In his three years at Ross, senior Lang Cheng has written, directed, and produced an impressive 16 films. On December 3, Gone, Lang’s Alaskan documentary, opened the 2015 Hamptons Take 2 Film Festival. Much of Lang’s documentary work has been inspired by his travels and human encounters on Field Academy trips. This past winter, when Lang traveled to Alaska with the Fire and Ice Field Academy course, he met Jamie Milliken, the dog sled racer who provides both the subject and compelling narration for Gone. In only 20 days, Lang turned six hours of striking footage into this short film profiling Milliken and the fragility of this unique livelihood, which is threatened by climate change.
With the encouragement of Media teacher Ivan Salcedo, Lang submitted his Gone for consideration in the student category of the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival. Lang was ecstatic when the submission—his first—was selected. Gone premiered as part of the festival’s Young Voices Program, a significant platform for student cinematographers. It was shown along with work from students in the Springs and Sag Harbor school districts. Following the screening, Lang participated in an onstage Q&A moderated by filmmaker Roger Sherman.
Even though Lang doesn’t call himself a movie buff, he is intent on following his passion and pursuing a career in the film industry. When asked where he gets his ideas, Lang says he’s inspired by his own imaginations and fantasies. He also credits the many friends he has made at Ross for their contributions to realizing his final products. Lang typically casts friends and faculty for his projects. For this reason, he admits a preference for shooting scripted films, although his talent for documentaries is evidenced in Gone. Lang hopes to attend New York University next fall, where he can study film and develop his talents even more.