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space.games.film

Our newest project: space.games.film

In the last blog entry I wrote about the migration of this website. Nothing has happened here since then. This is simply because I just didn’t have time to write anything anymore. We did some smaller trips and for example went to the beautiful East Frisia in northern Germany, which I could have written a post about. I could have written an anecdote about how I got stuck at the airport for a shoot in Krakow, Poland, but my latest project is taking up all my time right now.

For over three years I have been working with Patrick on a documentary about PC games. Games and film – games.film was born. Our goal has always been that the film not only appeals to insiders, but also that non-nerds will find the film entertaining. Of course it is partly nerdy, but above all it is about the people who are behind it. And we really met some very interesting people!

The name of the film, matching the name of the whole project: space.games.film. We tell the exciting story of PC space games, the rise, fall and renaissance of the now again popular genre. The trailer gives a small impression of the film:

 

new site

A new website?

Technically it’s the old website (buzzword: ‘relaunch’). The content is still the same, only the ‘foundation’ has changed – from Joomla to WordPress. “BUT WHY?!” might a web developer ask. The answer is simple: because it’s easier. No doubt, Joomla is a lot more powerful and has more possibilities than wordPress, even without having to install plugins for every little thing. But the administration of a WordPress site (at least this one) is easier. Besides, I just don’t need the complexity of Joomla for my little site.

I replicated the old website with WordPress with little variances. The blog posts are also integrated into the new site, only the comments couldn’t be transfered.

U 995 at night

Shore leave on the U 995

Some time ago I recommended a very exciting documentary about a submarine journey. As it so happened, last weekend we were near Kiel and visited the museum U-Boat U 995. That is about 25 minutes away in Laboe. With the documentary in mind it was much more impressive to walk through this submarine than if we had not seen the documentary. The narrowness, the multitude of controls, but also the idea of being under water for days on end was very fascinating.

Right next to the museum boat is the Naval Memorial to the sailors of all nations who remained on the seas. This is also a museum, but it does not only consist of the 72m high tower. Among other things, there is also an exhibition with many large ship models and a lot of information about shipping in the past and today and is definitely worth a visit.

U 31 Doku

Documentary recommendation: The hurricane ride of the U31

There are always documentary gems on television that are particularly exciting, fun, or simply interesting. The documentary of the NDR about a trip of the submarine U31 definitely offers all of the above. The hurricane was certainly not planned and it was probably only meant to be a report about the everyday life on a submarine. But sometimes you just have to be at the right place at the right time.

You can watch the film on the YouTube-Dokukanal of the NDR: Click

Old film with new colour

New above, old below

At the beginning of 2007, almost exactly ten years ago, we shot the last learning project during our studies. My (main) task was to edit the film. I thought the result was successful (especially considering the circumstances). But what always bothered me were the unnatural colors and the blatant video look. Due to a lack of time, this was our final film.

In the end I had saved the whole project on an external hard drive. This hard drive was hidden in the closet for a long time, until years later I had access to a Mac with Final Cut. I used it to export the project files, but I couldn’t import them into Edius. So I let the project rest again. Earlier last year, I upgraded my editing machine. And after watching the great tutorials on color grading on the new version of Edius by Matthew Scott, I needed some material for testing. This movie was the perfect solution. After a lot of tinkering I was able to at least partially import the project into the editing system. So I edited one scene, and because I enjoyed it and the result was quite appealing, I edited another one. And then another one. And at the end the whole film.

Because the project could not be exported cleanly from Final Cut, many sounds were missing or were no longer usable. A completely new sound cut would have been connected with an insane amount of work. Among other things, we had the sound backdrop of the outdoor stage of the WDR open house during the shoot in the park at the state parliament in Düsseldorf. So I had to use the existing audio track and was only able to make a few small changes.

New above, old below

I desaturated the colors significantly, since the camera (Panasonic HVX200) had a very high color saturation in the default settings. Red and green cast were corrected as well as the slight overexposure due to the low contrast range. I also zoomed in on some shots and changed the size slightly. Unfortunately, the compression and the image quality of the source material is not very good, so that the changes all had to be done within a narrow range. In some shots you can also see that I used this margin to the maximum. The goal was to create a more natural, but also a slightly darker color environment.

It should be mentioned that we had a budget of an astonishing 250 € at that time. At least the sparse equipment was provided (except for the skateboard dolly). According to our calculation we spent 249,87 €. I don’t know what we put into it privately anymore. In the end we learned a lot from this restriction and we can all say that we still profit from it today, especially when it comes to improvising.