Digital filmmaking is transforming Hollywood, no doubt, but for independent filmmakers, it is nothing short of a revolution. Case in point: 22-year-old German student Kaleb Lechowski. After seven months of writing, designing, and editing as well as reporting his progress on his blog, Kaleb recently posted his short sci-fi film R’ha on Vimeo. The six-minute film, which does not include a single human being, was completed as part of his first-year studies in digital film design in Berlin.
The film depicts an alien imprisoned and interrogated by a Matrix-esque robotic intelligence that turned on the aliens and began to take over the planet. It is impressive for its sense of story, character, and drama that builds throughout the short trailer. What’s also amazing is that other than help he received for sound and voice acting, the rest of the movie is his creation in concept and execution.
On his blog, Kaleb has been sharing the development of R’ha as well as other projects, including his first digital movie for an Audi concept car he designed and an alien statue from the popular Blizzard game Starcraft. He created much of the movie in Blender, a free, open source 3D creation suite that was used to create a commercial Argentinian animated film Plumiferos along with numerous open movie projects. Recently, we profiled another effort to make high quality digital filmmaking open to the masses as Valve Software released its Source Filmmaker for free.
As more software tools become available to the masses and people passionate about film invest their time into capturing their visions, we are sure to see an increasingly number of short digital films of Hollywood-level scope with a single individual in the credits.