Filmmaker Goes Both Viral and Silent

Kai Patterson (US’13, C’18) has been shooting and splicing his way across the galaxy and through time with two recent sci-fi film projects that have attracted worldwide attention.

The Obi-Wan Kenobi Cut

Patterson is a young filmmaker living in Los Angeles, California, who took it upon himself to re-edit Disney’s recent addition to the Star Wars franchise—Obi-Wan Kenobi—from a six-part series down to a two-and-a-half hour movie. “The Obi-Wan Kenobi series should have been a movie, and I have proof,” Patterson said in a social-media post.

Patterson said that his edit is simply a “fan cut.” He has no formal connection to Disney, and he encouraged viewers to have a Disney+ subscription before watching the shorter version, which he posted on his website. After making a quick TikTok post asking if people wanted to see “The Patterson Cut,” the movie version went viral with nearly 2 million views and counting. The fan cut can only be viewed on Patterson’s website.

Over the Moon and Out of This World

Patterson also collaborated with his mother, Principia Upper School drama teacher Liesl Ehmke (C’89), and her Theatre Arts students to create a short silent movie—Over the Moon and Out of This World, which is the eighth silent film Patterson and his mother have collaborated on with Ehmke’s Upper School theatre arts classes. This comedic, sci-fi short film will be included in the Sozo Bear Film Festival in Dahlonenga, Georgia, on August 19, 2022.

In this black-and-white silent film, two World War II pilots and a paratrooper are caught up in the antics of a malfunctioning alien saucer as its flustered crew tries to get back home to Saturn. Patterson plays with time in the film, mixing WWII with both a 1950s aesthetic and the golden age of silent movies (the 1910s and 1920s). The film features recent Upper School graduates Anouk Lingk, Hannah Wymer, and Goodluck Ajeh, as well as returning juniors Savannah King and Quinna McCarty. The movie was filmed on location at the National Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood, Missouri, and included an actual WWII-era C-47A aircraft known as “Gooney Bird.”

Patterson at Principia

Patterson got an early look at working behind the cameras from his father—David Patterson (US’83, C’87) who is a television news manager in Hawaii—and started making his own films at the age of five.

At Principia, Patterson took what video courses were offered at the time, but continued to follow his passion outside of class.

“Some of my fondest memories of filmmaking have been at Principia. During my senior year, I was one of the leads in the production of Singin’ in the Rain, directed by my mother. But I also filmed and edited a few short video vignettes that were featured in the play. Hearing hundreds of people reacting to something I created was quite the treat!” Patterson said. “I wanted to keep up that momentum for my senior project, which was creating a trailer for a movie script I had written about a boy who creates an interdimensional portal in his backyard.”

“When I went to the College, I tried to involve myself in any film projects that were happening. From filming campus events for Principia’s Media Services, to co-directing the Film Club, and collaborating on silent films with my mother, I definitely kept myself busy. One of my proudest accomplishments at Principia was winning Best Picture at the Annual Principia Film Festival multiple times,” he said.

For more information about Patterson’s work and to watch his films, visit https://www.kaipattersonfilms.com.