VR Food

New York City, New York | Film Short

Comedy, Horror

Malcolm Mills

1 Campaigns | New York, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $4,141 for festivals. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

36 supporters | followers

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This comedy of nightmares satirizes our modern appetite for power through delusion and artifice. VR Food aims to make horror beautiful with mystery, unsettling atmospheres, and arthouse aesthetics.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

VR Food includes a diverse range of genders, sexualities, religions, and races within its cast and crew. The story supports an attitude of inclusion and acceptance by depicting the horrors of projecting one's own fears onto strangers.

The Story


Two inventors (Alexandria Churchwell and Malcolm Mills), struggle to create virtual-reality food: infinite deliciousness with no caloric consequence. While filing for a copyright, the inventors discover something unsettling: “VR Food” already exists; it’s a art film by an unknown filmmaker, Orr Tie (Gil Zabarsky).


Mistaking the filmmaker as competition, the inventors stalk Orr as a means to save their invention. After a grisly act of violence, the inventors seek refuge with an unlikely companion (John Early). But even madness will not let the inventors escape their sins forever.


We've probably all had the idea before. Eyeing desserts, enormous desserts. “Goodness,” you might think, “if only I could eat everything with no cost to my health. Could there... be such a way? Could there be VR Food? Could we cheat the cost of something so consequential?”

The film takes a darkly comic look at delusions and aspirations; it’s about how dreams become nightmares, how the unreal is made real. It’s about an era of a virtual appetites, a desire for pleasure through artifice, signing contracts that surrender us to unknown dangers, modern Faustian bargains. It’s about how the confidence of a madman can entice us to our doom.

But mostly, VR Food is fun; it’s a blend of horror and comedy meant to entertain, with a touch of mystery to haunt the viewer long after viewing.


Director-writer Malcolm Mills believes mainstream horror needs a renaissance. Mills believes most Hollywood horror is barely effective anymore. Its two main recipes, shock and disgust, are quick and forgettable; they can repulse an audience, but they fail in the classic tradition of deeply unsettling an audience, of striking into fear itself.


To scare, you need wonder, dread, unease; as Stephen King says in Danse Macabre, “Nothing’s so frightening as what’s behind the closed door.” Invite the audience’s imagination, and you have the scariest crypt in your arsenal; establish an interesting puzzle, foreshadow doom upon characters you care for, and you have a scared audience.

VR Food seeks something deeper than jump scares and gross-outs. It seeks to tap into the primordial logic of a nightmare, where an expressive journey supersedes logic. It casts the audience as a detective of sorts; instead of the film neatly packaging answers, suspense lingers for an audience to solve; which explanation may lurk behind the closed door is up to you.


On July 19, 2018, a nightmare faced the production. Two days before shooting in Manhattan, a subway steam pipe exploded on 5th avenue, a block from the first day’s location. Even worse, the pipe was lined with asbestos. While no one was hurt, and no asbestos reached the location, the city closed several blocks over the shooting weekend, directly where a days' worth of theatre scenes had to be shot. Attempts were made to find a back-up location, but within 24 hrs, nothing could feasibly meet requirements.

Subsequently, rescheduling the day for talent and space meant shooting in October. This meant another weekend of insurance ($1,500) and equipment rentals ($2,500). Funds planned for post production were quickly consumed.



If we raise higher than our goal, we'll submit to even more film festivals! Festivals can be incredibly competitive, recieving hundreds or thousands of submissions. We want to submit to as many as possible, to ensure a greater audience and a greater interest in a future for VR Food.

If we raise $5,000, we can submit to 100 festivals!

If we raise $6,000, we can submit to 130 festivals!

If we raise more than $6,000, we'll start saving money for the next film by Malcolm Mills.



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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Festival Application Fees

Costs $2,000

To grow audiences and increase interest in a future full-length project!

Color mix

Costs $750

To dazzle and entrance at the industry standards.

Sound mix

Costs $750

Aural mesmerization at industry standards.

Poster art

Costs $500

For VR Food's signature image to hook an audience by hiring a professional artist.

About This Team

director, writer, actor, editor, producer, soundtrack composer

Malcolm Mills is a NYC-based actor, filmmaker, and songwriter. Horror novelist Laird Barron tweeted of his performance in the feature THEY REMAIN, “If it were possible, I’d have a rider in every adaptation that he gets to play one of the villains.”


Feature film acting credits include Fox’s TENURED (Tribeca ‘15) with Kate Flannery (THE OFFICE); CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN ORGANIZED CRIME (SXSW ‘16); SERIOUS LAUNDRY (Ft Lauderdale IFF ‘17) and the upcoming THE SPINE OF NIGHT, starring Betty Gabriel (GET OUT), directed by Phil Gelatt (Netflix's LOVE, DEATH, AND ROBOTS). Malcolm’s stage plays have premiered with Pipeline Theatre Co. (SHAKESPEARE THE DEAD) and Idiom (THE CARRION MAN). He writes noisy synth-pop, shoegaze, and horror soundtrack music at malcolmmills.bandcamp.com



John Early is a comedian who currently stars as Elliott on the hit TBS series SEARCH PARTY.


Last year he wrote, created, and starred in a critically acclaimed miniseries for Vimeo called 555 with frequent collaborator Kate Berlant, directed by Andrew DeYoung. He also wrote, executive produced, and starred in his own episode of Netflix's THE CHARACTERS.

John has appeared on TV in WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER, 30 ROCK, BROAD CITY, AT HOME WITH AMY SEDARIS, DIFFICULT PEOPLE, HIGH MAINTENANCE, LOVE, PORTLANDIA, HATERS BACK OFF, and BOB’S BURGERS and in the films OTHER PEOPLE, NEIGHBORS 2, and FORT TILDEN. He can be seen in the films BEATRIZ AT DINNER written by Mike White and THE DISASTER ARTIST opposite Sharon Stone. John most recently wrapped a role in MEN IN BLACK 4 alongside Kate Berlant, Tessa Thomson and Chris Hemsworth. 

While in New York, he was an Artist in Residence and Comedy Curator at Ars Nova, where he hosted the variety show Showgasm. He performed his solo show Literally Me (4 time New York Times Critics' Pick) at Joe's Pub and The Bell House, and co-hosted a weekly stand up show at Cake Shop. He has performed stand up at various comedy festivals including Montreal Just For Laughs, Bonnaroo, South by Southwest, Pemberton, Treasure Island, Outside Lands, Riot LA, and Festival Supreme. In 2018 John produced a revival of Wallace Shawn’s MARIE & BRUCE at JACK Arts in Brooklyn. He was born in Nashville, Tennessee and is a graduate of the Atlantic Acting School at Tisch School of the Arts NYU. John currently hosts a monthly variety show at The Satellite in Los Angeles.



Alexandria Churchwell is an LA based actor and recent graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts. In addition to acting, she directs and writes children's music with her music partner Bryard Huggins. Recently, their work can be heard accompanying Robert Churchwell Writing News, Making History: A Savannah Green Story by emerging children's author Gloria Respress-Churchwell. They will be releasing their next album, a musical podcast, Fall 2019. Alexandria currently works as a project coordinator for Walt Disney Imagineering.


producer, actor

Gil Zabarsky is an actor, writer, and director based in New York City. He's a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he was awarded the "Outstanding Achievement in Studio" Award. There, he studied at both the Atlantic Acting School and Stonestreet Studios. "Strangers No More," a documentary short which Gil worked on as a Hebrew translator and editor for Simon and Goodman Picture Company, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short in 2011. Gil starred alongside "Saturday Night Live" alum Rachel Dratch in "Teacher of The Year," a short film he co-wrote with his writing partner Chris Modoono, which premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. Gil and Chris had the chance to shoot "Teacher of The Year" (now called "Tenured") as a feature length film with Fox Digital Studio, and Gil was able to star in it again, this time alongside Kate Flannery, of "The Office" fame. It premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, and is now available on Amazon Prime in the US and UK. Gil co-wrote and starred in a pilot titled "It's a Hit!" which was produced by hybrid distribution/production company The Orchard in Los Angeles. The pilot also starred Abby Elliot, Tim Matheson, and Tyler Hilton, and premiered at SeriesFest in 2016, where it won the Virgin Produced Award. Gil and Chris recently wrote a second feature film for Fox, "Hugh Mann," two independent films called "Tuesdays with Satan" and "Deep Cut," a first season of a horror series for Eli Roth's Crypt TV, and, in collaboration with Fox Digital, a holiday commercial for Mars Candy Company (which Gil made a crucial cameo in), and are currently shopping a pilot about a middle-aged man who happens to be a werewolf, called "Mid-Wolf Crisis." Gil has been described as "fine" to work with.


director of photography

Chris Willmore is a Cinematographer based in New York City. He grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and from a early age was always drawn to image making. For the past decade, Chris has worked as a Camera Operator and DP on various shorts, commercials, music videos and documentaries.


VR mask design, set decoration

The combined forces of Sarah C. Awad and Dhemerae Ford form TheLaserGirls, an art, design, and education team that set out to meld art and design into works that tackle bridging the gap between seemingly unachievable fantasies, and the individuals passionate about them.


TheLaserGirls have designed and built props, jewelry, sculpture, and other wearable fashions for film, cosplayers, fashion shows, and galleries. They have been featured on major press outlets including BBC, Good Morning America, and Buzzfeed, and teach 3D modeling and 3D printing practices in the greater New York area.

Current Team