Smoke | A Dramatic Short Film

The Story

The story “Smoke” follows a young man in high school named Gray, who lives with his makeshift family in the not so distant future. He lives in a world where most environments have failed due to air pollution but society still found its ways to improvise and get along. 

Here, Gray is faced with the decision to follow his dreams or fulfill the role that society is telling him to. Along the way he finds out who he can really trust and what that's really worth.


 For a while now, we have been wanting to tell a story about the relationships a father and son can have. This has been done numerous times before but we wanted to try and tell the story of this type of relationship differently, as in the perspective of a son losing their father and having to deal with the turmoil of that.

While the story also deals with some other very heavy handed themes, it mainly focuses on Grays relationship with his father and dog. Telling the story in this way we think will bring a new light to family relationships and show the importance of family in the society we live in today. Conveying that through the dog will hopefully show the negative affects modern society can have on us and how family's are so important.

Not only are we trying to make the film for story purposes, but also wanting to create a visual experience that is truly incredible. As we do want to submit this to our local festival, being able to tell a story like this we feel will touch the hearts of many.

The Team

 Director & Writer: Colten Griffin is 16 years old and a Sophomore at Mount Si High School. He is an aspiring Director and Writer who has written and directed over 5 short films/video projects within the past 2 years. Working within almost all aspects of film, he is persistent in completing every project he commits himself too and wants to keep on growing as a filmmaker. Colten is truly excited in creating something truly amazing and to be able to work with such a great cast and crew.

Executive Producer: Fueled by a passion for visual storytelling, Matthew Ward has nearly 20 years of experience in pre-visualization and digital cinematography. His credits span numerous live action and animated feature films, including The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, Titan A.E., The Matrix Trilogy, The Polar Express, Catwoman, Superman Returns, War of the Worlds, Monster House, Beowulf, Disney's A Christmas Carol and Mars Needs Moms, among others.

Storyboard Artist: Ella Rackers is a senior and Mount Si High school. She is planning on going to college for computer science, but still e joys many other subjects. She completed her first short film Dark Mass last year, and is in pre-production for her next project. She is ecstatic to join the crew of Smoke. 

Assistant Director: Sophie Fougere is a Sophomore at Mount SI High School who has worked on projects like "Parable", "The Dating Pool" and "Living like Alice" she enjoys stage production and painting and loves growing up in the greater Seattle Area. She hopes to work on more film productions in the future and is extremely excited to get the chance to be Assistant Director for Smoke. 

 Set-Manager: Blake Graham is a 16 year old High School sophomore. He is an aspiring baker who has been baking regularly for a couple years now. The food Blake bakes every Thursday night and Friday morning get given out for (mostly) free to basically anyone who asks. He is excited to help Colten in achieving what he wants for the film.

Photographer: Madison is 16 years old and a Sophomore at MSHS. She has worked on many video projects in the past, having background in editing and filming. While working on the video side of things, she mainly loves to do photography.

Producer: Caitlyn Golpe is a 15 year old freshman at Mount Si High School. She is just starting to act, as she finds it fascinating to be able to express someone else's life to the public. Caitlyn's had the opportunity to be Colten's Assistant Director in both "Carol of the Bells" and "Heaven in a Journal", while making an appearance in the film, "Heaven in a Journal". She is very thrilled to be able to work with the cast of Smoke and hopes that people enjoy this film as much as the crew does.

Production Designer:  Alexis Wilson is 16 years old and for the past year and a half she got into film before this she was a snowboarder, who got 7th in nations but sadly had to put it on hold because of a serious injury. Now with her friends and her have help to make 3 short films in the past, she is very excited to work on Smoke. 

Producer: Cole Martin is an 18 year old senior at Mount Si High School. He's worked with Colten before in his short film "Parable," as well as being a part of numerous productions in his school's drama program such as "The Dating Pool," "Doctor, Doctor," "Urinetown," "Living Like Alice," and "Alice in Wonderland." Cole loves acting as well as working with casts and crews to create stories and worlds for audiences. He's open to a variety of roles anywhere from serious, to comedic, to even downright cruel and mean. He looks forward to studying theatre at CWU this Fall. In his spare time, he loves to hang out with friends, binge shows on Netflix, read, write, draw, and act. Cole is excited to be a part of this production, and hopes for the best!


 With this film we really would like to be able to send it out to local film festivals including the festival NFFTY that takes place in Seattle, WA. This is one of our biggest goals to reach with the film as we really would love to have the opportunity to have the film reach out to as many as possible. Getting into NFFTY is one of our biggest and most aspiring goals to reach with this film.

Along with personal goals, we also want the film to have an impact on people around the world giving an important message on family. We think that film can help many people in showing the emotional effects of these relationships, even if in a exaggerated world. 


 There are many important factors into the funding for the film as in order to create it we need a lot of help on the technical side and production design side of the film.

Production Design: The design and aesthetic of the film will mainly come out of our own pocket but we do need help with set props and in creating the detail needed for each scene. Such as props like a radio, clothes, and old rustic items. The other part of this will go towards lighting and creating the visual aspect of the film.

Equipment: A majority of the funding will go to renting equipment due to the need for a new camera and audio system. This is largely due to the massiveness of this project and what will be needed to pull it off. Getting the look and feel we want will come from the upgrade in equipment. Some of the large items it will be put towards are:

- Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro

- Zoom H4n

- Sigma 18-35

- Davinci Resolve 

- F&V Lighting

Post Production: A small but important section of the funding will also go towards post production for special affects, which don't play a huge factor but are a substantial roll within the film. Using it for smoke special effects and editing the sound of the film.

Risk and Challenges

We realize that this is a very large amount of money for us and reaching this goal will be very difficult. Having experience with a successful kickstarter in the past though, we feel we are fully capable of reaching this goal and getting a full product released to all of our backers.

Constraints on our film mostly come from the amount of time we have to film it in order to make it for the festival. But this does not mean the film won't be accomplished! No matter if we make it to the deadline or not, the film will get done.

With lots of experience on our belts we are prepared to overcome any financial or technical difficulty. With a large crew we are able to deal with situations quicker and in financial difficulties, we are ready to take the situation realistically and cut down things if needed to assure the project being finished.


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    • $20 
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  • Aaron Bekken 
    • $100 
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  • Andrea Morrison 
    • $20 
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  • Deb Green 
    • $25 
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  • Nancy Chapin 
    • $20 
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Organizer and beneficiary

Colten Griffin 
Carnation, WA
Sheri Leonard 
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