Tom's Bench

New York City, New York | Film Short

Comedy, LGBTQ

Kyle Stockburger

1 Campaigns | New York, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $5,095 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

80 supporters | followers

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Tom's Bench is a love letter to New York and a celebration of the moments of happenstance that give the city its heartbeat. With a wink to other pop culture "chance encounters," this is a reminder of the city's spirit, and in its own way, a small act of defiance to those claiming New York is over.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

We are a team of queer and indie (in some cases both!) bi-coastal artists who value the process of collaboration, human connection, and heartfelt storytelling. Tom's Bench is a reflection of that in celebrating community, the universal themes that unite us, and the connections that can save us.

The Story


Thanks to the generous support of our community we have reached our goal and more! We couldn't be more grateful. We still have time left on our campaign and we are going to keep going. Everything we raise additionally from here on out will go towards increasing the compensation of our crew, adding to our post-production budget to make the film look even better, and towards distribution/festival submission fees so that we'll be able to share our film with a wider audience! Thank you again for joining our community, we're so thankful!

. . .

Based on personal experiences, Tom’s Bench follows Aaron, a disillusioned gay 30-something as he reels from a romantic fling. Seeking answers, he heads to his favorite spot in Astoria Park where an unexpected meeting with a stranger helps him reframe his outlook on love and the City. 



The piece was originally presented as a 10 minute play (starring Adam and Kyle) in the 2019 Fresh Fruit Festival of LGBT Theatre here in NYC. From there, the idea to adapt it to a short film came to fruition (See what we did there? Fresh Fruit- fruition...)



Adam and I (Kyle here) began meeting weekly in January of 2020 planning to produce and shoot the film in the summer. 

And then March hit.

With the onslaught of the pandemic we effectively went on radio silence, and like many of us, found ourselves grappling with and grieving from the ongoing crisis- and the wave of existential uncertainty that accompanied it. 

Especially as artists living in New York. 

It wasn't until Richard, with whom we'd shared the script earlier in the year, reached out on a lark in July, that the idea of moving forward came into play. 

The questions of how and why, and is this story even relevant right now rolled around in our heads. 

And what we settled on, is that our little film offers a glimpse of what makes New York so special.

Happenstance. Connection. And communion with nature in our many beautiful City parks.



It's a little love note to New York- at a time when it (and us) could use it. 

We thought moving forward could be a chance to heal and create something in what has been a very trying time. 

In terms of safety, the film will be shot in a low-risk outdoor setting and our cast and crew of 8 adheres to the Governor's mandate prohibiting gatherings larger than 10 people. 

. . . 

We know that there are several important causes right now that demand our resources and attention. 

We humbly ask that if you find yourself in a postion where you have a litttle extra to share, that you consider joining our campaign to help keep art-making in NYC viable.  



Tom’s Bench is a testament to the random New York City moments that have the power to change our lives, even if only for a fleeting moment...And we can't do it without you. 


-Tom's Bench Creative Team

September 2020


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

Director Travel

Costs $500

This includes travel/equipment transfer for our director who is not based in NYC.


Costs $250

This will cover the salary payment for our sound person on set.


Costs $200

This will cover the salary of our PA, who will help keep things moving the two days of our shoot.


Costs $200

Will cover feeding our team during filming (our spread won't be this fancy but you get the idea!)

Post-production color grading

Costs $300

This will cover color grading/picture editing in post-production.

Sound editing

Costs $300

This will cover post-production sound editing.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Talent salary

Costs $600

This will cover the salary of the creative team, the director and two actors.

Festival Fees

Costs $400

This will be used to help cover distribution including festival submission fees.


Costs $250

This will cover the salary payment of our DP on set.

About This Team

Kyle Stockburger (writer/producer/actor) is a writer and performer based in New York City.  His written work includes the plays The Carousel, The Real Coyote Ugly, Two Windows, and, Bûche de Noël. His work has been presented at Dixon Place, The Secret Theatre, and in The Fresh Fruit Festival at the Wild Project. As an actor, has performed at The Tank NYC, HERE Arts Center, Dixon Place, Theatre for a New City, Judson Memorial Church, REDCAT, and the Teatro Experimental, and in the short films Mer and The Fourth Day.  He holds an MFA from CalArts. Insta: @kstockburger Twitter: @KyleStockburger

Adam Patterson (producer/actor) is a multidisciplinary theatre artist and actor based in New York City, where he shares an apartment with a cat named Rock Hudson.  He performed in LaMama’s award winning 55th season, played Conrad Veidt in the Drama Desk nominated CasablancaBox at HERE, studied at Shakespeare & Company in Massachusetts, and is a founding member of Manhattan’s New Place Players. As a collaborator, his devised work has been developed and shown at Dartmouth College and the Berkshire Fringe. He also adores horror movies, possess an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the work of Dolly Parton, reads tarot cards, and listens to NPR.  @adpat


Richard Pluim (director) -You know how so often we find ourselves searching for the perfect place to confidently contribute our talents? Well, Richard is a cultivator of just that kind of space. A producer living in Los Angeles, Richard thrives in creating content that celebrates life’s idiosyncrasies. Recent Projects include Oceanside Strong, a campaign that showcased small businesses adapting/thriving during the Covid-19 shutdown, branding content for Bliss Tea & Treats, and the short film Spirit Quest, which is set to make rounds at the next film festival season. When Richard is not in production, he is likely out rock climbing or writing an insightful blog for actors on his website. MFA CalArts, BA Cal Poly Pomona.; @richardhpluim 

Current Team