The short film Against All Odds by Laurenz Otto was part of the Short Film Competition Made in Euregion of Euregion Film Forum 2023 and he won the Special Jury Mention Award for his film. For this case-study we spoke with him about making Against All Odds.
Just make it
"Thinking back to the production process of Against All Odds, I have never thought that we would make it this far. And by “make it” I mean finishing this project, being able to connect this fragments and pieces to get a short film out of it which carries an emotional story, transports feelings and tells somehow some kind of a story."
"After so many thoughts about quitting film school I finally decided to give my graduation film the working title Allen Zweifeln zum Trotz which can be translated as Against all odds. The working title never changed and finally became the film title. It fitted the story very well but even more important for me - it was a public announcement for fighting! Fighting against my film school, against the challenges which came along with Corona, against insecurities and daily doubts."
"When I try to think back, I realize that I already forgot most of the explicit drama and detailed situations of despair which happened along the way. Maybe it is a healthy coping mechanism to deal with all the lost energy and lifeblood I invested into this graduation film. Maybe it is just that as soon as the next project starts, the old one gets a little washed out and blurry, the memories start to lose their sharpness."
Talk about your failures
"In the end we were able to finish Against All Odds and I gave my best to stick to my creative instincts, learned by hard to trust my own artistic vision. I had a great team and we have been lucky that our short was invited to the festivals. During these adventures some of my fellow team members became good friends for what I am still thankful for. I can say that not only me, but so many others gave a lot for this film to be made, but over the time it really started to give back. If you have recently been in San Sebastian, Dresden, Oberhausen, Paris or Bitola maybe you will find some stickers of our short film I put on random toilet walls, street signs, elevator doors and bathroom mirrors. I am still hoping that one day I will return and find some of this hidden Easter eggs which will then remind me of this particular time of my life."
"In the end when a project is done most of us rapidly start to forget how trial-and-error is always a big part of film making. Then it often seems as if finished projects have been a success story all along. Over the past year I started to believe that it's truly elevating and enriching to talk about failures. We should consider sharing them with our fellow filmmakers and the audience, because they are not just inner obstacles, but also a great sources of power. Stumbling, wandering around and to be clueless are the most normal things in the world to do. These things are a crucial part of the process and for me they are part of creativity itself."
"In the end I am thankful that I kept on going. Against All Odds made me aware of how some films can be like parasites. In a good way they give you this thrilling sensation to be fulfilled by an idea, to be caught up in something that is bigger than you. In a bad way they can be voracious and take you hostage, consume all your thoughts, time, passion. It is just so important to care for yourself and others. At least that is what I committed myself to try to do in 2023."
Just be careful and dare to make bold films!
(c) All visual material is used with the filmmaker's permission.