Your upcoming movie Winnetou - The Beginning - in a few
words, what is it going to be about?
It is the tale of Winnetou
how it started, how two young men from different
cultures became blood
brothers and how a cowardly murder bonded them further.
What do you find so
fascinating about Winnetou
that you want to make a movie about him? And how did you discover the
novels of German writer Karl May in the first place, what's your relation
Our publishing company, Nemsi Books, is the publishers of the translated
original works of Karl
May and we have long felt that Karl May’s message of peace and tolerance
needs to be told not
only in the English language for English speaking people, but also via
the audio visual media.
Karl May has been known to our founder since early childhood and since
his teens he desired to
make the original works Karl May available to a larger audience. As he is
now living in the
United States of America, on the very prairies that Karl May so vividly
described, he thought it
fitting to initiate a project that would bring the original works to the
people as Karl May
Will Winnetou - The Beginning be based
on any particular novel(s) of Karl May or on an original story of yours,
and how much artistic licence are you taking with May's oeuvre?
Our film will do two things
firstly, it will explain
that Karl May’s tale is a
vision of freedom
born out of his imprisonment. Secondly, it will guide the audience
through that imaginary vision
described in his first
tale of Winnetou … and the rest we will leave unsaid for
now as we don’t
to spoil the suspense for our audience (smile).
May's books, other sources of inspiration when conceiving Winnetou -
Yes, we relied on Karl May’s autobiography,
which explains a great deal
about the author and
the iconic character of Winnetou was born.
What can you tell us about the
intended look and feel of your movie?
The film will be shot in the Black Hills of South Dakota and surrounds
with its beautiful vistas,
fascinating wild life, especially the bear, bison and the wild horses or
mustangs and, of course,
real American Indians.
Our intent is for our audience to experience Karl May’s
vision as though
they were a part of it.
I am sure you are
aware about the German Winnetou-movies
of the 1960's that were big all over Europe - your thoughts about them,
and do they at all play a role in your approach to your subject at hand?
The old films were fascinating - for a child. However, any child who had
read the story would
have picked up that Santer did not die in the first volume of the story.
Neither did the film evoke
the deeper meaning that Karl May intended. The moral of Karl May’s tale is
that greed kills the
innocent and that avarice impacts heavily upon those that are left
behind. What was the real
impact on Winnetou and Old Shatterhand after Nsho-
Intshu-tshuna’s death? –
will have to watch the movie to find out …
think one of the key factors of pretty much every Western movie is finding
the right locations - anything in mind on that front yet?
Yes, the locations we have explored so far are ideally suited for our
purpose. The Black Hills and
surrounds are perfect for the scenery that Karl May described in his
you can tell us about your projected cast yet, and why exactly these
Our casting director and director are still in the process of deciding on
the final cast. Picking the
right actors to play these parts is not so easy
especially when it
comes to the lead roles. One
must remember that an actor that takes on the role of Winnetou or Old
Shatterhand would have
to commit to these roles for many, many future productions. Not many
actors have the fortitude
play these parts for what may be the rest of their lives.
Likewise, do talk about your key crew for a bit!
Winnetou Productions was formed in 2010, after we approached the late
actor and activist
Russell Means (Last of the Mohicans). Russell believed in the project and
encouraged us and
since we were inexperienced, we started to gather a team of industry
professionals. Today our
team is comprised of Emmy Award winning and Emmy Award nominated people
years of industry experience who are truly dedicated to the project and
believe in the message
Karl May wished to express to his readers. We have all worked long and
hard to realize this
project and all of us are most enthusiastic about the product we desire
to deliver to our audience.
you are still in the process of raising funds for Winnetou - The
Beginning - so what can you tell us about your fundraising efforts?
The first thing to remember is that we are not Hollywood
we are an
production company. Raising funds is always the most difficult hurdle
production costs run into millions of dollars. Investments in films are
risky. One never knows
how the public will react. So investors want to know how their investment
will be returned and
of course they always want to see a profit
but no matter in what glowing
light the potential of
any project is presented, investors want to see a sample of the final
product. Producers must
therefore prepare a pitch package
that includes a ‘teaser
trailer’. Such a teaser can run into
hundreds of thousands of dollars when you consider the costs of location,
equipment, travel, accommodation, talent, props, costumes and insurance (to name but a few)
and yet the result
but few minutes of actual film that will be shown to investors. The task
is indeed daunting. Our
project is currently working on such a ‘teaser trailer’ as part of
pitch package and
started a crowd funding campaign to help us achieve it. Every dollar
donated counts towards our
your funds are raised, what's the schedule, and any idea when and where
the movie will be released onto the general public yet?
Our estimate is that after some six to eight weeks of shooting (weather
permitting) there will be
some three months of editing, music, effects and credits to work on and
then our product will be
handed over for distribution. If all goes according to plan, our audience
will see our product in a year’s
May has written numerous books about Winnetou
- so is Winnetou - The Beginning planned as a one-off or the
starting point for a potential series? And any other future projects you'd
like to share?
Winnetou – The Beginning is
the start, we have plans for future films in this genre and, as you say,
there are many books,
fifteen to be exact, which
we are currently considering.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, IndieGoGo, whatever else?
Our websites are:
Our Facebook pages:
Links to the new music written for the film:
Anything else you are dying to mention
and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Yes, we invite your readers to visit our web pages, to share our
postings, donate to our film project, and to become a supporter and part of our production. As Karl
For whom were my books written? Quite naturally for the people, for
all the people, …
And we therefore invite all the people to join us and make this another
century that celebrates
May’s vision of freedom.
Thanks for the
And we thank you for the opportunity to bring this project to the
attention of your reading public.