View Full Version : afox Der Kontakt

05-31-2007, 08:42 PM
Just finished the movie. This will be my first entry for a dvxuser-fest.
I started writing the script 10-14 days ago, so everything, preproduction, production and post had to be done in a hurry, but it was fun!

Good luck to everybody, i am eager to see the movies :)

06-01-2007, 07:12 AM
Can you tell us where it was shot?

And while I'm here can you tell me the difference between 'das' and 'der'? Or are they the same?

06-01-2007, 10:10 AM
It was shot in Austria, Vienna in a Hotelroom last Saturday. The film is in German.

Yes there is a difference between "Der" and "Das". You use "Der" mostly before masculine words, and "Das" before words which arent feminine nor masculine.
But there are exceptions. Its a bit hard to explain for me in english. It basically means "the" but in german we have three words for it: "Der", "Die", "Das".

06-01-2007, 02:38 PM
Ahhh. I thought that. It's a bit like French in a way.

THREE words for it? wow. I knew it meant 'the' and I suspected it was context based. I've seen 'die' a few times but did not know that. Thanks.

I'm still working on counting to ten. A taxi driver used to teach me everytime I got in his cab. Ha. [feur? if I spelled that right...4] gave me trouble getting the right accent. I downloaded an audio language tape but have been so busy.

I love the German language for some reason.... and music.... and woman. haha.


06-01-2007, 04:55 PM
Is this going to be in German with english subtitles? I hope so.

Paul Coleman
06-01-2007, 08:44 PM
Just finished the movie. This will be my first entry for a dvxuser-fest.
I started writing the script 10-14 days ago, so everything, preproduction, production and post had to be done in a hurry, but it was fun!

Good luck to everybody, i am eager to see the movies :)

Best of luck on the project. Looking forward to seeing it. :beer:

06-01-2007, 09:53 PM
I love foreign films, looking forward to it and congrats on finishing.

06-01-2007, 09:57 PM
Very cool. Something cool about a German spy film! I took German in college for about two weeks. The only thing I remember are:

Das Nashorn - rhino
Der Eisber (sp?) - polar bear

Ha! And I think I can still count to ten.

Again, this one sounds cool. I'll be watching!

06-02-2007, 12:39 AM
Yeah the film is subtitled in English. I tell you, i really can't wait anymore, i want to see the movies :) !!

Ah and it's "Eisbär".

Another word you might wanna use is "Das Bier" (beer) :beer:

Norm Sanders
06-03-2007, 05:24 PM
Interesting poster ... hard for me to make out what it is, but looking forward to seeing a foreign film in the fest!

06-03-2007, 10:55 PM

I like the double meaning of contact, in the sense of spies, as in refereing to a person who is your liaison in a certain country or context ... with the meaning of contact on in what looks like an intimate embrace on your poster.

And yeah, looking forward to the international flavor as well. Especially for SpyFest. Nice. :beer:

06-04-2007, 12:19 PM
The film didn't look very slick (too much color correction) and the camerawork was pretty simple. But the writing was good and so was the acting, too bad the ending didn't bring any surprise

06-04-2007, 01:05 PM
I have watched over 80% of the submissions so far and this one is be far my favorite. The acting and dialog was perfect and I really liked the color correction though it was inconsistent at times.

All in all I enjoyed it. This is my choice for first.

06-04-2007, 01:05 PM
**Double post**

06-04-2007, 02:06 PM
I think for your first fest, this is a good start. You didn't stick true to the theme,
who was spying on whom and for what, never happened. This is more drama.
As a writer I have a huge problem with talking heads, a scene where two people
do little more than talk, talk, talk. I would like to see you move the pace up some.

06-04-2007, 02:35 PM
I think for your first fest, this is a good start. You didn't stick true to the theme,
who was spying on whom and for what, never happened. This is more drama.
As a writer I have a huge problem with talking heads, a scene where two people
do little more than talk, talk, talk. I would like to see you move the pace up some.

I don't think the rules stated someone had to be spying on someone. It simply said a spy. This shown another more human aspect of that world. I thought is was done very well.

There were many great entries but this one had something different that I really liked.

06-04-2007, 04:02 PM
I liked this film.

It is more character-driven and I felt that the acting was really good.
There is just something about films in foreign languages that just adds this level of coolness to it.

I felt that the acting was so strong that the editing probably should've been more minimal to let us just watch the performances more. I felt that the camera could've lingered on either character at a given time without cutting back to a reverse. Sometimes it would cut back and I wished it would've stayed on.

I did enjoy the color/style of the film, even though it was inconsistent at parts.

But I really liked the characters and the performances.


chris f
06-04-2007, 04:09 PM
Standard Disclaimer: I've watched half of the films so far and have yet to see a bad film. Congratulations to every film maker, everyone did a great job. All my comments and criticisms are meant to be constructive and helpful and in no way am I trying to take anything away from what you accomplished.

Good: Lighting, Location, Cinematography, pretty good acting, seemed like an intriguing scene from a larger story

Not as Good: Too much light diffusion (magic bullet?) I didn't quite understand the story completely. Didn't buy that the two guys were friends and didn't understand how the guy got off so easily. I was expecting something to happen to one of the two men.

06-04-2007, 05:01 PM
Thanks for the comments guys. Wow, mjjason i am really happy you liked it that much, i am honored :)

I think you are all spot on with your critics though. I also dont like thats its basically talking heads all the time. I really wanted to come up with something more dynamic, action driven for spyfest, but from the multible ideas i had i could not make a coherent story. Time was running out and i only had ten or 14 days left until the deadline, so i came up with something that would not require too much organising and would be simple and fast to film.

Still it was a bit too much for the timeframe, because it took really long to find the actors. One thing i will never do again is film at a location (the hotel room) that i have never seen before. So i could not plan my shots and had no storyboards or shotlist... The room was also very small so i could not really use lights or a tripod (another reason was that we did not have much time to shoot)

I also would have liked to stay longer on some shots, but problem was a lot of what i shot was not useable, because i was either reframing the shot while shooting, or it got unsharp.

Sounds like a lot of excuses, but really was because, how quickly this project was made :), but yeah when i think back, i really should have done some things better...

There is no spying going on in the movie, but thats also because i didnt use the beginning in which Robin follows Walter on the street. It was shot, but didn't fit into the 6min timeframe.

again thanks for your comments, they are greatly appreciated, now back to watching the movies :)

06-04-2007, 05:09 PM
You got great performances out of the actors and the script was really sharp. I must admit i was expecting some sort of twist at the end which didn't really come but i still enjoyed it overall. well done.

06-04-2007, 05:40 PM
mj - I don't think the essence of a spy film is two people talking about spying.
Here is wikipedia's definition: Espionage or spying is a practice of obtaining information (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information) about an organization or a society (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society) that is considered secret (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secrecy) or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information.

06-04-2007, 06:57 PM
Yes that is the action of spying but being a spy has many other facets. One of them is dealing with handlers which is what this movie covers.

I was not able to shoot a film for this fest but if I were I would have shot something similar to this.

06-04-2007, 08:42 PM
One thing I liked: The shots of the younger guy, not only were they lit really well, but coupled with his acting it looked absolutely Hollywood. Phenomenal.

One thing I disliked: The shots of the older guy, not only were they lit poorly, but his acting was unnatural, forced.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
06-04-2007, 08:49 PM
Very different from most of the films in this fest. It really has a nice look to it.
I also expected something more in the ending, but I didn't feel cheated.

Nice work.


Beat Takeshi
06-04-2007, 08:59 PM
I'm a sucker for foreign films. I liked the little slice of a story you gave here. I felt the acting was very natural and even though nothing really happened throughout the movie, I still was drawn in. The lighting was really nice on the younger guy but the older guy had that fuzzy magic bullet thing going on thats way over used. I understand the problems with strong back lighting but the fuzz made it worse.
Other than that I enjoyed this very much.

06-04-2007, 09:49 PM
Nice. I really enjoyed the subtilty here.

The performances were believable and motivated and the cinema verite / dogma 95 approach only lent to the realism.

Particular rough edge favorite moments:

I liked the sloppy video zoom in on the kid.

I liked the Cu of the older guy when he is against the wall that crosses the line.

I wish there was a little more face light on the older guy when the strong backlight is behind him.

The only thing that worked against the believability for me was the costume design for the kid. The older guy I loved and he felt very real and authentic. The younger guy, especially in his costume, seemed like a non choice. He was neither a slick / or hardened assassin or spy that could escape through a laundry shoot, have a martini, and down a foreign official with a blow dart, nor was he a low level street informant kept on the job through his junk addiction. He just looked like a scrawny college guy in dockers and a tee-shirt. Since he is somewhat slight I might have pushed him towards being an almost completely burned out grungy, heroin chic shell. But either that or a slick suit or something. Just seemed like a college kid.

My only other ding was that I felt it ended, and then ended, and then ended again.

There were times I really felt like I was watching a pretty sophisticated feature length art film. I think due to the raw camera work and some of the subtleties you really captured quite exquisitely in the performances. Nice work.

I really appreciate the simplicity and honesty of this work. And your courage to rely on that and not try to wow us with exploding rockets etc.

06-05-2007, 12:05 AM
Hey just caught the flick. Honestly, one of the better ones I've seen in this fest. Liked the acting. Maybe not all the way through (I thought there were parts where it waivered) but overall, really great performances.

Ditto on the dogme 95 thing. Also about the costumes.
Little too shaky for me, but that's personal taste. Overall, really enjoyed what you were doing here. Fine, fine work with the actors.

06-05-2007, 09:32 AM
Good point with the costume. I think it could really be better, but i also tought about making him look more special. My argument against it was that maybe he would choose a different costume when he meets with the agent, that is more normal and inconspicuous, than what he is normally wearing, so he would not attrract any attention. But now i also think i should have choosen something different.

The fuzzy thing, yep thats magic bullet overused :) I guess i tried a bit to make up for the lack of lighting...

thanks for the imput guys!

06-05-2007, 11:51 AM
I like this film a lot. I know Charli has a mantra going on in this fest about what a spy film should be, and she has a point with a lot of films in this fest, but I don't agree with this one. This is a film ABOUT spies, not so much about spies doing spy things. So maybe we have a European vs Hollywood film debate? Ha!

Anyway, I liked the pacing, I liked the characters. I thought the actors were great in their roles. Yes, we all knew who the woman in the picture was. Maybe you just needed to be a little more subtle. You can fix that. Just dub out the part where he says, "And who is this woman" or whatever and have him just say "And who's this (person)?" or something. I don't know.

Anyway, again, one of my favorites. I don't want to stereotype this as a foreign film, though. But there are a lot of elements, especially the character driven story, that cater to it.

Good job. Thanks for screening.

Mike Insane
06-05-2007, 01:56 PM
I have to say, i hate foreign films. i am horrible with the subtitles. However, I was very cought up with your film. The images fit the modd and the edginess was very clear and well done. The acting was wonderful. Great job.


Shawn Philip Nelson
06-07-2007, 09:11 PM
Wow!! I love this movie! Dang, very well done. Good plot, great acting, good mood. My only two faults were technical: the costume for the younger guy was all wrong. A t-shirt? Come on, he should have been dressed differently. Also the exposure seemed to radically change in certain shots. Still, one of my favorite films of this festival thus far.

06-07-2007, 09:19 PM
just checked out your film... not my favorite type of film... that being said It was a pretty good movie....

06-07-2007, 11:27 PM
I thought you did a good job of tellling your story. In a weak field, you were a standout. My biggest complaint was the blown out images due to the windows and bright light. I wished you could have done something about that and it would have definitely raised the production value.

Aaron Marshall
06-08-2007, 12:54 AM
I think you did a great job on this short. The acting was good. The audio and the exposure seemed to go in and out at times. Other than that I enjoyed this film. It's one of the better acted entries.

06-08-2007, 08:29 AM
amazing short my friend. Fantastic acting, and i truly mean that.

Norm Sanders
06-09-2007, 11:14 AM
I thought this was well shot & lit, using existing/available light (or so it appeared). A little over exposed from the window, but also had a nice effect/feel to it. I noticed it wasn't delivered in the required widescreen/16x9, as presentation truly was a 4x3 ratio, since the subtitles appeared in the blackbars. Felt the acting was VERY solid, with great deliveries. Nice performing film.

06-09-2007, 11:22 AM
I really thought the acting was the strong point in this film. You directed your actors well and got wonderful performances from them. The weaknesses have already been mentioned, but they're pretty forgivable weaknesses because the story works. It feels like it's part of a larger piece, but you gave us the right piece to focus on, the choice of this spy to get out of the game. Wardrobe could have been better but you already know that.

I won't repeat what could be improved cause people covered that, but I'll just finish and say that you got life in front of the camera, and that's the important thing. You can spend time on effects, wardrobe, angles, but without life in front of the camera it means nothing.

This was one of my favorites. :beer:

06-09-2007, 03:07 PM
one of my favorites

06-09-2007, 04:26 PM
I remember this movie as having really good lighting. I wrote down in my notes that it looked really natural, so congratulations! A lot of the entries I've seen have had very "cinematic" lighting, but it was usually completely unmotivated and over the top. This was a very good looking movie. I also remember the sound being normal sounding (not harsh and hard to listen to), which is a rare treat amongst many of the other entries.

I also wrote in my notes that I didn't really like the ending. Since I can't remember it and have to rely on my notes to remind me, I'll have to believe what I wrote. I will say however, that with any movie (especially a short), your ending is often the only thing you're remembered by. So, if it's not action-packed, though-provoking or gut-bustingly funny, you might want to consider a re-write.

Thanks for submitting this, it's hard work making a film in 2 months, but you did a great job!

06-10-2007, 01:15 AM
Thanks for the comments i am really happy you liked the acting and could forgive the other shortcomings :) I will definitely try to make it better next time, but i am quite happy with it considering it only took about ten day to make the whole film, from writing it to finish.

As for the 4:3 thing, i asked if i could deliver it that way and they said its fine as long as the movie is 16:9

06-10-2007, 02:19 AM
This was really convincing. With all the talk in the 'nextfest' thread about a dogmaesque style fest, I think this pretty much hit the mark.

It was refreshing to see a short souly focussed on acting and writing.

I think the focus in these festivals is to try and 'wow' people visually. Often style over substance (and I would include myself in that too). Watching this was refreshing as there's no escaping the story and acting when you let it play naturally. Thankfully your short excelled in both these areas.

06-10-2007, 11:28 AM
My Thoughts:

I think it was a beautifully shot film and the music was wonderful. I'll have to watch it again as before I was concentrating on reading the subtitles. :)

cheers and looking forward to your next entry.