A film shot produced by four Webster students may make it to the Diagonale
Like the fish in the bowl, we swim silently in our in bigger tank. Maybe we brush past each other, but otherwise, we are stuck. The fate of people who swim in such tanks becomes the main topic in the movie produced by four Webster Vienna students.
After discarding several story ideas, Gretchen Gatzke, Jackie Thode, Kate Kapuza and Lisa Walzel decided to use a short story by their colleague and friend Stefanie Rauchegger, titled “The Girl With the Goldfish”.
The story is about a girl who stopped loving her partner but can’t find the way out of the relationship. More generally, it’s about human’s capability to express and cope with emotions.
Though the video is only eleven minutes long, it took the group almost six weeks from the first discussion of the script to the final version of the movie.
For Jackie, it was the first experience as director and main editor. She calls the three days of actual filming the best they could have been, “also because everybody collaborated well.” Post-production was a bit rougher. Yet, she says, “the team members gave what they could and did what was needed when asked.” Lisa’s role in the movie was taking care of the cameras, sound, light, and equipment.
Kate was in charge of the shot lists on the set and was taking notes during the filming so the postproduction would go smoothly. Gretchen tried out her acting skills in her first movie, apart from middle school plays in Aspen, Colorado. This experience, she says, was more enjoyable, but even more tough than she would have imagined. “Spending more than ten hours a day doing the same scene over and over is hard work,” she says.
Apart from the four Webster students, one more actor was needed to play the male part in the story. On short notice, Virginia Ernst, a friend of Jackie, was invited to play. She agreed, with a double goal in mind: “I was thinking that every famous singer or songwriter has already been in one movie,” she says, “so I was really happy when Jackie asked me if I could be an actor and part of the team.” On top of this, she composed the music for the movie. The difference between the two jobs? “When you get into a role you have to become part of it. When writing songs, you are just yourself.
As the instructor of the video class, Holger Lang says: “They were collaborating well and used the strengths of each group member.” Holger also had the idea to submit the short to Austria’s biggest annual film festival, the Diagonale in Graz. This idea made the students work even harder. “We want to be proud of what we send to the Diagonale”, says Jackie.
It is not going to be easy. More than 500 films are submitted and over 25,000 visitors come to the Diagonale. In March 2013, we will know whether “The Girl With the Goldfish” will have made it. For more and earlier information, visit the website here.
Photos © Martina Mikucikova (martinuenda), 2012
Gretchen Gatzke (left, as The Girl), media communications major and editor of the Loop, and Gini Ernst, songwriter and singer (as the male partner in the movie).
The Girl With The Goldfish portrays a very real relationship between two people. “It’s not one of those unrealistic or utopian stories. It happens on a daily basis: people love each other and after some time their relationship falls apart due to diverse reasons,” says Walzel.
“It seems to me that we have forgotten how to express our feelings so we keep them to ourselves. In the story, the girl stops talking because she suffers from depression. Instead of communicating her feelings, she remains silent,” says Rauchegger.
Depression and (non)communication between people is what drove Rauchegger to write the Girl With The Goldfish.
The couple are like the two fish in the bowl; there is nothing left to say. They are stuck,” adds Rauchegger.
As it goes, also in the story one of the partners tries to save the broken relationship, and the other silently wishes to walk out unnoticed.
Gatzke (left): “We worked great as a team, there was definitely a lot of chemistry and I think we both felt like we knew each other even though we had only just met.”
The openending challenges the audience to take from the movie, the message they wish. Yet, it does reflect on the (dis)ability of humankind to express emotions freely.