Tick Tock

Los Angeles, California | Film Short

Comedy, Family

Sam Morgan

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $14,530 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

152 supporters | followers

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TICK TOCK is a dark comedy about feeling out of place amongst the people who know you the best. The film is a bit unconventional because the antagonist or “villain” is less of a person and more of an attitude that we as a society hold about the biological and metaphorical “ticking clock”.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

As you can probably tell, Sam (writer/director) is both white...and a man. BUT with this project it is our mission to keep department heads, cast and crew diverse in terms of gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. There's enough seats for everyone at our dinner table. ;)

The Story


TICK TOCK is a dark comedy about feeling out of place, even amongst the people who know you the best. Claire goes home for dinner and is immediately confronted with expectations. Expectations about how she should look and dress and who she should date. After letting a moment of miscommunication between her and her mom snowball into a mis-truth about her being pregnant, she’s forced to come face to face with some sobering realizations about herself and the way she internalizes the pressures put on her by her family to have been married with kids by this point in her life. This film is a bit unconventional because the antagonist or “villain” is less of a person and more of an attitude that we as a society hold about the biological and metaphorical “ticking clock” that says how or who we should be at different points in our lives.


I grew up on movies like Christmas Vacation and Home Alone, so this project is a bit of an homage to those films as well as my own loving (and sometimes dysfunctional) family. 

Who's Who?

One thing that excites me the MOST about this project is the incredible cast and crew who are coming together to bring Tick Tock to life. Not only are they seasoned vets from film and TV, they're also incredibly talented artists and supportive friends of mine who believe in this story. 


I've assembled a team of incredibly funny people who will make sure this thing doesn't fly off the rails and into tonal no-man's land. I'm basically like Professor X...but with hair.


Sam Morgan (Writer/Director)

Ok, so this is me ^^. I'm pretty much just a normal midwestern kid who grew up and moved to L.A. to make music and movies. I recently received my MFA in Film Directing from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. My last short film, "A Proud Woman", competed in several festivals (including a few Oscar qualifiers) and led to me being on the jury of the Heartland Film Festival in 2016. Prior to graduation, I was cast as Adam in the TV series American Woman, which afforded me a closer look at how bigger sets operate and how to work with professional actors.

John Riggi (Executive Producer)

John is an Emmy and Peabody Award winning television writer, director, and producer I met in my second round of auditions for American Woman. As it turns out, he doesn't hate me? He's written/executive produced shows like "30 Rock", "Camping", and "The Comeback". He's read so many drafts of this script and is ready to just shoot the damn thing. 

Beth Grant (Actor)

If you don't know this face, you don't have a TV.  There's not enough characters available on this page to list all of her credits, but you might know her from "Little Miss Sunshine", "The Mindy Project", or "Speed". Beth was one of the first people I met when I moved to L.A. and has been such a role model to me as an actor and artist ever since. 

Jennifer Bartels (Actor)

Writing the first drafts of this script I didn't have a cut and dry idea of who'd play Claire, Tick Tock's cynical, semi-abrasive and DEEPLY sensistive protagonist (Claire's definitely not based on me at all. She's a woman. I'm a man. THIS IS NOT ME! hahahaha....what?). But after hanging with Jen at the "American Woman" premier and seeing her work in sketch comedy shows like "Friends of the People", it became clear she's the only person I trusted with this role.

(She also plays a hilarious stripper named Ruby on Hulu's "Shrill". Check it out!)

Jonathan Chase (Actor)

This guy has also been in EVERYTHING (and is one of my favorite people to kick it with). From his collabs with Tyler Perry ("Love Thy Neighbor", "A Madea Christmas") to "2 Broke Girls" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", Jon Chase is one of those actors you want to write for. I can't wait to see what he brings to set. 

Jackie Quinones (Actor)

Jackie is a powerhouse person and actor I met in an acting masterclass a few years back. Her work consistently blew me away and I wrote the part of Christine, Claire's younger Type-A sister, with her in mind. 

Our Mission

As some of you might've noticed, there are quite a few "American Woman" alums in this line up of cast/crew. 


The show wasn't renewed for a second season, and while we can't bring "American Woman" back, we CAN continue making meaningful, female-driven stories together with YOUR help!


Our goal is to take "Tick Tock" through the film festival circuit and ultimately pitch it as a pilot for a TV series that will follow Claire as she grapples with shifting-identity, personal loss, and those hair-trigger familial relationships that make you wanna stuff a butterball turkey full of firecrackers.



Full disclosure, I absolutely HATE making people feel "token" or "novel" for the sake of patting myself on the back or ticking a box. 


That said, representation matters. And our team (at the moment) is comprised of:


-1 Female Director of Photography

-2 Female Producers 

-1 Female Production Designer

-1 Male Executive Producer

-1 African American Actor

-2 Biracial child actors

-1 LatinX Actress

-2 Caucasian Actresses

-2 Caucasian Actors

-1 Editor of Pakistani descent 






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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $3,600

TICK TOCK is a character-based film that features an ensemble cast of seasoned actors.

Location, Location, Location

Costs $1,500

We only need one location for this film, but we'll be shooting there for 3 days.


Costs $2,000

We gotta shoot it on something!

Production Design

Costs $1,000

Gotta deck those halls!


Costs $1,500

We want to maintain a natural atmosphere, so the lighting package will be minimal.


Costs $1,000

Gotta hear those sleigh bells ring (in Dolby Surround 7.1)!


Costs $1,000

Put on your Sunday best, because Santa's coming to town!


Costs $1,000

What Christmas dinner is complete without enough tryptophan to kill a small child?


Costs $2,400

The unsung heroes of any production. We need these elfs and elfettes to take us to the finish line.

About This Team

The team you see here all trained together at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Film program. We've worked together in varying capacities over the years and look forward to every chance we get to work together in the future!

Current Team