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The making of Opus 6 No. 8

Still from 'Opus 6 No. 8'.To BIAFF 2008 results | To Full Making Of Index

Opus 6 No. 8 got a 4-star award at BIAFF 2008.

[It is unusual for an experimental film to do so well in general competition. The film shows a great deal of architectural detail and few people ... yet it is essentially about movement. Its impact is not obvious in still images. - Editor.]

Corelli and Krumlov

How did I hit on such an idea: to make a video-clip1 based on classical music?

Still from 'Opus 6 No. 8'.Still from 'Opus 6 No. 8'.This is how it happened. I have known since childhood the city of Cesky Krumlov (Bohemian Krummau) which is in the South Bohemia area of the Czech Republic. For 20 years we have lived in Germany and so the city and I had lost touch with each other a bit.

I visited Krumlov again after very many years, and there it became clear to me: I must make a film here, a film about the city, its architecture, the wizardry of its transformation, the magic of the city, the night and about Moldavia.

On three occasions we spent our vacation in Krumlov. We know many of the small streets as well as the local people. I shot a lot of raw material, but none of the films I tried to make from this material were any good. They did not work for me or for the city.

Still from 'Opus 6 No. 8'.Still from 'Opus 6 No. 8'.Last Spring I came up with the idea of making a video-clip and began to search for suitable classical music. A. Corelli's "Concerti Grossi" is a wonderful piece of music and Opus 6 No 8 seems almost to be written for film. The Allegro I and Allegro II above all are perfect as music for a video-clip.

I realise that the music was written as a "Christmas Concerto", but I hope that it works with other types of images too.

At four places, there is a sequence in Allegro I with 14 bars of faster music, that I specifically wanted to use for my film. I wanted to let the city dance, whether we were looking at the market place, St. Vitus church, the castle tower or the fountain.

And I think that worked for me.


Still from 'Opus 6 No. 8'.Still from 'Opus 6 No. 8'.As for people in the film: many spectators and judges miss people in my film. Maybe it doesn't sound polite, but I wanted it that way. The people appear only now and then in the film as tourists, spectators and guests.

In the first version of the film - the version shown at BIAFF in Harrogate - the time when people appeared was "shortened." The people run fast, they pour through the castle and the streets. This passage in the film seemed odd to audiences who felt it disturbed the continuity.

In the largo, a type of catharsis should be reached, a certain peace and calm. Unfortunately, in the film this passage felt too long and boring. There now is a new version of the film. I also shortened the music in the largo - sorry Signore Corelli - and I believe that it is now better.


Still from 'Opus 6 No. 8'.As to the cinematic style ... People think some parts of the film consist of still photos taken at slightly different positions to show different elements of a view and then blended together. It will come as a surprise to them to know that there are NO still photos in the film and the movements from one point of view to another are not computer tricks. They have to be done during shooting.

The technique involved much thinking and planning. In the 15 minutes of the film there are 378 cuts. [Most feature-length films have between 600 and 700.] In only 90 images is there no movement. Otherwise there are always some small signs of life: tree leaves, deaf persons, clouds etc.

Still from 'Opus 6 No. 8'. Still from 'Opus 6 No. 8'. Still from 'Opus 6 No. 8'.

There is one picture, which only lasts just one-and-a-half seconds when I measure it on the computer.

The technique I am using means everything is done with basic film technology. It is an original style that I probably invented and therefore I do not want to reveal too much about it.

Pavla and Jan

Finally I would like to thank my family for their patience through many hours of shooting, for their help with the film and also for their criticism. We had beautiful vacations in Krumlov as well as making the movie.

Opus 6 No 8 should please all spectators. And I hope that I have managed that.

- Martin Ctvrtnicek

1 A Video-Clip is a format widely used for competitions in Europe. We would call it a "film to music" where a piece of music is interpretted visually and stylistically. Two popular festivals for such movies are Film Song & Videoclip Festival held in Mohelnice, Czech Republic in November each year and the Berlin German Video-Clip Competition

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Page updated on 07 October 2011
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