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At BIAFF 2010 Florian Gregor & Philipp Scholz won a Diamond, Best
Editing and Best Comedy Awards with Clint.
Obsessive smoker Clint deals with his girlfriend's challenge: "It's them or me!" by trying to do the right thing, but ...
One Friday night in March 2008 Philipp and I (Florian) heard about a "3-minutes Film Festival" located in our hometown Hamburg. That festival asked film makers to produce a short film of about 3 minutes length on the subject "Smoke". At that point we actually wanted to take a little break from making movies because we had just finished our previous Short Film production The Dead Meat, which had been very exhausting.
|Fortunately things happened differently.
That Friday night we were sitting in our kitchen (our chamber of creative thoughts) and could not stop ourselves brainstorming. Eight beers later the idea for Clint was born.
Our basic notion was to have a cigarette make its way from Clint`s mouth - back into Clint`s mouth - and thereby cause some kind of trouble in his life. Since, the way we see it, relationships with women provide a wonderful base for trouble, his love "Mia" got into game. This is how the plot of the movie - Clint's love triangle with his girlfriend and his cigarettes - was born.
We locked ourselves in our kitchen from Friday till Sunday night and wrote down the entire script. While writing it, we kept trying to find little jokes that in our view would be funny, not even wondering how other people would like this kind of humour. And so the ten-page script was written in a weekend.
We showed it to a few friends, who all reacted in the same way: "...sounds funny, but how are you gonna get all of this into more or less 3 minutes?" Well, we didn't know the answer at that point, but we knew that the submission deadline for the "3-minutes Film Festival" was in around 3 weeks.
|So we started drawing a storyboard, gathered up our friends
as film crew, found companies to support us with camera (Panasonic HVX 200)
and light-equipment. We manufactured dog dirt out of cocoa powder. We sent
out a Germany-wide casting-call for the role of "Mia" on the internet, cast
the other roles of the movie with friends and our parents. We chose our friend
Ole for the leading role of Clint. (He is actually a voice-over
artist and not an actor - which was important for us because the movie contains
a lot of voice-over speech.)
Then a really big problem arose just two days before the start of shooting: since it was Easter, all our dog-owning friends were on holiday. A dog? Well, in the original script Clint`s pet, Frank, was a little dog that humps his leg, while Mia sits on his lap. But somehow we couldn't find anyone who owned such an extremely rare species. So why not use the pig, which lives on Phillip's mother's farm instead? Not finding a dog was the best thing that happened to us during the production of Clint, since the appearance of the pig, Frank, has proved to be the recipe for the biggest laugh at festival screenings.*
|We had four days of shooting, which seems pretty long for a 3-minute
movie. A lot of scenes took much time because they were kinda tricky. While
throwing the phone right into Clint`s hand took about 25 takes, throwing
the cigarette into the boy's kebab was the top scene with over 40 takes.
When the shooting was done, our main actor Ole was addicted to nicotine again!
(He had quit smoking just two weeks before the shoot.)
We had 10 days left before the submission deadline. At that point we faced the hardest part of the process: Post-Production. While handling the visual effects (like the blue screen with the Big Cigarette or retouching the cord that was bound to Clint`s cigarette (when it flies back into his mouth the scene is played backwards) appeared pretty easy, cutting the movie was a tough challenge.
As I mentioned, the script contained 10 pages and we had enough footage for a film 10 minutes long, so we now needed to speed everything up a little to stay within the stated time window. Having just roughly 3 minutes of time for the movie length was the second best thing that happened during the production of Clint. This gave the film the cutting speed that it has today. No time to breathe, one joke after another.
|One day before closing date we did the scoring and recorded
the voice-over speech, so that the movie was just finished in time. And here
comes the sad part about the Making of Clint. The "3-minutes
Film Festival" did not accept the film! They just didn't like it. *
Philipp and I were disappointed and even mad at the festival. Today, our mood is different. We love that "3-minutes Film Festival". Not that we ever produced a movie for their competition again. No, we love it for having encouraged us to have some beers and come up with the idea of Clint one Friday night in March 2008.
The resulting short film has been screened at over 60 film festivals worldwide and has won 20 prizes so far: the three latest in Bedford. Thank you.
- (smoking) Florian and (non-smoking) Philipp
Philipp has been making films since he was 15. After high school he dived into the movie jungle of Hamburg. After several internships he got work at the facilities department of Hamburg Studios. His strengths are innovative ideas and their scenic and technical implementation.
Since 2007 Florian has been working for a BA in Multimedia Production at Keele University. He sometimes works as a production manager for Hamburg Studios. He has been producer for numerous short films and is Fu King Production he is responsible for ideas, planning and finance.
Florian and Philipp operate under the banner of The Fu King Production. (Click here to see it with google translation from German into English.) They offer a wide range of film planning and making services ... but not weddings! From their website there are links to many of their short films.
* "Frank" normally lives with some horses, a chicken and some ducks at a former farm about 120 miles south of Hamburg.
** In many countries festival organisers select those entries which will be shown at an event. Judging for the prizes is then done live during the festival.