The English Rose

Los Angeles, California | Film Short


Paula Crichton

1 Campaigns | California, United States

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This campaign raised $12,052 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

115 supporters | followers

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A newlywed in Victorian England struggles to live up to the beauty of her husband’s late wife, Rose, leading her to use toxic cosmetics that poison not only her skin, but her inner self.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

As female filmmakers, we are committed to focusing on stories that resonate with our experience, and encompass various diverse backgrounds. We want to showcase challenges and issues that impact all woman-identifying individuals, encouraging reflection on the self and society at large.

The Story

Hi, I’m Paula! As an artist, I am about giving a voice to unheard perspectives, especially those of the women of the past. I tell universal stories that communicate deep emotions visually in an abstract and poetic manner.

The concept for The English Rose began with me questioning the phrase: “beauty is pain”. The social pressure on women to strive for unachievable beauty standards is a subject I have frequently explored through my art. Since childhood, I have seen countless women change their appearance in self-destructive ways because they struggle to feel beautiful in their own skin. This is a heartbreaking and incredibly dangerous truth about what growing up socialized as a woman can feel like... a demand many of us, unfortunately, know all too well.

My goal is to make the audience re-evaluate their involvement with current toxic beauty trends and ask themselves if these demands have really changed since those of the Victorian Era, hundreds of years ago. We might not be washing our faces with arsenic, but there are still a plenty of other toxic chemicals we put in and onto our bodies for appearance's sake. The English Rose is a tragic, timeless story.


  • Beauty
  • Sacrifice
  • Toxic Patterns
  • Self-Sabotage
  • Fear
  • Vanity
  • Pain
  • Insecurity
  • Challenge
  • Societal Pressure


Set in late 19th Century England, the story takes place in an oppressive society where beauty standards and poison often converged. The unfortunate victim of these standards is our protagonist, Eloise Ainsworth.


ELOISE AINSWORTH is a woman in her 30s whose life turned completely around by her recent marriage to a rich widower, the businessman Mr. Ainsworth. Eloise feels like an outsider in high English society as she comes from a humble background, and is unused to a vain and luxurious lifestyle where everything revolves around appearances. Eloise, once comfortable in her own skin, now feels challenged by society to become the ideal “English Rose”, a pressure that is deadly to seek after.

The LADY’S MAID is a middle-aged woman who has worked for Mr. Ainsworth for quite some time. Having been extremely close to the deceased Mrs. Rose Ainsworth, she holds a bitterness towards Eloise’s newly acquired position in the household. Convinced that the new Mrs. Ainsworth does not live up to Rose’s beauty and legacy, she makes sure that her disapproval is clear to Eloise, thinly veiled with dour civility.


Eloise Ainsworth, a woman from a humble background, prepares to have her first-ever portrait taken. As the new wife of Mr. Ainsworth, a widower, and businessman in English society, Eloise has the imposing task of living up to her recently acquired position. When her lady’s maid gives her a cosmetics kit from the late Mrs. Rose Ainsworth, overwhelming feelings of inadequacy begin to plague Eloise’s mind. Noticing a sore appearing on her skin, she spirals down a vicious cycle of covering up her perceived imperfections while simultaneously applying poisonous chemicals to her once-healthy skin.


Our film takes place in a period-accurate bed chamber, filled with wooden furniture pieces and ornate decorations. The color scheme is dark and muted with primarily earthy colors and desaturated tones, with the exception of red and green highlighting the more vibrant elements. The space feels as if there are constantly eyes looking back at you, communicated with an overabundance of mirrors, a haunting portrait of the deceased Mrs. Rose Ainsworth, and a decrepit porcelain doll sitting ominously nearby. A vanity covered with dainty bottles of intricate label designs and questionable substances, anxiously awaits its next victim.


Women have always been pressured to participate in toxic beauty trends. Victorian women had a variety of rituals that subjected their bodies to extremely harmful substances, with many poisoning themselves, or worse, with toxic cosmetics in order to achieve the coveted translucent skin esteemed during that era. Modern society might find their behavior outrageous, however, we have to question whether beauty trends have really changed that much since. Are they any healthier today, or have we as a society simply found different ways to poison ourselves for the sake of appearances?



Paula Crichton is a queer/latinx filmmaker with a strong focus in visual and poetic storytelling. Highly stylized metaphorical imagery combined with social statements creates a magical realism that encaptures her as a Director/Cinematographer. She attended Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and later transferred to Columbia College Hollywood where she acquired a BFA in Film Production with an emphasis in Cinematography. Currently based in Los Angeles, Paula spends her days off learning about history, drinking tea and playing with her two baby cats Balty and Binksy.



Elizabeth Alan is a Meisner trained actress, designer and producer known for My Left Arm, Worst Date/Best Date and Community Theater Christmas. While spending time in India, Kurdistan and Jordan, Elizabeth saw first hand what the empowerment of women can do both in shaping their own lives and the community around them. She believes that film is one of the most influential mediums in art today and is passionate about its ability to convey essential messages while fostering empathy in creators and viewers alike.



Camila Madero is a creative producer originally from Colombia, based in LA whose interest in film was first ignited by her passion for translating ideas into reality. Following her motto of always seeking discomfort, she moved from Miami about a year ago and since then she has fully immersed in the realm of production by working on a variety of projects ranging from commercials, and music videos, to shorts. Using her business background has allowed her to combine her experience with her creativity to push forward those ideas into the big screen.


Director of Photography

Los Angeles based Director and Director of Photography, Christopher Sheffield learned to love filmmaking as a child looking to use cameras and his imagination to escape his small town. As a growing professional he has always strived to push the limits of independent cinema, Writing, Directing, and DP'ing his own feature films, from ambitious action thrillers to the smaller drama projects with deeply personal stories, he's always made it his goal to collaborate and bring fresh faces and fresh perspectives to the exciting world of filmmaking and storytelling.


Art Department

Colombian born & LA trained, Camila Noriega is a multifaceted visual artist. Highly stylized films and music videos that mix dreamy and colorful images with darker subject matters is where she shines best. She got her bachelor's degree in screenwriting and has tapped into directing shorts and music videos with her creative partner, Paula Crichton, ever since. Their music videos have received recognition in film festivals in LA & New York.



Abra Kadab is a queer recording artist, composer, actor, and social activist. They come from a classical background and are proficient on drums, keyboards, and vocals. Their musical work includes classical, experimental/noise, audio/psychodramas, hard rock, and electronica. Horror and suspense are their specialty genres when scoring films. They currently reside in and operate out of Los Angeles, CA.


Special Makeup Effects

Lian Uritsky is a Los Angeles based professional makeup artist, who has been working in the film industry for over 12 years. Mainly working on commercials, features, music videos, web series, private clients, corporate clients, and headshots, Lian also specializes in men's grooming, character makeup and design, prosthetic application, and creature work. She loves making her clients feel comfortable in their own skin and is passionate about bringing realism to her makeup artistry when it comes to character design. Some of the companies Lian has worked with include NBC Universal, Dreamworks TV, Twitch, Apple, Nickelodeon, and more.


Wondering where your contribution will go?

Cast & Crew

We have already begun to gather a group of incredible filmmakers that will bring their talents to the table! We are extremely grateful for all of their hard work, dedication, and the skills they so joyfully bring to the table. Eternally appreciative for all of the above, we are determined to pay them for their time and make their experince on set safe and fun!



One of the biggest challenges of making a period piece is finding the perfect period-accurate location, but we are fortunate enough to have access to incredible locations in Los Angeles that come ready to shoot! However, such beauty does come at a cost, so a big portion of our budget will go toward securing our location.


Art Department

This film is extremely visually oriented and incorporates many items that are crucial to creating the right atmosphere for the story to unfold. We have a brilliant production designer on board who will ensure that every dollar budgeted goes toward making the set perfect for the story!



Clothing in this film plays an important role in the story, as we are addressing beauty after all! Making sure that we have gorgeous garments for Eloise is crucial to the plot, as well as ensuring that they are period accurate, from corsets to petticoats, and on! 


Equipment Rentals

Film equipment is a crucial and costly part of every production. With the combination of a great camera, cinematic lenses, and lights, our Director of Photography will orchestrate some stunning visuals!



Nobody wants to have a hungry crew! On set, we work 12-hour days, and keeping everyone well-fed is essential in maintaining good morale.



Once the filming is done, we dive into the post-production to put it all together! This involves a variety of incredibly important individuals, such as the editor, composer, sound mixer, and colorist. These people will take all the seeds that have been planted during filming and make them flourish into a finished project!


Festival Fees

After post-production is completed we will be submitting The English Rose to a variety of film festivals, which are an incredible way to present a project to various audiences and and members of the film industry across the globe! These encourage future collaboration and help spread important messages much farther than we would be able to on our own. Imagine thousands of people watching something you were a part of! There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing hard work pay off.



I hope all this has shown you why this is a timeless and incredibly relevant story to tell. But in order to make this film happen, we need your help! So, exactly how can you be a part of this? See below!



You can choose from a variety of fun incentives we have created to contribute! With every incentive you will receive something special in return to express our gratitude.



Sharing the project with your network of people is another amazing way to support this film! Are there 2-3 people you know who also feel passionate about the subject matter who you can invite to be a part of this project?



Find us on Instagram @theenglishrosefilm to join us in every step of the process, learn some historical fun facts, and immerse yourself in the world of The English Rose.



Let us know if there is anything else you'd like to contribute! Do you own or have a connection to a restaurant that could provide meal catering? Do you have access to period-accurate props or costumes? We’d love to work with you! If this is you, email us at [email protected] and we'll get right back to you!

We can’t wait to dive into this artistic adventure and we hope you will join us on this journey! Your involvement makes a huge impact in bringing this film to life and we can't thank you enough! 



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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Location & Permits

Costs $2,500

We want to get an amazing location and get proper permits as required.

Camera Rentals

Costs $500

With the combination of a great camera and cinematic lenses our DP will create stunning visuals!


Costs $800

We need lights to make this film beautiful!


Costs $5,000

We will gather an amazing team of talented filmmakers to create this film!

Production Expendables

Costs $500

Expenses that might rise up during production.


Costs $500

We need amazing actors!


Costs $400

A well fed crew is a happy crew!


Costs $500

From a stunning gown to corsets and period-accurate petticoats, we'll have it all!

Art Department

Costs $1,000

A period piece requires a lot decoration to make it accurate!

Festival Fees

Costs $300

Let's give this film a larger audience!

Editor & Colorist

Costs $2,000

Here is where it all comes together!

Sound Editor & Composer

Costs $1,000

The sound will play a huge part in this film. It will create a creepy and atmospheric layer to it.

About This Team

The crew for The English Rose is a group of industry professionals who have been working together for years. We have experience going through the filmmaking process as a team. There's nothing more exciting that making films with friends!

Current Team