Private Project


After Sean’s wife is killed in a car accident, an ominous corporation proposes an experimental procedure to transfer her memories, personality, and consciousness into another form. Sean agrees to play guinea pig and returns home to find a computer program whose behavior is eerily reminiscent of the deceased Diane.

Reunited, and interacting through video monitors installed throughout his home, Sean attempts to recreate his past life with this new entity. “Diane’s” existence is limited to the confines of the screens’ shifting visual environments: the settings sometimes mirror rooms in the house, and at other times mimic a nostalgic memory together.

At first skeptical, Sean soon notices details in Diane’s personality that suggest a real empathy and cognizance. Sean must now determine how much of his wife has transferred to this new technology, and whether a relationship based solely on memories can lead to any sustained happiness. He is faced with the ultimate dilemma: to hold on to Diane at any cost or to accept her death and move on in the face of tragedy.

  • Alec Baer
  • Alec Baer
    The Hunted, The Afterglow
  • Alec Baer
  • Chris Jones
    Trash, Manufactured
  • Frank Cohen
  • Adam Maksoud
  • Kyle Dondlinger
    Key Cast
  • Bo Janicic
    Key Cast
  • Victoria Van Winkle
    Key Cast
  • Paul Hird
    Key Cast
  • Megan Stacey
    Director of Photography
  • Julian Javor
  • Marisa Stelly
    Production Design
  • Stefan Richter
    Sound Supervisor
  • Megan Lauchner
  • Breezy Nairn
  • Daniel Kaumpungan
    Assistant Director
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Sci-Fi, Drama, Surrealism
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes 59 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 19, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    RED, Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Alec Baer

Alec Baer is a director, editor, and writer based in Los Angeles, California. Passionate about film from a young age, Alec pursued his ambitions when he attended San Francisco State University, followed by attaining a Master of Fine Arts degree from the distinguished School of Film and Television at Loyola Marymount University. He has directed a number of shorts, commercials, and sports news packages. These include short films The Hunted and The Afterglow, which have played in festivals internationally and taken numerous awards.

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Director Statement

The pain of loss is universal. And, like all before me, I’ve experienced the sting of losing someone close: the terrifying sense that there is no way to stifle the pain, to fill that hole in your life. This struggle for catharsis, the difficulty of moving on from the past, is the central theme I wanted to explore in Diane. Sean is a character who will do anything to fill that void. He ultimately turns to technology, becoming a test subject for a corporation dangerously skirting ethical lines.

They ask him, “What if we could bring her back? Not in body, but in mind? What if we could replicate everything you loved about her: her personality, her memories, her laugh, her temper?” Who wouldn’t be tempted by the potential reunion with a loved one? An opportunity to seemingly cheat death; to keep them in your everyday life. Even if it is just a shadow of the real person, it makes it possible to pretend.

This is a story of a man who can’t confront the pain of his wife’s death, so he obsessively creates a world where he can deny it ever happened. It is his sole comfort, but also an element that numbs him and separates him from the real world. Sean struggles with whether this new entity is actually “Diane”. And if it isn’t, does it really matter to him? This leads to questions of how someone’s psyche would be affected by a life of memories, perpetually reliving a relationship that has long since ended.
But the bigger question is whether this “miracle” of technology is a potential coping mechanism, or strictly an enabler of denial.