directed and edited by katharina wahl
inspired of a shortstory by christian hoeller
score, sounddesign by edvard paul beisteiner
plot: a young man feels trapped by his neighbour and acts/reacts on this in his fantasy.
content: A young couple just moves into their new flat when they get to know their new and eccentric neighbour in the staircase. The neighbour is strict, notes everything around him, and acts intolerant towards Eric who just wants to live his own life, with his girlfriend in his new flat. Later, in an increasing situation between the neighbour and him, Eric stabs the old man, both are falling down the stairs, ending up in the hospital. Knowing that the neighbour survived, Eric fulfils his first deed and sophisticates him in the hospital. A nurse wakes up from an emergency signal in the neighbour's section, walks along the corridor and when she finally opens the door, she actually enters the flat of Eric-she is his girlfriend. Standing at the open window, Eric looks over the skyline of Perth, everything was just a dream.
concept: Experimental film embodies an expression of breaking conventional rules. In both, form and content, it uses the whole spectrum of film as a medium that is independent from the mainstream film industry. The expirimental cinema uses such formal aspects as the deconstruction of time and space, the visibility of its material, special editing and montage techniques as well as different montage theories, and contrasted to the mainstream cinema. My storyline includes the topic of the destruction of time and space, visualized in the structure of my script. The sequences of events in my movie are unconventional, ordered instead for maximum impact on the audience. My shots were ordered so as to remind the audience that it is only a movie, and that a movie does not necessarily follow ratio or reality. I deconstruct time and space, as well as the difference between dream and reality. This is a rebellion against mainstream entertainment in today’s society, a rebellion against a lazy audience that just wants to sit there and be entertained with no need to think in order to understand the storyline. First the audience needs to understand the storyline, establish what is dream and what is reality. Did the protagonist really kill his next-door neighbour, or is it just his imagination? The role of the girlfriend, who is suddenly seen as a nurse further deconstructs the border between reality and dream as well. Further more I used aspects like the repetition of the same shots (Nurse walking along the corridor at the end compared to the very first shot of the movie of Eric being moved by the nurses) as hints to help the audience to follow the narrative. They still have to think, but I have provided them with a rough guide. The flicker technique that I used for the transitions is further more as a stylistic element of cinematographic language. On the one hand it is used as a transition between the different scenes, it is provides a common visual element for the audience to associate with the transition between reality and dream. Further more I decided to use a subjective camera and played around with the focus to express Eric’s perception of the situation, what is related to the content as well, because the movie takes place in his head, in his imagination. Also the different camera angles support the ‘different’ storyline in an emotionally increasing way.
where:perth, wa, australia
My work was driven by the aim to produce an expirimental piece of film. Because of my obsession with expirimental film my film had a deflated expirimental feel to it. I tried to adapt the ideas and techniques of the abstract film genre into the script and the whole production process. I found that the locations that I shot at worked. They suited my piece and gave the desired visual effect of the surealistic imagery that I was aiming for. Even the casted actors were a success. Considering the talent that was available for me, they ended up doing quite a good job. In my work as a director, I was confronted with the obvious problem of the language barrier. This came out in really stressful situations, making it harder for me to get what i wanted from them. On the other hand, it was a challange that i mastered and overcame, because i was very pleased with what i ended up with (The acting and my language skills). The editing process, including cutting, colour correction and the work of my sound composer , all contributed to the final product. My crew were highly efficient and got the work done on the set. They did what i told them to do, and this shows in my final product. Part of this was the high level of communication between myself and my crew. We had a good discussion after the second day of shooting about the different roles everybody had take on the set and how much a director can expect from his or her crew. Considering this, i tried to take our discussion into the following days, to expand both my understanding and to increase the crew’s motivation toward our major project. I have to admit that i was expecting more responsibility, motivation and ingenuity toward the project from my crew, and because i didnt feel this motivation, maybe I didn’t give them the opportunity to do this and thats why i ended up the only one with responsibility. Im still trying to work out if this is wat makes a good director, considering other roles, camera work and production especially.
This movie was handed in as the major project for the unit Video Advanced Production 2, at ECU Mount Lawley, Perth 2008.
future:I gonna hand it in at some festivals. it is furthermore online at: wahl.multimediaart.at/the_h264_neighbour.mov