Why the pandemic helped create the ‘Social Experiment’, one of Germany’s first virtual productions | Features

Pascal Schroeder’s World Premiere social experience On the 2nd of October in the film “Made in Hamburg” in the film West Hamburg, the tape is the first of its kind in many ways.

The sci-fi thriller is Schröder’s first feature film as well as producer Andreas Schletter’s first foray into film production after heading up Hamburg-based talent agency Gipfelstürmer Schauspielagentur for the past ten years.

In addition, it is the first German film shot in a virtual production studio with LED technology using the technology used in products such as Disney The Mandalorian and Netflix’s 1899.

Schletter and Schroeder first met when the latter was studying directing at the Hamburg School of Media. “[Schröder’s] graduation movie Monster’s Tale [from 2019] It was absolutely stunning visually. He remembers Schlitter, who was selected for Screen InternationalFuture Leaders Exhibition in 2016.

At the beginning of 2020, they decided to work together on developing film projects and were offered the script for a psychological thriller blind love American writer Reinaldo Pacheco. He had a poignant plot about toxic relationships with an unexpected twist, something like David Fincher the girl is goneSchletter explains.

However, the pandemic prompted the project, so the duo were then drawn to the innovative storytelling possibilities offered by virtual production technology.

virtual capabilities

Schroeder and Raffaella Krause [who also stars in The Social Experiment and is one of its co-producers] Together we worked on developing a story in an artificial world, which made it possible to have a wide range of settings that one could create with virtual production,” says Schletter. “This meant we were able to shoot in desert landscapes, on the moon and with sunsets. on top of the mountain. We were even able to create a heavy snow storm in the studio with a mix of virtual production and sound effects. “

Featuring a group of young actors who made their debut in their feature film, social experience Focusing on five friends who are drawn into an escape room-style adventure, a behavioral experiment developed to test a teen’s friendship to the limit and turn into a race against time and a battle between life and death.

In May 2021, Schroeder and Schletter founded Gipfelstürmer Film with business partner Kai Steinmetz and veteran producer Guido Thomsen to handle the production of their first feature film. The funding came together through a combination of private funds, private investors, strategic partners and deferrals, with the local Hamburg-based MOIN Filmförderung subsequently providing support for the film’s post-production.

Principal photography followed in January 2022 on a tight schedule of just 17 days of filming at the virtual production studio Cinegate/PRG in Hamburg, as well as on location in the city.

“We had over 600 VFX shots in the film and decided to create our own in-house VFX department so that we could complete the film as cost-effectively as possible and within our stipulated time frame,” Schlitter recalls.

“It was not a difficult decision for us to have the team continue to work together because they were all so committed and before long we started receiving inquiries about work for post production,” he adds, noting that Gipfelstürmer’s VFX artists have already delivered the series’ effects. ZDF’s crimes mordsschwistr Produced by ndF affiliate Akzente Film, among others.

Shortly after the film was completed last spring, Tobis appeared on board as the German distributor – with a theatrical release scheduled for October 27 and struck a first-look deal with Schröder and Gipfelstürmer Film for future projects.

“We are developing many exciting story ideas with Tobis, including a series for the streaming service and a cinema thriller,” said Schletter.

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