The Meet Cute Murders LLC

An ensemble whodunit feature film anchored by strong female leads

Last Funded January 2023


raised from 22 investors


Genre films have the best sales/financial track record, i.e. Knives Out and Promising Young Woman.
Team of professionals involved in over 1,000+ film projects from development through distribution.
Past projects premiered at Berlinale, Sydney, Tribeca, & won a New Orleans Film Festival Jury Prize.

Featured Investor

Our Team

SEAN: As a writer, bringing a story to life is an incredibly personal endeavor, and yet, fans feel entitled to know everything about their favorite artist's inspiration and personal life. In many ways, this story is a manifestation of that conflict: the struggling writer and the aggressive fan coming to blows. Let's see who wins.



When renowned author Anna Joyce retreats to an off-season resort to break through her writer’s block, a grisly murder that seems to be a message directed at her leaves Anna wondering if she's being set up or if she’s the object of affection for a fan desperate to inspire her next book.

This elevated genre film is the perfect backdrop to explore the fickle nature of creativity, the rapidly disappearing boundaries between creators and the public, and what happens when a fan simply won't take 'no' for an answer. 

This film will activate lovers of classic psychological horrors like THE SHINING and MISERY while also tapping into the zeitgeist like recent thrillers such as KNIVES OUT and PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN. Our grand Louisiana locations, lusciously elegant cinematography, and impeccable casting will make this film a genuinely fun ride with something relevant to say.


Ever since his first backyard films, Daniel's M.O. has been to make a little look like a lot but never lose sight of the emotional core of the story. All the filmmaking toys in the world won't make a difference if the audience isn't invested in the characters.

Daniel's character-centric directing, ability to create atmosphere, and expertise in building tension are why he's the perfect fit to direct this film. The greatest compliment he ever received was that he's like the Louisiana Coen brother -- a little dark, a little funny, and full of heart. 

Two degrees from the UCLA School of Film and Television (BA '08, MFA'18) and over a decade in the trenches of film, television, and commercial production also don't hurt. 


When I was a kid, I remember watching my mom -- an immigrant, single parent, and small business owner in the Silicon Valley of the ‘90s -- struggle to keep her business afloat first through the dot-com bubble burst and then the Great Recession. The days were stressful, and the nights were sleepless, but what I remember most about my mom from those days was her ironclad determination not to be beaten. After I read Sean’s script for THE MEET CUTE MURDERS and met its protagonist, Anna Joyce -- the slumping author desperate to keep her career alive -- you’ll understand why I saw so much of my mom in Anna’s commitment to survive no matter what.

The way I escaped those anxious times was by watching movies. It’s how I was introduced to classic whodunits like The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, and Murder On the Orient Express -- all of which seeped into my unconscious and informed the making of my first feature, a small-town murder mystery called THE LONG SHADOW. It took some time to realize that what spoke to me in those films was how, despite the controlled appearances that characters project outwardly, their secrets, lies, and inner turmoil never stay out of sight.

While it deals with serious themes, THE MEET CUTE MURDERS is going to be an escapist whodunit the gives a fresh update to the classic ‘locked-room murder mystery.' This will be a movie that reminds us why we love movies. It’s going to give us the historic richness of a Southern Gothic setting, the thrill of a cat-and-mouse chase with a clever killer, and the laughs that come from an ensemble of eccentric, self-centered characters desperate to survive. In other words, it’s going to be a lot of fun.
-Daniel Lafrentz


Our goal is to put every dollar on screen. That means using them on the two elements that audiences will see the most: the cast and the locations.

THE MEET CUTE MURDERS has a limited ensemble cast that will allow us to stack the deck with higher-level talent that will boost not only the film's quality but its sales prospects too.

One thing that successful low-budget independent films have in common is few locations. In our case, that means the grand, aging hotel where roughly 75% of the story takes place. Having one primary location with a wide variety of areas to shoot in lets us give the movie scope without constantly having to pack up and company move. This way we spend the maximum time making the movie.

Thriller and horror films have broad appeal to adults across age and gender demographics both in North America and internationally. The thrill of a great tension-build, the adrenaline rush of a jump scare, and the catharsis of finding out whodunit are universal, which is why we're so confident in this film's ability to provide ROI for its investors.

Many independent films go into production with the idea of taking the film to festivals and hoping for a distribution deal. Hope is not a strategy. We are putting just as much work into our sales and distribution plan as we are into the script. Because what good is a great film that nobody sees? This is where our Producer, Sean Flanagan, comes in to do what he does best.


Sean has overseen the release of 1000+ films for the Sundance Institute, FilmRise, Paradigm, Samuel Goldwyn Films, and countless other independent distributors in addition to the over two-dozen films that he has personally represented for sales.

Daniel and Sean first partnered on Daniel's feature debut, THE LONG SHADOW, when Sean came on as its sales agent. The partnership bloomed because of Sean's constructive honesty, deep roster of relationships, and knack for finding creative avenues of negotiation. The fact that he secured a substantial Minimum Guarantee and better deal terms for THE LONG SHADOW didn't hurt either.

We know talk is cheap. That's why we commissioned a revenue performance analysis of 15 films that are comparable to THE MEET CUTE MURDERS in terms of genre, budget, and cast. The analysis was done by Nash Info Services, the premier provider of movie industry data and research services from major studios to independent filmmakers. Here are the main conclusions:

-11 of 15 films yielded a positive ROI for investors
-Our 'Medium' scenario (= to median comp's performance) was 190% ROI
-Read the full report HERE (and the accompanying guide to interpret it HERE )

Comparable Films Revenue Performance


Investors will receive 125% of Principal and 40% Net Profits, pari passu. 


For more detailed information, be sure to read our PITCH DECK.

If you have questions, send us a message at [email protected]!