Channel 5 to Air Student's Film
Harvard Senior's Work to Appear on `Nightshift' Show
A six-minute animated film created by a Harvard senior will air tonight on Channel 5's season premiere of "Nightshift," a late-night program featuring the work of New England students.
John Lindauer '87-'88 made the film, "Fire on High", for his Visual and Environmental Studies (VES) sophomore tutorial. Although the 22-year-old senior has directed and animated three music videos for MTV since, he said he considers the VES film, his first experience with animation, to be his best graphic work.
The fast-paced film is about "just some poor schmuck walking down the street, reading his popular magazine when he gets struck by lightning and dies," the North House resident said. In the technically sophisticated film, the character tumbles into the afterlife, where he experiences both heaven and hell.
The film is a barrage of color and motion, consisting mainly of animation except the initial scene's live photography, filmed in the Cambridge Common.
Lindauer submitted the film to producers at Channel 5 earlier this year. "I saw at the beginning of the summer some of the stuff [Lindauer has] been doing and it blew me away," said "Nightshift" Producer Jason Raff.
"It's some of the best I've ever seen. Technically and graphically it's far, far above average He used about every technique known to a filmmaker," Raff said. "The problem with putting his stuff on the premiere is that it might discourage others" from submitting work to the show.
Lindauer said he wants to persue a career in film. "My goal is large scale film production. Animation's a good place to start to learn the basic technical things that most directors ignore."
"I've always dabbled, but I never got into one particular medium," said the Alaska native. As a teenager he was interested in radio and at fifteen started working for a radio station in his native Anchorage.
After six years of summer and part-time experience, Lindauer took his junior year off from Harvard to work as production manager for a Boston rock station, WAAF 107.3.
"Radio can be an art--you have to be just hip enough, but not too hip, or else people don't understand. You have to find the threshhold and hang there, at the edge," he said.
Lindauer is scheduled to direct a television commercial. "I feel so comfortable and at ease here--flaky. There's a right amount of pressure in the real world--you can't flake out."