Case Study: Jupiter Benjamin Pfohl tells about his latest shortfilm Jupiter.
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Case Study: Jupiter

Benjamin Pfohl tells about his latest shortfilm Jupiter.

Benjamin Pfohl is a director. Born in 1985, he discovered his passion for film already as a young boy with an overwhelming love for James Bond, Star Wars and - moments later - Apocalypse Now. After high school and an intense phase of MiniDV adventures, he worked on national and international feature and commercial productions. Benjamins work centers around unique characters and a great love for details. His style reflects highly aesthetic and cinematic visuals.

“Do not look for what other people do. Copying AND being unique is impossible. You can only do YOUR film, tell YOUR story.”

30 augustus 2019

The beginning of Jupiter

"I wrote the story and the first draft of the script within three days, or more precisely: nights. Between this initial draft and first day of shooting I wrote four more drafts, consulting with my producer and fellow filmmakers I trust. Last changes were made due to characteristics of locations and through rehearsals with the cast. The idea behind my story is basically the process of coming-of-age. The emancipation of a person from it’s elders is a constant theme in my works. Also I have an enduring fascination for radical beliefs and groups. So there was just the simple idea of connecting these two themes into a dramatic short."

"Already when I start writing, I collect certain moods, whether it is music, paintings or scenes from other films. I have long conversations with the DoP about each scene’s mood and perspective. We create a shotlist, sometimes with a certain location in mind. As preproduction moves forward, more creative collaborators join this conversation, may it be the art director, costume designer or composer. Together, we work on the best realization of the story’s core and theme."

Loyal crew and special locations

“The key crew like the DoP, Art Department, Costume Designers, the on set sound and even the sound designer were already working with me on my last shortfilm “Ghosts”. I was very happy to gather them again, cause they’re just brilliant at what they do. The number of shooting days was limited because of the budget, we had some long days, but in the end we were able to shoot everything we needed. Since it is my graduation film at the Munich Film School HFF, we got financial support and free use of studios and post-production-suites. The biggest financial support came from the Bavarian Film Fund FFF Bayern. The Bavarian Network Bayerischer Rundfunk and Arte co-produced the movie and supported us financially as well.”

“It was hard to find a great place in alps for shooting because we were not allowed to scout before May since all the roads above 2000 meters were closed and full of snow. In the end we found a place, but we had to go further south than we hoped we would have to. For the roads up the mountain, we needed specially trained drivers which wanted to be payed. It also took more time to move all the people and equipment up to over 2000 meters. But once everybody was up there, it went smoothly.”

An intensive post-production

“My regular go-to editor was attached to the project from early on. Editing to me always is a long and exhausting process, as I am willing to try every possibility, question every scene, until we find the best version of the film. The composer as well was attached to the project long before the shoot. From the very beginning we exchanged musical moods, finding the direction for his work. With the first cut, we started to talk about where to put music and one after another, he composed pieces for the certain scenes. It took us about eight to ten drafts per piece over a period of three months totally.”

“We already submitted the film to more than a hundred festivals. So far we have more than ten confirmations. The most exciting were Brussels Short Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, the shortlist of the BAFTA Student Awards and the Wendland Shorts.”

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