What is ShortHaus?

ShortHaus is a program centered on making movies. We differ from Film Club in that we don’t look at one film, but an entire director’s oeuvre, encouraging participants to find value in creators they haven’t looked at before and take inspiration from their work. A director’s early work can be particularly rewarding. If they’re known for huge epics, seeing the short films they made as students may seem quaint by comparison. We want to build a community of people who watch those shorts and say, “Oh, I can do that.”

Why focus on short films?

Because a filmmaker’s journey often starts there. It’s a great way to learn the entire filmmaking process on a smaller, more manageable scale. Shorts are also able to push boundaries in a way that feature films often cannot. As soon as a director is backed by a production company, they’re responsible for audience reception and profit margins. A short film can explore weird ideas that may or may not work on a larger scale. That’s why as a student, you’re often tasked with creating a short film, and we want to nurture that same kind of creative practice.

What does ShortHaus mean?

We wanted a name that would evoke creativity. Art house films have long referred to films outside the commercially viable, exploring moody characters, strange visuals, non-linear storytelling, etc. The German spelling of Haus points to Bauhaus and German Expressionism, the movements that influenced so much of modern art, particularly after their members fled Germany and became the leaders of the avant-garde in New York and Hollywood.

ShortHaus Cinema: Introducing Fountaindale’s Short Film Meetup

Who We Are

Patrick and Ruth are Studio Services Specialists. If you’re ever in Studio 300 and need help keying out a green screen or bouncing a track from Logic, Patrick and Ruth are there to help.

Ruth’s background is in the visual arts, with a degree in Studio Art and Art History from Knox College. Though they got their start in painting (and sometimes printmaking), they soon moved into the realm of video art. Self-taught, they’ve made several performance art-adjacent videos where they cover themselves in bandages or fake blood or old carpeting to explore what it means to have a body. Some influences include Carolee Schneemann, Maya Deren, Nobuhiko Obayashi and Julia Ducournau. Ruth has also dipped their toes into commercial videos, making promos and wedding videos in their spare time.

Patrick’s passion for film and music have been inseparable since his childhood, shooting homemade movies at his cousins’, syncing his favorite movies with his favorite songs and eventually writing and recording his own songs. A love for classic rock and music documentaries inspired him to pursue a career in the music industry, completing a Bachelor of Science in Audio Production at the Illinois Institute of Art – Schaumburg, where he also continued to experiment with filmmaking. His influences have expanded over the years from Hollywood staples such as Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese to independent and international filmmakers including Ingmar Bergman, Terrence Malick, Bong Joon Ho, Paweł Pawlikowski and Wim Wenders. Patrick stays busy in the music scene, mixing and recording bands at a local venue regularly.

ShortHaus So Far

ShortHaus began meeting monthly in March 2023. So far, we’ve featured Les Blank, Buster Keaton, Cheryl Dunye, Ryan Coogler, Maya Deren and Akira Kurosawa.

ShortHaus Cinema: Introducing Fountaindale’s Short Film Meetup

Are you a non-fiction creator? Then look at the documentary style of Les Blank, who portrays his subjects as naturalistic as possible, without spectacle. Or Cheryl Dunye, who adds a bit of the personal and a bit of the fictional to her semi-autobiographical, mostly narrative “Dunyementaries.”

As a fictional creator, does your work stay in the real, or stray into the surreal? Ryan Coogler is an expert at exploring racial tensions in quiet, character-based studies as well as loud, bombastic blockbusters. Maya Deren falls completely into the surreal, dancing through loosely connected scenes in a rhythm of visual poetry. Akira Kurosawa falls somewhere between, sometimes focusing on the real in his noir, leaning more bombastic in his samurai epics and dipping his toes into dream logic late in his career. Contrast their styles with that of Buster Keaton, and you can see how the editing for.

If you want to find out more or see what directors we’re going to feature next, go to the events page and search “ShortHaus” to see a list of our upcoming meetings.