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  • Travis Lee Ratcliff


Directorial notes: May, 2020.

We filmed this project in the summer of 2019.

Looking back now on those humid summer days exploring the forests and swamps of east Texas feels like a dream from a lifetime ago.

We could never have anticipated the pandemic that would sweep across the world, the summer of cultural reckoning, and the constant era of heartbreak we have since lived through.

Watching this film now, two years after it was filmed and five years after it was written, I can’t believe how devastatingly relevant and true to our present reality the world we created feels.

When we set out to make this film we wanted to explore a world that was fragile, dangerous, transformed, hostile and beautiful - over the last year, we have all lived through an experience of a world that is all those things and more.

I have always believed that the pursuit of cinema is a kind of spiritual seeking - a search for truth beneath the surface of reality through stories and images. In making this film, we challenged ourselves to build a new world out of infrared light, and to go deeper into the subjective realities of our characters.

It took years for us to untangle this film from the webs of infrared light we captured, but I think in doing so we were gifted the challenge of digging far deeper beneath the spectrum of the visible. It was a process that I can only describe as discovering a new way of seeing.

I believe that if you stare at any image long enough, it can begin to transform the world outside the frame. Soon, it spills over and across your whole reality.

As we spent years reckoning ourselves against the veil of invisible light, we found our story deepening. Our grasp on cinema, it seemed, was changing. For us, it became a journey that will inform all other journeys.

When I look back now and think about Lost Continents I think about a famous proverb from philosopher Zhuangzi:

“I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?”

Filmed with optical infrared in East Texas, Summer of 2019.

Production Company: MOVEMENT HOUSE

Written & Directed by Travis Lee Ratcliff

Cinematography by Brody Carmichael

Produced by Katherine Heim, Brody Carmichael, Travis Lee Ratcliff

Creative Producer: Emily Basma

Vashti - Jariah Johnson

Isabella - Alexandria Payne

Faceless Man - Mike Scarlett

River Beings: Joella Phillips, Toni House, Ramryn Williams,

Jade Ngure
Casting by Michael Druck

Additional Casting by Roni Hummel & Kina Bale-Reed

Edited by Travis Lee Ratcliff

Sound Design & Mixing by Johnny Marshall

Color grading by Brandon Thomas & TBD Post

Original Score by Sam Greene

1st AD: Travis Petosa

Production Co-ordinator: Raven Bosch, Tanner Goheen

Script Supervisor: Paul Vance

Location Manager: Ron Hollomon

1st AC: Emily Basma

2nd AC: Sarah Jones, Erin Maynwaring

Key Grip: Tanner Goheen

Additional Grip: Nick Harral & Stephen Laughrun

Swing: Evan Papadakis

Gaffer: Eric Dickinson

Location Sound Mixer: Robbie Cluck

Set Dresser: Rachel Immaraj

Art Department Assistants: Rachel Immaraj, Erin O’Brien, Emily Basma, Kathryn Bailey, Sean Muldrow

Costumer: Adrienne Greenblat, Emily Basma

Make-up Artists: Brooke Wilson, Jason Vines

On Set Photographer: Peyton Frank

Production Assistants: Carol Murrah, Alejandro Rios, Austin Waybright, Alex Curnutt

Special Thanks: Northeast Texas Film Commission, Ron Hollomon, Katie Heim, Diamond Don, Louis Hardt, Peyton Anne Frank, Kathryn Bailey, Sean Muldrow, Emily Basma, Erin O’Brien, Eric Dickinson, Susan Ratcliff & Diana Hickman, Louis Hardt, Ebony Brown, McGarity’s Restaurant and Saloon, Auntie Skinner’s Riverboat Club, MPS, Aduro, Austin Film Society, New Republic Studios

Filmed on the Varicam LT with the Angenieux Optimo Ultra 12x Zoom


director's notes


travis lee ratcliff

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