Category Archives: Behind the Scenes

Frozen Bodies

Ischgl, Austria, November 27th, 2015. On Location for the Alps Documentation.

Going to Austria was a rather weird trip: the van was full to the brim, and two corpses lying at the very top. Of course, these were Dummies, but I still covered them in some blankets to make it look less macabre. In the hotel, I put them to their temporary rest on the sofa. Scenes from a set-decorator’s life.

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Just in the middle of a skiing region, we continue shooting a scene which we started in sunny September. In that scene, a group of celtic merchands passing the alps was taken off-guard by a blizzard (take some handfuls of fake snow and add some VFX). Now, it is time to show what happened to the poor souls that did not make it.

The day before, the two dummies had accompanied us in the ski-lift, climbing up to 2600m. There, we had dressed them with costumes provided by our historical advisors from Kaptorga. The makeup department literally had lent me a hand (and a head, both very realistic silicone props). After having attached these to my two buddies, I had put them into the snow.

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The weather was quite nasty. An icy wind was constanty sweeping powdery snow across the plains. Best conditions for really having my two corpses snowed in, covered by a perfect, natural and untouched layer of fresh snow – in a way that I could hardly create artificially.
The plan worked out quite well. When we came back today (this time the weather was marvelous) we hardly found them again. Snowbound…

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The camera (and the crew) approached from wide shots to medium shots, keeping the snow in the visual field untouched. For the close-ups, I removed a bit of the snow from the faces.

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After we finished shooting, we had to remove our dummies. You should have seen the look on the faces of the skiers…

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“Bernd das Brot”: A Cat’s Tail

Bernd is back again!

Second day of shooting for three all-new episodes.
Morle is a mangey cat constantly straying around Bernd and getting on his nerves. The only thing you see from her is albeit her curling tail.
To make a realistic impression, I built the prop with anatomy in mind: a set of two opposing wire ropes moves the segmented tail, analogous to a real cat’s tail with its vertebrae and sinews. I think the motion is quite realistic!

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Fake Latte Macchiato, long, looong lasting

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After having worked recently on a coffee house set, I got the idea to share my admittedly simple, however effective recipe for a fake latte macchiato.

Last spring, I had to dress a whole sidewalk cafe. It wouldn’t have been possible to redress everything between shots for maintaining continuity. Therefore, I needed a solution that would last for the whole shooting day.

After carrying out a few experiments in the run up to the shoot, I found out that plain old canned shaving foam is the ideal solution. I just pour milk into the glass and add – very carefully – a little amount of strong coffee prepared from an instant product. Finally, I add a nice topping of shaving foam.
All ingredients can easily be kept ready to use. And the result looks stunning and really lasts for hours!

Main Cast Part II

Together with the waitress of the coffee shop the main cast of the upcomming webseries.
A last-minute revision of the script forced me to totally re-style the puppet. Originally, I had a much younger character in mind. Finally, all that was left (apart from the “naked” puppet) was the nose.

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Above, the final charakter after the changings. Below the much younger predecessor version.

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Set for a Weekly Puppet Webseries

This is a draft which I designed for a planned weekly web series. The story is to take place in a chain store of a made up coffee shop company.
Using Polystyrene boards, I assembled a mock-up of the counter. I placed it into a bright corner next to a large window of the production company’s premises to give the set the inviting impression of an airy coffeehouse. Later on, I added more details to the photo digitally.

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