We are starting a new series to preview upcoming film events. This will entail asking the question, why did the filmmaker make this certain film.

Today, Sunday, December 2nd, at 6 PM at H L Borden Lumber Co385 E King St, Strasburg, VA 22657, we are featuring Waiting for Waldemar and Price Is Right Recommended film, Sea-Tectives.

Lets first talk about Christopher Dobbs Jr. and his film, Sea-Tectives.

Christopher Dobbs Jr. is an animator, director, and storyteller who resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has had a lifelong interest in storytelling and drawing and uses animation as the medium through which he shares his stories.

He enjoys putting his fingerprints on every stage of the storytelling process from the storyboards to the animation, to background paintings.

He received his BFA in Electronic Art and Animation from Ball State University and recently received his MFA in Animation at Ball State University. As a midwest animator, his dream is to help build a community of artists, animators, and storytellers and make his hometown of Indianapolis a destination for film and narrative-driven animation.

Director Statement

Sea-Tectives is about a duo of deep sea detectives in an underwater city. The film is inspired largely by the detective fiction genre pioneered by various book series such as Sherlock Holmes, The Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew Mysteries. The film utilizes elements of this genre and transplants them into an underwater world where our heroes, a lobster, and a clam, struggle with their differing viewpoints on the value of their detective work versus their celebrity status within the city. The film is a comedy that parodies the serialization of detective fiction and is set within the context of an underwater world composed of fish, mollusks, and crustaceans.

This film served as my MFA thesis project and had been in production over the course of the past year and a half, concluding in April of 2017. I was responsible for writing the story, storyboarding, animation, background painting, and visual effects.

As a creator I enjoy learning new methods of storytelling and strive to have my fingerprints on every stage of the creative process, even providing the voice work for all of the characters. As an animator, I look for every opportunity to progress my craft.

While I am proud to say that everything that the audiences see visually was developed from my own hands, the visuals only account for 50% of the total film. The sound is the most crucial element to the storytelling process and I am pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Joshua Kattner who composed the musical score as well as supervise the sound design, orchestral recording, and the final sound mixing. Kattner’s score combined with the visuals helps breathe life into this underwater world.

I am very excited to finally be able to share this story with the world! And, with that, I hope everyone enjoys “Sea-Tectives!”

Waiting for Waldemar

Eric Spoeth has directed two full-length documentaries and a dozen short films. His work includes working as an Assistant Director on Cut Bank, Blackstone, and other film and TV productions across Alberta. He decided to make this film about his grandfather after becoming a father of three children himself and feeling the connection of his loss as a critical part of his family’s identity as German-Canadians.

Selected Filmography: 

  • Waiting for Waldemar
  • Mea Maxima Culpa
  • The Automaton
  • The Manikin
  • The Street Sweeper
  • C-38: The Search for Marriage

Director Statement

We are confronted with a situation in our world today that is eerily reminiscent of a crisis that happened only 70 years ago. Syrian civilians have sought refuge in Germany by the millions. These women, children, and men found themselves on the wrong side of a conflict that displaced them from their homes, their livelihoods and their family members.

I made this film to show a side of World War 2 that isn’t taught in history books but was the greatest refugee crisis of the age – when 15 million ethnic Germans were expelled from countries they had lived for hundreds of years, simply because of the DNA they had.

I grew up in Canada, unaware of the fact that my grandfather was part of this group of people who had no knowledge of the National Socialist party or the architects of the Holocaust, but who were killed or captured and sent to Siberia. I was called a Nazi in the schoolyard before I even knew what a Nazi was. My parents chose not to speak German or to speak about our ethnicity because of the stigma of being a German in Canada.

When I see the face of human suffering – the Syrian civilians of today, and I see history repeating itself – I feel the message of the film – that love endures all – is a message as pertinent to us in 2017 as it was in 1945.