The West Virginian Starfish - Post Production

New York City, New York | Film Short


Hyten Davidson

2 Campaigns | New York, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $3,060 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

18 supporters | followers

Enter the amount you would like to pledge


The West Virginian Starfish is an award-winning story about closure, and the decision to move past our breaking points to the other side. After a rewarding three day shoot in May, we're so proud of the footage we got and now need your help to push to the end of our own production journey.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

We are a team of NYC and Midwest-based artists are working diligently to create a story about moving on from pain. This film is being made to explore the paralysis of grief, enable people (especially women!) to go hiking, and get casts and crew back to work!

The Story

The Story

"The West Virginian Starfish" is a short drama that follows a woman named Carly in the aftermath of her father's disappearance from their home by the Appalachian Trail in Harper's Ferry, WV. With the encouragement of her boyfriend, she decides one night to retire her father's old project-- picking up defeated thru-hikers off the trail. But before she can cut the cord, Carly resolves to pick up one last hiker-- a haggard man named Acanthaster. In a twist of fate, the man shares a story that may hold the key to her past while changing the course of her life forever. 


Melanie McNulty as Carly. 


The Shoot 

In May of this year, we had the pleasure of filming in a remote town in the Catskills bringing cast and crew in from Chicago, New York City, and Virginia. Beyond battling some rain storms, the shoot went off without a hitch and we're so proud of the result! It was all made possible by the generous support of Seed and Spark, our contributors, friends, family, product placement suppliers, and the Chicago-based equipment houses Eleven 04 and Light Modifiers. 



The Future

Moving forward, we are transitioning into post-production fairly quickly with the hopes of getting our story festival-ready by late summer. While we are working to cash-flow festival fees and marketing costs, we need your help securing the post-production editing and audio budget to keep up with our expedited timeline. Your contributions will be going right into the hard-working hands of our post-production team! 



Thank you so much for your support! Any contribution, follow, like, or share makes a direct impact on the success of our story and for that, we're so thankful. 



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


Costs $600

This will give us a jumpstart on producing quality marketing materials and publicist costs.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Edit and Color

Costs $1,200

This covers all post-production picture costs including editing, color, and any revisions needed.

Post-Production Audio

Costs $1,200

This covers all post-production sound editing, mixing, and music composition.

About This Team


Melanie McNulty (Carly) is an actor, writer, director, and teacher based in Chicago. She is an alum of Indiana University-Bloomington and the Gaiety School of Acting-The National Theatre School of Ireland. Her recent credits include Constellations (MARIANNE) with Theatre Above the Law, short films Malady (REBECCA), Forever (SAM), and Goodbye, Janet (KELSEY). She has performed, directed and taught with companies such as Skyline Studios, Dovetail Studios, Emerald City Theatre, Rose Valley Theatre Group, Cardinal Stage Company and more. She is a proud member of the ensembles of Theatre Y and Theatre Above the Law. 

Christopher Gurr (Acanthaster) lives at the northern end of the island of Manhattan. For now. Before he lived in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, on the Pacific coast in Santa Cruz, and on the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago. He spent two decades working in regional theater around the country, six years on the road with two Broadway tours, and six years in NYC racking up five Broadway shows and a smattering of a film and TV credits. When he’s in the city, he misses the woods. When he’s in the woods, he misses the work. 

Jacob A. Ware (Tommy) is an actor/writer/producer in NYC. He is the co-writer and co-star of the surreal comedy short You Wouldn't Understand (2021 Sundance Film Festival) as well as the creator and star of the off-beat comedy series Driver Ed (2018 Tribeca Film Festival). Along with starring in the upcoming two-hander horror feature An Unquiet Grave, Jacob is a series regular on the critically acclaimed Playwrights Horizons narrative podcast MS: Phoenix Rising. TV: Boardwalk Empire, FBI, Law & Order:SVU, Shades of Blue, Gotham, Blue Bloods. 

Eileen Sugameli (Exodus) is an actor/educator/magician, and the executive director of the nonprofit Science Theater Company.  In quarantine, she’s been having a blast creating YouTube videos that were featured in more than 20 newspapers in the article "Virus Lockdowns have people baking for the first time. The results are horrifying."  Her IMDb credits include a lead role in ‘Voorhees’- a Friday the 13th feature fan film with over a million views on YouTube, and a featured role in ‘We Only Know So Much,’ starring Jeanne Tripplehorn, Donal Logue, and Robert John Burke, which won Best Feature at BAFF. 




Hyten Davidson (Executive Producer, Co-Director, Writer) is an award-winning screenwriter and SAG actress. She's won Best Screenplay awards at the Shortcut 100 International Film Festival, the South Shore Film Festival, the TSWY International Film Festival, and the FunMill Film Festival -- among other wins and accolades. As a fiction writer Hyten has been published in The Maine Review, Landlocked Magazine, and New Reader Magazine. For more, visit 

Tommy Martin (Executive Producer, Co-Director) is a filmmaker and SAG-AFTRA actor/board member whose work has appeared in festivals, on screen, and on stage. He works as an actor, producer, director, editor, and camera operator. The West Virginian Starfish will be his third short film directing credit, and second collaboration with Hyten Davidson. Their first collaboration, Love at First Like, landed distribution on BeBopTV. For more on Tommy, visit:  

Sheri Beth (Executive Producer) is a proud member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). She produced her first feature in 2014 and has produced 4 more features, a web series and a short film. She has several projects in development and is excited to be a part of The West Virginian Starfish team. For more on Sheri, visit: 

Bobby Dalley (DP/Colorist) is a cinematographer and colorist at Digital Alliance in Chicago where he works on commercials, films and corporate video. He's a self-professed nerd who's been combining love of movies with love of tech since making his first film with the family camcorder as a child. The job of a cinematographer never gets old because it's different for every gig, and that's Bobby's favorite thing about it.

Carrie Graham (Gaffer) is a working filmmaker based out of Chicago, IL. She puts bread and butter on the table with corporate and commercial work working in every imaginable role within the camera & lighting departments. She cut her teeth as the DP of the experimental documentary Drifting Towards The Crescent and is always eager to work on artistic projects that go beyond the daily grind of corporate production work. She is extremely honored to work as the gaffer on The West Virginian Starfish and is excited to see where this story goes from here. 

Owen Palmiotti (Producer) is an award-winning screenwriter/filmmaker, novelist, and co-founder of the Loudoun Arts Film Festival. He is a former U.S. Naval Reservist and Merchant Marine, who taught navigation at his alma mater, SUNY Maritime College. He is the author of a Young Adult Fiction trilogy, "The Adventures of Benjamin Manry." He co-wrote, produced, and executive produced the feature film, Madhouse Mecca, which won Best Editing for a Feature Film and secured a Domestic and International distribution deal. He is currently breathing life into a historical sports biopic titled Back on the Water. Owen lives in in Leesburg, Virginia with his wife, Marissa, and their dog Charlie. Visit for more.

Vincent Edward Boucher (BTS Photography) is a freelance photographer based in the Lower Hudson Valley region of New York. His work has been featured in local galleries throughout New York State. Vincent aims to capture moments in time and the beauty in natural subjects.

Neil Edwards (Storyboard Artist) lives and works in Wrexham, North Wales. He specializes in Comic Book art, Character Design and Storyboarding.  

Current Team