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To BIAFF 2013 results | To Full Making Of Index | Watch Mindbreak

Still from 'Mindbreak'.

The making of


Florian Arndt

Title card for 'Mindbreak'.

One of the outstanding films shown at BIAFF 2013 was Mindbreak, which was awarded an IAC Diamond and Best Youth Entry (ages 16-21).  Its director, Florian Arndt, and his team have since turned professional. The main character is played by Peter Wagner.

Logo for  'Sons of Motion Pictures'.The Sons Of Motion Pictures is our new Label-Name since 2012. After we turned professional in co-operation with a Media-Production Company in Leipzig we decided to found a new label for our team. 

Our "Film-Making-Career" started in Mühlhausen (a small town in the middle of Germany). All of our team members come from there or once lived there for a while. We started in 2004, so I was 12 years old.

In this town is a little non-profit theatre called "3K - Kunst, Kultur & Kommunikation" (Art, Culture & Communication) which is a community of actors, artists, teachers, technicians and volunteers. We could always cooperate with them while we lived and worked in Mühlhausen. I had many experiences of acting and directing there. Peter Wagner, the star of Mindbrteak was also a member of this community.

Still from 'Mindbreak'.
Still from 'Mindbreak'.
Still from 'Mindbreak'.

The film's colour desaturation was a  stylistic device with which we tried to emphasise the cheerless atmosphere and a reflection of the protagonist's mood. It also reinforces the turning point of the film - the "Mind-Break" itself - from the point when he is drilling into his head to the sunset. Even if most people don't realise - the second part of the film is fully colour saturated, because it is "a kind of happy ending", because he found again the ability to feel fascination, happiness and fulfillness of little things.

Still from 'Mindbreak'. The overhead shot in the house hallway wasn't planned - we just recognised in the moment we visited this room, that for a good connecting indoor shot, this position might work very well and suggests a kind of loneliness. This shot is like one from a surveillance camera.

You asked what would it be like if we would have been forced to shoot this movie in summer... That is a really hard question, because the whole concept already necessitated the winter in a practical and a metaphorical way. Maybe we would have used artificial snow.

The Team

Johann Skatulla was our camera and light man. He really did a great job and always had a good idea where to put the camera for the perfect shot. Arvid Neid had the idea for this film - for the most part he cared about the conception and dramaturgy and after we finished the script Arvid became co-director. When we first talked about the plot with our sound-designer, Sebastian Gabriel, and they saw Peter Wagner fitting perfectly in the role of the protagonist - there was no question about whether we should make this film - just when.

Still from 'Mindbreak'.
Still from 'Mindbreak'.
Still from 'Mindbreak'.

Sebastian Gabriel is an impassioned musician and a great sound designer. He worked for the 3K for years as sound designer and technical support. He did the sound-concept for this film with friend and co-worker Christoph Fleischer. He picked up the visual flair in the production and built the "sound-base" which supports the pictures. Also because there is no spoken word in the film, the sound design has a really important role as "the voice of the movie".

Practical Problems

One of the funniest moments was the transporting of the couch. The shots in the house are made in 3 different locations. So we had to carry it everywhere - up the third floor on a spiral staircase or through the tiny doors and windows of old houses. We had to be very creative!

Another complication was, that in the outdoor couch shots, there were already lots of holes in the snow, because it was getting warmer. So we had to cover the green holes in the snow all the time. Another thing was the shot with the hair falling on the camera. It needed 6 or 7 tries to get it right. But when we shoot with these guys, it is always great fun. - There might be a "making-of" which shows this.

Still from 'Mindbreak'. Still from 'Mindbreak'.
Still from 'Mindbreak'.
Still from 'Mindbreak'.

Our new film after Mindbreak is Testdriver. This was our last non-profit short film and our first international
success, because this film has won more than 23 prizes. It´s a documentary. Here is the synopsis: MS, arthrosis, diabetes, a heart attack and cancer!

Usually with such a diagnosis one loses his zest of life – but not 69 year old wheelchair user Volkmar Kischbaum, who hasn´t lost his charm despite those blows. In addition to all his physical issues, his wife died unexpectedly five years ago after 43 years of happy marriage. Since that day, he lives alone – but he visits her daily in the graveyard, without exception! In his conversations with her he finds courage and hope. This portrait shows how to take whatever fate brings to you without breaking apart – in 20 minutes. Still from 'Testdriver'.

You can keep up with news of us and our work on on: www.sons-of.de  On the home page you can find our new showreel.

The "big story" is that six young people with short films like Mindbreak and Testdriver, but without a film study qualification can work professionally
today. We are living now in Leipzig and work together with a marketing company.

- Florian Arndt

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Page updated on 12 May 2013
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