StylePublic Spotlight: Zac Breitengross

Meet the director behind the short film "If You Return," featured at this year's Chas International Film Festival, and his artistic style of choice—glitch art. Plus, see the film's trailer here

« Guest StylePublic post by Ally Francine 



During a lesson about surrealism in my 9th grade art class, the teacher showed us several short films, including David Lynch’s “The Alphabet” and “The Grandmother.” What I remember most about these films is that they made it feel safe to let your inner weirdo shine. They were films that not only aroused questioning of dreary conventions, they were films that inspired you to push the limits of expression, films that implanted a desire to break free from the constrictions of societal norms and expectations.


That’s what filmmaker and photographer Zac Breitengross often evokes in his audiences. His work forces you to dig a little deeper, to ask questions, to see the what one might call dull or mundane through the most extraordinary rose-colored glasses, or in Zac’s case, rainbow-colored lensbabies.



Zac currently works with the Charleston-based film and production company Seamless Pictures, and is constantly behind a camera shooting short films, music videos, and editorials. He recently wrapped up his directorial debut—an experimental short film loaded with symbolism and Freudian theory entitled “If You Return.”


Despite the polarizing nature of a narrative that Zac refers to as a “dream sequence,” the film is steadily gaining success in the local festival circuit. “If You Return” was recently featured at the Charleston International Film Festival and will show at the upcoming 2013 Lowcountry Shorts Festival in Park Circle. Let me not fail to mention that for the past three years Zac’s photography has been featured at the Columbia Museum of Art, and his second short film is set to start pre-production this month.



In his free time, Zac sometimes spends hours tweaking digital images to recreate them in an offbeat style known as “glitch art.” Defined as a defect or malfunction, a glitch is characterized as an unexpected result. However, the outcome of Zac’s glitch art photography is anything but unexpected and is rather, as he puts it, “purposely destroyed.”


Using different media programs and applications Zac intentionally and repetitively reorganizes the data contained in a digital image to create a completely new set of colors, shapes, lines, and other visual oddities. Drawing inspiration from album art and music, as well as the Dadaist’s cut-up technique popularized by writer William Burroughs, it’s a process that Zac describes as, “destroying to create.”


 «“…destroying to create.”



Glitch art isn’t the only area where Zac utilizes these inventive techniques. His film photography consists of an array of multiple exposures through a variety of lenses, and at times may even employ toy camera lenses that aren’t ever physically attached to the camera. Zac’s imaginative experimentation continues in almost every facet of his film-making, from highly stylized lighting schemes to emotionally intense sound design consisting of copious amounts of altered audio layers. If you listen close enough during “If You Return,” you might just be able to hear Jupiter.



After perusing the photos below, feel free to go check out these links for some stellar film production: Zachary James & Seamless Pictures.


You can also follow Zac on Instagram @100macro.