Oracle (2015) had a great festival run this past year, and now it’s available to watch on vimeo (below). The film is part of a trilogy of shorts that began with Home Near Water (2013); the films are linked through their connection to animal magic. Oracle builds upon themes and ideas from Home Near Water by exploring the emotional disconnection in its main character, which leads to a spiritual, fantastical, and dream-like transformation.

Official Selection: Minneapolis St. Paul International, Miami Independent, Sydney World, Charlotte, Buffalo Niagara, Chennai International, Motor City Nightmares, Blackbird, Blow-up International Arthouse, Verona International, Lilliputian, Amarcord Arthouse, Great Lakes International, Square Lake, and Athens International Film Festivals

Awards: Cinematography certificate at Rochester International; Semi-finalist at Polish International and Miami Short Film Fests; Honorable mention at Yosemite International; Creative Vision Award nominee at Altered Esthetics Film Fest; Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects at Wild Rose Independent Film Festival

Press:  Filmmaker interview for the Altered Aesthetics Film Festival Blog

Short SynopsisHaunted by visions of a past tangled in dream, a young woman must reckon with questions of love, death, and animal magic.

Writer/Director/DP: Christopher Lange
Actors: Emaline Williams, Christopher Young
Assistant Director: Neha Belvalkar
Producer: Shay Willard
Art Director: Gavin Farnsworth

You can watch it here:

Home Near Water

Home Near Water (2013) had some excellent screenings during 2014-2015.  The film was officially selected and screened at the Chicago Underground Film Festival (longest running underground film festival in the world), Maryland Film Festival, Minneapolis Underground Film Festival, and MNTV on TPT (Twin Cities Public Television).  Highlights were taking a road trip and attending the Maryland film festival, the MNTV screening at the Walker Art Center, and receiving an award at the Chicago Underground Film Festival.

The film includes the acting talents of Joel Stigliano and Larissa Fedoryka, musical score from Aaron Butler, and makeup FX from Scott Sliger.

It can be viewed here:

For an award, I got this from the Chicago Underground Film Fest (a hand-made puppet!):

Puppet Award, Chicago Underground Film Festival

Camera Death

In December of last year, my GH2 camera died inexplicably while returning to Minneapolis from LA.

The top photo above is the last one my camera took, at LAX airport.  What occurred after this to cause the camera’s death? What happened inside the carry-on that sat at my feet unencumbered?  It’s a mystery to me.

Some research led me to a potential repair via a replacement electric board in the camera.  Seemingly, that’s what failed.  I’ve decided to leave the camera on my shelf as a kind of burial and reminder of good times.

I sometimes take the camera from the shelf and turn the power dial in hopes of some magical reanimation of reversed entropy, but it doesn’t.

The second photo above is of my dead camera.  Notice the grain and where the dark background seemingly merges with the camera foreground.

I shot the dead digital camera with an old but functioning 35mm SLR, a German-made EXA (I do understand that film cameras also fail and need repairs; someone should analyze life-lines of cameras).  To me, it seems that film cameras last longer, mechanically and perhaps aesthetically.

I shot the second photo with expired film and tried to get proper exposure.  Ah, but to no avail.  But that’s also an excitement to film: the not knowing, the reliable indeterminable feeling of its process.

One can garner greater or lesser determinability of outcome via a chosen film practice.  This usually boils down into categories of gear and technique: choice of new or old cameras, new or expired film, exposure, lenses, light leaks, treating the film emulsion or processing, etc.

What am I getting at?  The death of a digital camera caused me to reflect upon and use the other format, of which I am choosing to use more often.  This is not a write-up on the merits of film vs digital.  I’m noting a transformation of routine, and it’s a pleasant change.

-Chris Lange

Home Near Water at Maryland Film Festival

Road trip for a film fest!  Home Near Water was selected for the 2014 Maryland Film Festival!  It was a pleasure participating by presenting the film three times and answering audience questions in post screening discussions.  It was great seeing a bunch of excellent short films, a screening of Putney Swope introduced by Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky), seeing John Waters, attending panel discussions, meeting new friends, and exploring Baltimore!