ELLIOT: A Dark Dystopian Thriller

Dreams For Dead Cats Productions needs your help to fully realize their existential cyber nightmare follow-up to WIREBOY.


Hello there!  Thanks for taking the time to read about this project.

My name is Craig Jacobson, and I am one of the directors at Dreams For Dead Cats Productions - a multimedia art collaborative run by Cassandra Sechler and I here in San Francisco.  Together we specialize in creating unique, offbeat short films and music videos.  I'm also responsible for the music and sound design for nearly all of our work.  Our most recent short film, WIREBOY, was funded in part through a kickstarter campaign, and has enjoyed much acclaim in many international film festivals, and continues to be screened all over the world.


The project I'm presenting for your consideration is called ELLIOT, and it is my debut feature film.  ELLIOT is a science fiction social commentary on the way our existence is changing through social media and new technologies.  The story metaphorically draws upon different spiders as a means to explore the struggle of one man grappling with his second self, the distrust of his own cognition, and the anxiety brought on by his external obligations. 


ELLIOT was originally conceived to be a short film back at the beginning of 2012, but was put aside as Cassandra and I started shooting WIREBOY.  After we finished that film, the ideas for ELLIOT remained and were rejuvenated from that experience.  Upon re-examining the world I had created for ELLIOT, it was clear that the film was to be an ambitious, feature-length extension on some of the themes explored in Wireboy, albeit through an entirely different and distinct path. 


Imagine if BRAZIL took place in the world of WIREBOY, with traces of TETSUO-esque cyber debris amalgamation combined with the existential crisis of ROBOCOP, and you’d have a slight idea of what is come in terms of mood and aesthetic in ELLIOT.



Elliot is a lonely maintenance worker inside a stark and mysterious power supply complex.  His only interactions are with a supervisor named Face who communicates to Elliot via different video monitors and overhead speakers located throughout the facility.  Sentries are always keeping a close eye on Elliot to make sure he stays on task.  When Elliot does have a rare moment alone, he plugs into his pod and escapes into another world as an idealized version of himself.  The more he explores this alternate universe, the more he desires it, and consequentially, the less he trusts his own reality.  As his mind deteriorates from the stress of his job combined with his belief that an artificial world may actually exist, Elliot has no choice but to try and uncover the truth behind his identity before he no longer can.



Like Wireboy, ELLIOT is being shot on VHS.  I feel this medium is most appropriate to capture the gritty and saturated look I envision for the story. 


We have already begun production and completed several shoots. We’ll be spending the remainder of the year filming the smaller, more intimate scenes of ELLIOT in garages and other spaces that may be appropriate, along with on location shoots for some scenes which take place in an abandoned building and a forest-like area.



Another major task we’ll be engaged in for the rest of the year involves performing tests with lighting and construction for the main set, which will need to be housed and filmed in a large studio space. The prep work will be vigorous and extensive. We want to be sure that when we go to shoot the scenes with the main set early next year, every detail has been perfected and all of our artistic desires will be met. 


So far, all of the funding for ELLIOT has come out of my pocket, and I will continue to self-fund every detail of the film that I can.

The major detail I cannot afford to self-fund is the rental of a large studio space for the main set in which to fully realize ELLIOT’s world.  This is where I need your help.

The main set for this film needs to give the feeling of claustrophobic vastness critical to the story.  It will be a blocky and abstract set inspired by cubism, spider webs, Soviet architecture, and data storage facilities.  This set will have to be modestly large and big enough to capture some scenes of running, ambitious tracking shots, and moments of tense action.



Several places I’m considering in the bay area include Purebred Studios, Dogpatch Studios, Berke Creative, and Bayview Opera House.  I will continue to explore all options, but these are the most accommodating for the shoot I envision thus far.  The cost of several days of shooting, along with a build day, a strike day, required liability insurance, security deposits, additional materials for the set construction,and some equipment rentals needed for the day of filming are beyond what I can afford on my own.


With your donations, ELLIOT will be the unique, poignant, thought provoking and atmospherically rich sci-fi social commentary it deserves to be.  In return, you will receive limited edition, one-of-a-kind campaign-specific perks based upon the amount you decide to contribute.  ELLIOT on VHS, DVD, soundtracks, exclusive artwork by talented painters Colton Long and Joshua Coffy, and even some of the costumes from the film are just a few of the neat perks you could receive depending on what you decide to donate.  All donations $50 or more receive a digital download of the film.  Everybody who donates $100 or more will receive their name in the credits of the film and on the ELLIOT IMDb page.


As we've done with WIREBOY and our other films, we plan on screening ELLIOT ourselves here in San Francisco at one of the many wonderful theaters which cater to underground and challenging cinema.  Beyond the San Francisco premiere we will be entering it in as many festivals as we can along with seeking out venues and events all over the world in which to screen the film internationally.

Many audiences the world over have enjoyed what we did with Wireboy. If you want to see what happens when we go even bigger with another dark, imaginative, dystopian cyber wasteland of a world, please donate to this fundraising campaign for ELLIOT.  You won’t be disappointed when you see the finished product of a cinematic experience only Dreams For Dead Cats Productions can create! 

Every donation counts, no matter how much, and we will be eternally grateful to everyone who contributes.

Please share the link to this campaign with everybody you think would be interested in ELLIOT.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read about this project.  Please, if you can, donate to ELLIOT.

Watch Wireboy on Vimeo







You honestly do not risk anything.  If you donate to this campaign, you will get your perk regardless of the whether or not the goal is met.  Plain and simple!  In terms of the film itself, if we do not reach our goal it will still be made.  It may just take quite a bit longer, or it may mean that the film ends up being a short instead of a feature.  There could be any number of possible consequences that stunt the grandeur or delay the production, but regardless, ELLIOT will be made one way or another.  However, if you help us reach the goal for ELLIOT, the film will be properly realized to it’s fullest artistic potential!

Team on This Campaign: