The Deal - A Short Film

THE DEAL is a supernatural thriller set in the course of a single night. Friends become enemies as their dreams are twisted into living nightmares.


All storyboard artwork by Darrin Denlinger


“So when I talk about this story and why it’s important to me, it’s essential that I mention this short is actually based on a feature film. It’s a script I first read almost a decade ago. And it is one that has stayed with me all these years. It was powerful and twisted in a way that most movies rarely are. I joke that I’m not a filmmaker, but as true as it is, it was certainly true back then. So when I first read that story, I could not wait for it to hit the screens. But it never did. For 10 years, this amazing story stayed hidden amongst pages in a script. So when the possibility came up to tell a version of that story – I jumped at the chance to be the one to tell it. I reached out to the author and he was on board. A great idea is something you can only know about for so long before you need to share it with the world. I’m hoping that THE DEAL brings that story to life for a lot of people.” - Danny

The Plot

BRYCE (19, Athletic) has had a bad year. After surviving a car accident, he had to miss his senior year of high school, including his varsity season as quarterback. His best friend HECTOR (19, life of the party) took his spot on the team and was able to get a scholarship, he’s now playing starting qb for a top school. The only person who stuck with Bryce through all this was his girlfriend, MONICA (18, pretty for a small town). She too had to sidetrack her future and is starting to regret it. So when Monica and Bryce arrive at a party to see their old friends – Bryce slowly realizes everyone has changed a lot since high school, but that change seems supernatural. In fact, Bryce suspects JAMES (19, nerdy) may be responsible for all the changes happening in everyone’s lives and he sets out to find the truth. But that pursuit leads him down a path he will surely regret. 


The Budget

Although digital cameras have changed the way we are able to create movies, the reality of filmmaking is that it’s still an expensive enterprise, especially if you want your film to have a polished look and sound. Even when making a short film, there are so many practical costs to consider such as equipment, location, transportation, etc. But we’ve still managed to condense our budget to a place where we are able to save money without sacrificing production value. The majority of the crew are donating their time, but there are still resources they’ll need on set. You can see the breakdown of the budget here:



The Team 

Daniel Kaminsky (Director/Writer)

Originally hailing from San Diego, Daniel moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California. After graduating from the School of Cinematic Arts he pursued careers in nearly every facet of the film industry including talent representation, entertainment law, studio development and most recently production. He was hired as writer/director/producer Joss Whedon’s assistant on Marvel’s THE AVENGERS. He continues to work with Joss, most recently co-producing and editing Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions’ MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

Adam Bricker (Cinematographer)

Adam is a cinematographer based in Los Angeles. Born in Chicago and raised in New Jersey, Adam moved west to attend film school at the University of Southern California. Adam has shot music videos for Patrick Stump, Lupe Fiasco, The Stone Temple Pilots, Dry the River, Garfunkel & Oates among others. He has shot commercial content for Rolling Stone, Chevrolet, AT&T, GQ, GE Capital, and Pizza Hut. His feature credits include LUST FOR LOVE, STARRY EYES, and JAKE SQUARED. Adam is also a founding member of the 3 Guys and a RED, a film collective and rental company.

Michael Klein (Producer)

Michael began his production career while still in school at the University of Southern California.  He started out working as a production assistant on such films as TRANSFORMERS and LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD.  After graduating from USC in 2009, Michael has worked steadily in both film and television. He has produced and directed commercials for such brands as AT&T and American Express. He has also worked in docu-reality television on such shows as ABC’s Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and BBC America’s Richard Hammond’s Crash Course.  He most recently produced a short film by director Brian Crano titled “Dog Food” starring Amanda Seyfried.  He is currently producing a feature length documentary called ROMEO IS BLEEDING.

Brett Young-Fountain (Co-Producer)

Studying digital filmmaking in Chicago, Brett has taken his skills to the managerial/financial side traveling and working on various sized budgets for studios such Warner Bros (MAN OF STEEL, upcoming JERSEY BOYS), Universal Studios (PUBLIC ENEMIES), and Lionsgate (HUNGER GAMES 2: CATCHING FIRE). In addition to his production accounting experience, he is the part owner of a camera rental company known as 3GR supplying Epic, Scarlet, and Red One cameras to production companies. Recently having produced a science fiction web series called 'The Adventures of Time Slot: Season 1', Brett is working as a co-producer to help Daniel make his directorial debut. Whether it is a studio tent-pole or an independent filmmaker's dream project, Brett is dedicated the art of storytelling and helping the artists who create them.

Jay Judah (Co-Producer)

David Lassiter (Associate Producer)

David Lassiter is a filmmaker hailing from Silver Spring, MD and currently living and working in Los Angeles, CA. He began his filmmaking career as a cinematographer, shooting commercial and narrative projects in Los Angeles and Chicago before transitioning to writing and directing. His first short film, Like a Good Neighbor, was official selection at the Lighthouse International Film Festival, Vegas Cine Fest, and the St. Louis Filmmaker’s Showcase where it won the Critic’s Award for “Best Thriller”. The Opportunist, his second short and first as a writer/director, was selected to Critics' Week at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2013.

Shawna Trpcic (Costume Designer)

Lauren Meyer (Production Designer)

Lauren Meyer is an international production designer/ art director, and is among today’s emerging pioneers in the creative world. She started her career as a sculpture artist, creating large environmental sculpture installations at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Lauren went on to work as a Production Designer for short films, music videos, pilot TV series with Trend Media LLC and HBO’s “Funny or Die”.  Her work in Frank Merle’s feature film “The Employer” garnered significant press accolades. The movie starred Paige Howard, Malcolm McDowell and Billy Zane. 

She has done commercial work for brands including XCVI, Wells Fargo, Benefit Makeup and Reebok. Most recently, she was the Production Designer for two of Fox’s newest webseries, “Bad Samaritans” and “Suit Up Season 2”. Lauren lives and works between New York City and Los Angeles.

Molly Cranna (Art)

Haley O'Neil (Hair/Makeup/SFX)

Nicole Revera (Script Supervisor)

The Cast

Jake Weary (Bryce)

Alexandra Shipp (Monica)

Daniel Amerman (James)

Bobby Soto (Hector)

Michelle DeFraites (Becca)

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