My films

I have been passionate about film for nearly my entire life, and have been making original films since I was a young child. I have also used my musical background to both inform my solo work and to collaborate with others as a film composer (The Dreamland Inn, Buttercup). My score for "The Dreamland Inn' won "Best Musical Score" at the Jersey Shore Festival in 2020.

Recently, I finished two pieces -- "Orange Blossoms" and "Monologue". I am also working on several screenplays, an original storytelling podcast, and exploring rotoscope animation. Most importantly, I am working on a longer, more ambitious production that I hope to release mid-2021.

solo films


Orange Blossoms

Written, Directed and Edited by Carl Coetzee
Original Composition by Carl Coetzee

Released October 2020

I made this film for an assignment with a prompt to write a 2 minute film -- no dialogue -- in which a character makes a difficult and dramatic decision. I shot this in October 2020 with my good friends Jamie Granato and Zak Zaidi; Jamie played the lead role, while Zak was Director of Photography. In addition to directing, I played a secondary character. My dad also filled in for a role.


To achieve the 'fire' effect, Zak and I used a fire pit in my backyard, shooting extreme close-ups of the flames in high framerates at night. In post, I slowed them down and took out the background to make the flames appear much larger than they were.


Written, Directed and Edited by Carl Coetzee
Original Composition by Carl Coetzee

Released October 2020

A teenage writer deals with his fear of social and societal rejection in the only way he knows how.


I wrote this piece in May through July of 2020. I was inspired by films such as "Adaptation" and "The End of Evangelion" as I was writing, with the former inspiring the initial premise of the film and the latter inspiring the emotional tone. I finished a semi-final draft in mid-July and did several revisions (special thanks to my aunt, Natasha Mostert, who provided feedback as I was revising).

I shot the piece in early August with frequent collaborators Zak Zaidi (DoP), Aaron Razi (Production Manager), and James "Jamie" Granato (Boom Operator/General Crew). Bennett Emann and Joe Lippman acted in the lead and supporting roles, respectively. We managed to shoot the entire piece in a day in locations around Princeton, NJ.

Though both writing and shooting were variously difficult (especially the former), post-production proved the largest challenge. I had never worked with this much dialogue before and spent countless hours fine-tuning the pacing and rhythm of the piece. Composing the soundtrack was similarly difficult; my main influences were '70s instrumental music and the score from "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". I finished the piece in early November of 2020.

Special thanks to everyone involved in the production!

UF stinger 2.PNG

Unfinished symphony

Written, Directed and Edited by Carl Coetzee
Original Composition by Carl Coetzee

Released May 2019

After losing his ability to speak, a man turns to music to make his voice heard.


This film was shot in February/ March 2019 and was released in May 2019. It was later minimally recut in September 2020 and uploaded for archival/portfolio purposes. Created as part of the Advanced Media 2018/2019 course.



The dreamland inn

Written & Directed by Aaron Razi

Original Soundtrack by Carl Coetzee

Released December 19, 2019


I was brought onto this project after scoring Aaron's short film, "Buttercup", a few months prior. In addition to scoring the film, I also worked on set as a crew member when the film was shot in August 2019.

Since this is a film with less dialogue and more emphasis on visual storytelling, the score was much more critical this time around. While working on this piece, I tried to push my existing skills with more of an emphasis on a more synchronization-dependent score and experimentation with more live instrumentation. Most notably, I constructed a personal sound studio in order to record live strings; additionally, since I was the only available violinist, I employed extensive overdubbing and ultimately created a 24-member string section with only one instrumentalist.



Written & Directed by Aaron Razi

Original Soundtrack by Carl Coetzee

Released June 14, 2019

In December 2018, I was approached by Aaron Razi to make music for a project he had shot some months earlier. Though I'd never scored a film before, I had a strong musical background and at the time was exploring professional music production. Over the following six months, Aaron and I worked together to create a 25-minute original soundtrack for the film.

Making this soundtrack challenged me as a composer and a producer, and was my first significant production project. During the making of these pieces, I recorded with live guitar for the first time as well as live bass. I grew as a musician during the recording of this soundtrack-- my personal favorites in the tracklist include "Theme/Finale From Buttercup", "The Shed", "Red Marks", and "VHS Tapes".