The Ladder (2021 Short Film)

Ketchikan, Alaska | Film Short

Drama, Sci-Fi

Emilio Miguel Torres

3 Campaigns | Arizona, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $16,985 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

167 supporters | followers

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"The Ladder" is a sci-fi, drama short film that has the opportunity to showcase writer-director Emilio Miguel Torres' hometown of Ketchikan, Alaska in such a beautiful way. By supporting the film, you're supporting the dreams of all of the artists involved to tell meaningful stories.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Our team is a young and diverse cohort dedicated to making films that inspire, entertain, and educate. We are passionate about telling authentic stories that highlight communities not always seen on screen. We care deeply for Ketchikan, the people there, and want to create a story that honors them.

The Story

In a semi-futuristic world, an aging Alaskan fisherman must decide between accepting old age or restarting his life.

The Ladder is an upcoming sci-fi, drama short film by Emilio Miguel Torres that asks the question: if you had the chance to restart your life, would you? The moving and impactful story takes place in a world where a cutting edge biotechnology company, "Actilife," has invented a procedure that allows individuals to transplant their consciousness into synthetically made 21 year-old bodies called "The Fresh Start."

Our main character is Arthur, an aging Alaskan fisherman and widower who struggles with arthritis that keeps him from being able to work. Secretly, he has prepared to have this new and mysterious procedure done on himself, but when his son and daughter-in-law reveal an unexpected secret of their own, and he encounters a friend who has already begun his "Fresh Start", Arthur must reconsider the gravity of his plans.

The original draft of The Ladder was written in the Fall of 2019. Emilio wanted to write a film about his hometown of Ketchikan, Alaska and explore themes of finding purpose in life, conquering your fears, and navigating changing family dynamics as you age. Some day, this story has the potential to be an amazing feature film or episodic series, but for now, we are starting with the short film and hope you consider supporting that journey!

We are currently in pre-production on this film, with a set production week of July 3rd-10th, 2021. The crew of the film will be entirely comprised of young, aspiring filmmakers from New York, Seattle, and Los Angeles flying in. Meanwhile, the cast of The Ladder will all be local actors from Ketchikan.

All individuals involved with this project will strictly follow all CDC and local guidelines set in place for safe film production right now. Additionally, our entire crew will be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 by the time of production.

Given the fact that showcasing and honoring Ketchikan, Alaska is a key goal with the creation of this film, we will be spending a full week shooting the scenes as well as getting plenty of extra footage to really capture the beauty of both the nature and community of the small town.

This campaign will be essential in making the short film happen. With the funds raised for this project, we will be able to spend a week in Ketchikan, Alaska making a meaningful and grounded sci-fi story. We also plan to submit The Ladder to a multitude of film festivals to have the opportunity to showcase this film to the world. 

Writer-Director Emilio Miguel Torres grew up in Ketchikan. If it wasn't for the opportunities and support to explore art that the community offered to him as a kid, he doesn't believe he would have ever grown up to become a filmmaker. For this reason, he is so excited to return after completing his BFA degree at NYU Tisch School of the Arts to connect with and show respect to his hometown through this project.

The amount of talent found within all of the young, aspiring filmmakers on The Ladder team is immense. However, the amount in the bank accounts of those same young, aspiring filmmakers is not as overabundant. With the passionate, independent filmmaking spirits of our entire production team, making movies on small to non-existent budgets is nothing new. However, making this film in the way it deserves to be made will require funding. So, we are looking for people who care about stories and want to support young artists, to join our adventure to get there!

We are looking to raise $15,750.00 for this film. This budget would allow us to:

  1. Afford rental costs for cinematic filmmaking gear
  2. House and feed our crew and cast during the production week
  3. Pay crew and cast members for their time and talents (paying artists is so important)
  4. Purchase important production design elements for the story
  5. Cover general and various fees and costs involved

If we reach our goal, this film will be made this July in the way it deserves to be, and we will submit to film festivals this Fall for next year's festival season. The hope is to get this story shown in as many places as possible and to hopefully utilize it to pitch Emilio Miguel Torres' ideas for a feature-length The Ladder as well as a potential episodic version. All contributors to this campaign will get access to a password protected online link to see the film before its festival run. We are so thrilled to go on this journey to try and get this film made, and pray that our project inspires you and connects with you. Contributions of any size go such a long way.

Make sure to follow our campaign on Instagram as well as Facebook to keep up-to-date on all things The Ladder. Join us on this adventure to make this awesome film in one of the coolest places on earth! We cannot do this without your help. If you cannot afford to make a contribution at this time, please consider sharing to family and friends to spread the word. Thank you.



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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Gear Rentals

Costs $3,400

Help us make this film high level, cinema quality!

Paying Our Crew

Costs $3,600

Fighting for young filmmakers to receive fair wages for their work is super important!

Room & Board

Costs $1,700

Help us afford to house our crew during the week of shooting!

Feeding the Crew

Costs $1,000

Gotta make sure to stock up our crew house with food to eat while not on set!

Paying Our Cast

Costs $1,500

Our lead actors deserve to be compensated for their talent and time!

Catering on Set

Costs $1,400

Help us feed our cast and crew while we are on set!

Production Costs

Costs $2,650

Help us cover various costs including expendables, insurance, campaign fees, and more!

Art Budget

Costs $500

Help us create key props and design elements to sell the semi-futuristic world of The Ladder!

About This Team

Current Team