UW-Eau Claire alum plans to exhibit his directorial debut

‘The Vase’ set to show at Micon Theater March 18 through March 24

More stories from Alyssa Anderson

Getting Weird
December 13, 2018

UW-Eau Claire alum Chris Herriges (right), along with co-stars KariAnn Christenson and Greg Deal, enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Midwest in a scene from his directorial debut “The Vase”. Check out “The Vase” on Facebook for previews, schedules and more!

The city of Eau Claire’s claim to fame has long since been its existence as the birthplace of Bon Iver. That is, until one UW-Eau Claire alumnus chose to film his directorial debut around the North Woods region many of us call home.
“The Vase,” directed by Eau Claire alum Chris Herriges, is a witty romp which chronicles the adventures of a man (played by Herriges himself) on a journey throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota to claim his inheritance: a very expensive antique vase.
Chaos ensues when Herriges’ character runs into trouble with an archaeological firm, resulting in a wild goose chase against the backdrop of the beautiful scenery of Northwest Wisconsin and Minnesota. The film’s eccentric storyline and deadpan humor make for an undeniably compelling and unique movie-going experience.
“You can only write things you know,” Herriges said. “A lot of the material in the film comes from my own real life experiences and observances on life.”

Herriges, who graduated from Eau Claire in 1986 with a degree in business management, found his way into the world of film after appearing as an extra in a Lifetime movie.

Then, after being asked to write music for an indie movie, Herriges became inspired to create a film of his own. It wasn’t long until Herriges gathered up a film crew and got to work.

“The Vase” was filmed over the course of one summer and the film process created lifelong friendships among the tight-knit cast and crew, KariAnn Christenson, Herriges’ co-star, said.

“This movie will always be close to my heart mostly because I met my now husband, Chris, while filming it,” Christenson said. “We are now expecting our first child together, a boy, in May. So this movie experience literally changed my life, in a big way.”
After three years of writing, filming and editing, Herriges’ had finally brought his brainchild to life. “The Vase,” Herriges said, has an almost Woody Allen-esque quality with its subtle, clever humor.

Herriges, who said he still feels like a college student at heart, thinks this is a film college students will definitely enjoy, especially Eau Claire students.

“It has a British feel to it. I think audiences who appreciate that dry brand of humor will really enjoy it,” Christenson said. “It definitely has an artsy, indie feel to it but it’s not so out there that it’s bizarre.”

“The Vase” initially premiered on Dec. 13, 2015 at the Micon Theater in downtown Eau Claire but was met with such success the Micon staff decided to bring the film back to Eau Claire from March 18-24.

“We mostly brought it back because it did so well when we showed it in December, so Chris was excited to give it a week run,” Connie Olson, co-owner of the Micon Theater, said. “It’s nice to be able to support local film artists.”

In addition to its weeklong run later this month, Micon Theater plans to show the film in late April as part of a film fest, Olson said.

“It’s so cool being a graduate of UWEC,” Herriges said. “I would love for as many students as possible to come enjoy it. It’s really a film for college students.”

If you’re a fan of comedy, adventure or simply want to see your hometown on the big screen, mark your calendars for the week of March 18. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll see yourself up on the big screen, too.