It never fails to excite me when I see a student film by somebody who gets it. And 23-year-old David Ochs plainly and clearly gets it. Who’s Hungry? is his freshman(!) film at CalArts, and it’s confident to the hilt. The film, a gory take on the tale of “Hansel and Gretel,” grabs your attention immediately and doesn’t loosen its grip until the credits appear at the end. Before we go any further, watch the film:
Christopher Meeks, his story teacher at CalArts, has written a blog post with some fascinating details about the film:
One of my freshman, David Ochs, last fall had asked me one day in class what the controlling idea (i.e. theme) of “Hansel and Gretel” might be, and off the top of my head, I said something like, “With true innocence comes great power.” Little did I know David wanted to redo the fairytale, and he created a fully animated five-minute film.
Meeks also offers insights about the year-end CalArts Producers’ Show screening and the risk that David took by making the film:
Freshmen, for instance, cannot create a piece over 90 seconds, and if they do, it will not be shown [at the Producers' show], with one exception. The exception is if the student body chooses it as the best film…He knew going in that the only way it could be shown is if the student body selected it. The film ended up being so fabulous that it won the Peer’s Pick Award.
If you’re curious about how the film plays to an audience, watch this recording of the raucous reaction it received at one of the school’s student screenings. ‘Nuff said.