Matthew Lessner’s first feature film
“The Woods” played at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival where it made history as the first
Kickstarter funded film to premiere at
the festival. He is now turning again to Kickstarter to raise his finishing funds for his feature, “Automatic at Sea,” which was selected as
a finalist in last year’s US In Progress program in Paris. The film is produced by and stars David Henry Gerson, who also worked with
Lessner on their 2014 Sundance Audience Award winning short film “Chapel Perilous.”More information on his new campaign can be found HERE
“Automatic at Sea” is described as a wildly imaginative, enigmatic, disturbing, and often hilarious dive into the dark side of love/ reality. An immensely talented
international team of collaborators spent a month living and working together on the beautiful and storied island of Martha’s Vineyard to bring writer/
director Matthew Lessner‘s vision to life.
The film has been completely shot and edited and is now awaiting final post work which the funds raised through this new campaign will be used.
The project was born when actor/ producer David Henry Gerson attended a screening of writer/ director Matthew
Lessner’s first feature film
at the Sundance Film Festival. David approached Matthew immediately
after the screening and told him that he was interested in helping him
make his next film. Matthew
enjoyed the flattery and thought David looked like a real-life
satyr. Thus began a long, strange, fruitful friendship
“I loved Matthew’s wit and voice in THE WOODS. The dynamic of the people involved, and the collaborative and immersive way it was
made really spoke to me. I immediately knew I wanted to build a project with him, and try to evoke a similar environment of
creation,” said David Henry Gerson.
Writer/ director Matthew Lessner added, “Shortly after we met at Sundance, David invited me out to spend some time on Martha’s Vineyard to try and develop a new project. I’d
never been, but knew that presidents like to hang out there, so I said yes.
It was soon agreed that we would make a kind of horror film about the things that were terrifying me most at the time, which were not
slashers or monsters, but the inner reaches of my own mind, the unanswerable questions that kept me up at night. Questions like, ‘Am I really me?’ ‘Do I actually exist?’ ‘Can you ever really know anyone?’ ‘Why are Snickers so good?’ ‘Do I really have free will?’ ‘ If so, why can’t I stop thinking about Crystal Pepsi?’
Here’s the synopsis: On a whim, Eve (young Swedish traveler)
accepts an invitation from Peter (wealthy heir) to vacation on his family’s private island off the coast of New England. As a
series of unexpected delays prevent other guests from arriving, Eve discovers that she has little in common with the increasingly
erratic Peter and that something is not quite right on this mysterious island. Gradually the idyllic natural beauty of her surroundings
dissolves, and Eve finds herself trapped in an unstable reality punctuated by feverish visions, dimensional shifting and secret pizza.
While developing the film we shot a short film called CHAPEL PERILOUS as a kind of test collaboration.
Aesthetically and tonally it was quite different from the future feature, but it explored some of the same themes. CHAPEL PERILOUS went
on to premiere at Sundance where it won the Audience Award
and wound up online as a Vimeo Staff Pick.
Last summer, we had the good fortune to be invited to participate in the
US in Progress, Paris
program, screening our work-in-progress edit of “Automatic at Sea” along with 3 other fantastic films. It was an amazing experience and
an invaluable learning opportunity.
‘Automatic at Sea’ is shot and edited, but in order to finish post-production and bring it to theaters your support is essential
If you’re not of the film world, post-production might not be something you think much of when enjoying a film, but it is essential
to creating a polished finished product, and unfortunately it is not cheap
.) The post-production process will include re-assembling the film in the highest quality format available, adding visual effects,
color correcting, and sound design (which will be a major and essential part of the final experience).
The only reason this film exists is because all those who have been involved until this point were interested in taking a risk on
something new and unique. And now we ask you, stranger, to join us. Won’t you?”
More information on Lessner’s new campaign can be found HERE.