Secret blog of a shy german film student and cinephile.
29,772 words

190612 #100Days

Day 34. Work.

So they did some workflow changes that lead to a pretty huge increase in render time. This means that I now have even less time to do my actual job and instead have to spend even more time worrying about rendering. It also means I'm going to spend a lot of time watching a bunch of render bars. SO, at least I should have enough time to write on this blog every day. Just turn your annoyances into opportunities, I guess?

It feels weird, being in a different town. Being so busy. I haven't been this busy in a while. I'm constantly nervous and I don't really know why. There are so many things to do still. My grandparents want to do stuff with me. My parents too. A friend. A horny lady friend. I'm managing composers and graphic designers for our film. All while trying to learn french every day, work out and write on this blog.
I know I'm complaining. I'm sorry. I know this is not a big deal. I know I'm going to manage. But. Yeah. That's whats on my mind right now.

190611 #100Days

Day 33. I'm working.

Yeah. I know. It's shocking. I actually have to work from time to time to pay the bills. And these days I work in german television as a colorist. It comes with it's ups and downs really. Everybody else who works here is at least 20 years older than me, lunch is free, they don't pay travel expenses (I'm mostly going by train and bus, so it's only like 150 Euros for an entire month, but still.), the show I work on is … well … bad. I don't watch it, I just fix it's colors. It pays ok. Just ok enough to be worth it driving to another city for a few weeks every so often.

I don't really have time to write more today. There's just a lot going on at the moment.

190610 #100Days

Day 32. Time is running short.

So. Here's the thing. I did watch some stuff last night and I might blog about it later. But starting tomorrow, I'll be working in a full-time day-job for the rest of the month. I will also try my best to start working out again every single day, learn french, listen to podcasts and I might still watch a movie every other day. I will hopefully find the time to do all of those things because I'm in a different city, where my family lives and I basically don't have any friend no more. So. No real social time, for this month. With a bunch of exceptions. Hopefully.

190609 #100Days

Day 31. Look at me! That's officially a month!

BLACK MIRROR SEASON FIVE

by the fantastic Charlie Brooker. This time it's only three episodes, just like the very first season from, how long has it been? 2011? I'm getting old. So. How was season five? I wouldn't say these episodes were bad. I actually thought they were pretty good! But. Well. They weren't Black Mirror Episodes. They didn't make you loose all hope in humanity. They weren't showing you how technology or the way humans use technology will eventually destroy all of our lives. They were pretty lighthearted. Almost nice to watch.

I used to be frustrated, shocked, almost depressed after certain Black Mirror episodes. They made me think for weeks. They inspired so many ideas for short films and stories. They stuck with you. But now, only one day after I watched them, I almost can't remember what all three were about.

Ok. So. I'm not going to look any of this up and just go from memory.
There was the one with Miley Cyrus, the one with the super realistic fighting game that turned into a digital love affair and there was the Uber hostage situation. The last one was definitely the most interesting. All of them were funny and nice to watch. But they all had nice and not Black Mirror like endings! Miley got saved by her doll, the two dudes can digitally bang once a month and well … he hostage didn't die?

I guess if I had to recommend one episode of this season it would still have to be "Smithereens", just because it basically takes place today, there is no new fancy technology needed and at the end of the day it's just about coming to terms with the errors and mistakes that we've made. Usually the simple stories are the better ones. No fancy CGI, no well known actors or pop stars, just a solid story that probably happens every other day somewhere on this planet.
Still. If you haven't seen any other Black Mirror episodes - please! Watch every other episode first. This is the most boring season. It's not bad. It's still entertaining. It's high budget. It looks good. But. It's just not as thought provoking as it used to be.

In other news.

All of our drone footage was captured at a very hight shutter speed. Like 1/8000. That's because our drones didn't have any ND Filters and aperture only went to f11. Because of this all the motion blur doesn't look natural at all. Or to be exact - there is none.
So today I'm testing several options on adding motion blur in post in combination with speeding up the shot to 150% because it just looks better. Currently I'm rendering a test file with like 10 different combinations of motion blur and optical flow effects and plan on watching this on every single monitor and beamer I can find in this flat. What I really need is a real cinema projector for these tests, but for now this will have to suffice.

190608 #100Days

Day 30. Days only become special if you make them special.

ROUGH NIGHT. Known on german Netflix as: GIRL'S NIGHT OUT.

Soooo. Obviously this wasn't my choice. Why would I ever pick this kind of a movie to watch? I was still working on our student film, when friends who remain unnamed decided to watch his. And to be honest. I was entertaining. Not thought provoking, not surprising, no high production value, no revolutionary characters. I was a solid Hollywood comedy movie. Just like any other.

I liked the Australian character, she was pretty hilarious. The actress, Kate McKinnon, did a pretty fantastic job. She also really reminded us of our flatmate;) The whole plot-line of Scarlett Johansson fiancée driving to her in the middle of the night was the worst part. It felt very forced. Like they desperately needed to get to an ending where both had to lovingly reunite. Same with the whole rushed marriage thing. Just another senseless feel-good ending. I guess that's Hollywood for you.

I'm guessing at least half of the 26 million dollar budget went to Scarlett Johansson, who really doesn't do anything than give the movie her name. That's how it always works. This movie would be nothing without her. Without Johansson this movie would have never been made.
I wouldn't watch this movie again. In a way, I have watched this movie a hundred times already.

Why I write about movies.

Because I'm a film student and I want to make my own feature films at some point in the future. Because I need to watch more movies, learn more about film history and currently try to watch at least one movie a day. So writing about them not only forces me to have something to write about, but also forces me to engage with the thing that I just watched. This doesn't have to be an in-depth analysis of all 90 minutes. But it should involve me having some sort of a opinion, me taking a stand for and against certain aspects of the movie and being able to explain them in a coherent way. This is how I will hopefully strengthen and improve my sense of what I believe to be a good movie and help me develop my own kind of esthetic. I don't just want to watch movies. I want to live movies!

190607 #100Days

Day 29. Slowly starting to pack my bags.

THE SEVENTH SEAL

by good old Ingmar Bergman. This one was better than The Virgin Spring! A lot better!
I liked the writing. I think the actors did a pretty good job. I liked how the story sort of weaved this net of connections around all the characters, how this fellowship of weirdos came together. How they never really had a real goal, they just became friends and decided to hang out and travel together. It worked. I liked most, if not all the characters! They had their quirks and bad personality traits. They felt real! I liked the overarching theme of being mad about a silent god, that you're supposed to just believe in, even though nobody knows any answers to any questions.
I didn't like the sexism, how passive most of the three female characters were, again - how uncomfortable christian the entire movie felt. And then there is the overly dramatic theater-like acting and staging, that you just have to endure. I guess at the time this was normal. These days it's really not, it feels awkward and almost hilarious at times. It's just so over the top.
But it doesn't matter. This was the best of two Bergman movies I have ever watched. And yeah. Their old. But I'll gladly watch some more. This was certainly more entertaining than that weird Valhalla movie yesterday.

In other news.

Had a funny idea for a very unique hangover style comedy movie. I might try to structure out some plot points. Rock im Park is about to start in Nuremberg, so all of a sudden twice as many people live in our apartment. I'll be working in Munich the rest of June anyways, so it's not a big deal. But I'm not completely sure I like it. My right Hand still hurts, but I think it's getting better as I work less with mouse and keyboard. The thing is. I'll be working with mouse and keyboard for the next three weeks. Fuck.

190606 #100Days

Day 28. I could be more motivated.

VALHALLA RISING

by Nicolas … ähm. Sorry, let me look this up.
Nicolas Winding Refn! The guy who brought us that one memorable and pretty fantastic movie called DRIVE. And a few other movies such as Only God Forgives or The Neon Demon. Both very much focused on visuals and violence, not so much (in my opinion) on story.
It‘s quite similar with this one. Beautiful visuals and quite a shallow story, sprinkled with a bunch of violence. I guess I liked Mads Mikkelsen even though he didn't say a single word in the entire movie. But without him this film would be nothing.
I don't have to watch this film again. Ever. I guess it's off the list. I wish there would be something more memorable about it, but for me there just isn't.

In other News

Hand still hurts, film has been updated with all the shots from the reshoot. It's hard to get excited about your own movie again, when all you've done for the past eight months it to watch it again and again and again. You loose perspective. You don't know whats funny anymore. And most importantly you start to ask yourself this question: How much work should I continue to put into this to make it slightly better? And when should I just accept that the film is what it is. Kind of a mess that will never be perfect.
Movies never get finished. They just get abandoned. Sometimes I dream of just abandoning this one. But I owe all the cast and the crew, all the people that helped us, all those amazing human beings. I owe them a movie and so I keep going. Thankfully we have a unchangeable deadline in November. I won't be hard to say goodbye.

190605 #100Days

Day 27. My hand hurts.

LOST IN SPACE. HALF OF EPISODE SIX. (I THINK?)

So. This really shouldn't count. I only sat there through half the episode. I have no idea what really happened in the first five. My flatmate tried to fill me in, but she also said that she really only watches the show because it's so bad in almost every aspect. And from the few minutes of show that I watched I am inclined to agree. It's just another one of those shitty monotone Syfy shows produced by Netflix on basically no budget. There was nothing original in this show, at least from what I could tell. Very biased and silly review. Still. Probably not worth it.

In other News

Tenosynovitis in my right hand is back. I think it's mostly because of the combination of carrying a lot of equipment around on our shoot and now spending most of my time sifting through all the footage using mouse and keyboard. And maybe masturbating?
Except for one specific shot all the footage we got is fantastic and totally fits the story and the film. All in all I'm quite happy with the results of the reshoot, but even now, we're still missing like four or five shots and have to ADR a bunch of dialogue from five actors. So we've come closer to the finish line. But it's still like six months away.

190604 #100Days

Day 26. Let's get back to blogging tomorrow.

Editing

Mostly looked at all the footage and did some editing today. Premiere Pro continues to be a complete bitch. I might write more about this tomorrow. I might even start writing about anything again tomorrow. Because I might actually have time again. Yay?

190603 #100Days

Day 25. I'm just tired.

Filmmaking

Re-shoot is finished. I'm finished too. I'm sunburned, have a slight sunstroke and I'm tired as fuck. Going to try to sleep a lot, but it's suddenly 30+ degrees outside and I usually really struggle to fall asleep at that temperature. We'll see.

190602 #100Days

Day 24. Today: Drone shots with a professional drone operator.

Filmmaking.

I don't really have time for this, so I'm going to be short. Morale and good spirit is so fucking important on a good set. And if somebody just keeps on destroying that, you should just get rid of that person as soon as possible. No matter how important his role is in the making of you movie.

190601 #100Days

Day 23. Reshoots in progress.

Filmmaking. I guess?

Second day of reshoots. I'm writing this right after being the first one to take a shower. Yesterday was fine, we didn't get to do all the scenes, but we ended up doing a lot of location scouting instead. Which is going to save our butts later. We now know most of our Locations. Weather changed from cloudy to rain to cloudy to sunny to cloudy again. The weather here is a unreliable bitch. Going to talk through our plan for the day at breakfast.

190531 #100Days

Day 22. Re-shoot has begun.

JOHN WICK 3

Fuck me. That was bad. I don't know why I decided to watch this movie. It was bad. Real bad. I wasn't funny, the action was too long and became boring and repetitive at times. I didn't understand the story at all, was confused by all the characters. I didn't expect this to be a very good movie. Not at all actually. But I expected more. John Wick. Never again.

in other news

Currently reshooting. I'm a busy boy

190530 #100Days

Day 21. Re-shoot will start tomorrow. I might miss a few days or be very brief.

MAGNOLIA

by the great Paul Thomas Anderson. At just over three hours it was a bit too long, but I absolutely loved it! I adored all the performances, the massive story, the quirky characters, the amazing coincidences. This movie has more characters than your standard GoT episode used to cover - and I can still vividly remember every single one of them! They were all so different, yet all so real and relatable and interesting to watch. PTA is just always worth it! Now I'm starting to get sad because there are only two movies by PTA let that I haven't seen. Well. He'll keep making them. And I sure as fuck will keep watching them;)

190529 #100Days

Day 20. Bergman and the plague.

THE VIRGIN SPRINGS

So, this was the first Ingmar Bergman movie. What did I expect?
Well. I knew this was going to be black and white, Scandinavian, artsy and probably good.
What did I get?
Well. I was actually a very poetic, non-aloof dialogue. Your basic revenge story set in some pre-industrial part of Scandinavia. The scenery reminded me of Vikings, the TV show, the characters did so too.
Are all his movies always this compulsively christian? I guess what else can you expect from 1960? Idk. It just surprised me, because I didn't think it was necessary. Then again, the movie does need a reason for it's title.
Idk. It's surprisingly hard to come up with things to write about this movie. It's a movie. I guess I'll ask some people what Bergman movie to watch next.

A PLAGUE TALE: INNOCENCE

Another one of those Triple A looking games, with a compelling story idea and one unique technology. Set in the thirteenth century you play a young noble woman who has to suddenly take care of her sickly brother while the black death sweeps over Europe. The pest is symbolized by thousands upon thousands of rats that will swarm and eat you alive if you get too close to them. You can only scare them away with fire. Also. The Inquisitor is after your little brother, because, and this is where the story gets a bit weird, his mysterious illness might just be the cure for the pest. Or maybe the reason.
The entire game reminded me a lot of Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. Except Hellblade did it better. The concept was better, in a way less epic and more personal. And it had something to say! I was just a story pretending to be about a female Keltic fighter trying to revenge her lovers death, when in fact it was about psychological illness! A topic no other game has ever tackled like that before.
I like many aspects of A Plague Tale. It looks great, I like most of the characters, I love the unconventional main characters, the stealth mechanics, the rats. The setting is fantastic. But the story does not deliver as much as I would have hoped for. It didn't touch me emotionally.
I did finish the game. It's not very hard to play through anyways and it's completely linear. Like there's literally not a single choice I made throughout the entire eleven hours it took me to finish this game. The more I play and the more I think about what I play, I realize how much I value choice of even just the simulation of choice in games. I hate the press F to progress story mentality some of these games have. Why do I even have to press F when the game already knows whats going to happen next? If there's no choice, what you choose has no meaning.

190528 #100Days

Day Nineteen. Radioactive drones!

CHERNOBYL EPISODE ONE AND TWO

HBO Mini Series. Written by Craig Mazin. Mostly known and loved by the masses through the Scriptnotes podcast. Chernobyl is a six episode mini series and I have to say. I absolutely love the mini series format. It's basically just one season and thats it! before you start watching you already know where and when it's going to end. So instead you can focus on the path and just enjoy the moment.
This show is just that. It's not funny, the entire topic isn't funny, it's a horrible tragedy. But it's exciting! And because it's very historically accurate, it's also very interesting to watch. It has a ton of characters and not really a main character, most actors are unknown, some I recognize. It's beautifully shot, hat amazing HBO-level CGI and impressively massive sets. So far Craig has been doing an amazing job. I absolutely love this show and will continue to watch!

DRONES

Currently trying to gain as much experience as I can until Friday in flying the Mavic 2 Pro. We do have a professional Drone Operator + Inspire 2 available, but only for one day. So I'm the backup. Today I learned:

  • MicroSD cards are slow as fuck.
  • Also, the Mavic survives slight drizzle with no problem.
  • Flying a drone is easy. Flying a drone and getting the perfect shot at the same time is pretty hard.
  • Always keep eye-contact with your drone. If you ever loose it in the sky or against trees - try waving it up and down or left to right. Makes it a lot easier to find.

I will continue to train. Like Rocky. Just flying up the steps with a done, while standing in the middle of some empty field.

190527 #100Days

Day 18. No time. Currently in the process of making films.

NO MOVIE.

Instead, have this picture of a cat and her four alpacas: https://i.redd.it/y5llgjsprk031.jpg

Dating

Yesterdays date was nice. A chair did immediately collapsed under me when I sat on it and I got bitten by her cat. But except for those minor details, we had fun. It felt more like two friends hanging out together, except sometimes I'm still quite nervous for some reason. I'm really bad at the romantic stuff, I don't know how to initiate a kiss and her hugs are pretty short. If that's a thing I should pay attention to - I guess it's really the only physical contact we ever had. I'm a slow boy. I need time to get to know people, to accept them into my life, to trust them, become intimate. But this is going way to slow for me.

Filmmaking

Tings are very chaotic at the moment. When ever you're dependent on the weather and the weather decides to fuck you, everything always becomes very complicated. Every insurance, crew, equipment, car, ticket, hotel has to be rebooked. And if any of it can't be rebooked the entire shoot might be rescheduled to another week or even month. It's annoying and confusing for everybody involved and extremely stressful for the person planning the entire thing. This is what I'm going through right now. I'm sure we'll make it.

190526 #100Days

Day Seventeen. A third date is approaching.

BOOGIE NIGHTS

by the genius that is Paul Thomas Anderson. A bit long. A bit confusing towards the end. But it's PTA! This Movie was really fun! And just like in The Fast & the Furious, it's all about family! Even in the 80s porn business. I really liked Julian Moore (holy shit! I just looked her up - she's 60!), I think she's really hot and still looks fantastic today. I loved Philip Seymour Hoffman's character. The slightly creepy secretly (but everybody knows) gay guy who just works in porn to be close to good looking guys. Philip is such a great actor and he played that role absolutely fantastic!
PTA's camera work is incredible in this movie. Those fluent steady-cam shots constantly reframing and adjusting to whatever happens in the scene. It's a kind of dance between camera and actors. It's beautiful to watch! This was a great movie and I'll happily watch it again if anybody of my friends haven't watched it yet.
Now my PTA mania is back! I still have to watch Magnolia, The Master and Phantom Thread to finish up his filmography! Maybe I'll find the time to watch another this evening.

Dating

I'll be going on a third date today. She's really nice, calm, clever and has severe psychological problems. And the more I learn about this, the less I want to spend the rest of my life with someone like that. Because of that the often doesn't feel very good and just isn't interested in doing anything together. So it's been more than tow months since our first date and we are only now going on our third. Sure, I've been out of town for a few weeks too, but still. I invited her a lot and she only wanted to meet again when I mentioned that I'll be out of town again and this time for an entire month.
Tbh. I don't even really know what she's looking for. I'm pretty sure a serious relationship is high on her list, but it might be the only thing I can't give her. I guess I'm eventually going to have to ask her. But for now, let's just enjoy today. Life in the now. Worry about it later and instead find out if we're even really into each other. We'll see. Maybe I'll add to this later and write how it went. Maybe tomorrow.

190525 #100Days

Day 16. The day I just couldn't find the time to write.

NO MOVIE

Out with some friends. Didn't have time to watch anything.
Instead, be confused by this image: https://i.redd.it/qkh6u3pg5c031.jpg

190524 #100Days

Day Fifteen. One bad movie.

ENDER'S GAME

Who the fuck decided to watch THAT piece of shit movie last night!?
It was me. My flatmate suggested something else and I wanted to see this failure of a movie. I admit it. I fell for another bombastic syfy cgi extravaganza. It looked quite good, visually. Harrison ford was in it. He was pissed of most of the time. Also a total of three actresses. Literally EVERYBODY else, including what must have been like 200 extras, was male.
I didn't care about any of the characters. I mean, I get it. I wasn't the target audience for this movie. Again - and I feel like I'm saying this a lot lately - if I would have been ten years younger, I would have probably enjoyed this a lot more. At my age it's even harder to take a bunch of hyper-intelligent space kids seriously, that get trained to command the entire human military space fleet to wage war against an alien species. Because that's just not a thing any kid can or should do. I'm getting very sick and tired of stories were the main characters are so intelligent and flawless in basically every way. He literally has one bad dream and wants to see his sister again. That's the entirety of his mental problems.
The film is structured in a way where you basically get told the same story thrice and it basically still ends the same way every time. He gets sent to different bootcamps thrice, he always gets bullied, he always finds a way to turn the situation around and he always come out on top. All relationships he develops with other characters are shallow as fuck and didn't mean anything to me.
There was just one single not completely generic side character in this movie. The small jealous snarky team leader for the weird fly-around-in-zero-g-and-shoot-each-other game. He was a dick, he had no backstory, but at least something about him worked. I got him. Maybe it was just the actor doing a really good job.
Also, what the fuck was that weird game about?! Sure it's supposed to train strategic thinking and teamwork, but none of it was ever exciting to me. I never really understood what was happening. Maybe it was just the fact that the "arena" it took place in was just a glass bowl in space. There is no up and down. How do you tell compelling action when you have absolutely no point of reference?
And the ending of the movie? Spoiler Alert. He kills the entire alien species that we never even learned anything about. Then he feels sorry for it because there needs to be some kind of final conflict of plot twist. So he just randomly thinks of a place were he finds the last of their eggs and the last alien (this is the first and only time we actually see them) just gives it to him. And then he ventures into space to find a new place for them to live. Great! Just fantastic! Good for you! I hope I never fucking see you again Ender.

IN OTHER NEWS

Those headlines are great. You know what? I should start to use them to separate topics. Possible third date this weekend. Currently pondering if we should go work out together or try to make a small movie in a day. I'm thinking movie, since I sweat a lot …