JUNE 23, 2021
USA | 3 minutes | 2020
Narrative drama short film directed by Anthony Culanag
Starring Joel Ambo, Sarah Brink
Watch the Trailer
A boat livery worker has frequent visitations by a ballet dancer which creates a conversation about life and where the direction of his future will progress.
CineAsian Films (CAF): What inspired you to make Ganzfeld?
Anthony Culanag: Looking into someone’s past life and seeing what the individual did during that period was an interesting story to tell. I always had a fascination with the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s 20th century time period. So I focused on the 1940s life of one individual and give her a voice in the film. Ganzfeld is taken from the term Ganzfeld Effect where an individual is able to isolate the surroundings and deprive the senses of sound and sight to where the person is able to concentrate on a singular objective and focus onto the objective. In this case, Michael interacting with Alexandra and the story evolved into Michael meeting Alexandra in the past but he is in a hallucination state of mind. In creating this world, Michael is in control of every aspect of learning about Alexandra and her personality as an individual. We find out Alexandra lived a full life of adventure and exploring different possibilities of how much life has to offer. She tries to instill Michael with those aspirations. The short film is more of a fantasy type genre since it doesn’t take place in Michael’s own world and he interjects some of his own life experiences, which he thinks Alexandra was a friend he knew from middle school.
CineAsian Films (CAF): What were some of the biggest challenges you faced during production?
Culanag: The principal photography of finishing the film production in three days was challenging. Sarah, who plays Alexandra, came back from New York and Joel, who plays Michael, flew up from Los Angeles to work on the production. The allotted time was the biggest hurdle of finishing the film. Granted with a film permit, working in a public location set was also a challenge of curious people in the background moving into the frame while filming. Bystanders taking pictures of the scene while we were shooting and exterior sound was also challenging to get a clean and quiet recording. Everything turned out fine at the end and the footage looked great in post-production.
CineAsian Films (CAF): What do you hope people can take away from watching this film?
Culanag: The underlying theme of the film is try not to make your life too mundane and staying in the same old daily standard of living. Reach out and take your life to another level of living since we all have only one life to live on this planet. Give yourself a push and try something you never tried before. Taking a chance and see if it works and if it doesn’t work then at least you gave yourself the experience and remember the outcome.
CineAsian Films (CAF): Are you working on anything new?
Culanag: Hopefully this year, we can all get back to making independent films. I have two short films I would like to get into production this year. One is about the city of Seattle and it’s inhabitants and the other is a World War II period piece of Chinese-Americans soldiers in the post Normandy invasion during the Europe Theater of Operations. I am hoping these two narrative productions can go forth in the coming months. I have one short film that we weren’t able to finish at the start of last year and hoping I can complete it this year too.
The film is still in the festival circuit and will premiere in its entirety later in 2021.
Ganzfeld is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your film.
Director, Writer, Producer: Anthony Culanag
Cinematographer: Lionel Flynn
Also featuring: G. Kent Taylor