When you watch R’ha you’ll have a hard time believing this is the work of a 23-year-old student in his first year studying film and animation. The Hollywood Reporter has posted an article about the short and its creator, Kaleb Lechowski, who attends Berlin’s Mediadesign Hochschule. With no budget to work with, Lechowski spent seven months creating a completely virtual world and a story about an alien protagonist. The short has nothing to do with human beings at all, yet the main character is someone the audience can easily relate to.
The name, R’ha, immediately brings to mind the Stargate franchise while the story itself feels like an otherworldly version of Rise of the Machines. The main character is facing interrogation by an “artificial organism” and the plot revolves around the history between the organic and inorganic intelligences. The entire project was written, directed, and animated by Lechowski alone. The only outside help he had was from Harmut Zeller who did the sound work and Dave Masterson who provided the voice acting talent.
One thing’s for sure, you’ll remember the phrase “Initiating motivation protocol.” It’s the new “I’ll be back.”
The only plot synopsis given is very succinct, but accurate:
A member of an alien race is being interrogated and tortured by a machine.
Everything about this short is very well done. The quality of the rendering and animation is first rate and the story leaves you really, really wanting more. Even though the main character is very alien he’s someone we can sympathize with from the very beginning right to the kicker of an ending. The aliens don’t realize that the machines understand them better than they can possibly imagine and it’s a story twist that blows the concept wide-open and just begs for feature-length treatment.
Too often we see really well done shorts like this one that initially get a lot of attention, but eventually seem to fade away without anything more coming of them. Not so for R’ha and Lechowski, though, as he’s definitely gotten the attention of some Hollywood executives. He’s already being represented by IAM Entertainment and is supposedly heading to Los Angeles very soon. I don’t think it’s for a vacation.
Well-played, Kaleb Lechowski, well-played. We look forward to seeing the feature-length version of R’ha soon and may your future be a bright one.
When more news about R’ha and Lechowski become available we will definitely post it here. For now, if you want to learn more about R’ha, Kaleb Lechowski, and some of the other work he’s done, here are several links that will provide you with ample information.
R’ha Page on Facebook
T’hogar on Twitter