Ghost in the Static
2013 / 15:00 runtime / Super 16mm Film
A solitary security guard's mundane life is shaken when he stumbles upon what appears to be the scene of a violent crime in the forest outside the city. What he takes away with him that day will mark him for the rest of his life.
Ghost in the Static is a narrative short film that explores voyeurism, obsession and how the threat of violence can reverberate throughout society. Told through the character portrait of Michael, an aging security guard and amateur bird watcher isolated within his mundane job watching over the student population at an urban university, the film focuses on how a chance encounter with a potential crime scene can alter the ways in which people view the world and each other.
Shot in Super 16mm color negative film and incorporating a found footage video-within-a-film aesthetic, the film explores the blending of different visual materials and techniques to create a complex portrait of a troubled character and a troubled city. Elements of documentary realism intrude on the narrative of the story, as the VHS tape Michael finds includes non-fiction footage of the blight of the decaying neighborhoods of Philadelphia, suggesting that the woman he assumes to be the victim of the crime scene is but one part of a much larger problem affecting the community.