Trace Amounts

Durham, North Carolina | Film Short

Crime, Thriller

Benjamin Nason

1 Campaigns | Washington, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $3,065 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

20 supporters | followers

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After getting off work late, something unexpected happens to Jace Atherton. She finds herself waking up on her couch the next morning. In an attempt to prove a crime occurred, Jace must spend the day looking for evidence of what happened.

About The Project

  • The Story
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Mission Statement

A majority of crime stories being told today mainly feature men as protagonists, or women in male positions. Our movie seeks to tell a crime story highlighting women protagonists in a situation specific to women. The demographics of the cast vary in age and gender in our southern states setting.

The Story

Trace Amounts is a crime, mystery, suspense, thriller about a woman named Jace Atherton, who works at an up and coming tech firm in the city of Durham, North Carolina. Business is cut-throat, artificial intelligence programming leads the cutting edge and ambition rules the corporate ladder. Getting off work late one night Jace confronts her boss about toxic business practices only to have something unexpected occur on the way to her car. Jace finds herself waking up on her couch in her apartment the next morning. Unsure of what happened and how she got there, Jace begins a search for clues. When evidence is required to report a crime, Jace must confront a series of situations, each challenging the validity of her claims, ulitimately leading to the question of, was there a crime if you can't prove it?



Jace is a character like a lot of young professionals today, someone trying to find a place for themselves in the workforce. Like a lot of women, she's trying to find her place in a traditionally male dominated field, technology. Jace has put in her dues and works hard, and through a series of fortunate circumstances has found herself in a management track position. Current management though wants to weed out the old guard of employees, many of whom helped get Jace where she is today. Out of this comes a crime story about what happens when the frustration of knowing that systems don't change reaches a threshold.



The result is a mystery about a crime and the implications of being able to prove that crime occurred. What does that mean for other crimes? What are the bigger issues at stake when you commit a crime no one knows occurred? Are there repercussions or does one get away with it? These are the questions that helped create this story about a woman who is up against institutions that have been fashioned to not listen to or believe her. If a crime can happen to her that no one believes, who else can that crime happen to as well?


To help tell this story as a movie a specific visual style accompanied by a driving, hypnotic and atmospheric score is being employed. As a filmmaker I believe heavily in an atmospheric aesthetic being a part of the movie. I'm a big fan of crime movies that take place at night. There's something both limitless and capsuled about the darkness and quiet of night. It's a contradicting space to set a story that's both serious and absurd in its premise. Which is what we're going for with Trace Amounts. As a fan of mystery and suspense our goal is to fashion a movie that unfolds in a way that utilizes both while setting the story against a backdrop of social commentary.



I see a lot of crime stories still being told from the persepctive of men. And when women are the focus of a crime movie they're often substituting men's positions and the stories aren't unique to women's place in crime. With this movie I think I found a story that addresses that while also presenting a beginning to a bigger story that approaches the issues presented here in further detail. I think it's a compelling, mysterious story and I'm looking forward to bringing it to life.


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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $350

The score is an integral part of our movie. Original music will be provided by Matt Akers.


Costs $650

Part of our goal is to include locations from around Durham, incorporating the city into the movie.


Costs $250

Insurance is a necessary requirement to film in some locations and use rented equipment.


Costs $350

Everybody needs to eat! This will help feed cast and crew during filming.


Costs $500

Props! Some secret props will be necessary to bringing this movie to life.


Costs $500

Post-production costs include, hard-drives, sound design and editing.

Makeup & Special FX

Costs $400

Lights, camera, actions! Actors need to look their best.

About This Team

Under the Collar Productions was started by Benjamin Nason as an outlet for making movies like Trace Amounts. For this movie a talented cast and crew are being assembled with various degress of experience and expertise to bring an original idea to life.


Check out our 1st Assistant Director, Luke Smith's demo reel: 

Current Team