Seattle, Washington | Film Short

Crime, Film-Noir

Brenden Dowd

1 Campaigns | Washington, United States

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This campaign raised $1,580 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

22 supporters | followers

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Film Noir is known for its cynical, but ultimately moral, male private eyes and objectified Femme Fatales. Watchdog follows a female investigative reporter for the Seattle Times. It deconstructs and inverts the genre while keeping the stark composition and gripping thrilling twists and turns.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Film Noir traditionally objectifies women with secondary roles. In Times Watchdog, the protagonist is a successful female journalist. Behind the camera we have men and women from all walks of life, a slice of Seattle's diverse film community. Watchdog is a love letter to Film Noir and Seattle.

The Story

The Story

Melanie Darnell is one of the top investigative Reporters for the Seattle Times, working for their special investigations segment Times Watchdog, which looks into government and corporate corruption. She is hot on the trail of a fresh story, a huge energy scandal, when a mysterious messenger pays her a visit after hours. He is the herald of her past sins. Her mistakes come back to bite her. 


Genre - Why Noir?

Film-Noir is a cinephile's playground. They are the classic films that every film maker returns to. Staples in conveying theme through composition. Telling deep and meaningful stories under the watchful eye of the Hays Code. Its no wonder many a budding filmmaker chooses the Film Noir as a challenge. They are classy and timeless. A man at odds with society who most keep a firm grasp on his morals to survive, and even then there's no garuntees. 


But what if that man at odds with society was a woman, and what if she wasn't at odds with society at all, at least not outwardly. Instead, what if her morals were not rigid, what if they were something she fought with every day, and that was her struggle. Well, than you'd have an interesting subversion of the Film Noir, at least we think so.


(photo by Tedd Saint-James)


We want to tell the story of morality in the same ways that the classics did. But the times have changed. What does it mean to be moral? What does it cost? In an age where women strive for equality and calls for a change in political climate batter at the doors of society, in a world where corporations and old men on the hill dig their heels into the ground and resent change, what happens to those of us caught between? The traditions of the past clash with the hopes for the future. This day and age is the battlefield. 


Honoring the Past and Moving Forward

Times Watchdog is a subversion of some, inversion of others and an homage to many of the tropes that makes film noir a staple in cinema. It is important to mix things up and to move things forward, without challenge and change there can be no growth and without growth who knows what kind of captivating, moving and awe inspiring stories are out there in the abyss waiting to be imagined. Creativity is the child of inspiration and we want to pay homage to those that came before, and hopefully inspire a few ourselves. 




Times Watchdog will make use of stark lighting and shadows, foreground-background balance, venetian blinds, reflections, smoke and lots of other techniques associated with the film noir genre against the backdrop of Seattle, with the rain and gray. Set in the heart of the old city against the backdrop of the tech playground its become. 



It will be in color but the lighting and color will be controlled, taking after modern neo-noir films like Nocturnal Animals, Nightcrawler, LA Confidential and Drive.


Watchdog is a love letter to Film Noir and the city of Seattle.


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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0


Costs $300

A pivotal scene takes place in a dive bar and we need to be able to film for 3-8 hours on location.


Costs $300

No PI is complete without their sidekick

Police Supervisor

Costs $375

As we have a scene outside with a gun it is law to have a police officer on set.

Craft Services

Costs $500

It is important that we are able to feed our hardworking cast and crew, and feed them well.


Costs $100

We'd like to be able to supply a nice suit and noir cocktail dress to our principal actors.

About This Team

Brenden Dowd - Writer/Director 

Brenden is writer, director and actor from Seattle, Washington. Brenden began writing when he was 9 and has steadily improved and pursued his passion ever since, writing pseudo-plays and novel synopsises to eventually discovering short stories and screenplays. He is obsessed with storytelling, especially the world building and conveying philosophical themes. He began directing in 2017 with his debut short film, The Door about depression and alcoholism and moved into several other projects quickly after.  He is currently working on a novel, two short stories, and a handful of other screenplays. 

Andy McIntyre - Producer

Andy is a Seattle based Producer. Andy has traveled the globe working in medical education and eLearning content for the United Nations Mission in Liberia and Friends of Liberia. He also worked with and filmed a documentary for Aloha Medical Mission in Laos. He has since return to Laos several times to teach and film various training and informational content with Health Leadership International. Along with pursing a doctoral degree in Education and Leadership Management along with recent international work Andy has also been working extensively with other international/national/local creatives in branding and commercial content but ultimately, he is excited and honored to be a part of the Seattle/Tacoma independent film community. Current projects include Broken Signals (1st AD/Associate Producer), Gardener and the Rose (Producer), Jap (1st AD/Producer), Rabbit Thief, (1st Assistant Director/Producer, and web-series -LESS (Executive Director).

Long Tran - Producer

Long is an award-winning filmmaker with a background in documentary work. His social justice oriented films have screened in every major city in the United States and recently had screenings in the United Kingdom. Long has worked on television shows and major movies that have filmed in the Pacific Northwest. Currently, Long is producing several independent short films and web-based projects. Moreover, he is editing a film he directed called "Jap" which is an avant-garde, fictional reexamination of Executive Order 9066 while preparing for his feature, directorial debut on an unnamed film that takes place after a hypothetical nuclear conflict. 

Anna Schiera - Assitant Director

Anna is an Assistant Director and Production Manager out of Los Angeles and Seattle. Her regular clients include the NBA, Microsoft, Netflix, Asylum Entertainment, Ubisoft, and Comedy Dynamics. Degrees in Film Production and Graphic Design assist her extensive knowledge of the industry and she has worked on everything from small independent shorts to large budget feature films to live-action trailers for video games.

Tommy Tang - Director of Photography

Tommy is a director of photography and editor based in Los Angeles. Past clients include Miss Universe, Airstream, and Barefoot College. His work has been nominated for a Northwest Emmy award, screened at Slamdance, and been distributed by Fusion TV and PBS Seattle.

Collin Anthony Hanks - 1st AC

Collin is A Seattle based Actor and Filmmaker who studied Video Production and Acting at Shoreline Community College.  He has worked in everything behind the scenes from lighting to camera work to Director of Photography and more. Collin has been doing filming and acting for over a decade and has no plans of ever stopping even when serving in the Navy pulls him away from time to time.

Toran Whitaker - Editor

Toran is a Seattle based Director of Photography and Editor. He has been in the industry for six years doing just about anything that interests and challenges him, from directing music videos for bands like Danny Denial, filming live events for the Miss Universe pageants, or shooting behind the scenes for the local feature films like Last Seen in Idaho. Currently, he works as a development producer for PSG Films, pitching to and working with brands such as Bravo, A&E and the History Channel.

Adam Al-Ghosien  - Gaffer

Adam is a Director, Cinematographer, gaffer and writer. A one-man cinema army. Since he was a child, he has been fascinated by filmmaking and his early experiments only drew him in further. He has directed shorts such as A Visit in the Night, The Dying Joke, Bluff, and The Body. He is currently working on several short films and writing his first feature.


Hannah Krustinger - HMUA

Hannah krutsinger is a Vancouver Film School makeup for film and television graduate. She does a little bit of everything from basic corrective to monster makeup and prosthetics. She has been busy working on both short films and feature films since graduating in August 2017


Harley Bronwyn Alexander - Melanie Darnell

Harley is an actress, writer, and painter.  She is of Italian, Korean, and Norwegian descent. Her most notable projects include a role in the award winning short film "In This Economy" and her role as a series regular in the new comedic fantasy "V for Valhalla."

Trevor Stines - Errol Moran 

Trevor is an actor and a poet. His most notable work includes Riverdale (2016), The Fosters (2013) and The Amityville Terror (2016). He is currently working on publishing a book of poetry. 


Current Team