Rob Ceriello

The Shorts are Finished! (Seed&Spark Update)

We JUST finished "Not Our Living Room" and plan to submit it to its first festival this week! We have a handful more we'll be submitting to over the next few months. 


"We Had Plans" has been submitted to multiple festivals over the last few months, and we'll finally start hearing back from some in May. We'll be sure to keep you updated as we get notified.

We're having a screening for cast, crew & local supporters! If you're a local supporter, you should have received an invite to our private premiere on May 6th. If you did not, or if you aren't local but will be in town that evening, send us a message & we'll forward details. We're so excited to share these films with the people who helped make them! After the screening, we'll send out private links to everyone at the eligible Incentive level. And hopefully there will be a screening near you so that everyone who can't be there on the 6th can still see it on a big screen soon!

What else have we been up to since our last update?

  • My (Christina) feature film, Summit, is officially 100% finished. I start hearing back from festivals for it in May, as well. For you $100+ Supporters, you'll be getting a private link to watch the film soon. (Have to send it to my Summit Kickstarter Backers first.) 
  • My last short, "Juice It," has been screening around a bit & screens again on May 11th at the Damn Film Series
  • I shot a new no-budget short last month, titled "Hello," for which Kelsey will be doing the score! Read about that film here.
  • And our BIGGEST NEWS is that Kelsey & I are collaborating on a new pilot! We're trying to take the success we had with 'Kelsey,' combined with a 23 minute pilot to get funding and/or distribution for a new LGBTQ series titled 'Two Gays & a Girl.' You can Like it on Facebook and Follow it on Twitter for updates as we make progress. It'll be our final collaborative project (Kelsey as writer, me as Director) before we tackle the feature we keep mentioning, About a Donkey

We have more updates coming your way, including teasers for the films. We'll be in touch again soon.

As always, thanks for your amazing support! We wouldn't have two completed short films if not for all of you!

-Christina, Kelsey & the team



CongestedCat Shorts: Production Success!

We shot our films last weekend and now Post-Production has begun!

Sorry for not updating sooner. I was busy reviewing & sending our footage off to the editor, getting some much needed sleep and cleaning my apartment (more on that later).

As for how the shoot went? It was amazing. I’m so excited about our footage and cannot wait to see the first rough cuts. Our crew was phenomenal. Most were our usual team of people, but we had some newcomers that I’m so excited to not only have as more talented people to collaborate with, but also as new friends. The same goes for the cast. I was blown away by each one of them. I’ve been reviewing footage for the last week and am just mesmerized by their performances and the chemistry between the pairs.

We had some interesting things happen in the week before our shoot.

First, our location that was generously loaned to us had some change of plans and ended up being unavailable this particular weekend of all weekends. Instead of uprooting our schedule and everyone else’s (coordinating new dates that everyone would have in common would have pushed us back a month) or spending money we didn’t actually have on a new space (since the location was loaned), we adjusted one of the films so that both could be shot in the same location. This location was actually my apartment – thus the need to clean after a weekend of wonderful but very sweaty people plus lots of gear & hot lights inside.

Despite this abrupt need to make some revisions, I feel that it worked out for the best in the end because nothing about the actual story changed, just the set layout. Additionally, this allowed us to not have to breakdown after day 1, do a company move on day 2 & reset everything in a new space. Because of this, while day 1 (NOLR) was just under 13 hours, day 2 (WHP) was under 7 hours! I’ve only been able to shoot an entire short in less than 7 hours once before with my dark comedy “S.K.A.”, but both of these films are miles ahead of that in terms of production value. I’m just really proud of and impressed with my team for making this work. We shot 2 quality films in 2 days!

*Also, side note about the location - the house is still loaned to us for a production, which is awesome because it works perfectly for my next short, planned for production next Spring.

The other minor setback that ended up being for the best was that our selected camera, the Canon C300, was unavailable at Du-All, our usual rental house, and three others we checked with for the weekend. Apparently everyone else in NYC was shooting that weekend and with that camera. However, Du-All, being as awesome and loyal as they are (we used them for Summit & Kelsey), offered us the C500 for the rental cost of the C300! We had already allocated the additional funds we raised to our lighting budget, so didn’t want to spend more to rent an external recorder to shoot at 4K on the C500, but it was still awesome to get to use this camera and get a feel for it, especially since we had not yet shot on it. 

So all in all, despite what initially seemed like setbacks in pre-production, all worked out for production. And while we did have some minor type things that always manage to hold up the start of production (a couple Best Buy runs to replace a monitor splitter, for instance), the shoots went quite smoothly, in large part, I believe, due to how well we all worked together. In fact, Gwen, an actor we had not worked with before but who we’ll definitely have on set again and again, complimented me on the relaxed but productive vibe on set, and the warm welcoming nature of our team; also how well we all communicated with each other. That was really lovely to hear. 

On day 2, we did have some sound issues due to a parade going on midday down the block. But we did our best to work around it and overall I have faith that we got clean audio for most of the shoot and that our sound editor will be able to work with some of the background. In the meantime, I anxiously await rough cuts.

We’ll be posting some behind the scenes photos in the coming weeks, but for now we hope you enjoy seeing these stills from the raw footage!

Adam Jepsen as Chris in "Not Our Living Room"

Adam Jepsen as Chris in "Not Our Living Room"

Rob Ceriello as Jake in "Not Our Living Room"

Rob Ceriello as Jake in "Not Our Living Room"

Lauren A. Kennedy as Elizabeth in "We Had Plans"

Lauren A. Kennedy as Elizabeth in "We Had Plans"

Gwen Albers as Diana in "We Had Plans"

Gwen Albers as Diana in "We Had Plans"

Thanks again to everyone who supported us in making these films. More updates to come!

Christina, on behalf of myself, Kelsey & the team

Rob's Reel (Seed&Spark Update 5)

I shared Lauren A. Kennedy's, so of course I'm sharing Rob Ceriello's too! His talent definitely shines through. He's playing Jake in "Not Our Living Room." No Summit footage has made it into his reel yet, but it will soon :)

Also, edited by Lauren.

Tweet of the daySupport @CongestedCat Shorts: 2 character-driven films about siblings & loss. They feature #LGBTQ & break stereotypes

We're less than $50 shy of 20%! Aiming for 30% by Monday. Please keep helping us spread the word. Thank you all for supporting & believing in us!


P.S. Our NY Cine Radio interview I mentioned in my 3rd update has been moved up a week, so we'll be sharing that on Wednesday along with the Us vs. Film interview! 

Pre-production Sneak Peek Video

Hello wonderful backers, 

Just updating to share a fun new behind the scenes video we put together that chronicles all our big moments in pre-production leading up to our first day of shooting. It includes some never before seen footage from table reads and auditions! We decided to wait to release it until reaching 2,000 Likes on Facebook, and today we reached that goal! Now we're pushing to hit 3,000. We hope you enjoy the video!

We're also putting together another behind the scenes video that includes footage from production! That's something we'll be sharing early next year after we release our teasers & trailer this Fall & Winter. 

In other news, we don't have a final cut just yet because Matt, my editor, and I have been going back and forth making a lot of little tweaks. But I'm feeling confident that we should have picture lock (outside of a couple exterior inserts we're getting in January) by the end of this month! The sound mix has started scene by scene, my composer has sent some awesome score samples, and my graphic designer is working on a new title logo! Progress is definitely being made. We hope we'll have more visuals to show you before the end of the year. 

Our first festival deadline is in April of next year. So we're working hard to make sure we can have a completely finished & polished cut a couple months in advance for a cast, crew & backer premiere and for at least 1 audience test screening! Needless to say, December-March will be super busy for the Summit team. 

In the meantime though, I'll try to keep the updates and inside info fresh & interesting because I truly appreciate your continued support throughout the progress of this film. Thank you again for everything! 

We aim to release our first teaser for the film on October 28th, so stay tuned for that!