Cat Hainfeld

Finding Lovecraft’s Director, Producer, Co-Writer, Director of Photography, Camera Operator, Actor.

[www.cathainfeld.com]

Cat HainfeldI grew up on eastern Long Island, amidst a landscape of field, forest, marsh and water. My father, a research scientist, instilled in me an insatiable curiosity about the universe; my grandmother, a painter and poet, taught me to value the inner experience, and to reflect it back to the world. From the earliest age, my unique response to the world has reached wide to grasp both science and art: my tireless investigation drives always toward creative synthesis and expression.

Even as I was raised around the laboratory, my life was equally full of creativity, writing short stories and winning awards as a performing storyteller at age eight; by nine I was programming on a mainframe computer, and using it to create text-based imagery. The camera was also a natural tool in my hands, combining technical understanding and artistic response; I was working in the darkroom by age nine. Moving images were next, and at age eleven, I made my first stop-motion animation, sculpting the characters and sets. At age sixteen, I set off alone to live a year in France, with my camera by my side; it has stayed there ever since (www.cathainfeld.com).

A guiding philosophy in my life and work is that our highest purpose is to bridge the gap between the Self and the Other. In this spirit, I studied non-human minds at Brown University, training bats and studying bullfrog communication for a Bachelor of Science degree in 1994. As an early web designer, I was intrigued with the connective potential of virtual worlds, and spent two years of graduate study in 3D, animation and film at the Savannah College of Art and Design. After this intense focus on character design and storytelling, I created a sculptural series of characters and interwoven fiction (www.catscreatures.com), and ran that business for several years. In the mid 2000’s, I sought connection with the larger human story, and began to look again to film as my medium of choice. I helped to organize and lead a wild, extended voyage around the country aboard a vegetable-oil-burning bus, working as documentarian, photographer, writer, teacher, and head mechanic.

I worked tirelessly to hone my skills in filmmaking, becoming an award-winning cinematographer on the indie circuit, finding success in commercial work for clients such as IBM, Barnes & Noble, SpeedTV, and Nascar, and giving back to the community by organizing a film education program for the RI Film Collaborative, where I also teach from time to time.

After years of working on others’ projects, I am now at the helm of my first feature, “Finding Lovecraft: Life is a Hideous Thing.” As director, producer, co-writer, cinematographer and actor, this project is both an independent artist’s dream come true, and an amazing challenge, as we attempt a groundbreaking interweaving of documentary and narrative storytelling. The ten-minute fundraising short is complete, and is already winning us funding. Every day is growth.