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The Woods (Feature Film)

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About the Project
The Woods is an independent horror film from author Sarah Lyons. The film follows the story of four friends looking to recreate the hike that birthed their friendship a decade ago. However, things quickly deteriorate, and the already fragile friendships are thrown into chaos and violence as the mysterious nature of the woods presses in on them. The story is told from the perspective of the lone survivor recounting her experience on a popular true crime podcast.

This is a story about memory, and the faultiness of that faculty. It’s about friendships, and how they are made and broken. It’s about what happens when you try to hold on too tightly to someone who only wants to let go. The Woods are where we all end up when the chaotic wilderness outside ourselves pushes too deeply within.


Mission Statement
Through this fundraising campaign, we are hoping to raise enough money to fund this film fully. We hope to make this film in one go this fall, before moving on to post-production in the winter, and eventual submission to film festivals in the spring.

We are a team passionate about horror films, and filmmaking broadly. We are also a 100% female-led team, hoping to bring voices and perspectives to the genre that are often pushed to the side. Through the hiring and creative process, we hope to uplift artists who otherwise aren’t given the chance to express themselves fully. We also hope to scare you.


The Story
We don’t want to give *too* much away (that would spoil the fun) but in brief, here’s how it goes:
The Woods is the story of four best friends who became friends when their middle school took them on a class hike together. Now, about the graduate college and go their separate ways, the friends want to recreate that original hike. However, things do not go as planned, and soon the mysterious nature of the woods themselves begins to drive the friends apart, in grizzly ways. The events of this hike, and the unfortunate fate of the friends, is recounted years later on a true crime podcast by the lone survivor of the hike, Kate Reed.


About the Writer/Director
Hi! It’s Sarah here. I’m a writer, director, and witch based in New York City. If you’re on this page, there’s a good chance you heard about me from my previous books Revolutionary Witchcraft (2019) and How to Study Magic (2022). You might also know me from my media appearances on the CW Network’s Mysteries Decoded show, my writing in Vice, Bust, Teen Vogue, or that Buzzfeed video I did awhile back. It’s also possible you are a friend of mine, in which case you don't *really* need to be reading this part (although I apprechiate it.) Even more astonishing, you might have happened on this page from the algorithm! If that’s the case, let me tell you a bit more about myself and this project.

The Woods is based on a short story I wrote when I was in middle school. I’ve gone back to it over the years and always knew it would be the first fictional story I would tell, though I thought it would be in the form of a novel. When it became clear that this was a film, I set out to make one.

It feels weird bearing one’s soul like this to potential strangers online, though I guess it shouldn’t anymore. With that awkwardness out of the way, I can tell you that filmmaking is a lifelong dream of mine, one that pursued in school, but let slip to the side for many years after. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, confronted with literal and figurative death on a global scale, I relized I couldn't let that dream remain just that.

Director’s Statement
Look, I know there are a million links for fundraisers like this out there nowadays. I understand being a little warry donating to this one, especially if you aren’t a friend or family member of mine. Lots of projects like this only get partially-funded, and die on the preverbal vine. Hell, even fully-funded projects never see the light of day because of a variety of very valid reasons. The reason links to pages like this exist in the first place is the same reason independent film projects so often die: It’s tough out here for artists.

This is not to dismiss the efforts of filmmakers who do not get their works to completion, but rather to highlight my own drive, passion, and resolve. This movie is getting made. This movie will be seen. This is a dream I’ve had for over a decade, and I’m not letting anything stand in the way of this getting made. If I have to act every role and screen the premiere at a local parking lot, my half-formed child projected on the wall of some abandoned mall, then I will do it. Your money simply assures that we make a good movie, not any movie at all.

Having said all that, there is another reason why I am asking for this money, and it goes to the points I brought up at the beginning of this statement. If I am able to make this film, it is because of the incredible artists, filmmakers, and creative community that has stepped up to be a part of this project. I want to make sure they are fairly compensated, and well-treated during the filmmaking process. Your money assures we have good wages, good equipment, as well as any safety protocols in place for a film of this nature. Art thrives when artists thrive, and this money will go not only to the film itself, but the many artists who will make it.

Thank you for giving,
Sarah

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Donations 

  • Anonymous
    • $5 
    • 2 mos
  • Jonathan Shackelton
    • $10 
    • 3 mos
  • Kyle Chaya
    • $25 
    • 5 mos
  • Cooper Wilhelm
    • $50 
    • 5 mos
  • Brooke Rogers
    • $50 
    • 7 mos
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Organiser

Sarah Lyons
Organiser
Brooklyn, NY

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