The Camera (Short Film)
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    In an abandoned beach house, a solitary girl finds a mysterious camera that reveals something unexpected. An award-winning short film by Peter Le… Read More
    In an abandoned beach house, a solitary girl finds a mysterious camera that reveals something unexpected. An award-winning short film by Peter Lewis. Read Less
"Perfect in its simplicity, beautiful and haunting in its visuals, The Camera is a reminder that a great film is in everyone’s grasp, as long as he/she has the creative capacity and appropriate willpower to drop pretension, and quite simply, make something."
"From its delicate shot composition to an emotionally stirring score, Peter Lewis‘s The Camera is a crash course in great filmmaking."
"A compelling example of what’s possible when perseverance and resourcefulness meet."
"The Camera proves that beautiful movies can be made simply and makes you want to get out and make your own!"
The opening was shot at Jockey's Ridge National Park, Nags Head, NC
Aside from a few unfinished chase-scenes-in-the-woods experiments from my early teens, this is my first film. I made it because I love the multidisciplinary art of filmmaking, because I was tired of my fear of failure, and because I wanted to see what would happen if I just finished one.
I wanted to simply explore whether this was something I enjoyed and was good at, and I don’t think you generally need to make a large financial investment to get a sense for that (I want to outgrow what I have before buying anything new).
This house was one of the few in the area that looked abandoned, and was only used for this shot.
The story was largely born from its constraints. It had to be doable in my free time, and I had to be able to shoot it during my vacation in Nags Head, NC—with only $50, to cover the props. Beyond that, I’ve always loved simple stories about regular people, told with a mysterious undercurrent and a twist or two, and I love working with light. So I wanted to come up with a concept that would not only work within limitations, but use them to my advantage.
The beach house was built in the 1930's, and most of the furnishings are almost as old.
One of the reasons the film has no dialogue is because I didn't have any sound recording equipment, and wanted to make something that would work well without it. I envisioned it as a simple story carried along by the music, and shot the film with no on-set sound. But when I started editing, it felt lifeless. I felt like a distant observer; it was difficult to get immersed in the story. So I decided to add all the sound back in.
On another trip to the beach, I brought home some sand and beach grass, and set up a foley recording studio in my basement, adding footsteps, rustling grass, camera shutters, and other details. I added some environmental sound with heavily modified sound effects from Logic Studio, and finally the film started to come alive.
The discontinued Polaroid film had to be purchased from a factory in Europe.
I wanted the original score to match the simple, rustic beauty of the locations, and capture something of the subtle mystery of the story. I tried to keep the arrangement sparse, with only a piano and glockenspiel, recorded with no metronome to keep it feeling natural. You can listen to the score here
The film was shot almost entirely in natural light.
Some have asked about Emily; the film wasn’t written about her (she passed away while it was in post-production), but she was a dear friend of my family and many others, and it was an honor to dedicate it to her memory. 
The Lights Film School blog interviewed me about the making of the film and overcoming fear of failure here
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Also used as course material for film classes at major universities

DC Shorts
Juggernaut Film Festival
Shortcutz International Short Film Exhibition
Filmbooth International Short Film Screening (Gurgaon, India)
Surrey International Film Festival
Winner, Best of Fest, Fandana Film Festival
Festival du Film de Vacances
Low Country Indie Shorts
Choice Cuts (London)
Shortlisted for the Forster Film Festival
ClujShorts International Short Film Festival
Love Fest
Director / DP / Editor / Original Score / Colorist / Sound Designer / Foley: Peter Lewis
Girl: Abbie Lewis
Boy: Gabe Lewis
Special thanks: Andrew & Carissa Gallo, Ben Hinders, Brian Stansfield, David Altrogge, Drew Painter, Hannah Lewis, Joy Lewis, Kyle Drexler, Mitchell Thorson, Shepherd Ahlers, Wayne & Kristin Westbrook