Til I Rot

Boston, Massachusetts | Film Short

Drama, Horror

Nathan Walker

1 Campaigns | Rhode Island, United States

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This campaign raised $8,399 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

71 supporters | followers

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The Dreamer wakes to find himself imprisoned in a cage by a sinister yet familiar entity. The only way out is to confront the demons that lurk in the recesses of his mind. Death may be better than being left to rot.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Til I Rot explores the difficult themes of poverty, depression, addiction, and generational trauma. Blending surrealist horror and suspense, the film allows each viewer to interpret these themes through their own unique lens. The story is at once both universal and deeply personal.

The Story

A mentally fractured Dreamer must journey through realms of perception to confront past trauma and escape the prison within his mind. 



We are dropped into the middle of a memory with our protagonist known only as "The Dreamer." He is listening to someone rave deliriously in a darkened corner across from him. The room they inhabit is dark, cold, and ethereal. The plaster walls are cracked, flaking veins of gray cutting through the algae blue paint. Everything is lightly coated with a thin veneer of dust. The hickory wood floor boards are well trodden. How did he get here? Who is this woman?


Behind him a large window illuminates half of the room. The rest falls off into shadow. "The Wraith" washes dishes in a dingy, rusted basin atop a wooden base. As she continues to elucidate her point we are drawn to something against the wall behind her. A huge, black cast iron wood stove with clawed feet.


It looms over the space drawing you in with foreboding magnetism. The black mass delves deep into The Dreamer's thoughts and memories.


In essence...


This is a movie about a man's attempt to reconcile his feelings about his traumatic upbringing. I wanted to write something that speaks to the hand we are dealt at birth. No one chooses their family or how they will be raised. If you are fortunate enough to be brought up by stable, caring parents with emotional maturity then you are just that - fortunate. I conceptualized and wrote this film after my mom passed away. Her untimely death brought about a series of increasingly intense dreams that I eventually realized had a poignant thematic tether. When I eventually sat down to work these dreams into a screenplay, the story poured out as if it had been waiting to finally be put to paper. The dreams stopped once the screenplay was finished, replaced by the new dream of realizing this film.


Til I Rot explores difficult themes while being respectful to the reality individuals experiencing mental health issues face. Blending striking visual metaphors with a tautly entertaining story, the film invites each viewer to interpret the themes in a uniquely intimate way.


The film will feel surreal and fantastical as you are whisked away through increasingly tense and strange environments. We watch The Dreamer overcome physical and mental barriers in his journey to break free from this nightmare. The overarching message played out during the final climax of the film hits like a sledgehammer that we believe will reverberate long after the end credits roll.


Why Us?

Our team is comprised of capable filmmakers with a proven track record of assisting in the completion of many small and large budget film and television shows. In May 2023, the Writers Guild of America went on strike, shutting down the entire film industry. In July 2023, they were joined by the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). Although the writers' strike ended in September 2023, the actors' strike continued until December 2023, leaving thousands of film industry staff unemployed for seven months. Although the strikes have ended, the industry has been slow to start back up and the strikes stirred up troubling discussions around the use of Artificial Intelligence in filmmaking the repercussions this could have for the art form. Our production team is eager to get back to work creating something meaningful and worthwhile that will move and entertain audiences. Til I Rot is a genuine artistic effort by experienced professionals looking to create something powerful for the festival circuit.


-Nathan David Walker

(Writer/Director)



There are four main characters which represent difference aspects of human experience.


Scott Richardson As The Dreamer: A broken man with a tragic past that begins to unravel from the moment our story begins. We see manifestations of his grief come home to roost as he is trapped by mechanisms that seem to be outside of his control. However he may have more say in the precipitating events then he realizes. The question is: Will The Dreamer make it through to the other side of this surreal odyssey intact?


Liz Bishop As The Wraith: A mother frantically pining over her son. A possession at once resentful and yearning. A spirit trapped in some illusory realm. The Wraith embodies sacrifice in its purest form. She is shackled to love, forever dragging it like an immense weight. Her purpose becomes to guide The Dreamer deeper into the abyss in hopes of liberation for them both.


Paul Bellefeuille As The Father: A depraved, antagonistic character with destructive vices. His vitriolic temper spreads like a virus, suppressing and poisoning those around him. Despite these traits The Father poses enigmatic questions that may hold the key to escape.



Keaton Cassell As The Echo: A mysterious little boy that warily roams the boarders of our tale until curiosity overcomes instinct. He is innocent yet still carrying the seed of something insidious that may or may not manifest. Either way the actions of this child are what set irreversible events in motion.





VISUAL STYLE


We channeled our love of visual poetry and color psychology to craft the unique aesthetic of this dark fable. We start off in a room with rustic furniture and cool daylight pouring through a huge antique window. Dark teal green walls, old dusty floorboards, a small fridge; once white now a sickly yellow. The Attic Apartment. Cool Earth tones with flourishes of decay.


Then there's the underground prison and the farm house. Stifling heat. Bone dry with warm tungsten light blinding everything not cut off by harsh shadow. At night cold and blue. The light diffused and ethereal.


We have been sourcing vintage props and set elements in order to give the film a very textural feel. You can almost reach out and touch the warped and hewn hickory floorboards. Smell the grassy fields replete with buzzing cicadas. Experience extreme heat in the prison which has sapped the dirt floor of any moisture.


The smells of the country both good and bad. The lingering acridity of gun smoke and stale bourbon. The element of euphoria and unease that accompany a lucid dream. The butterflies one feels as they're falling and are suddenly jolted awake.


Some big influences for us visually are Hereditary, The Mirror, Donnie Darko, Mulholland Drive and Beau is Afraid.



BUDGET



Goal: $16k

This is the amount we will need to fully fund the project.


Stretch Goal: $18k

This stretch goal, if we happen to surpass our fundraising goal, would allow us to further improve the production quality of the film, allowing us to enter more film festivals.



PRODUCTION SCHEDULE


This Seed & Spark campaign will run from May 1st through May 31st, 2024. Pre-production will begin at the beginning of June with set-building, rehearsals, sourcing of props and furniture, and general set design. Filming will commence at the end of June and last one week. Post-production, including editing, color-grading, and scoring, will take approximately three months. The film will be submitted to film festivals in the fall of 2024, continuing through 2025. The funds from this campaign will be used for the production of the film, to pay the cast and crew, and to pay festival submission fees. Depending on the procedures and regulations of different festivals, some of which require that the film premieres at the festival, general audiences can likely expect to view the film next year.



THE TEAM



WHERE YOU COME IN


We can't make this film without you! Every little bit helps. Even if you're on a tight budget, as many of us are, consider skipping a trip to the coffee shop and instead donating that $5 - $10 to this project and be a part of creating this unique and meaningful film.


Whether or not you are able to donate, please share this Seed & Spark campaign and encourage your friends and family to share, donate, and follow us on Instagram @TilIRotFilm!


PLEASE FOLLOW OUR SEED AND SPARK PAGE

AND INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/tilirotfilm/ or @TilIRotFilm


THANK YOU ALL!!!

Wishlist

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

Camera

Costs $1,500

All our required camera gear.

Set Dressing!

Costs $500

All the props, furniture, and cool elements that make the set come alive!

G&E

Costs $1,415

This is our entire lighting package with all the required diffusion elements, stands, and other knick knacks that’ll provided at discount.

Locations and Hotels

Costs $1,500

Part of our film will be shot in NH. Being able to provide safety hotels for the cast and crew as well as paying for the actual locations.

Media

Costs $5

Hard drive where all our footage will be kept safe. Don’t worry we’ll back it up ?

Crafty

Costs $20

We gotta feed our people!

Wardrobe and Makeup

Costs $300

Gotta get these cast members looking suitably creepy.

Festivals!

Costs $150

This movie was made for the festival circuit. It’ll be the main distribution venue in which people get to see it!

Construction

Costs $100

We are building our own sets. That means paint, drywall, nails, etc.

VFX

Costs $10

There are some light VFX elements in the film. We will need to buy green screen and a few other items to help pull these shots off.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Cast

Costs $1,500

Help us pay the very talented cast of 'Til I Rot.' This chalks up to very little money per day but goes a long way to showing appreciation.

Crew

Costs $500

Help us pay our incredible crew of hardworking and talent personnel.

About This Team


Current Team

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Incentives