hello- a short narrative film by Sydney Lloyd Smith
hello- a short narrative film by Sydney Lloyd Smith

This project has already launched.


hello tells the story of a lonely young Brooklynite whose sole companion is his beloved fish. Toiling as a living statue of The Tin Man, Herby braves a bleak and disheartening world—until the day a Red-Haired Girl and her curious pup move in next door, and awaken the Tin Man’s dormant heart.

 Have you ever seen a living statue? I live in a part of Manhattan that’s a favorite spot for people who choose that line of work. I always wonder who’s the person inside the statue?  

hello is the story of my lonely young Tin Man.

The film has been shot, and we’re excited about our rough cut. We now need to raise money to cover the post-production elements that will bring it to life— the sound design and editing, Foley, original score, final audio mix, color grading and titles. And, as we hope to be accepted into many film festivals, we also need money for submission fees and deliverables.

WHAT WE NEED: $15,000

Here's a breakdown of the costs:



Kickstarter is a crowd-sourcing platform that provides a way of raising the money needed to bring a project to life—in our case, the funds to allow us to finish our film. Being an all or nothing deal, no one’s credit card will be charged unless we reach our full goal of $15,000.


I set out to tell the story through striking images, using very few words. We shot with a professional cast and crew over five days, in Williamsburg and Clinton Hill, Brooklyn...




...and Bryan Berg, Guinness World Champion Cardstacker…

 ...created an amazing Emerald City for our set.


hello is a timeless, universal tale that crosses borders, and warms hearts. The script has been named a finalist for best short screenplay at four film festivals: the Oaxaca Film Fest 7/Global Script Challenge, the International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema/BERLIN, Manhattan Shorts, and Scriptapalooza’s 2016 Short Film Script Competition.


Sydney Lloyd Smith (writer, director, producer) has acted, danced, choreographed, produced and written for the New York theater for many years. hello marks her debut as a film director. In 2014, The Present, a short film Sydney co-wrote and co-produced, was screened at LA Shorts (an Academy Award eligible festival) and Brooklyn Shorts. Her 2015 eco-feature script, Howler, has received seven awards to date, and earned Sydney the ‘best first-time writer’ at The 2016 London Film Festival.

Louise Rubacky (editor) has over 25 years of experience in fiction and non-fiction filmmaking. Having begun her career in editing, she has helped shape stories for many directors, including George Lukas, Francis Ford Coppola and Jean-Jacques Annaud. She co-wrote, produced and edited the independent feature The Cherokee Word for Water, a 2013 drama about Wilma Mankiller, the first woman elected Chief of the Nation. Louise also wrote and co-directed the documentary There’s Something About W, about the failed promises and policies of the Bush Administration, and has made other short films. She is in the early stages of a new documentary project, and reviews books for truthdig.com. 

Cinematographer Andy Lilien’s credits include the indie features Two Step, Roadie, Black Road, Making Metamorphosis, Metal and Voicemail. The inventiveness of his lens work is evident on Showtime’s Californication, and in the music videos he shot for Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones. Among the numerous national commercials he’s shot, his evocative teaser for AMC’s Better Call Saul is a standout. 

Melissa Passarelli (co-producer and 1st AD) served as post-production assistant on the critically acclaimed documentary Call Me Kuchu. She comes from a theater background, having studied at the Long Island School of the Arts and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and is currently the Project Director at an early childhood non-profit. She is excited to be a part of the hello team.

Our Cast

Cody Kostro is currently in previews for the Classic Stage Company’s Off-Broadway production of Dead Poets Society. Other credits include the indie feature Worst Friends, and NBC’s Law and Order: SVU.

Maggie Kopp, a senior at Gallaudet University, makes her screen debut in hello.

Audrey Jessup’s acting credits include the indie features Hunter&Game, All Relative, Wet Behind the Ears, the MTV series One Bad Choice, NBC’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent and the Off-Broadway play The 100 Most Beautiful Names of Todd.

Marianne Yoors is a celebrated artist, expert weaver and a member of The Yoors Family Studio.

Mishka Smith makes his screen debut in hello. Mishka started kindergarten on Long Island this fall.

Our Team of Artists


Jane’s artwork has been exhibited in New York City at the National Academy of Design, the Schoenberg Center, the G.W. Einstein Gallery, the Atlantic Gallery, the Ceres Gallery, at the City Hall Gallery in Dallas, Texas, and the Berta Walker Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts.


Artist and jewelry designer Cass Lilien created the charming pull-toy Tin Man ornament for our set. Amongst the other exquisite pieces she offers in her Tribeca shop, Cass creates one-of-a kind, precious metal and stone Tin Man pendants.

Our Amazing Creative Team

Hair Design: Toni Coburn (NBC’s America’s Got Talent and the new ABC Match Game) 

Costume Design: Sabrina Bacon (HBO’s High Maintenance)

Makeup Design: Crystal Wilkerson and Chloe Malave

And thanks to Petland DiscountsChobani Yogurt, and The Hershey Company.


 Please give us a shout out on social media!


...you will be joining an amazing team of generous and talented collaborators—from the cast, crew and design team to all our friends who worked as assistants and extras on the shoot. Special thanks to Academy Award-winning director Ross Kauffman, who shot our campaign video.



Risks and challenges

The post-production phase consists of several stages, and involves the concerted effort of a team of professionals. We already have our team lined up and ready to go—Matt Fish and David Hopkins, a talented team of composers, expert sound editor and designer Lee Salevan, and top-notch colorist Evan Anthony. 
We will keep you updated on our progress, and informed about any unforeseen challenges. We plan on having the film finished and ready to submit to festivals before the end of the year.


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