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A Quarantine Short:

An Astrophysicist must face inner demons, as she travels to a parallel universe. We follow her experience in this visual poem about self healing.

Directed / Written / Starring / Cinematography by: Carlotta Summers

Eigengrau was conceived, shot, and edited during the quarantine of 2020 as a visual poem about self-healing. It was created under tight conditions, using only a DSLR camera, an I-phone, and miscellaneous items as props.

Waking up one day in extreme anxiety, jobless, and separated from family and friends, I sought (like everyone else) to make sense of my reality. After the first few weeks of confinement, my mind began to run away with itself. I scoured the Internet, craving connections to the outside world. I reviewed my own extensive notes and writings, and stumbled upon a poem I had written long ago, about the science fiction theme of parallel universes.

With this in the back of my mind, staring into a mirror, that ubiquitous but thought provoking device that Mesoamerican culture believed were portals to another realm, I contemplated the dilemma of my own existence. I began to see beauty in everyday objects, with heightened awareness of the structure of my own small dwelling.

As the film industry reels from the effects of Covid-19, I wanted to create something that contributed to hope. Gathering my materials, I embarked on a journey to manifest discovery in my cramped one bedroom NYC apartment; and a Sci Fi short, Eigengrau, was born!

When we feel normality slipping away, we search for something more, and seek our place in the vast scheme of things. The Sci-Fi genre has often dealt with such themes, as well as "taboo" issues otherwise tip toed around in society. This led to an idea, to create something that was very much 2001: Space Odyssey meets Britt Marling’s Another World.

I thought of Plato's notion of dual realities, where there is an upper realm that is perfect, and a lower realm that is somehow tied with the upper, but is a flawed "copy" that moves in parallel.

Metaphorically, Eigengrau’s protagonist wants to magically transcend her confinement and correct all the mistakes in her past, but that is not to be. The lesson she learns is that you shouldn’t try to escape your “imperfect reality” because it is flawed. Pain is there for a reason. You are formed by all your experiences in this living world. So sometimes you have to meet yourself and accept where you are before you can move forward.

I am quite proud of this DIY short!

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