The Scroll of Morlok

Los Angeles, California | Film Short


Dashiell Finley

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $5,210 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

44 supporters | followers

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Interested in a mind-altering, genre-bending homage to silent horror? Then help us create our next film, “The Scroll of Morlok”!

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Women in horror are usually screaming, running, & dying. But “The Scroll of Morlok” empowers Kelly (Rae Gray), a dynamic protagonist with a deep knowledge of cinema. Also, telling this story would be impossible without our producer Gina Yull, and the work of a crew consisting of 50% minority talent.

The Story




First and foremost, we want to create an original and visually captivating short that utilizes modern filmmaking techniques to put a new spin on the silent-era aesthetic that sparked the horror genre. We love these timeless classics and our goal is to share their iconic imagery with a new generation of viewers. Additionally, we wanted to upend the regressive image of a "typical" film buff by bringing to life a dynamic female protagonist whose identity largely revolves around her deep knowledge of cinematic history. 


Despite the challenges inherent to this production, we already have a massive leg up-- as we have literally already shot half of the film. Last year, we put together a crew and filmed the entirety of the “silent movie” component (the fictional Scroll of Morlok within the film itself), which will be seen projected onscreen in the finished product. As such, we now only need to film the “real-time” elements of the script, which will all take place within the confines of a modern-day movie theater. In addition, we have been fortunate enough to cast the talented Rae Gray (A24's SliceFear The Walking Dead) as Kelly, further boosting the project's profile. 


(Rae Gray - cast in the role of Kelly)


Reaching our goal would truly be instrumental to making this film a reality. Though we've already secured  the money needed to begin production, recieving the full allotted sum would cover all remaining post-production costs. Then, upon completing The Scroll of Morlok, we would utilize it as as a proof of concept for a feature film to expand on the basic concept of the script. In doing so, we’d be taking a cue from the success of David Sandberg’s 2016 smash Lights Out, which originated as a viral horror short before being picked up by Warner Brothers as a theatrical release. In fact, we’ve already finished writing an outline for this larger project and aim to complete the full script by the time the short is complete and out to festivals.


Consider this not just as a kickass short film, but as a proof of concept for a feature which expands on the basic concept of The Scroll of Morlok. So, in donating to this film, you could be supporting the next big horror franchise and its 12 successively worse sequels!  




The story follows Kelly, the young, serious-minded manager of an indie movie theater. An obsessive fan of classic cinema, Kelly has become intensely focused on her work, making little time for socializing or enjoying life's pleasures. One day, she returns to the theater having finally found a copy of a long last silent film entitled “The Scroll of Morlok” -- an infamous rarity she's been pursuing for some time. Kelly excitedly begins projecting the film, unfurling the story of a waifish HEROINE who, along with her FIANCÉ, stumbles upon a horrific murder at a country estate. Soon, a shadow passes through the light of the projector, giving Kelly the sense that she may not be alone. 



To her amazement, Kelly soon realizes that what she does in the theater is mimicking exactly what’s happening in the old film. When the movie’s Heroine and her Fiancé notice a pair of bloody footprints belonging to the mysterious killer; Kelly notices the very same footprints in the theater, leading over to a billowing curtain. Then, both in the cinematic world and in ours, an ethereal being emerges — MORLOK, a wraith-like phantom out of time, his face caked in weathered stage makeup. Unable to look away, Kelly comes face to face with a handsome avatar of the silent era she so reveres. As terror turns to dream-like admiration, Kelly lowers her guard, only to soon learn the hard way that she has inadvertently freed a fiendish supernatural villain from his prison! Will her efforts be enough to break free of the curse that has befallen her, or will she find herself trapped forever in a cinematic nightmare?   




We share a deep love for the impressionistic style and wildly creative craftsmanship on display in movies like Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. As such, we aim to interpolate their surreal, iconic imagery through a bold new prism of contemporary filmmaking techniques, so as to reach a new audience that might otherwise be unaware of this past chapter in film history.



Indeed, despite massive advances in technology, recent horror films have seldom been able to replicate the otherworldly quality conjured up by those Weimar-era classics. As we see it, this inimitably haunting “feel” is partially due to a subconscious awareness on the part of the viewer that everyone involved in the making of these films is now dead. It was this morbid realization that set the idea for this short in motion: a silent film that is literally haunted by its ghoulish leading man. To realize our vision, we hope to boil down the most “alien” elements of a 1920s silent film— the crackling silence, unnaturally stilted movements, the high contrast black and white cinematography— and repurpose them to jarringly terrifying effect in our modern world. 



Because the silent short was designed to be “period appropriate”, we didn’t make things as intense as they are in modern horror movies. But, of course, all that will change in the real world component. Because when Morlok emerges from the theater’s screen, he morphs into a rotted and truly horrifying version of himself, as he too has degraded and deteriorated like his filmic version. And along with him, the style of the movie will transform into something slick and sinister, akin to contemporary horror smashes like The Conjuring, Insidious, and The Babadook. 



So there you have it-- we're just two up-and-coming filmmakers trying to make a splash, and we hope that through your kind generosity, we can share our dream (or nightmare?) with the world. 



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

Musical Score

Costs $1,000

We have a composer ready to help us blend the modern and silent eras in a spooky orchestral score.


Costs $1,000

The modern day and the silent film world will be blended together in editing.

Sound Design

Costs $1,000

Great sound design will be vital to bridge the gap between the silent world and our modern day.

Visual Effects and Color

Costs $1,000

Bringing the terror of Morlok into the modern day requires the magic of VFX and color.

Production Finishing Costs

Costs $1,000

We've raised most of the money to shoot the modern component, but need a small finishing amount.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Rae Gray (Lead Performer - "Kelly")



Rae Gray is a theatre, film and television actress born and bred in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up performing on the stages of Steppenwolf and the Goodman Theatre. While finishing school at the University of Chicago, she was part of the company of The Real Thing on Broadway. Gray now resides in  Los Angeles. She was a series regular on Amazon’s original pilot Sea Oak alongside Glenn Close, Jane Levy and Jack Quaid. She has recurred on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, ABC’s For the People and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. She has guest starred on Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, NBC’s Chicago P.D, and CBS’s CSI: Cyber. She starred in the short film The Robbery, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017. She also stars opposite Chance the Rapper in A24’s Slice, which hit theaters last year.


Dyson Posey (Lead Performer - "Morlok")



Dyson realized his love for acting and hip-hop dance while growing up in Prescott, Arizona. At age four he told his Ma, “I want to be an entertainer”. After high school, Dyson trekked west to UCLA's School of Theater Film and Television. There he received multiple merit scholarships from the Department of Theater and found representation through UCLA's Senior Showcase. Since then, he has had featured roles in projects such as Janelle Monae: Dirty Computer and Young Americans, as well as garnering the lead in a nationwide campaign for Buffalo Wild Wings.


Gina Yull (Producer)



Gina began her career in entertainment in Cleveland, Ohio. Wanting to expand her knowledge of the business she attended the Chapman University graduate film program with an emphasis in film/ television producing. Since graduating she has produced and directed several short films. She recently exited her job as an assistant at Paradigm Talent Agency to become the director/ executive producer’s assistant on the upcoming series L.A.’s Finest starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba.


Evan Scott (Co-Director, Co-Writer)



Evan is a television and film professional based in Los Angeles. He has worked at high profile networks AMC, Netflix, and currently Hulu at crucial times in their growth. In various production capacities, he has supported the marketing and PR efforts of tentpole original series and films such as The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, Beasts of No Nation, and The Handmaid’s Tale. Funneling this experience as well as training at New York University’s Tisch Film School into personal projects, Evan has written numerous spec scripts and directed and edited several short films.


Dashiell Finley (Co-Director, Co-Writer)



Dashiell is a writer, director, and film journalist based in Los Angeles. After working as a development assistant to a number of high-powered executives and creatives, he has since written many screenplays, working under filmmakers such as Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity), Jason Kliot (Coffee and Cigarettes), and Bruno Barreto (Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands). Dashiell has also been hired for consulting work by Norris Chumley (a former producer for Oprah) as well as companies like Consumer Reports, Script Reader Pro, Synergetic Film, and Blue Horseshoe Productions.

Current Team