August 05, 2013

Summer quickies with Alex Clare, MC Fitti, Katzenjammer etc.

Long term projects have a lot going for them, but I have to admit I also have quite a sweet spot for those quick and effective jobs where it's just you, a camera, a laptop and a badass deadline.

For example, in May I shot at the Karneval der Kulturen in Berlin. It's a multicultural celebration where a lot of ethnic minorities have the opportunity to introduce themselves to the general population. The highlight of it is a parade through the city. I did a portrait about the Circassian group for german local TV station RBB. It was shot around noon, edited until 6 p.m. and broadcast at 11 p.m. 

In the end of July I spent a weekend at Greenville Festival on the outskirts of Berlin. Together with my colleagues Suse Bruha and Patrick Westphal I was hired to shoot interviews backstage with some of the artists. Since we always shot with more than one camera, never wanted to use the same location twice and usually had to be really fast, we mostly worked together on the little bits.

Gentleman was super relaxed, but Katzenjammer almost got led into a horsefly death trap by us.

Gemma Ray contemplated festival life, Razz surprised us with quite some teen maturity and Alex Clare came across super funny. It felt like had the time allowed it, we all would have continued our talk over a drink at the bar.

All of these clips were to be edited and uploaded asap to the homepage of arte television - so between shooting the first frame to seeing the finished piece online were sometimes merely a couple of hours.

Extremely stressy, also because of an outside temperature of close to 40°C, but also quite rewarding in seeing so much work done in a short amount of time.

Considering the urgency of the arte job, shooting the Radio Fritz tram concert of Berlin fun rapper MC Fitti proved to be a walk in the park. Set up in an association with the Berlin transport authority BVG, Fitti performed for an hour in a crowded tram going through Berlin to 70 fans who were giddy with the excitement of being part of this exclusive event. Who can blame them...

This one was not done in much of a rush, since my colleague Justus Hütter and I shot about 3 hours of footage and the piece itself is only 5 minutes. Sound engineer Kevin Castens took his time polishing the sound and I edited this over the course of a weekend.

But really: try shooting a gig when it happens in a tram at 30°C outside, 120 pounds of confetti flying around you and a gang of very devoted fans following every instruction Fitti and his crew would think of. Speaking of which... If you haven't heard: head spins are so yesterday, we do the ROFLcopter. Duh...

May 30, 2013

Half-Year Round Up 2013

I've been too busy to notice how time flew by...

In November I shot a clip for a new song of my friend Kaya. It actually depicts the way from my Berlin home to the area around Rheinsberg, where I grew up in the countryside outside of Berlin, so it features a lot of places I have known since I can remember.

In February I edited two research-heavy image film loops for Radio Fritz (rbb). One to be used around the 20th anniversary of the station and one to be used as sideshow entertainment at Fritz presentations.

Researching the material involved a couple of night sessions alone in the TV archive of rbb in Potsdam and going through the VJ archives at Fritz itself. The quality of resolution of the footage varied quite a lot, but I think the Fritz spirit comes across.

In April Stefan Fähler directed a promo clip at Con Men for Berlin event series Gegen as part of their "Gegen Innocence" party. I only provided location, set up and VHS transfer but his work turned out so nice, also thanks to the flowers provided by Mark Colle and the performance of Claudia Kent from the Crime Video "This Party Blows", that I feel it cannot get enough exposure.

Speaking of Crime. The show featuring the visuals mentioned below has travelled on a tour around Europe and have even made it to NYC. Here's a little one shot take of them performing "Other Kids Lives" at Berlin's Südblock that I shot some months ago, that you might like if you like them. Which you should, because they are great.

Last, but certainly not least I have been doing something for the first time. Doing presentations at a conference, the radiofestival "Vmeste - Radio" in Moscow talking about my work as a morning host and reporter at Radio Fritz.

© Pawel Kartaev

I really have to thank Natalia Vlasova and Ekaterina Solomina from the foundation for independent radio broadcasting (FNR) for the invitation to this event at the end of May. Those were really some great days in the russian capital with a lot of new friends and many interesting points of view on the profession we share.