How much are you willing to sacrifice to get what (and who) you want? How far can a man or a woman go out of love? – Pretty damn far, I guess.
At the heart of this story are the characters and their hopes, dreams and insecurities. From the beginning, we set out to make a film that would capture these characters and enable the audience to truly feel with them in this fast-paced story. It was never a question of the „villain“, of „good“ or „bad“ – Dr. Benedikt Greif is not a bad person. Nor is his wife or her lover. Granted, I wouldn’t want them to be my neighbours, either. But all of them did not set out to do harm, to manipulate or torture. They started of meeting someone the felt extremely attracted to but never quite believed they themselves could be worth that person. They all felt they had to have or do something extra for that other person to love them back. Failing to believe in themselves, they all started to deceive.
It was that core – that romantic notion, if you will, that we set out to build the film around. If the audience can feel – not understand or be explained, but feel a glimpse of that longing that is driving each of the characters, then this fast-paced rollercoster of a film would provide the audience not only with some interesting twists and turns, but also with an emotional connection that, at least for me, provides the most rewarding cinematic experience.
I was very lucky to attract very accomplished actors for our project. Paul Matic, Marie-Christine Friedrich and Christoph Friedl all digged deep to bring these characters to live (especially hard given the limited screentime of a short film). Months before production, we all reguarly met in Viennese Coffee Shops, via Skype or mail to discuss their motivations and especially their insecurities. Each character has a situation where their true nature, their longing to be loved, breakes free, if only for a short moment. It was a difficult task to make these moments live while essentially telling a fast-paced, twist-and-turn psychological thriller. Having watched the film a couple of hundred times through postproduction, I am still in awe of the precision and timing these three actors show.
We wanted the look and feel of the film to work for the characters and performances, but still to use the means at our disposal to draw the audience into the story rather than objectively viewing from the outside. For Georg Geutebrück (D.o.P), Christina Romirer (Production Design), Gerrit Wunder (Music), Andreas Rathammer (Sound Design) and Andi Winter (Colour Timing) that meant a tougher job as they could not „show off“ but still had to constantly maintain the grandness of emotional storytelling – within one location. It is a tough and dark thriller of people betraying the ones closest to them, but it is fueled by love. All elements of the film had to reflect that sentiment while supporting the performances. That subtlety was essential to the film and required careful planning and execution – and they all jumped right in, leaving their egos at the door and it was in fact quite often the case that they would tell their director „Jacob, we don’t need that here. The performance is great, it tells the story, we don’t want to see (or hear) any gimics at this moment.“
I am incredibly grateful for those situations and having had the privilege to work with such thorough artists and I do hope you, dear viewer, will enjoy our efforts.