costs $300

We need to make sure we don't lose money if anything happens on set.

POST-PRODUCTION

Costs $1,100

We need to pay our amazing editors for their hard work!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Jordan Pfeifer | Writer/Director

Jordan Pfeifer is the owner, founder and executive producer of ONYX. She recently graduated from the School of Film and Television at Loyola Marymount University, with an emphasis in directing. However, she got her start doing production design on many film sets. She is a lover of women and believes that the power amongst a group of females is unmatched. She is a huge horror fan, spending her college career interning at companies such as Blumhouse, Ghost House Pictures, and Raimi Productions. Her dream has always been to assemble a group of strong, creative women together to make empowering, inspiring and visceral art.

Angela Nancy Chapman | Producer

Angela Nancy Chapman is a Producer and University of Southern California alumni. She has produced, edited, and assisted on several shorts, student films, and live shows and events. Previously, she has had the pleasure of working with Showtime, 3311 Productions, The Green Room Talent Management, Malka Media, Summers Media, Visions & Voices, and Impulse Theatre Company. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, going to the movies, and spending time with friends. She is an animal lover who fosters dogs and cats. She is so excited to be a part of the Strawberry team!

Eliana Mullins | Producer

Eliana Mullins is a multi-ethnic filmmaker from Santa Barbara, CA who was trained at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in directing and design. After developing new works in the New York downtown theatre scene, Eliana moved to Los Angeles and immersed herself in the world of film and media. Her early days included production credits on the "Late Late Show with James Corden" and the documentary "Flannery Plays Himself". Later, Eliana designed short films and features such as the indie romance "Hold Fast Good Luck" and Meghan Weinstein's "The Influencer". In 2018 Eliana directed her first film short, "Bottom of the Barrel" which was shown at festivals in New York and Las Vegas, and in 2020 created the music video fantasia "Shiny & New" for Christina Apostolopoulos. In addition to her own work, Eliana produced the web-series pilot “Westagram”.

Reena Ye | Producer

Reena Ye is a producer and junior at the University of Southern California. She got involved in theater as a stage manager and continues to study stage management at USC. Recently, she has gotten more involved in film and is in the process of producing multiple short films. She loves women and non-binary led rooms and working with ONYX has given her an amazing space to learn and grow. In her free time, Reena likes to make art, hang out with her dog, and take photos. She’s so excited to be part of the Strawberry team!

Brit Franke | Casting Director

Brit Franke (she/they/he) is an actor, director, and casting director who dedicates themself to empowering others through unique and unapologetic storytelling. She was born and raised in Arizona, where she worked in a brain cancer laboratory. However, Brit fell in love with the performing arts and dropped science to pursue acting as a career in Los Angeles, where she trained for four years and earned a Theatre - Acting Emphasis degree at the University of Southern California. Since then, she has collaborated on multiple ONYX projects as a lead actor in Noxious (2021), as an actor and director for her anthology film BUTCH (2021), and as the casting director for ONYX's Acquired Taste and their feature in collaboration with Cloudstar Pictures This Is How It Starts.

Justin Tang | Director of Photography

Growing up in Hong Kong, Justin Tang had always found a deep appreciation for the potency and emotional engagement of media-driven storytelling. He has worked on numerous narrative, corporate and commercial productions with a determination to help uplift and project the voices and ideas of the people he works with.

Emma Aikman | Production Designer

Emma Aikman (they/she) is a Writer and Production Designer from Carmel, Indiana. A recent graduate from Loyola Marymount University LA, Emma majored in Film Production and minored in Screenwriting and Women's & Gender Studies. Emma has held internships with Outfest, National Lampoon, & The Montecito Picture Company. They currently work as a Production Assistant on NCIS: Los Angeles.

Taylor Garcia | Assistant Director

Taylor Garcia is thrilled to be the Assistant Director on Strawberry. As a rising senior at Loyola Marymount University, she’s passionate about complex LGTBQ+ representation and highlighting underrepresented stories from emerging and diverse filmmakers. Outside of film, she loves rock climbing and cold-brew coffee.

Rishabh Trivedi | 1st AC

The most mainstream thing about Rishabh is that he has a playlist called 'discovered from TikTok' on Spotify.

Jordyn Pritsker | 2nd AC

Jordyn Pritsker is an incoming senior film and animation student at Loyola Marymount University, originally from Chicago. She is extremely interested in cinematography, lighting, and camera operating. Aside from live action, she hopes to eventually DP claymations, animations, and films involving puppetry. She enjoys visualizing and crafting fantasy based stories with timely and important themes. Since she focuses on accurately representing women and the LGBTQ+ community in her work, she is extremely excited to be working as a Second AC on Strawberry! Jordyn looks forward to her time on set and in collaboration with the ONYX team!

Tom Bolles | Gaffer/Colorist

Tom is a Los Angeles based cinematographer and colorist originally from Washington, DC. Tom’s recent work includes shooting a WWII narrative project starring David Mazouz and Aoi Takeya, and shooting music videos for Bennett Coast, Chris Emond, and Benji Patterson. As a colorist, Tom has worked with a variety of brands and artists including Pokémon, Vince Staples, Swae Lee, Mabel, and others.

Jeremy Owens | Editor/DIT

Jeremy Owens is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and TV with a focus on the world of post-production and editing.  His experience includes editing several award-winning short films and documentaries as well as working as a Post Coordinator on a major network show.  Through his work, Jeremy tries to portray topics and issues that are important and personal to him like mental health and women’s rights.  Outside of the world of film, Jeremy enjoys nature, photography, music, graphic design, and prides himself on being a walking Beatles encyclopedia.

James Oxyer | Script Supervisor

James Oxyer is a Los Angeles-based screenwriter and director. He has held a passion for horror and other genre storytelling since growing up on a healthy diet of B-moves and '80s slasher flicks, all the while recruiting his friends to help make horror short films in his backyard. His goal is to explore new approaches to horror storytelling and hopefully one day convince the public that Slumber Party Massacre II is a smart, subtextually-rich film, actually. 

Shelby Alexander | Production Assistant

Shelby Alexander is a senior at Loyola Marymount University studying Screenwriting. Her favorite genre is horror and she strives to bring a feminine touch to modern horror with her writing. In her spare time she loves art history, weightlifting, and journaling. She is excited to help bring the story of Strawberry to life!

Current Team

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