Again, We Are Wired Into #ZFF72 – Veal Roulade and Countdowns

 

My oh my, time really does fly. We have only just come back from Oldenburg Film Festival, where we showed our 72-second epos “VAND”, a film specifically shot for last year’s ZFF72 competition. Barely back two weeks and 2017’s ZFF72 was about to begin again.

 

In case you are not familiar with this competition, it is held by the Zürich Film Festival and poses a substantial challenge to any filmmaker – primarily due to the limited time budget it sets. As soon as the subject is revealed, the countdown timer starts ticking: 72 hours remain to complete an entire short film pertaining to the theme, from pre-production to final post-production tinkering.

On Friday, September 29 at noon, ZFF published this year’s subject. It is safe to say all Rise and Shiners were checking their phones almost incessantly as early as 11 am, eager to see the subject revealed. When the clock struck noon, we had our subject: “blue”. As last year’s “water”, this theme offered just as much room for interpretation, just as much potential for endless brainstorming. While finishing our lunch, the brainstorming started, supplemented by actors Chantal and Jules, who joined our session. After about one hour of quality brainstorming, we had a concrete idea. Derived from a story by screenwriter and friend Jonas Lenz, we went for a tale of suspense.

Chantal and Jules, the dynamic duo of wires and machinery, stand before a trying task with just 72 seconds left on the clock. As Chantal peers into what seems a mess of cables and electronic parts, Jules stands behind her, reminding her of the clock every steadily ticking towards zero. Sweat dripping from her forehead, Chantal examines the differently colored cables. One needs to be cut, in order to save the day. But which one shall it be? Red or green? Or even Blue?

The clock ist ticking
The Dream Team

But let’s backtrack a bit.

After locking down the idea, the Rise and Shine cruiser went full-steam-ahead into preparations: prop and outfit hunting, location scouting and shoot planning involved everyone to capacity. While Sven, Chantal and Jules went on a costume and prop shopping spree, Manuel and Philipp guarded the home front at the office while doing equipment checks, recruiting missing crew members and, most importantly, writing the script. In the meantime, Jacky and Leandro embarked on a journey towards finding an apt location to film this thrilling tale.

Thankfully, everything fell into place smoothly and by Friday evening, just five hours after agreeing on the film’s content, everyone knew what they had to do. On Saturday at noon, we all met at a relatively inconspicuous bus stop in Bern, the location of our shoot. The shoot went just as smoothly as pre-production: no equipment failures, no bizarre freak accidents, no tantrums (not even from our set dog Ava, the true diva of the day). By the early hours of the evening on Saturday, it was a wrap! While the day ended for most of us, our director Philipp peered into a monitor, editing, until the wee hours of Sunday. Once editing was done, composer and sound designer Mirio Bähler of Audioflair.ch could start to work his magic, while Manuel tended to the graphics of the film. In closing, Sven took care of grading duties, and by midnight everything was completed. WIRED was born and it only took 60 hours to complete!

The ZFF72 Jury would then spend the following week viewing the films that received the highest number of clicks, out of a total of 258 submissions. As Friday 6 October came to a close, Manuel, Jacky and Sven were attending the ZFF 72 award ceremony. Then the moment came. “And the Jury Award goes to…. WIRED!” WE WON! Yes, we really, really did! Honored, elated and also a little incredulous, we all celebrated apart, but still together, thanks to the myriad of joyful messages and celebratory selfies sent back and forth between all of us. To get a taste of ZFF72’s atmosphere,  here’s a small interview with Sven, Manuel and Jacky at the award ceremony, fresh after winning the award.

 
Done in 60 hours
 
Celebratory Selfies
 

Needless to say, we once again had a great time partaking in this competition. It is always a pleasure to work with such amazing people, despite being in time constraints. But perhaps it is precisely this tight time limit that creates even more cohesion within our team, but never ever any negativity. Everybody retains that big old grin on their faces while doing a tremendous job, and that’s also why we love doing what we do. Now, it’s time to get some veal roulade of our own.

 
 
 hdr