Director Nicole Bauer crowdfunds to kill people


No one died in the writing of this article, however if student filmmaker Nicole Bauer reaches her crowdfunding goal on Seed & Spark, then she hopes people will die in her movie, aptly titled, “People Die in This Movie.”

A horror fan and student at The College of DuPage, Nicole and her team, consisting of Editor Timothy Hendrickson and Producer Tricia Altamore, hope to begin production the second weekend in April for four days.

“People Die in This Movie” is a short film inspired by the slasher classics of the 70s and 80s like “Friday the 13th,” and “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Even the title is a nod to Wes Craven’s classic “Scream.”

“’Scream’ was originally called, ‘Scary Movie,’” explains Bauer. “I wanted something along those lines, but couldn’t think of anything. I just knew people died in this movie so I went with that,” she laughs.

In her script, a group of teens, led by heroine Tess, are terrorized by a crazed survivalist during their Spring Break camping trip to Arrowhead Pointe. It’s here that they will have to learn to put aside their differences in order to make it out alive.

The killer, whom Bauer hopes will join the ranks of Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers, is an isolationist, who went into the woods to get away from it all. Ironically, after years alone he’s gone a little… well crazy. Now he views anyone who enters the woods as trespassers and handles them in horrific ways.

Director Nicole Bauer on the set of "People Die In This Movie"This all springs from the mind of the writer/director who grew up on a diet of horror films. “I think I saw ‘Halloween’ at 5. I also watched a lot of ‘X-Files’ and ‘Tales from the Crypt.’ Lots of 90’s cartoons as well, like ‘Thundercats.’

After going back and forth with her filmmaking professor, John Rangel, about her script, Bauer then enlisted Hendrickson and Altamore to help crowdfund for $4500 for production. Her bloody and humorous pitch video raised eyebrows and concerns.

“It wasn’t the typical two people sitting on a couch. We wanted to do something that reflected the scares and humor in the film.”

The video features Bauer and other team members including DP Patrick Columbia and Production Designer, Taylor Joe, comically breaking the fourth wall and passing the pitch to each other in inventive ways until one is splattered with blood. “Seed&Spark” expressed caution during the approval process, but eventually allowed the student filmmakers to sell themselves in their own horrific way.

The film stars Chicago actress Callie Johnson as Tess, who also played Carrie White in “Carrie The Musical” and has appeared on “Chicago PD.” She will be joined by Alexander Simon, Hillery Baker and Jake Samson. The plan is to have the short ready for festivals this Halloween since, according to Bauer, there is a Friday the 13th this year.

After “People Die in This Movie” is released, the writer/director, who will leave DuPage after this year, plans to do an independent study with Ringel and then move to Los Angeles with the hopes of making an impact as not only a female horror director but as a horror director.

“I don’t think a lot of people expect horror to be directed by women; even though ‘American Psycho’ was. But I’ve never thought I couldn’t do something based on my gender. I’m a director that just happens to be female. I would love to say that I helped break barriers and establish a better foothold for women directors but that’s something that only time will tell. For now, I’m just trying to kill some teenagers in the woods.”

The project has currently raised $760 of its $4500 goal with 21 days to go. You can see the video here and you can follow the project here.



Jared: Alexander Simon

Tess: Callie Johnson

Dave: Jake Samson

Andy: Ventz Perfanov

Killer: Sebastian Neudeck


Producer: Tricia Altamore

Writer/Director: Nicole Bauer

1st AD: Kenneth Molloy

Director of Photography: Patrick Columbia

Production Designer: Taylor Joe

Art Director: Blaine Cummings

Hair and Makeup: Joey Gamoke

Sound Recorder/Mixer: Victor Aguirre

Editor: Tim Hendrickson

Assist. Editor: Chris Finch

BTS Photographer: Abriel Blanca

BTS Videographer: Akhilesh Pernenkil

LA-Based Colin Costello writes for film, TV, advertising and of course, Reel Chicago. Follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.