With the 10th annual DCIFF High School Film Festival coming up on February 25th, 2023 (free and all welcome, see HERE) we checked on one of our high school alumni. Jacob Chang-Rascle’ short film, Incubus, was selected for the DCIFF High School Festival in 2016. It told the story of a boy who sets out on an amateur archaeology assignment with his dad. After he finds a mysterious key, the day takes a turn for the worse, as supernatural powers turn a pleasant afternoon into a nightmare. Jacob continues to create projects that are relatable to the audience and incorporate a significant message to convey to the public.
We were delighted to chat with Jacob Chang-Rascle as he disclosed his plans for the future and dived into the story of how his passion for cinema began!
Check out the conversation below:
DCIFF: When your film was selected for DCIFF, you were just in High School (Talk about young talent!). How do you think being a part of the HS Festival helped you in your journey?
Jacob: One of the most powerful parts about having opportunities like the DCIFF high school festival is the ability to meet and be inspired by other young filmmakers and their work. In college, and later in life, it tends to be a bit easier to surround yourself with like-minded creatives, but in high school and before, I found it to be more difficult to do so. DCIFF gives young filmmakers a great opportunity to be exposed to the work of other talented artists, and to potentially make connections with them for future collaborations.
DCIFF: We’ve seen you focus a lot on photography lately. Are you still equally interested in filmmaking or has there been a shift in interest (and if so, we would love to know why!)?
Jacob: Since I first got a camera at 7, my work has often flip flopped between emphasizing filmmaking and still photography, although I have continued to do both throughout. I just graduated from Boston University film school, however, during that time, the work I created was more photograph heavy. This year I feel myself shifting back into more filmmaking projects. I think the two complement each other well, especially because my focus in filmmaking is in cinematography. Breakthroughs in one area tend to translate well into the other.
DCIFF: You have an amazing photography collection of nature and landscapes. What about this space makes your heart jump a beat?
Jacob: Landscape photography has grown into one of my greatest creative outlets over the last few years. I love to go hiking and backpacking, seeking solitude in wilderness areas, and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of trying to translate these experiences into a photo or set of photos that truly do it justice. So many factors in this kind of photography are out of my control, especially when it comes to weather and lighting, so there are few things more fulfilling to me than when all of these factors come together to create both a beautiful memory and photo.
DCIFF: We are continuing to host our annual High School Competitions. We would love to know what was your favorite experience during the event in 2016?
Jacob: One of the things I remember most clearly from DCIFF was having to answer a few questions and explain my process following the screening of the short film. At the time, this was a little daunting, but I think it’s super beneficial and important for artists to get used to articulating their perspectives on their art from a young age.
DCIFF: Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect from you in the coming future?
Jacob: Currently, I am working as a freelance photographer and filmmaker in Boston. A few current projects that excite me most in the upcoming year include finishing a documentary filmed in Vietnam about a Vietnamese adoptee, continuing the process of creating a production collective in the Boston/NYC area with other local creatives, and traveling to Alaska to work on a personal book project documenting the world’s most spectacular remaining coastal wildernesses.
To stay up to date with my work, please find me at jacobchangrascle.com and Instagram @jacobchangphoto
To catch the 2023 DCIFF High School Festival in downtown Washington DC, details here.