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Birds and Dice
2017, 10m, horror, mystery, thriller
In order to solve the mystery surrounding the death of his girlfriend Lisa, Andy is willing to try everything. Ignoring the sceptic laugther of his buddy Will, he brings in the psychic Mike to have a look into the girls drowning. As things get heated during the seance, Andy and Will are rather confused by Mike’s visions. They see images that don’t make any sense... Or do they?
Produced by: Manuel Imboden
Cast: Fabian Guggisberger, William Bird, Michael Glatthard, Dinah Marti
6 questions with Birds and Dice director, Philipp Andonie at the half-way mark.
Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
1Hi Philipp! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, what was the initial seed that inspired you to make this film? As we (from Rise and Shine Films) were drowning in corporate work, it became more and more evident that we had to work on our own narrative projects soon to lift our tired spirits and re-ignite our love for movies. Since our last passion projects were all really, really small, it also became apparent for us that we now wanted to tackle a larger one. With this next passion project we really wanted to challenge ourselves narratively and visually. As if he had been reading our minds, Julius, our long time buddy, showed up at the perfect moment with this idea we immediately fell in love with. It was a no brainer to commit to it.
2Julius Siegenthaler wrote the script. How did you come across it and what was it about it that made you want to direct it? Julius and I have known each other for ages and hang out a lot. He also is one of our go-to actors who, himself, got into writing about 2 years after he started doing stand-up comedy. So one day he came to me with this script idea he had about a murder mystery, which is solved through a psychic, who sees the murderer's tattoos. I instantly loved it because I saw the potential for compelling storytelling through precise information management. After we developed the idea based of his first draft, it was a given that we had to make this short.
3This film has a great ending. How important is a good ending to you? The end is what makes or breaks a movie. It's not just that everything before that is working towards the conclusion presented at the end, but this is also the last impression the movie makes on the audience. This is where everything comes to its final resolution and all the dots are connected for the audience, so that they have the full picture of the movie. With this final puzzle piece the audience can go back and examine the film as a whole, with all the necessary knowledge, which they will only do if the end was intriguing enough to motivate them.
4Can you share a war story from the shoot? Due to the spooky nature of the script and the limited budget, it was pretty obvious that we had to shoot at night. So we prepared the set and shot a flashback scene on the first day, before shooting through the whole night. After what felt like a short nap, we started day two by prepping the set and started shooting as soon as the sun was down. As usual, we had a tight schedule and a little too many pages planned for the second night. Especially around 5 o'clock in the morning, after we hit some technical problems, we got a little jittery. After some troubleshooting and quick thinking (as quick as possible in this state) we finally set our course and went for it. I knew that the sun would rise at around 7am, which made me more and more nervous, but also focused. We went from setup to setup until we reached the final one. After two takes I knew we weren't there yet, so I rallied everyone one last time and we nailed the third take. After checking in with Sven (1st AD) we declared a wrap and high fived everyone before stepping outside for a smoke. Thats when the first sunray of the day hit my face. We managed to wrap the movie exactly one minute before sun rise.
5What attracts you to the thriller genre? I think it's one of the more direct and honest genres, which operates much better across different cultures and social classes than, say, a family drama. The thrill (or even better horror) is a much deeper primal emotion, which I myself enjoy a lot in movies and therefore love to evoke in my audience. Everything is made even better by a clever twist that makes you think about it even after the movie.
6What's next? Even though we are not working an a specific narrative project at the moment, there are a couple of ideas and concepts spooking around in our heads. Serial formats have particularly become of major interest for us lately, because of the narrative possibilities they offer.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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