"Into the Silent Sea" is a Chapman University thesis film written and directed by Andrej Landin, produced by Heather Mcbride, and shot by Benjamin Fischinger. The film aired as part of the 2014 edition of "Fine Cut," KCET's 17th annual festival of student films.
Here, we speak with Andrej about the space race -- the inspiration for his film.
Andrej Landin's Bio:
Born in Sweden, Andrej moved to the U.S. in 2008 to pursue an education in film. He graduated with honors in 2013 from Chapman University. Andrej's thesis film "Into the Silent Sea" has screened at over 35 festivals and won more than a dozen awards. He is currently working as a commercial director in Sweden.
Q&A with Andrej Landin:
Describe how the idea for this film originated.
I have always had a deep fascination with the space race, probably because it marked an era when scientific progress and human exploration was at its peak. This, combined with "Star Wars" being my favorite childhood film, put me on track to make a film with space as the setting. After much research, I stumbled upon a modern myth, usually called "The Lost Cosmonauts." The myth basically states that Yuri Gagarin wasn't the first man in space, he was just the first one to make it back alive. I knew that there was a story in there somewhere.
In combination with everything above, I have been very inspired by Terrence Malick films. His cinematic style and poetic camera language is simply unmatched by any other director. I wanted to use Malick's filmmaking approach with my own story to create a visual and poetic film that uses the historical elements of the space race as the setting. In addition to this, I see it as a tribute to all the brave men and women who had the courage to venture outside into the unknown. They are the heroes of our time.
How/When did you decide you wanted to be a filmmaker?
It's hard to say when the exact defining moment occurred. But part of it I attribute to when I watched "Star Wars" for the first time. It kicked open the door to imagination. Suddenly, I felt a need to tell stories. At the time film seemed to be the best platform for this. So it's really been an intentional 15-year campaign to become a filmmaker, basically since I was 11 years old. So far I've loved every moment of it.
What influences have inspired your work?
As mentioned before, Terrence Malick's films. Especially "The Thin Red Line" and "Tree of Life." I really like the poetic elements and the dreamy/floaty camera language in all of his films. I'm also a big fan of American New Wave films like "The Godfather" and "Apocalypse Now." More recently, I've started getting into Pedro Almodovar's films.
Name you top three favorite films.
In no order: "The Godfather," "The Thin Red Line," and "Silence of The Lambs."
What is next for you?
I'm currently living in Sweden and directing commercials for the agency DDB Stockholm. On the side, I'm working on a new short film that I hope to put into production later this year. I'm also writing my first feature screenplay.
How can we follow you?
Click here to watch a clip from the film.