Ich sitze in Stettin und bin fasziniert. Wie sich – nur durch ein Überschreiten einer Ländergrenze – Ambiente, Atmosphäre; Stadtbilder ändern. Besonders bizarr ist dies bei Stettin, da die Stadt bis 1945 ja deutsch war, und sich demnach vom Stadtbild her nicht so sehr von Städten in Deutschland unterscheiden dürfte. Zur genauen Geschichte des Wiederaufbaus kann ich wenig sagen; ihm sind natürlich viele sozialistisch angehauchte Betongebäude im Stadtbild zu “verdanken”; aber auch ehemals deutsche Gebäude – selbst aufwändig renovierte – fühlen sich beim Betrachten für mich als Teil einer anderen Kultur an. Liegt es an der Umgebung, ist meine Wahrnehmung nur durch die Erwartungshaltung “ich bin in einem anderen Land!” “eingefärbt”? Continue reading
Category Archives: Observations
Real Life Comedy, Part 2
One strange real-life slapstick moment I had was on a flight from Vancouver to Frankfurt in April 2012 after I had visited Uwe Boll to talk and watch him filming his then most recent film Bailout. Continue reading
How to start out as a filmmaker
During the past days, I re-organized the archive of my films, going through the raw material of my very first projects I did as a teenager. To me, it was fascinating and brought back a lot of memories of a time when a few friends and I just did every goofy thing on our mind to make weird little comedy films. Back then, we just wanted to do fun films and did not care how “professional” they looked. The “sets” certainly were not professional by any standard. A guy with a camera (not even an external microphone), a few actors making up lines on the spot based on a short script while I directed the scenes… Yet, I probably learned all basics about filmmaking during that time of unlimited experimentation. We did not think of us as “filmmakers” (meaning we didn’t really think of us and our image); we simply were some friends who wanted to create films and enjoyed making them; we just wanted to create the result and didn’t particularly care about the means to get there, how “professional” or “standardized” they were. A time of experimenting and learning.
There is an issue Continue reading
Real Life Comedy
Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton and Mr. Bean are some of the protagonists of my favorite comedic films. Often, in my daily life, I observe my surroundings, wondering what would happen if they were “mixed up” in slapstick comedy style. Many ideas I thus develop end up in my films. Very often, one of my favorite actors – Sebastian B. – has portrayed my alter ego, being lost in strange, slightly twisted situations. For example, the arts performance scene in Timeless, which I based on a rather bland real life arts performance I observed sometime in 2013… And which becomes a chaotic, funny mess in the film.
But, a while ago, I was in a situation that I will not have to change the slightest bit to put into a film. Continue reading
Plastic Bags and Winter Coats
While staying in Rome, Italy in August 2013, I discovered a tactic to be confused with a native Roman as a tourist: Carry a plastic-bag with some groceries with you. This sounds strange, but it seems to work, as I found out by accident: I had gone on a daytrip to explore Pompeij early in the morning, and when driving back to Rome in the afternoon, I had bought a big bottle of water at a rest stop, and they had put it in a white plastic bag. When the bus then dropped me off close to the hotel, I realized that I was hungry and started walking down Via Veneto with my bag. Now, the previous days, I had often walked the same street and tried to be not noticed as a tourist, but to no avail: Even though I talked to people only in my best Italian (which, frankly, still has a strong accent), they always responded in English. Very often when I passed restaurants, the waiters outside would approach me: “Good evening, mister. Want something to eat…” My outfit was as neutral as possible – black T-Shirt and black pants – so that couldn’t have been the reason. Continue reading