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Demo reel and homepage update

I now have a demo reel (finally!). Actually I could add the word “again”, because this is not my first reel. However, the last one is from 2007, and since a lot has happened since then, it was time for something new.

Now I’ve sat down to edit a film with footage from some of the recent projects. The emphasis is on the images in tune with the music, a selection of my work as a cinematographer and filmmaker. The whole film was put into 90 seconds, which you can watch here:

 

 

In the same step, I also slimmed down the whole homepage, adjusted some texts and changed the colors a bit. And I just couldn’t help myself but to add a (slightly modified) movie quote on the “About me” page 😉

Glasfaser Ausbau in Büttgen

We did it!

Last week the film, which was meant to convince the people of Büttgen of fiber internet, was released. The press reported about it and many people saw and shared it on various channels. And lo and behold: we are getting fiber in Büttgen! The power of moving images?

The facts: for a demand survey to be successful, 40 % of all households had to sign a contract. After several weeks of an ongoing demand survey and increasingly slow progress, the result for Büttgen was 30% on the closing date. Fortunately, there was an extension of almost 5 weeks, but no more figures were communicated. if progress had continued to be so sluggish, the demand survey wouldn’t have been successful in any case. so last week the film was released, and then, just under a week before the new deadline, a successful demand survey is announced.

Only the provider Deutsche Glasfaser will know whether the film was decisive or not. But it certainly played its part.

Highspeed und Teamgeist - Gemeinsam für Glasfaser

Highspeed and team spirit

Some time ago we moved “into the countryside”. There are many advantages here (especially at the current time) compared to Cologne, but especially one big disadvantage: extremely slow internet connection. The Telekom website falsely shows a speed of 50 Mbit for our address, which would have been slow, but at least somehow tolerable. however, it turned out that a staggering speed of only 16 Mbit is available. In the meantime, DSL has been canceled thanks to an unlimited LTE rate plan (ca. 200 Mbit). But for that price, we could have gigabit internet via fiber instead.

And now the time has come: a demand survey for fiber internet in Büttgen is currently being conducted, but it is proceeding at a relatively slow pace. The need for fiber is not as great for everyone as it is for us in the area here, since for example there is gigabit cable internet in the village center. Hardly anyone there wants fiber, although there are still many arguments in favor of it. In addition, the statement “I don’t need that, what I have is enough for me” is heard very often, especially here with a very high average age.

So I decided to make a film. I sat down (digitally) with writer and director Patrick Jäschke and we developed a script. Shortly after, I was approached by a representative of the city. The budget was as small as the local bandwidth, but my personal urge for faster internet access was as big as the bandwidth of gigabit fiber. And so it happened that I made the official film about the fiber rollout in Büttgen. Patrick and I developed a concept according to the new circumstances, which deals with one of Büttgen’s passions: cycling. Cycling is deeply rooted here.

The Braunsmühle in Büttgen. This is how pretty the colors of light actually was on location.
The Braunsmühle in Büttgen. This is how pretty the colors of light actually was on location.

Via cycling, analogies are built up to the benefit and common cause for fiber internet. The film is not meant to explain or convince factually. Rather, it is about telling stories. The goal is to evoke emotions so that even people who are not originally interested in switching to fiber, will watch the film because of the people portrayed, the metaphors and thus the messages are nevertheless being communicated. Explanatory films or pure advertising are probably of no interest to them.

The shoot, among other things, in the cycling hall (the Sportforum Büttgen) took place with some well-known Büttgen personalities. Even though we weren’t so lucky with the weather on the second day of shooting, it was fantastic on the day of the shoot for the scenic shots and I was able to capture some very atmospheric pictures. I even had to take out some of the orange in color correction on the shot with the mill, otherwise it would have looked too artificial and no one would have believed that I didn’t turn up the colors. It was indeed such a lovely orange on location.

The result is a film called: “Highspeed and team spirit”, as usual in 4K and with German and English subtitles (the film is embedded from my YouTube account, the film on the city’s page can be found here):

Bürgermeisterin Ursula Baum

The new mayor – in English

The regional elections in North Rhine-Westphalia are over and here in Kaarst, one of the two candidates, for whom I made a cinematic portrait, was elected mayor. Subsequently, I made another short film for the newly elected mayor, in which she gives a short speech.

Once again, the film is available in 4k in a 19:9 format with German and English subtitles – and with English voiceover. This time I’m not testing my equipment, but a voiceover in English, which is placed on top of the German audio track.

 

Here the film in German:

 

And here in English:

Cinematic portraits from Kaarst with new equipment

After a long, long time there is a blog post on this page again, after I was able to take care of only games.film webwise. space.games.film is now in good hands in the games.film shop and on YouTube, and since we are currently not making any new films with games.film, I have a little bit more time for this page again.

Just at the beginning of the year I bought new equipment – which subsequently was, of course, unused most of the time. So what else can you do? Buy more equipment! Recently I invested in a new camera, among other things. As a test project I wanted to make a film that had a certain relevance to it and would give me the proper motivation.

Since at that time the mayoral elections were only about two months away and one might be more likely to get heard to in a relatively small municipality, I made it my task to write to the (by then) four candidates for the mayor’s office and make the same offer of a short cinematic portrait to all of them. My conditions for this were: complete creative freedom and no election advertising or mention of political parties allowed in the films, as I wanted to show an exclusively private picture of the individuals, who applied for this position. With these films I would like to give an insight into their personalities, because after all, the election for mayor is an election of an individual. Ursula Baum and Nina Lennhof responded quickly and I could literally feel their enthusiasm for my offer, which was of course a great precondition for the films. The other two candidates responded with rejections and a fifth candidate entered the race much later.

The tight schedules of the two combined with extremely inconsistent weather made planning the shoots difficult, but thanks to their flexibility we were able to find suitable times for filming. After we waited for rain-free days at the beginning and also chased after sunsets that quickly disappeared behind clouds, our patience was rewarded with beautiful images. Afterwards I color corrected and color graded the footage in the desired direction. Unfortunately, after the compression by YouTube, some of the sharpness and quality of the 4K image falls behind, but this should not be too noticeable.

Thank you very much to Ursula Baum and Nina Lennhof, it has been a real pleasure to work with you! And here are the two films: