„Ein ungewöhnliches Treffen“ („An Unusual Meeting“) was created as a 72-hour project for the university application of a friend at the Film Akademie in Ludwigsburg. Lucas Maibaum, whom I met at the shooting of „Morgen kommt ein neuer Tag“ („Morning Comes a New Day“), had applied for the course of studies as a Director of Photography and was admitted by the Film Akademie to the further application process. The 72-hour project works as follows: Applicants will be given a topic on Friday evening and will have to submit a short film on the following Monday (exactly 72 hours later). While shooting „Morgen kommt ein neuer Tag“ Luc asked me if I would like to do this project with him and I immediately said yes.
Since, of course, neither topic nor anything else was known in advance, we initially went location scouting „blind“. We were looking for a location that was versatile and could be used for many different scenarios. Quickly we decided on an old, cold-damp vaulted basement. Also in advance, we set Panam Emmanuel Bateman, whom Luc knew from a photoshoot, as the lead actor. The crew was joined by Phillip Kozuch as gaffer, Melissa Münch as sound engineer and 1st AC Niklas Kern.
The entire Friday we waited eagerly for our topic and when we finally got the theme we immediately started to brainstorm. Quickly we developed a story around the topic „An unusual meeting“ in which a young man who suffers from the death of his girlfriend, meets himself in his mind and draws new strength from it. Spontaneously I imagined an abstract experimental film and Luc immediately liked the idea as well. It was clear to both of us that this was his project and his application exam, but he got me to help him with the scriptwriting and directing because he trusted me and my creative decisions, so I was immensely glad we were brainstorming on the same notion. At that time I had not made an experimental film for a long time and could hardly wait to finally direct a different film again.
We started shooting the same night. At an abandoned ruin and a bridge in the park, we shot our first scenes. It was a cold spring night and Panam walked barefoot over the way too cold ground – without complaining once. This was one of the projects where I learned to appreciate a small crew. Not that I don’t like to shoot with a large crew in which there are enough people for each department, but on these days I realized once again that sometimes less can not be more. I was able to work intensively with Panam, who for most of the shoot was our only actor. Because there was only the technology department beside us, we were often free in our scheduling. We talked for a long time about emotions and Panam showed me a lot of trust. That allowed us to dive into the depths of his character’s psyche and bring it to life realistically and tangibly.
The next morning we talked again about the story. There was something about it now after we had slept over it one night that just didn’t work perfectly. Finally, we changed some elements and decided not to focus on the inner encounter of the main character with himself, but to lay that with his dead girlfriend at the grave. For the next two days, we shot many hours every day and on Sunday night I fell completely exhausted into my bed.
On Monday morning I drove to Lucs office, where he had been editing all morning. We discussed the film again and changed some little things before finally holding the final version in our hands. I think, after such a project, the conclusion is often similar: of course there a things that could be even better and even more perfect if there would have been more time. And yet all involved, but especially Luc and I were satisfied with our project. I just think sometimes less is just more and the experience I gained during this shooting and especially the amazing outcome was definitely worth the hard work!
Cast and Crew:
Protagonist – Panam Emmanuel Bateman
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Written and Directed by Emma Rosa Katharina Sauter
Director of Photography and Screenplay – Lucas Maibaum
1st AC – Niklas Kern
Gaffer – Phillip Kozuch
Electrician – Simon Schweizer
Sound Design – Melissa Münch
We would like to thank all our sponsors:
Sevencity GmbH, Camera Corner and Kamerapool!