Digital Nouvelle Vague
Les Rencontres talks about best practice examples in digital film production.
During their last meeting in Potsdam, Les Rencontres took advantage of the vicinity to the Babelsberg film factory. Prior to visiting the studios and the film college Konrad Wolf, they discussed specific opportunities that arise for cities and regions thanks to the start of digital film technology.
A current and successful example of digital film production comes from Cologne. Mayor Angela Spizig showed us seven minutes footage of the film "Über uns das All".
She is proud of this showcase project which emphasises Cologne's position as important film production site besides Berlin, Potsdam, Munich and Hamburg. In this internationally-awarded production, almost everything came from Cologne: producer, director, actors.
Über uns das All
Über uns das All cost 800,000 euros. That's cheap for a film. The film was exclusively shot with digital single-lens reflex cameras on fixed tripods. Up to four cameras were used for each scene. At the same time, all points of view of a scene are recorded. Spizig says that this animates the actors to "give all they've got". All in all, it led to "more flexibility, more life". Numerous memory cards provide for a cheap solution in saving a lot of rich material. The crop offers a lot of variety to design the film during the cutting process.
Digitale Nouvelle Vague?
For the Berlin-based French director Denis Dercourt, the making of Über uns das All "is not new - it's Nouvelle Vague!". New is the recording technique which creates colder images and that completes the depth of the lens coverage. Denis Dercourt brought his technical equipment along.
He shows us a handy digital camera and attaches photo object lenses from the 1970ies to the high-end product. "I pretty much put a lack of definition onto the camera." This combination is what creates the desired favourite look for his film. The 1950ies/1960ies stand alone. It cannot be about creating the same with new technologies what was achieved in film back then. It's about a new film. A film that creates its own language from the available new methods and devices.
What is digital reality?
Digital film in the cinema or YouTube videos create their own reality today. Digital images don't try to show credibly and naturalistically what really is but attach their atmosphere during exposure to the filmed material. The digital image has changed the perception of the audience a lot. "Gaddafi images in really bad quality - that's the digital reality" says Dercourt and means that during each take a different kind of cinema is created.
Film, photography and video seem to melt into each other. Non-professionals are entering the scene. Films on the Internet show news in a completely different way than convential media. Laymen created their own independent film realities and cater to their own channels. And their "entrance to cinema doors would be great". Dercourt appreciates that it's possible today to create a film with a budget of € 8,000 and to show it all around the world.
Good Practice in Rijeka
High culture versus digital emancipation
Slobodanka Miskovic from the communal cultural department swears by the emancipatory potential of digital technology. The money was consciously used for small and regional films.
The local and communal programme of Art Kino Croatia is well-received by the audience. And the audience are young people who do not only watch films but they also make them with their own cameras. Rijeka is a city that experiences diminishing residents despite its strong university.
And for the busy world of large film productions the city finds itself in the periphery. Yet Rijeka comes close to one goal through conscious subsidies: to work with cost-effective digital technology in combination with independent film-makers and independent cinema-owners and to cater to the cultural needs of a university city this way.
The film "Über uns das All" came to cinemas in mid-September - it was, however, already screened at the Berlinale 2011 event in the Panorama area where it received the Prix Europa Cinéma, the main prize at Filmkunstfest Schwerin and the screenplay prize at Festival des Deutschen Films in Ludwisgshafen. Main actress Sandra Hüller won the actress prize in Ludwigshafen an was able to celebrate the same success at Festival de Cinéma de Valenciennes. This Cologne-based film will be screened in France in March 2012.