Experiencing Interruptions?


LIFE IN KODACHROME is the story of Carey Carpenter, an accomplished high-school senior who struggles to change the career path chosen for him in order to pursue his dream of racing hot rods. In October 1957, Carey is at the drive-in with his best friends waiting for a movie to begin when the newsreel footage announces that the Russians have just launched Sputnik 1 into orbit. It is the Dawn of the Space Age. And it couldn't be a better time for those living in Southern California and working for one of the big three – Lockheed, Northrop, and Douglas – unless of course your passion is to design and build hot rod cars amongst the likes of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, George Barris, and Von Dutch.

  • Dan Hertzog
  • Todd Kniss
  • Dan Hertzog
  • Todd Kniss
  • Taylor Cross
    Key Cast
    "Carey Carpenter"
  • Sarah Halstead
    Key Cast
    "Jean Carpenter"
  • Joe Lowry
    Key Cast
    "Robert Carpenter"
  • Corey Craig
    Key Cast
    "Mark Carpenter"
  • Teagan Sirset
    Key Cast
    "Kim Carpenter"
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Family, Drama
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 8 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 5, 2016
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • FilmMakers Global Trailer Festival
    Hollywood, CA
    United States
    November 1, 2016
    Grand Prize Winning Trailer
Director Biography - Dan Hertzog

Dan Hertzog graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts in May 1991 with a BA in Cinema-Television Production. From there, he rapidly worked his way up from a production assistant in LA to an ad agency producer in New York City. It was at his first staff job with Ogilvy & Mather in New York that he also made a name for himself as a director/dp, shooting first-rate test spots for next to no money.

He moved back to Los Angeles in January 1996 only to find himself crisscrossing the country countless times to freelance at a handful of ad agencies, including FCB, Bates USA, Grey, and Ogilvy. While continuing to produce tv commercials, he also found work shooting and directing spots through his production company, In the Wee hours.

Then, after more than ten years in the ad industry, Dan returned to the world-renowned AFI Conservatory to immerse himself in the study of more narrative, visual storytelling. He went on to receive his MFA in Cinematography from the American Film Institute in December 2004. His AFI thesis film, THE PASSAGE OF MRS. CALABASH, was later honored for Artistic Achievement in Cinematography at the 2006 Emerging Cinematographer Awards.

After graduating, Dan continued to occasionally freelance as a senior and then executive producer at Ogilvy & Mather in LA. His many years of hands-on experience in both production and post-production eventually led to stints consulting for ad agencies interested in building out their in-house production capabilities; shooting and directing tv commercials and web content for numerous brands along the way.

Passionate about narrative filmmaking, Dan traveled to Indonesia in 2014 to lens the dramatic short EARTHBOUND for writer/director Robin Shou (MORTAL KOMBAT). He was recognized again by the International Cinematographers Guild for his work on that collaboration at the 2016 Emerging Cinematographer Awards.

He has since collected a variety of awards as the director/dp behind the thought-provoking teaser for his 2049 sci-fi concept THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC, the pilot presentation for the 1950s family drama LIFE IN KODACHROME, the inspirational drama THE SNOW IS ALWAYS WHITER, and, most recently, the romantic comedy DATING AUDREY.

As a working commercial director/dp specializing in visual storytelling, natural dialogue, and subtle humor, Dan is eager to continue his ventures in narrative work with the epic historical drama THE FRIES REBELLION followed by the coming-of-age thriller AU PAIR GIRL next.

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Director Statement

1957. Long Beach, California. The Definition of the American Dream.

Southern California and Kodachrome slide photography came of age at the same time. Master-planned communities, fantasy theme parks, and the spirited car culture that defined the region also defined the American dream. Yet underneath the richness of color, and depth of light and shadow, lies another story in every American home.

Personally, I like to think that I live life collecting stories for my grandchildren. Why? Because stories are what move us emotionally. They tie us to our past, giving us direction for the future. In looking back at our collective past, there is a surprising relevance with the issues our society still faces today – bullyism, racism, adultery, violence, and so on.

It is in sharing this story set in the 1950s that we will continue to spur our audience to think, reflect on modern times, and grow as a society. Today more than ever, we must work to bridge the gaps separating humanity's many disparate cultures by creating moving images with some socially redeeming value.

Travel back into the living room and backyard of one American family. This is life. Life in Kodachrome.