“Robin Goes Outside” Short Film

An expressionistic, frenetic comedy filmmaking thesis in film studies for Wesleyan's College of Film and the Moving Image.

Project Type
Wesleyan student thesis production
9 months (Sep 2019–May 2020)

My Roles
Director, Editor, Writer, Producer, VFX & Color editing, Music supervisor
Final Draft, Notion, StudioBinder, Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro

See credits below


Wesleyan’s film studies major tends to focus more on reading, writing, and analyzing than hands-on filmmaking, but I was among 21 film seniors who each directed a short film for our respective theses.

In the first semester of the thesis seminar, we received an overview of all stages of digital film production while writing and revising our screenplays. We shot our films over two weekends in the fall, then spent our spring semester in post-production and editing.

The thesis films were screened to a jury of 5 professors unaffiliated with the productions, including film scholar and American Film Institute board emeritus Jeanine Basinger, as well as 3 outsiders from Wesleyan’s professional filmmaking network whose identities were kept anonymous to students.

I’m fond of stories with bizarre, severe situations that bring out a character’s inner problems. This is where Krisha & Punch-Drunk Love influenced Robin Goes Outside. In Krisha, a dysfunctional family thanksgiving reuinon feels tumultuous and chaotic with a whirling and spinning camera. In Punch-Drunk Love, abstract color interludes and an unpredictable soundscape make us feel as unnerved and sensitive as the film’s anxious protagonist. I wanted to express Robin’s world with some of that same visual language.

I received honors and the Frank Capra Prize “for creating a senior film that is fully cinematic and uses the tools of filmmaking at the highest level,” and for making the “best film to exemplify Capra's skill in telling a human story that contains both humor and pathos.”


Writer / Director / Editor
Nathan Cheng

Maggie Rothberg, Annabel Asher, Alvaro Chavez, Sanidhya Sharma, and Liam Caplan

Ginger Hutchinson, Jacob Byers, and Sierra Falconer

Director of Photography
Cobey Arenal

Assistant Camera
Julien Vion

Jolie Zhang

Key Grip
Dustin Morris  

Boom Operators
Eiji Frey, Aryan Vavila

Claire Moskowitz, Ruby Rechler

Production Assistants
Clara Coggiano, Maia Rubin, Eiji Frey

VFX & Color Editor
Nathan Cheng

Music & Sound Mixer
Aryan Vavila

Aryan Vavila, Jon Brion, Daniel Lopatin

Story Supervisors
Mirko Rucnov, Jacob Byers, Ginger Hutchinson, Sierra Falconer

Nathan Cheng

Open to all forms of collaboration.
︎︎︎ Reach out at n@nathancheng.work

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