Free Will of Cormax – Short Film by Caleb Mann

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Caleb Mann and Julia Lanski in Free Will of Cormax

In this post, I, Caleb Mann, would like to talk about “Free Will of Cormax” which was my first experimental film. By first film, I mean that it was my first time using the camera to shoot a series of shots to be used in a story. (I shot with a canon 5d miii using a zoom lens) I operated the camera, played both the lead character Cormax and his nemesis, which is his dark side. I had a friend of mine, Julia Lanski, play my female counterpart.

I’m happy to say, I had no plans to make this short. It created itself. I didn’t write it, everything that was filmed for this short was simply me trying to figure out how to use the camera. The story came out of circumstance, I just so happen to go shoot some footage with Julia one day, I just so happen to improvise the scene between my two selves, simply to see if I could make it work. This piece really was an accident, that’s why I’m so proud of it. Because this is what I did without planning anything.

I find that the story does have an impact. When I was editing I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I just continued to pursue a feeling, a sensibility. Once I established that, I knew what to do. Cormax is definitely a version of myself, and I’m almost scared to say that this film is translated from real life events into an unrecognizable form. I didn’t mean for it to turn out that way. But it did, a sign that no matter what we do as artists our souls, if we are dedicated, will leak onto the page. Perhaps we could avoid it, but then I think we would be missing the meaning of what art is suppose to convey

For me, as long as I have a diversity of shots I can string them together as an editor and turn them into something interesting. That’s not how I plan to shoot all of my films, only as an early director so I can create my own style and make film making a life habit. I started as an actor studying Shakespeare. Now, at 22 years old I’m taking my shot at making films.

“Free Will of Cormax” was improvised by Caleb Mann.

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