Self Contained Enclosure

Over the course of an evening, young couple Lauren and Jim tend to the daily routines that support and sustain them.

  • Nathan Krauss
  • Nathan Krauss
  • Nathan Krauss
  • Allie Johnson
  • Taylor Petracek
  • Maya Smoot
    Key Cast
  • Taylor Petracek
    Key Cast
    Law and Order: SVU; FBI: Most Wanted
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 15, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    13,300 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Nathan Krauss

Nathan Krauss lives in Brooklyn, NY and works as a DoP and Gaffer. He has a decade of experience freelancing in film production across NY and LA on feature films, TV, commercials, and documentaries. His cinematography work includes The Victorias (dir. Ethan Fuirst), a documentary jury prize winner at the 2022 Aspen Shortsfest and acquired by The New Yorker magazine. Outside of work, Nathan loves to play board games and enjoys reading science fiction. Self Contained Enclosure is his directorial debut.

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Director Statement

Life in our modern world takes its toll. Work can be a grind, fulfillment is elusive, and the broader political and global climates are increasingly fraught with tension. I don’t think it’s surprising that many of us are more often seeking out art that uplifts us. In creating Self Contained Enclosure, it was my goal to build a nice world. I wanted it to feel like a hug. I endeavored to create something that my 20-something and 30-something year old peers could see their own experiences reflected in and celebrated, as many of us struggle to balance careers, family, finances and passions. It’s clear to me that daily routines shape our lives just as much, if not more, than any single accomplishment or milestone that looks good on paper. Just as a healthy layer of topsoil provides the necessary base for roots to grow, the creature comforts of home and the support of our loved ones can provide us with that foundational layer from which all else is possible.

Self Contained Enclosure depicts a healthy, functioning relationship between two people who support each other and deal with real-life issues regarding money worries, job struggles, and their commitment to one another and leaves behind the tired narrative of a couple growing frustrated or spiteful with each other. It was important to me in this film that the relationship not become the source of conflict. Rather, I felt it pertinent to showcase a relationship that models teamwork as the basis for two people tackling life’s obstacles together.

The film begins and ends by featuring an enclosed aquatic ecosystem, which is a homemade aquarium that displays a simple ecological community. In this jar, shrimp and algae continuously recycle their waste as nutrients for the other, forming a closed loop. No other resources are added to this equation beyond sunlight and the occasional mix of gasses. This metaphor is a focal point for the film, which draws a parallel between this enclosed ecosphere and the human ecosystem of Lauren and Jim’s home. Each system is sustainable in its way, containing within itself all of the resources needed to support life without relying on much from the world beyond.