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Comments on "The ABC of ROFFEKE" Screenings (September 2015 at iHub)

I liked all the films especially the one for Superman [“This is Joe”] and the last one which was longer [“ Frontman ”]. I look forward to at...

The Indie Bible

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Interview: Peter Böving - Writer, Director, Producer of The Heaviest Order (Part 3)

ROFFEKE: In part 2 of the interview, you said: “…something often overlooked in creative processes is that experimenting with mistakes often leads to entirely new ideas, possibly even the best ones!” Please share any examples either from “The Heaviest Order” or any other creative work of yours where mistakes took you in new and interesting directions.

PETER Böving: In my first "life," I was a musician – 25 years on live stages and in a constant process of learning. There, I recognized the approach of "Error as Opportunity" and quickly cultivated it. Whenever tonally thrown off track while improvising, I noted that mistake – or, more sympathetically, the blue note – in the corresponding context and firmly integrated it into the further arrangement from that moment on. Ideally, one then weaves unpredictable turns in their improvisation on these detours. The crucial aspect is to "sell" what one is playing outwardly and always know where the emergency exit is, if in doubt... In filmmaking, I experience these moments much less frequently. A surefire way to create surprising moments is to "overlay" music or sounds onto one's films, ones that one would never have thought could fit together or complement each other. Approaching such a process openly ensures that one can certainly hear where a "match" can occur.
ROFFEKE: In part 2 of the interview, you also mentioned that your parental home influenced you to prevent food waste. In what ways did your parental home influence you in terms of creativity and the arts?

PETER: In addition to a few obligations, I was allowed to be a child. I would say that I played disproportionately much – often with things that were not necessarily age-appropriate. I essentially disappeared for years. Once, when my parents went on a summer vacation with my brothers, I chose to stay alone with my grandmother. During that period, I built ancient Rome from Kellogg's Cornflakes packages. When my family returned after weeks of relaxation, my fingers were sore, I was chalk-white with a happy face, and most importantly: Rome was completed!

ROFFEKE: “The Heaviest Order” has been featured in many film festivals all over the world. What advice would you give regarding making a film’s festival circuit successful?

PETER: This is something that probably few filmmakers are truly deeply involved in. My films also vary too much for me to create a guide to success.
A good idea or story, combined with originality and unique features, in my opinion, form a solid foundation for a film to gain attention at festivals. Impressive visuals and witty dialogues can also contribute, but in my opinion, they only bring something when the first point is fulfilled as well. Festival short films are, in any case, the ideal playground to experiment. Courage is often rewarded in the festival scene more than one might assume. Even if things don't go well at festivals, at least there is enjoyment in the production process.
What has personally helped me often: In addition to festival regulations, I also review photos from past screenings. If the atmosphere appeals to me and I feel I would enjoy being a guest there, it serves as a deciding factor for me to submit my work.
ROFFEKE: In “The Heaviest Order” there is a scene where the words “Something not right in Denmark” appear. I searched Denmark and food waste and came across a 2017 BBC article which said: “Around 29,000 tonnes of bread and cakes are discarded every year in Denmark, mainly because it is sold in portions larger than people need….” The article also says: “Yet Denmark now has more initiatives tackling food waste than any other country in the world.” It seems Denmark is tackling the food waste problem, so I’m curious, what were you referring to in that scene? :-)

PETER: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" is just a saying originating from William Shakespeare's play "Hamlet." In Germany, it is often used to point out discrepancies, corruption, or general issues in a situation. In reality, it doesn't have much to do with the "present-day" Denmark. On the contrary, the Scandinavian countries are always one step ahead of other European states in terms of environmental protection, quality of life, innovation, and technology. So, dear Danes: No hard feelings, but you are also a bit to blame. This example vividly illustrates that not only does the internet not forget...
(The BBC article is "The country where unwanted food is selling out" by Prathap Nair, 24th January 2017. Look out for part 4 of the interview. You can read part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE)

Interview: Peter Böving - Writer, Director, Producer of The Heaviest Order (Part 2)

ROFFEKE: There are new artificial intelligence tools that, with a prompt, someone can create animated music videos or short films within minutes. What are your views on artificial intelligence? As a stop motion animator, what are the ways you see artificial intelligence being of use? What would you never use artificial intelligence for when it comes to animation?

PETER Böving: My sense is that AI will play a significant role in the creation of computer-generated animations. It seems like there won't be a stone left unturned. I can't elaborate much further as I have given my heart to the analog approach. The greatest strength of stop-motion animation lies in its analog nature, allowing one to potentially smell the materials and adhesives used in a film. Naturally, AI is gradually finding its way into my film and audio software without me actively installing anything.
However, something often overlooked in creative processes is that experimenting with mistakes often leads to entirely new ideas, possibly even the best ones! This only works when one has previously tinkered with the controls oneself. AI works largely flawlessly and doesn't reveal any vulnerabilities. But there are aspects of AI that I already wouldn't want to do without: the potential in the area of image scaling and restoration.

I will consciously keep artificial intelligence away from sound and music production, though. The evolution in this field has taken peculiar turns even before the era of AI: Instruments are being played live less and less, and arranging is often done using modular systems. However, in music, my observation is that it's not as easy to deceive as in the film medium. Those who merely 'claim' or hide behind 'effects' will be exposed much quicker by the human ear!
ROFFEKE: What are you doing in your own life to prevent wasting your food?
PETER: The whole program, I think: Planned shopping, making use of leftovers, proper storage, and minimizing waste or composting. However, I also know no other way: My parental home has greatly influenced me in this regard. We threw out little, whether it was money or food. Despite having the financial means, at our home, recycling came first before considering buying something new (of course, food was not recycled:). Probably, the post-war years, which strongly influenced my parents, still play a role here.

What I have newly discovered for myself, though, is the 'regrowth' of vegetable scraps. In our kitchen, there are little water glasses in every corner where leeks or vegetable onions grow again. That a harvested plant sprouts again is almost a miracle! After 4 weeks, there are fully grown, harvestable plants in the glasses again. Anyone who has ever grown leeks in their garden would have reason to doubt now. After 4 weeks, not much has happened in the home garden bed with a young plant, to be honest.
(Look out for part 3 of the interview. You can read part 1 of the interview HERE

Review: andymori - everything is my guitar (Music Video) directed by Brett Koehn

Synopsis: Frustrated with learning how to play guitar, a boy's world starts to get overrun by guitars until he finds his own way to approach the instrument.

Reviewer: Love Kassim

First impression: The concept of the boy's transformation from struggling at guitar to perceiving everything as guitars adds a unique and intriguing twist.
What I liked: The imaginative portrayal of the boy's growing musical proficiency intertwining with his perception of the world is a creative and engaging storyline.
What I didn't like: It would be interesting to explore the origin or reason behind the boy's sudden shift in perception and musical ability for a more comprehensive narrative.
Reminds me of: This narrative echoes elements of magical realism, similar to works where characters experience surreal shifts in perception or reality.
Conclusion: The story captivates with its imaginative blend of music and perception, leaving room for further exploration of the fantastical elements introduced.