Your upcoming movie Skatecop - in a few words, what is it
film takes place in a run-down Kiel City in 2007. It's about a cop who
get's his feet chopped off
replaced by roller skates. And he has to avenge the loss of his feet and
save the girl he loves.
Skatecop pays hommage to trash action
cinema from the 1980s - so what do you find fascinating about that genre
and era, and some of your favourite movies from back then?
I grew up as a 2000s kid it was really a new world for me to discover.
Everything seemed to
this larger-than-life approach – the characters, the stories, the
haircuts! And I also love that
of the movies don't have the selfawareness and irony that seems to be
required when you make
films today. It almost always ruins my movie experience when the movie has
to tell me all the
that it knows how ridicolous it is. And in the end I'm also just a sucker
for the analogue quality
of those films. I mean I'm a digital filmmaker, I never got in touch with film
and I probably never
because it's fucking expensive. But I just love the experience of watching
an actual 35mm
or something that's shot on it. It gives those films some magic aura and
authenticity you won't
from a digital image. Add some practical effects, no matter how good or
bad they are and I'm all in! I
think my favourites from that time are Road House with Patrick Swayze that
just has this larger-than-life approach I mentioned before and of course Cobra,
which has everything awesome and
about the 80s just dripping out of every frame. And on a more low budget
level it's the German language dub of Kill Squad, because the film itself is already hilarious but the dub
just brings it to the
level! And I love Lady
Terminator, that movie just rocks everytime I see
sources of inspiration when dreaming up Skatecop?
think my biggest source of inspiration was Hobo with a Shotgun. Not so
much in style and content,
in the way it pays hommage to the genre. What I found so inspiring about
this movie was that
all the weird stuff and the exaggerated ultraviolence it was taking its
story seriously and tried
be a good, entertaining movie. And that's what grindhouse cinema for me is
about. Most of those
weren't meant to be funny when they came out, it's today's perspective
that brings out
cheese in those films. And that's what I've tried to achieve with Skatecop
as well. Trying to tell a
story in a cheesy way..
can you tell us about your co-writer Lena Günther, and what was your
me, Lena is a great lover of the 80s. So naturally we had pretty much the
same ideas about
our movie should feel and look. I did the writing of the script but we
worked closely together
we were creating the story. Most of the time we just sat together and
started spinning around
„Hey, we should do a dance scene“ - „Yeah in a disco. With awesome
lights and lots of steam“ - „But
it ends tragically!“ - „Of course, our protagonist could have flashback
of his dead wife while
dancing with another woman“ and so on. It was a really nice process
which shaped the film in
Do talk about the action scenes in
your movie for a bit, and how were they achieved?
first things first Skatecop won't be an non-stop action fest. Since action
scenes are very
to shoot and we are not very experienced in doing them. So they were very
of the time, I came up with something the night before and then we went to
the set and figured
how to do it. Fortunately our actors were absolutely fearless when
it came to action! So
of the time I was the one who chickened out, when he came up with some
crazy ideas (like
down 15 meters a stair backwards). But we really tried to keep everything
safe and nobody
seriously hurt. Since we hadn't had the budget and time to blow shit up or
we had to look for other ways to make our scenes stick out. And that was
creative kills and enemys. So we decided made him kill crazy looking
mutant punks with
or microphones instead of having him shoot waves of faceless goons.
What can you tell us
about Skatecop's look and feel?
of our first decisions style-wise was to not give it an altered look,
pretending to be an old
print or a scrappy VHS tape. It had been done too often in the last years
and it's something I
didn't felt was appropiate to the project. We wanted to kind of extend the
new retro wave
aspect to our filmmaking. So we tried to approach the 80s vibes from an
2016 perspective. It's
a film about the 80s but about us imagining how it would look if a no
budget filmmaker from
80s would shoot a film in the 2010s. There was some really deep thinking
going on, as you
see! In the end Hobo with a Shotgun was a big source of inspiration again.
I really want this film
to be bright and colourful. We tried to achieve a lot of it on set, by lighting with gels and
fancy wardrobe. With this I want to make a warm, nostalgic feeling even if
the story is
darker or more grisly.
about your key cast, and why exactly these
of the cast was recruited from my circle of friends. With a lot of them I
already worked on the
2014 fake trailer of Skatecop, so it was obvious to involve them again. For
played Destiny Hope in the original trailer and there was no one else
I could have
in that part. The same goes for Nils Meyn who is the antagonist Dr. Klaus
Bennet in both
trailer and the feature film. With Nils I got especially lucky, because we
had a lot of discussion about
him since he was never in front of the camera before and not all of us
were sure if he would
able to play such a big role. But on the first day of shooting with him
all our doubts were blown
It was such a pleasure to see him grow on the role and in the end of the
shoot he had so
great moments in the film, that I'm sure the audience will love his
biggest challenge was finding an actor to portray our hero Al Poporski,
the Skatecop. In the
he was played by Pascal Radtke, with whom I was making films since my
we now live in different cities and have different lives, it was
impossible to get him for such a
shoot. So I wrote him a smaller part and gave the main part to Hannes
Jetzek, a local actor. My
Dung and Lukas had worked with him before and highly recommended him. I
his approach on the character of the Skatecop was so different than Pascal's. Pascal played
very over the top like a comic figure, which was perfect for the trailer
but probably would have
carried a 80 minute feature film. With Hannes we had an actor who was able
to perform all the
eighties element, but also give Poporski a certain level of melancholy and
him more than just a collection of macho film chlichés.
also wrote some new main character that weren't in the trailer but helped
me to expand the world I
trying to build. One of my regular actors is Maiko Hanisch. He is such a
sweet person and an amazing
actor who is just a live wire in real life and in front of the camera. But
in our short movies
always had the feeling I wasn't doing his talents justice. So I decided to
role of El Santo especially for him, the sidekick of Skatecop and a Mexican
wanted him to be the
of Poporski, an open, funny guy who loves people. They developed a
wonderful buddy cop
between them, which really helped to enhance the character of both of
them. And also
just looks wonderful in his wrestling mask and with his green
important cast member was Johann Schulz. He is originally a highly
talented local director
helped me a lot in developing the script and the characters. And at one
point in the story I
out that if Skatecop has a sidekick, Dr. Bennet also needs one. So I
decided to write him the
of Eric Chen, a mysterious assassin. He really had one of the toughest
roles in the movie,
I decided to make him a mute. So he had to look serious and threatening
him was delivering cheesy quotes. And I also made him wear an ape paw,
which was made
of a gardening glove with glued my beard hair on it.
What can you tell us about the shoot as such,
and the on-set atmosphere?
had two shooting sessions. One in the end of July, where we shot most of
the stuff without
since he was working. And then after the week-long pause we continued to
film for almost
me the shoot was an amazing experience. I was just overwhelmed with the
support and interest the
took in our little project. I mean, we were shooting almost 30 days
straight with an average
10 hours per day. So I was expecting a lot of tensions to rise. But
fortunately none of it happened.
course everyone was tired in the end and we had minor quarrels but we grew
as a team and
was doing their best on the set. The most surprising thing for me was how
were. I really suck at organizing stuff, but Dung, my DOP and producer did
such an amazing job
planning everything beforehands and writing us the schedules and everything.
Our production wouldn't
gone half as smooth as it was if it wasn't for her! But really, everyone
was commiting to the
and I was surprised how serious they took it. I mean we were shooting a
movie where naked
men melt on plasma fences, but it didn't seemeto matter if we were
shooting an arthouse
or this cheesy little trash flick. They just wanted to make a movie and
did everything to make
awesome. I'm very grateful for them!
The $64-question of course,
when and where will the movie be released onto the general public?
don't have an exact date yet, but the plan is to be finished in summer
2017. Of course we plan to
a big premiere for cast and crew in Kiel and bring it to as many festivals
as possible. We also
to a few cinemas in Kiel, which were interested in showing our movie. We
also have to burn
lot of discs to give to our awesome supporters on Startnext! And after
that we have to see if we get
label interested in releasing our film or releasing it on our own.
future projects you'd like to share?
now I'm working on a music video for the horrorpunk band Mutant
who also wrote
theme song for Skatecop and have a new EP coming out in May. I'm also
planning to help our
Patrick and Rene with their feature film Reyes, which will be done in the
end of the
And apart from the movies I'm working on the radio play Ariowist &
Birkenfeuer, based on a
book a friend of mine wrote.
got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
think it started naturally. When I was a kid I just got hooked on movies.
My first movie love was
Park and me and my friends would start to act out scenes from that. Later
I discovered the wonderful
world of trash and B-movies and then one day a friend of mine got a DV camcorder so
started to film our little stories. During my teenage years my parents
sent me to some sort of film
camps during the holidays. There I learned the basics on telling a story,
making a nice picture
all that. And now I'm studying Multimedia Production in Kiel. It's not
directly a film school, but
here I have the chance to meet other film buffs and broaden my knowledge
of course the most I learned by just making movies, no matter if they were
my own or somebody else's!
What can you tell us about your
filmwork prior to Skatecop?
started making films when I was a teenager. Back then I made my movies
with a few friends in my
backyard. From the beginning on we were inspired by trashfilms like Troma
(did I mention a
dream came true when we got Lloyd Kaufman for a cameo appereance?). We
were making some
films that got shown on local competitions, but other than that it's hard
to show your work
you are living in a small village in the northern german province. Also
there are few people
share your love for odd, bloody movies. This changed, when I started
studying in Kiel. Here I had
the chance to meet more people who were into movies as much as me. Kiel
actually has an
network of filmmakers and the scene is very well connected. So I had the
chance to improve
on a form and content level. I also did some films, that I regard as more
rid of my B-movie influences. A major milestone for me was doing Weil
unsere Liebe ewig
ist (Because Our Love is Eternal) in 2014. You can check out a subtitled
version at https://vimeo.com/115924105.
But while I was maybe growing more on an artistic level (if I may say
so) I started to miss the times a bit when it was just about filming
stupid ideas and lots of fake
squirting around. So I tried to get back to that with Skatecop, I guess.
How would you
describe yourself as a director?
when I started doing films with my friends in the backyard I was basically
an auteur. I was
cameraman and editor. So it's really hard for me now to give away
responsibility. I tend to
a control freak who has to overlook everything. But that's what excites me
the most about Skatecop.
Since it's my biggest project yet, I can't do it like this anymore, I have
to give away some
And I'm glad that I found people whom I can trust enough, that they won't
I would say most of my films are made on set and in the editing. I would
love to put more
in pre-production but unfortunately I never really managed to. When I
started making movies
eight years ago we didn't even have a script. I was making the scene up right
before we shot it.
course now it's not possible anymore, but I still like working with that
element of improvisation.
things we find on the set or developing it with my actors during the
rehearsals. The script is
a guideline, it's never final. Same is for the editing. Of course I'm
having ideas on how to shoot
scenes but I like grabbing as much footage as possible to have a much
freedom in editing as I can
get. I like involving my crew and cast in the creative process. Since I'm
making no budget, they
work for free, so it's important for me to give them the feeling that it's
also their movie. And
of the time it works really well and I'm getting a lot of great ideas that
in the end improve the
Filmmakers who inspire
like filmmakers who walk on the thin red line between art films and
that's something I want to achieve someday as well. So my biggest
like Shinya Tsukamoto, Jörg Buttgereit, Alejandro Jodorowsky, John
Frank Hennenlotter. They all work with elements of genre films but make
and expand them to an unique vision.
Your favourite movies ... and of
course, films you really deplore?
always depends on my daily mood but I think the films I will love forever
are John Woo's Hard Boiled,
Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things are and The Devils by Ken Russel.
I don't know either, I usually manage to find something likeable in every
how shitty they are. Maybe some soulless big budget turds like the
Man of Steel.
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
have a nice little Facebook page (facebook.com/skatecop), but
unfortunately it's only in German.
there are a lot of nice pictures in it!
Anything else you're
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
not really. But I think I could use this space to thank again everyone who
supported our film,
my amazing crew and our awesome Startnext crowdfunders! You are awesome!
and you guys should check out our fake trailer for Skatecop which the
whole thing is based
for the interview!