„Toter Passagier“ („Dead Passenger“) was created as my second entry for the Subway film competition „Die goldene Orange“. After being nominated in 2015, I wanted to try it again. This time, however, with a shorter work, full of black humor and a brilliant punch line.
The idea was simple: A young couple gets stuck in traffic. The tension between them is intense and caused by their dead, unwanted passenger!
We were shooting in Ehningen, a small city nearby Stuttgart, where we did set up a traffic loaded street. Several extras acted as bored and annoyed drivers. Once again Marco Ziegler was my director of photography. We wanted to get done with only one day of shooting. Actually, we planned for a second day which due to a misunderstanding was canceled in pre-production.
While writing the screenplay I staged the final scene on a platform at a train station. The two protagonists were supposed to be sitting on a bench. A camera move would bring the plastic-wrapped corpse under the bench to the frame. As in the previous year, I applied to shoot on the platform – but this year it was rejected. And for an absolutely absurd reason: The final scene contained, as described above, a body wrapped in garbage bags. So I described the scene as required to the responsible train company and sent them the script. But the shooting was not approved for us, because: the company was convinced that we wanted to hush up or commit a crime with this filming. Moreover, they found that the black humor did not match their image which disqualified us from the festival.
But we did not let that stop us. We were still determined to shoot that scene. So we went to the station Ehningen and shot with a small, inconspicuous team. Never before had I done such a crazy scene! Afterward, the entire crew ran from the platform back to the nearby parking lot. Laughing and completely out of breath we drove back to Stuttgart.
Cast and Crew:
Her – Hannah Buhr
Him – Finn Steiner
Corpse – Alexandra Rubensdörffer
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Written and Directed by Emma Rosa Katharina Sauter
Director of Photography – Marco Ziegler
Sound – Alexandra Rubensdörffer
Hair and Make Up – Anika Alber
Editors – Emma Sauter und Hannah Buhr
Produced by BlackRiverProduction