From the first page on I was thrilled by the book series „The Hunger Games“. The post-apocalyptic world of former North America and its cruel customs immediately mesmerized me. Even then, in early 2011, I wanted to make a spin-off of the book series. This was primarily because of my enthusiasm for the world created by Suzanne Collins, and secondarily because the original movies disappointed me. So I started writing. In my Screenplay, Cato from District Two was the lead. I was interested in the aspect that this young man was drilled to kill all his life. And now he was ready to execute everyone else. But while writing I completely lost the time frame out of sight and thus wrote a full-length movie. Since shooting this, due to lack of funds, it was unfortunately not possible I put the screenplay in my drawer and kinda forgot about it.
However, a few years later at the beginning of 2016, the desire to write something about the Panem Universe seized me again. So I decided to write about the Hunger Games in another year. The screenplay was practically written by itself and quickly cast and crew were found. This was the first movie I shot with Marco Ziegler. He became the director of photography and was from then on indispensable for all upcoming projects. Whether as an assistant director, gaffer or IT specialist – Marco is always there to help!
„Dead Hearts“ was also the first „real“ short film with a larger crew produced by BlackRiverProduction. The company was founded in January 2014 by a classmate and me. After shooting a few small advertisings and image films the following year, we hardly produced a film in 2015. In 2016, however, we finally wanted to do something bigger and „Dead Hearts“ seemed to be perfect for that. So this was the first short film for which we cast several actors and crewmembers.
The film was shot in a forest in the greater Stuttgart area. Since it was February the days were cold and rainy. Another challenge was the lack of any warm-up or garaging. So we spent a total of four days in the wet cold forest. Nevertheless, the shoot was generally good. Except for some minor incidents, such as the failure of batteries due to the freezing temperatures, we did not stop and we were able to keep the schedule (at least as much as the usual set chaos allowed).
This movie was a very important experience for me. For the first time, I was working with a larger crew. It was fun and I loved working with the various departments. So this project especially confirmed to me that writing and directing films is exactly what I want to do!
Cast and Crew:
Lucy – Hannah Buhr
Darren – Alexander Köhler
Maggie – Sabrina Peters
Lauren – Lena Kächele
Josh – Robin Mall
District 6 Tribute – Mara Schwartekopp
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Written and Directed by Emma Rosa Katharina Sauter
Director of Photography – Marco Ziegler
Sound – Alexandra Rubensdörffer
Set Design – Anna Ziener
Editors – Emma Sauter und Hannah Buhr
Produced by BlackRiverProduction