Thorn Trees

Pilot Opening Scene Proof of Concept Trailer

Logline: A conscientious, grieving witch recruits a repentant witch-hunter in Elizabethan England to help save her family from a treacherous bishop intent on murder in this prequel to the Salem Witch Trials.

Every family has secrets.

The mystery surrounding the death of a conscientious witch’s sister leads her to into a web of secrets and betrayal. It causes her to question her relationship with the sister she thought she knew, and to recruit a repentant witch-hunter to help investigate her murder in this Salem Witch Trials prequel that begins in England.

Drama · Period · Historical Fiction · Suspense · Faith & Spirituality · Female Protagonist
Status: Development/Packaging

Comps: Vikings (History Channel) | Good Witch (Hallmark Channel) | Salem (WGN America)

Poster Concept (one of three)
by Artifice Design, U.K.


There has been an explosive growth of witches, Wiccans, Pagans, Neo-Pagans with 2+ million in the U.S. alone, greater than 1.4 million Presbyterians, and is the 2nd largest faith group after Christianity (per 2018 statistics). Millennials have rejected Christianity seeking more freedom of spiritual expression and practices (like tarot and astrology). We want to respond to this reality through storytelling that is more accurate and respectful of this faith.

We decided to focus on development/pre-production ourselves after pitching and discovering that the entertainment industry is attached to a tradition of witch-based stories being either horror or fantasy, that perpetuates stereotypes that are disrespectful and maintain prejudice–that very often includes metaphysical practitioners, shamans and other lightworkers as recipients. We are committed to not going down that path since there are an abundance of stories told from these perspectives. Thorn Trees incorporates new voices and experiences that have not been represented (or are rarely represented).

One of our development producers is a Wiccan High Priestess & pipe carrier. Another is a healing artist, pipe carrier, and is a Christian ordained minister. We practice many faiths and walk different spiritual paths among us–respectful of each other, committed to telling a realistic story about a Pagan family led by a strong, female protagonist.

We choose to create this story to disrupt the pervasive and traditional horror and fantasy genre narratives about witches that often equate the word “witch” with dismissive, negative, prejudiced, and false narratives about them and their cultural diversity and history. Our motivation for creating Thorn Trees is to help heal the damage done to our pagan and witch ancestors in the past, reduce the misrepresentation of witches in the present, and contribute to diversifying and expanding upon future witch-focused and Elizabethan period stories.

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Discover More About Our Slated Pilot Director, Creators, Screenwriter & Producers

Lili Bordán (Director), New York, U.S.A./Hungary
Bruce Nahin (Co-Producer), California, U.S.A.
Meta Valentic (Line Producer), California, U.S.A.
Bernadette Montana (Producer), New York, U.S.A.
Jacob Larch (Creator, Screenwriter, Producer), England, U.K.
Valerie Mich’El Oliver (Creator, Screenwriter, Producer), New Jersey, U.S.A.
Lyndsy Spence (Consulting Producer), Ireland, U.K.
Alisha Solaiman (Assistant Producer), Maryland, U.S.A.
– Clarissa Labady (Assistant Producer), New Jersey, U.S.A.

Need to chat with one of the producers? Please be sure to put THORN TREES in the Subject field of your email:

Jacob Larch (Creator, Screenwriter, Producer, U.K.)

A clip from an interview conducted by Jake Samieske (Assistant Producer Intern) with Jacob (Co-Creator, Screenwriter & Producer) (Length: 1 min).
Click Here to view entire interview.

Valerie Mich’El Oliver (Originator, Creator, Screenwriter, Producer, U.S.)

A clip from an interview conducted by Will Ward (Assistant Producer Intern) with Valerie Mich’El (Originator, Co-Creator & Producer) (Length: 1 min).
Click Here to view entire interview.

Bernadette Montana (Producer, U.S.)

A clip from an interview conducted by Molly Shilling (Assistant Producer Intern) with Bernadette (Producer) (Length: 1 min).
Click Here to view entire interview.

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