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Tin House Reels: Paul Kramer

Tin House Reels brings you a Halloween treat today in the form of Paul Kramer’s “Ligeia.” Based on the 1838 Edgar Allan Poe short story of the same name, the narrative centers around a writer who obsesses over his dead wife and and longs to“restore her to the pathway she had abandoned.”

Kramer made his film in response to The Poe Project, a contest organized by the Sacramento Public Library and the Capital Film Arts Alliance in which filmmakers adapted the works of Edgar Allan Poe into films no longer than thirteen minutes.  “Ligeia” won Best Film and Audience Award for The Poe Project at the Sacramento Film and Music Festival in August 13, 2013.

Poe’s story about love and death called for black and white, Kramer said: “Why make the film in black and white?  Because of shadows.  In black and white, at least to me, shadows seem more potent. After Ligeia dies in the story, I still wanted her presence to be felt, and shadows allowed me to do just that. [In making the film, I visualized Rowland Lee’s] Son of Frankenstein [and] gave stills of Son of Frankenstein to the cast and crew for reference.”

“With [Poe’s] short story, there has been some debate about whether or not the main character imagines what transpires as through some drug-induced hallucinations. In my film, I still keep those questions alive. However, I think my last image gives a good indication as to what I think is the more interesting answer.”

Paul Kramer worked with Francis Ford Coppola for many years at the production company, American Zoetrope, and the short fiction publication, Zoetrope: All-Story.  While he continues to make films whenever he can, he also helps make award-winning promos as Promotion Manager for the CBS station in Sacramento, California.

Tin House Reels is a weekly feature on The Open Bar dedicated to the craft of short filmmaking. Curated by Ilana Simons, the series features videos by artists who are forming interesting new relationships between images and words.

We are now accepting submissions for Tin House Reels. Please upload your videos of 15 minutes or less to Youtube or Vimeo and send a link of your work to tinhousereels@gmail.com. You may also send us a file directly.

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Comments: 2

(22) Comments

  1. Paul Kramer, you did a fantastic job and it was, and is always, an honor to work with you, my friend!

    David Ridgway: Tacky.

  2. David Ridgway says:

    Paul did a fantastic job with his Ligeia film, kudos to him. I had also entered the CFAA/Sac Library Poe film festival, winning the “Best Alternative Content” award, and just this week, received the “On-line audience Award” with 11,000 views in under a month on Youtube. Our “Annabel Lee- A Tragic Love Story” was an amazing journey to bring young and old love to the screen, moving from light to dark, keeping Poe’s magic alive with our actors who raged from age 4 to 60. Beautifully shot on the north coast of California, emotionally and heart felt was this Poe masterpiece. The title sound track was written by song writer and singer Tony Verdi, expressly for the film. Please take a moment to watch and hopefully enjoy our contribution to the world of Poe, and look for the subtle inferences of the rose. Enjoy my friends…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXUEF8lhESo

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