The Second Death
The Second Death tells a story of a young woman amidst an identity crisis. After years of being estranged from her parents, her brother, the new King of Hell, has come to bring his sister home. To rebuild his family, and fulfill his life mission- "To redeem all mankind."
Mission StatementWHO ARE WE? We are a women-led production, trying to produce our short film, it's a proof of concept for the full-length film. Though we have garnered interest from many big names, we've found that each has come with a unique "tax" the sort of tax that is only laid upon women. So we need your help!
About The Project
Hello, fellow black sheep...
Tells a tale of a young woman named Olivia who just turned 666. Amidst an identity crisis, she abandons her entire world and family in order to find her purpose. After years of being estranged from her parents... The King of Hell, Lucifer, and her mother Persephone. Olivia hides out in the small town of Holly Springs, Mississippi, seeking a traditional family life. She takes over the body of a 9-year-old child who passed away 25 earth years ago. She's been living as a human ever since...
Meanwhile, her doting older brother Callahan recently made his 5,000th trip around the sun and has been protecting his sister on earth from God's fury. He's been busy in Hell as well, including making major changes in... management. He has come to Mississippi to bring his sister home, rebuild his family, and fulfill his life mission.
"To redeem all mankind."
I love nothing more than taking a concept or idea that most people would perceive as funny, endearing, or "darling" and ground it in a fierce reality that's personal, uncomfortably relevant, and achingly authentic. Imagine Barbie talking to you about addiction. -- I was lonely and wanted to create a safe space for my loneliness to exist, and The Second Death...was born.
Our characters are not conscious of threat and/or impending doom, that is a human concern. In stark contrast to most horror films, atmosphere and character development take priority.
Our aim is to make people aware of their existence, and present in the moment.
We will feel as if our characters are constantly under attack by something unseen, closing in on them, even though our narrative may seem rather ordinary. This foreboding, tense feeling can distort not only our visual but our emotional and mental clarity. Unfortunately, this is exactly what it feels like to live life in accordance with an extremist organized religion, such as Mormonism-something I have personal experience with. Ultimately, this is a story about love and family.
My name is ASHLEE BELL CARESS, I am the creator and writer of The Second Death. A little bit about me...I'm an actor, writer, director, mother, friend, ally, and champion for the underdog. As an adult, I was diagnosed with HFA (High Functioning Autism), OCD, and unfortunately a history of religious trauma. All of those parts of me informed the creation of The Second Death.
Good thing I've also got a sense of humor. "The Second Death," was inspired by my history in the LDS church-the suffocating expectations and debilitating shame. I was never enough, in a place where I was supposed to be the daughter of a KING. After years of running in the same hamster wheel, I broke free but lost plenty of friends and family in the process.
I was ready to step away...for once, I fear no man or God. I embraced my own power and continue to hold myself accountable for a future I believe in.
By supporting our project you're directly supporting women in film, female writers, filmmakers, and people of color. I am a Latinx, bi-sexual humanist who's finally found her tribe.
The FEMALE LED production crew on our project is incredibly talented and hungry to show the world what we have to bring to the table.
And tell a story that truly matters. We have all felt alone...scared and hopeless...but there is HOPE!
Many Christians believe the Devil was once a beautiful angel named Lucifer who defied God and fell from grace. This assumption that he is a fallen angel is often based on the book of Isaiah in the Bible which says, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weakens the nations.”
In people of almost any religion or even in those who don’t follow a religion, the Devil is almost always synonymous with fear, punishment, negativity, and immorality. Yet the "suicide belt" is driven by the unrealistic expectations of Christianity.
People of the Church of Satan, known as Satanists, don’t worship the Devil but embrace him as a symbol of atheism, pride, and liberty, among other things. Agency is never revoked.
To be the light in the darkness for those who may be struggling with leaving their faith.
Every single day someone struggling with their faith is questioning suicide. I've been there, it's a dark and terrifying place to be...if this film can be a light in the darkness for even one person, then we've won. If YOU contribute and become part of this film, then you have joined the fight.
ONE PAGE IN THE BIBLE ISNT WORTH A LIFE
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 160 crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 1-800-273-8255. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
PROOF OF CONCEPT BUDGET STRETCH GOALS
THE OG GOAL - 10k: What we need to make sure we can shoot and finish the film at our scheduled production date while following all covid guidelines: 10K
COMPENSATION - 15k: If we're able to reach 15k we'd be able to sleep in beds! :) Most importantly, we'll be able to pay our crew what they deserve. This is absolutely a labor of love, but I know we would all be so grateful to be compensated for the hard work it takes to make a powerful film.
We champion the underdog, the unseen & unheard. We hope to be a light in the darkness for many.
You are investing in FEMALE FILMMAKERS!
LGBTQ + - LATINX & CREATIVES OF COLOR - Tell a story of family and self-love. "IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE UNIMAGINABLE - WE MUST COME TO EXPECT THE UNACHIEVABLE"
-WE FOLLOW ALL SUGGESTED COVID GUIDELINES - KEEPING OUR CREW SAFE ON SET-
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
Ashlee Bell Caress is a writer, actor, director, and mother. She champions the underdog, the unheard, the unseen, and the unrepresented. Ashlee fights every day for the stories that matter to be the stories that are told-the ones that touch our hearts, warm our souls, and show us a better way of being.
After submitting the script for "The Second Death," to a few festivals, and seeing how well people responded to the world, she decided that it needed to be made. It is currently being adapted into a feature film. If you are interested in being involved in any way, please don't hesitate to reach out!
While keeping her values close to her heart, she chose her team and found a diverse selection of creatives and people equally passionate about the project.
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR & PRODUCER
Katrina is an actor and creative who is grateful every day for the moment she met Ashlee. She works in a classic filmmaker way, taking on any and all jobs necessary to create the project. With this project, she works as a producer, assistant, actor, and friend. She believes deeply in the power of collaboration, female friendships, and expecting the impossible.
Melissa Shevela makes her executive producer debut with “The Second Death.” Shot in beautiful upstate New York, the film tells a story of a young woman amidst an identity crisis. She abandons her world and family to find her purpose, settling in a small town of Holly Springs, Mississippi. After years of being estranged from her father, the King of Hell, and her mother, Persephone, her brother, Callahan, seeks to bring her home and fulfill his own agenda. Written and directed by Ashlee Bell Caress and produced by Katrina Mattson, this female trio found a common bond with the women’s empowerment movement. Shevela obtained her undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University where she majored in Journalism and Advertising. Daughter of a second-generation entrepreneur, Melissa became the third-generation business owner of a Metro Detroit automotive manufacturing plant for 12 years. She has an eclectic background that ranges from food critic, entrepreneurship, entertainment public relations, property management, children’s book author, healthcare advocate, and now, executive producing. Melissa has been married for over 25 years and has two children, a daughter, and a son. She and her family reside in Harrison Township, Michigan and have a second home in Thousand Oaks, California.
DIRECTOR - EDITOR
Michael Robayo is an independent filmmaker and freelancer born and raised in the Bronx, New York. Michael has written, directed, shot, and edited several projects including short films, music videos, promos, commercials, and short documentaries.
Michael is also the founder of the Bronx-based production company SITE B STUDIOS.
CARL WELDEN - SOUND
BIO - Coming soon!
LARS ELLING LUNDE - DP - 1AD
If a picture says a thousand words then we must have A FRICKIN' LOT to say... and by "we", I mostly mean "I". I'm Lars Elling Lunde and I am the primary moving farce behind Lundegaard Imageforge. This does not necessarily mean I can do EVERYTHING here (at least, not at the same time), as (depending on the project & budget) I have a terrific cadre of talented, inventive, and VETTED veteran production cohorts just a phone call away. As the ever-powerful PRODUCTION TRIANGLE ( Better. Cheaper. Faster. Pick Two. ) doth dictate, I can have ACs, G&E, MUAs, ADs, A1s, EFX, and pretty much any other abbreviation from A to Z on the job PDQ. But, if it's something on the DL side of budgeting that requires the work of one person, then that person
Having spent the better part of my life behind one camera or another when not glued to a drawing desk designing things both great & small, I find the best projects are usually the ones where I get to take client's ideas and expand them to fill The Big Picture. I've built medieval taverns, shot a wind generator installation in a blizzard, been attacked by a Fisher Cat (giant angry weasel-thing, look it up) scouting a shot in a swamp, choreographed fights for vampire lesbian kick-boxers and shot 2nd Unit in a haunted WW2 submarine, among other things. There are a lot of ways to tell the story and I use every, a single one, baby. So warm up the Earl Grey and let's get to work!
KIMBERLY SAUER - DIT
Kimberly Sauer is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker based in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley. Her work history includes collaborations with PBS, National Geographic, Hulu, Netflix, HBO, Ethical Tea Partnership, Fjällräven, Himalayan Cataract Project, Wild Planet Photo Magazine, CAREforAIDS, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, and many others. A true vagabond by nature, she is passionate about living adventurously — pursuing causes and projects that conserve and protect culture, wildlife, and our planet, empower women, and tell meaningful stories from the 40+ countries that she has found herself in.
When not behind a camera, Kimberly can usually be found taking long romantic walks to the taco truck, getting lost in the jungle, or going insane in quarantine.
CALLAHAN: Douglas Clarke Wood
OLIVIA: Ashlee Bell Caress
JULES: Katrina Mattson
ANGEL GABRIEL: Lex DÆMON
ANGEL MICHAEL: Katherine Elam