IMPROV FILM PROJECT | Day 2 | Alexanderplatz, Former East Berlin, Former Worker’s Paradise

On October 18, 2012 by PMD-For-Hire

Wrap shot from Day 2 of shooting | Improv Film Project, by Xavier Agudo | http://facebook.com/ImprovFilmProject

Very good second shooting day – mostly at Alexanderplatz, here in the German capital – with Xavier Agudo’s crack unit on his groundbreaking never-been-done-before Improv Film Project.

The day had us out at one of the German capital’s many prominent “downtowns,” this one in former East Berlin, Former Paradise On Earth, and in front of camera was mostly Marcel Romeijn (above photo, far right) and Monique Amado (third from left, above shot). We plopped the cameras at the fountain – #BOOM!, dead center in the square – and just let our players do their thing.

Great thing about shooting guerrilla in Berlin is that everyone – almost the entire society – likes to play along. Everyone in town knows the name of the game, and folks avoid getting in your way when it comes to getting that critical shot. Major bonus of shooting in this city is that Berliners are well-behaved, at least in this respect. When it comes to navigating traffic, however, a completely different consideration…

As concerns the story, from what I hear, things have been coming along nicely. Marcel, as the film’s protagonist “Josh,” has been getting increasingly comfortable making the spiritual journey along his character’s story arc. Without giving too much away, Josh has a few levels to descend before finding himself along the remunerative path once again and in a positive life situation.

Here were a few winning snaps from the afternoon:

 

Xavier Agudo (@xagudo) & Juliane Block (@jblockbuster) capturing footage, guerrilla-style at Alexanderplatz | http://improv.ex-filmstudio.com | http://facebook.com/ImprovFilmProject

This is never easy to do, even though practically all filmmakers in town do it. Trying to organize and conduct a shoot smack in the heat of a busy transit hub with plenty of rubberneckers, random traffic, and unpredictable outcomes.

Alexanderplatz Station was the former East’s primary transport hub, and as you can see from the milling crowds, what you’ve got to avoid in a situation like this is constant foot traffic and frequent spot-checks/security sweeps by local law enforcement and rent-a-cops. One of the bigger anxieties we had on Day 2 – which Xavier absorbed supremely well – was the fear of being fined: had that happened, it would have likely burned up his entire budget for the shoot…the one he’d spent thirty days successfully raising.

What you’re not observing in this particular picture is actor Marcel Romeijn minding his own business across the train tracks, being shot by his fellow Dutch, the affable DP Twan Melssen. Those people there in the near distance are kind of perplexed by what we’re doing, but accepting it all because this is so, well…so Berlin.

 

Marcel Romeijn, as "Josh" | Improv Film Project | http://facebook.com/ImprovFilmProject

It took Marcel a day, but he’s sunk into his role nicely, taking to it almost as his calling, a religious experience (let’s hope he doesn’t become a Mormon). A disturbing little painting he’s drawing there, eh?, along the fountain’s edge (what does it resemble?).

Marcel is nearly oblivious to the two cameras (three, if you count my behind-the-scenes 4S) constantly poking into his face and getting coverage. He seems to just go about his business. What’s interesting about an improv project is that the entire series of actions, from the moment we turn the camera on to the moment Marcel goes into character, is improvised. Nice to see Marcel, as Josh, just carry the energy through from the “action!” to “cut!”

 

At "Alex" | Improv Film Project | Day 2 of shooting | http://facebook.com/ImprovFilmProject

Once Monique joined – and Marcel wasn’t even aware she would – he took it totally naturally. Just carried on working over his art and carrying on with the improvised dialogue…as if Monique’s appearance was totally normal. Notice the cameras and the crowds (which you’ll see in subsequent shots). No big deal for these two. No, I can’t tell you what they were talking about (zero spoilers!), but Monique’s performance was nicely understated and Marcel kept his performance under control, usually very flamboyant and involving a lot of naked grandstanding (just kidding!).

 

Ella "Daniela" Nut on left, Juliane Block (@jblockbuster) on right | ImprovFilmProject | http://igg.me/ImprovFilmProject | http://facebook.com/ImprovFilmProject

I believe this crew really enjoys working on this project. Here were are, nearly wrapped for the day, taking a short coffee/dinner break at the local “Dunkin’ Donuts” alongside “Alex” (not yours truly, because the restaurant we went to smelled too much like month-old zebra marinated in sour yak’s milk, cooked to imperfection and served with a side of rotten mushrooms and mouldy tomatoes and sheep’s poo), kibbitzing with each other, exchanging ideas, reviewing the day, and improving upon our craft.

Marcel and Twan, buddies from the Marine Corps, were getting erotically-charged (okay, just kidding), while the rest of us were having a blast wondering how deeper we could sink into our antics. You can see how much Ella was enjoying herself. All that stuff is now on video for posterity. Marcel and Twan will never be able to live it down…

Here are some more shots from the afternoon…enjoy!

DP Twan Melssen | Alexanderplatz | Day 2 | ImprovFilmProject | http://improv.ex-filmstudio.com | #ImprovFilmProject 1st Camera Juliane Block (@jblockbuster) | Alexanderplatz | Day 2 | ImprovFilmProject | http://improv.ex-filmstudio.com | #ImprovFilmProject Marcel Romeijn's "art" | Alexanderplatz | Day 2 | ImprovFilmProject | http://improv.ex-filmstudio.com | #ImprovFilmProject 1st Camera Juliane Block (@jblockbuster) | Alexanderplatz | Day 2 | ImprovFilmProject | http://improv.ex-filmstudio.com | #ImprovFilmProject DP Twan Melssen and director Xavier Agudo (@xagudo) | Alexanderplatz | Day 2 | ImprovFilmProject | http://improv.ex-filmstudio.com | #ImprovFilmProject Monique Amado & Marcel Romeijn | Alexanderplatz | Day 2 | ImprovFilmProject | http://improv.ex-filmstudio.com | #ImprovFilmProject Monique Amado & Marcel Romeijn | Alexanderplatz | Day 2 | ImprovFilmProject | http://improv.ex-filmstudio.com | #ImprovFilmProject Monique Amado & Marcel Romeijn | Alexanderplatz | Day 2 | ImprovFilmProject | http://improv.ex-filmstudio.com | #ImprovFilmProject Monique Amado & Marcel Romeijn | Alexanderplatz | Day 2 | ImprovFilmProject | http://improv.ex-filmstudio.com | #ImprovFilmProject Juliane Block (@jblockbuster) | Alexanderplatz | Day 2 | ImprovFilmProject | http://improv.ex-filmstudio.com | #ImprovFilmProject DP Twan Melssen | Alexanderplatz | Day 2 | ImprovFilmProject | http://improv.ex-filmstudio.com | #ImprovFilmProject DP Twan Melssen, Marcel Romeijn & Ella Nut | Alexanderplatz | Day 2 | ImprovFilmProject | http://improv.ex-filmstudio.com | #ImprovFilmProject DP Twan Melssen & Marcel Romeijn | Alexanderplatz | Day 2 | ImprovFilmProject | http://improv.ex-filmstudio.com | #ImprovFilmProject Sound Man Yaccopo Vannini & Marcel Romeijn | Alexanderplatz | Day 2 | ImprovFilmProject | http://improv.ex-filmstudio.com | #ImprovFilmProject

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