Infrared Time-Lapse Experimental Documentary By Sam Forencich

By Mikel Fair



Art Time-Lapse Experimental Documentary

Invisible Oregon, is an experimental documentary on the Film Festival Circuit that features amazing infrared camera art time-lapse footage directed by Sam Forencich. This film is a 2017 Oregon Documentary Film Festival Official Selection was also nominated for four awards. 

  • Best Short Film Award Nomination
  • Best Cinematography Award Nomination
  • Best Director Award Nomination
  • Best Oregon Film Award Award Nomination

Oregon Documentary Film Festival Promo Code


Sam Forencich Director's Statement

"Ever since my youthful days of “experimentation” I've often wondered about the nature of reality. Those of you that still believe in science understand the limitations of our perceptions, and it's no secret that many creatures exceed our abilities to interpret the world around us. The idea that we have to process the sensory data coming into our brains makes it seem like we are already a step removed from the real world. So what exactly are we missing? What do animals experience that we can't, and how do our human perceptions vary from person to person? While this film does nothing to answer these questions, time-lapse and infrared photography do, in a metaphorical sort of way, extend our sensory abilities so we can imagine a world beyond ours. Ultimately I think this is what draws us to these forms, not to solve the mystery, but to flirt with its boundaries."



Director Sam Forencich Biography

Sam Forencich is a time-lapse film maker and photographer based in Portland Oregon. Sam is the principle time-lapse contributor to the NBC production Grimm, and the NBA team photographer for the Portland Trail Blazers. See more of his work here:


Interview With Sam Forencich

Q1: Why submit to the Oregon Documentary Film Festival? “My film is a celebration of Oregon's natural beauty. If there was going to be a receptive audience, I think that it would be here.”


Q2: Is there any special meaning to the title? “My film was created entirely with infrared converted cameras. Humans do not perceive infrared light so the scenes in the film are relatively speaking "invisible".


Q3: Why did you choose to tell this particular story? “The making of this film came at a juncture of experimentation between time-lapse and infrared photography. I didn't set out to do this initially. But since I live in Oregon the surrounding landscapes were a natural choice to experiment. Furthermore I realized that there was a tipping point. When it became obvious to me, that the results were both interesting and repeatable. The momentum for me to make the film took off from there.”


Q4: Did you discover certain story elements during the production of this film that you never expected to find in the planning stages of this project? “In what is essentially a non-narrative art film a great deal of the piece was "discovered" through my process. I had crafted a "structure" for the film, and had a list of target locations, but to a large degree time and conditions dictated the decision making that went into each shot.”




Q5: What camera(s) did you use to during the production of this film? Discuss any advantages or limitations that you may have run into, from an equipment perspective. “I used 2 infrared converted DSLR cameras. I liked using the Nikon D750 and a Canon 5D MII. The Nikon is a better low noise performer and was used in all the night sky scenes. I feel that both cameras have a unique infrared response curve, so the subject would sometimes dictate which camera was appropriate.”


Q6: Did anything happen during the production of this film that was very interesting, but never made it on camera? “With time-lapse things do occasionally do go wrong. So yes we did lose a few shots, mainly due to "pilot error."


Q7: How did you fund this film? “The film was self funded. I never intended to make any money off this, and that proved to be the one assumption I was right about.


Q8: What kind of audience reaction are you getting to this film? “I am excited because the film has done well online through Vimeo. It was a "staff pick" early on that really helped me get it out there. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, but you can never totally escape the trolls online.”


Q9: Do you have plans for a sequel or future film that you are working on?“My background is in still photography, but time-lapse film making has introduced me to many aspects of film production. Not sure where I'm going next but I'd like to do something that has a strong narrative or documentary structure.


Q10: You have completed a documentary film, which is a huge achievement. Do you have any advice for a future filmmaker that is about to start a documentary project? “My film came to life because of my curiosity. It just sort of sprang out from there. I can't give advice for a proper project since I've never done one, but if you start with a subject that you are genuinely passionate about, that's a good set-up for success.”



Mikel Fair

Mikel Fair

From 1999-2015 I worked on location in the television and film industry as a location sound mixer, production manager and field producer. I have also worked in post production as an editor, post sound mixer and composer. Today, I am the Director of Film Festival Circuit LLC, a US based company that manages international film festival events in Texas and Oregon. Our team is passionate about showcasing new independent films, videos, series episodes, screenplays and teleplays of all genres.

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