Melissa and Scott’s dream home turns into a nightmare when they take on new tenants to make ends meet. As Melissa descends into paranoia and delusion, they must fight to save their unborn child. Project Gaslight is a psychological thriller that packs in the suspense.
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Inclusion StatementAlthough we are undecided if we will work under any SAG contract, we plan to exceed the diversity in casting program requirements. Our cast is at least 50% female and will represent about 80% of spoken lines.
About The Project
Melissa and Scott Henderson finally have it all. After years of struggling as Scott worked his way through medical school and Melissa fought an opioid addiction, they are able to purchase their dream home. Melissa, an artist, is clean and expecting the couple’s first child, and Scott is at the top of his game, about to be promoted to Chief Obstetrics Resident.
The reality of new homeownership, however, sends the couple into a desperate search for extra cash. Melissa’s sales dry up, and she finds herself exhausted, stressed, and uninspired to create new work. Scott, pulling 80+ hour weeks at work, is overwhelmed by house repairs and maintenance. To avoid foreclosure, they take on tenants to live in the guesthouse on their property.
Scott and Melissa are convinced that Tyler Thomas and Alexandra Schofield are a perfect fit. Tyler is a construction worker whose skills and tools are much needed around the house. Alexandra is a home health aide who can help Melissa around the house as her due date approaches. Melissa and Alex become fast friends, and for a while, life is great for both couples. And then Melissa begins to lose her mind.
It starts with her art pieces, which start showing up all over the house, although Tyler, Alex, and Scott swear they haven’t touched them. She also has dizziness spells of increasing severity, but her doctors can’t find a physical reason for them. Valuable heirlooms go missing and then are found in her possession.
As things are going downhill for Melissa, Alex announces that she, too, is pregnant. They start to do prenatal yoga together and grow closer as they share milestones and preparations for their babies. As Melissa grows closer to Alex, she starts to suspect that Tyler is somehow responsible for all the odd occurrences, but she can’t prove it.
Scott is concerned for his wife, but chalks it up to pregnancy hormones and stress about their ongoing financial issues. When he finds prescription painkillers in her studio, though, he feels like he needs to act. Melissa swears the drugs aren’t hers, and that she’d never put their baby in jeopardy. Scott doesn’t know what to believe and asks Alex to move into the house to keep an eye on her while he is away at a medical conference.
Before he leaves, Melissa throws a dinner party and invites Alex and Tyler to make amends after her accusations. They show up and after a few drinks, Tyler reveals his misogynistic, bigoted character to her. Given her recent track record, Scott thinks Melissa might be exaggerating. She wants to kick Tyler off their property immediately, but Scott convinces her to wait until he returns from his trip.
As soon as Scott leaves, Melissa takes an immediate turn for the worse. She can’t focus or figure out what is real or not. Her life and her child’s life are at stake, and she needs to take matters into her own hands to save them both..
We hope this movie will shine the light on a common but often misunderstood form of emotional abuse, as well as entertain and beguile the audience.
Will, the director, and Jon, the producer, have been business partners for the last 7 years working in VFX and post-production while developing many projects.
We finally decided to put together a script that we have the means to produce within the year.
Project Gaslight was born.
But we need your help to make this successful...
First of all - Project Gaslight? I bet you can come up with a better title than that. Or perhaps you have intimate knowledge about the depths of emotion experienced when gaslit; then you might be interested in our script consultant perk.
Currently, our overall budget to make the film is around $50K, all in, including a marketing & distribtuion budget. We are hoping to raise a minimum of 10K through crowdfunding donations. The other 80% of the budget will be sourced through private equity, product placement, and grants.
We have some really cool perks too. Our high-roller Executive Producer perks include a week in Montana skiing or fishing, hanging out with the producer.
More important than the funds we are able to raise, we want to find our audience and engage with the people who want to hear this story.
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
Will Cox, Director -- http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4621167/
Born March 5th 1985 on an Air Force base in Homestead Florida. He was raised in Duluth Minnesota and graduated from Duluth Central High School. He later attended the art Institute Interntional in Minneapolis Minnesota. He moved out to Los Angeles California where he began his career in visual effects. Mainly working as a freelance rotoscope artist and compositor, he worked for a number of studios and big name projects. In 2011 he started a visual effects boutique with his business partner and began VFX supervising and producing on independent features.
Ben Encke, Diretor of Photography -- http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4938521/
Ben is an award-winning DP from Seoul, South Korea, living in the Twin Cities. Ben has lensed numerous films that have been featured at festivals and in theaters across the country, including the award winning short films CLEAN CUT and SHEAR MADNESS, feature length documentary OUT IN THE COLD, and the feature length narrative MILES BETWEEN US. He has a bias towards naturalistic cinematography, particularly images that make you feel something, even if you don't know quite what that feeling is. Ben is currently an instructor at the Institute of Production and Recording, and enjoys street photography and thumbing through Instagram in his spare time.
Elyse Forbes, Screenwriter -- http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3412507/
Elyse Moretti was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and resides in the Midwest. She has completed the improvisation and writing programs at iO Chicago and the Conservatory program at Second City Chicago. Elyse has performed in the Chicago Improv Festival and Chicago Women's Funny Festival and her work has been featured in the Mary Scruggs Works by Women festival.
Jon Julsrud, Producer -- http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4016865/
Jon Julsrud is a Producer of Marketing and Distribution and VFX artist that recently moved back to his hometown of Rochester, MN. After graduating from St. Olaf College with a degree in psychology, and receiving a second degree in visual effects at the Art Institute in Minneapolis; he spent 8 years based out of LA as a digital nomad working in visual effects and post production on project like Captain America: The First Avenger, Titanic and King Arthur: Legend of the sword.
He returned to Rochester, MN to open a boutique production services company offer Marketing & Distribution services and VFX consultation. Currently, he is working toward bringing a regional tax incentive to SE Minnesota along with the help of local community and business leaders.
In his spare time he can be found working in his hops yard or hanging out in Big Sky, Montana.