The Summer House

San Francisco, California | Film Short

Thriller, LGBTQ

Luke Willis

2 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $3,325 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

32 supporters | followers

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The Summer House is a short LGBTQ thriller that was shot in November 2018 and is currently in post production. This is an important phase of the project when all the elements of the film come together. We are so close, and we need your help putting on these finishing touches.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

The Summer House has members of the LGBT community in every department. This film fights for accurate representation by those it is about, moving away from tolerance and towards acceptance. It addresses a common theme in the queer experience: overcoming internalized homophobia passed on from family.

The Story

After many years away, Greg returns to his estranged family’s summer vacation house with his boyfriend. The house holds many memories for Greg of him and his deceased father, both good and bad, but Greg is determined to make the weekend a romantic one that will bring him closer to his boyfriend.  After he confesses his love to his boyfriend for the first time, he is tormented later that very night by the ghost of his homophobic father.




LGBT+ representation isn’t just about coming out or ones first romantic experiences as many films romanticize it as. Remarked by critics as “The Get Out of the LGBT Community,” The Summer House dives deeper into the psyche of what it means to be a queer person in today’s world. With the eerie connotations of a thriller, The Summer House is a metaphor for internalized pain from having family members who are steeped in archaic and homophobic ideologies and how those influence the self-perception of children of homophobic parents. The LGBT+ community deserves representation that spans across genres with characters who are established in their identity. The Summer House offers this perspective, while dealing with issues that hit close to home for people of all identities.


The Sea ranch is a planned oceanfront community in Sonoma County, California, established in 1963 by the architect, Al Boeke. The strict design rules of the community have given all the structures a distinctive architecture, which consists of simple timber-frame structures clad in wooden siding or shingles. Sea Ranch was chosen as the location for our story because of its isolation along the coastline and conformity of the structures.  No one is allowed to stray from the norm of design within the community, in the same way that homophobia is a resistance to anything beyond the puritanical christian norms of straight white America.




Thank you for taking the time to learn about our story, and we look forward to sharing the film with you.




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Costs $250

In order to keep the audience engaged and with the story, we need well done VFX.

Color Correction

Costs $250

Color correction is important to maintain the proper tone and feel of the film.

Sound Design

Costs $500

We need audio to be perfected as not to bring the audience out of the story.

Music Recording Session

Costs $250

To ensure the highest quality for our soundtrack.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Festival Submissions

Costs $500

Getting our film to a wider audience through festival submissions.

Original Music Composition

Costs $250

Original composition to have a unique soundtrack be a part of our story.

About This Team

Luke Willis

Writer and Director

Luke is a San Francisco based director and writer originally from Jacksonville Beach, FL.
He has been telling stories and putting on elaborate productions since he could talk, at first in his backyard, later in conservatories and eventually professionally. At the age of 20, Luke discovered he had a talent for classical ballet and went on to achieve an unprecedented career with San Francisco Ballet and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet after starting his training at an “impossibly” late age. In 2014, he retired from ballet and returned to his love of storytelling through his studies in Film and TV Production at University of Southern California.  His short films and vr projects have screened and won awards at festivals around the world, and received over a half a million views on the internet. Luke is passionate about writing and directing stories that rethink common narratives to better reflect the diverse world we live in.


Julia Esptein-Norris


Julia Epstein-Norris is a writer and producer based out of San Francisco and Los Angeles. She holds a BA in Film & TV Production and Screenwriting from USC's School of Cinematic Arts. After graduation, Julia freelanced in Los Angeles and worked as the Director's Assistant on the independent feature, All I Wish. She then moved to Thailand for a year to teach English and broaden her storytelling horizons. Now back in California Julia is constantly writing and working on new projects. In her spare time she is drinking excessive amounts of espresso.


Matt Burke


Matt Burke is a Cinematographer based in Los Angeles. His work has been featured in film festivals such as Cannes, Dances with Films and LA Shorts. He is a graduate of the first class of USC's Film and TV Production BFA.


Jenna Neish


Having graduated from USC in 2016, Jenna has a bachelor's degree in Film Production and a minor in Mathematics. Over the past few years she has spent her time furthering her career as a photographer and a film editor, completing both corporate and narrative work. She recently moved to Seattle, WA to pursue corporate editing opportunities as well as enjoy the beautiful rain that the PNW has to offer. She continues to work remotely for clients in New York and Los Angeles, while doing contract work for Microsoft and local lifestyle bloggers.


Pantawit Kiangsiri


Pantawit Kiangsiri is PMP's leading composer and music supervisor. He writes for various music styles. He has written music for films, televisions, video games and the classical concert. He’s currently writing a score for China Film Group Corporation's first sic-fi feature film in China. His credits include writing music for Warner Brothers, Netflix, Digital Domain, Sony and Vevo. Kiangsiri graduated from the Scoring for Motion and Television Program at USC.


Patrick Fritz

Production Designer

Patrick Fritz is a film and television producer, director, and production designer. His recent work includes producing the TV pilot episode of The Beatrix Girls, a multi-platform children’s entertainment brand, featuring toys, music, and a YouTube presence of over 22 million views. He has also designed several projects for Disney Digital Network and served as production designer for the indie-feature The Adventures of Thomasina Sawyer, produced by Elysium Bandini, James Franco’s production company.
Backwards, which Patrick wrote & directed, was featured at the Dances With Films Festival. And his effort as art director, Only Light, was selected for the Diversity Showcase at the Cannes International Film Festival.
Patrick is a 2016 graduate of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He also holds a M.S. in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the Marshall School of Business. In his spare time Patrick enjoys writing, watching USC football, and making music. He plays the trumpet, mellophone, and is an alumnus of the Spirit of Troy, the Greatest Marching Band in the History of the Universe!


Shyree Mezick

Casting Director

Current Team