Hey there! Are you getting into the Halloween spirit? Let’s get Halloween ready together with our new spooky blog series. Each week we are going to share haunting tutorials, wicked photographs and bone-chilling guest posts.
Let’s kick off this sinister marathon with the story behind Bela Kiss: Prologue — a horror movie, low budget and a four student thesis university project. It is really a testament to hard work and dreams coming true. Are you ready to go behind the scenes and find out all the struggles and secrets of movie making? In Eric Kazak's words...
Bela Kiss is a movie about a serial killer set during the first world war. It started as a very ambitious diploma project and a debut movie of four students: Lucien Förstner (writer and director), Sylvia Günthner (producer), Steven Weber (VFX supervisor and colorist) and me (editor, casting director, location scout and set photographer). After fours years we made it happen and Bela Kiss was released in German theaters in January 2013. Unlike the big film productions, I was able to witness our project and its progress from very different point of views and during all phases of producing a feature film: pre-production, the shooting and the post-production.
The very low budget was certainly the biggest challenge in all areas. A lot of arm-twisting was needed and a lot of time as well. From the very first research until the theater release, Bela Kiss has been our life companion for almost 4 years now and ongoing.
As the casting director it was really difficult to get actors who would waive their fees (until the film will have a commercial success) while staying completely motivated. After a lot of hard work we got a great cast. The trick was not to give up and not to compromise. When you are passionate about the project it just shows and this passion is contagious.
After The Shooting
After successfully shooting Bela Kiss, we looked through the whole material. As you can imagine it was totally overwhelming. In early 2011 the movie got its first contour with "BELA KISS: PROLOGUE".
With regular test screenings we refined the film, piece by piece until the final cut.
The cut also determined the genre — whether it will be a thriller, horror or even splatter. Quickly it was clear that we wanted to create the perfect mixture of voyeurism and mental cinema, horror and thriller. So we had to find the right moments which would stimulate the imagination of the viewer.
Being responsible for different areas of production also means that some challenging conflicts may arise, which you did not think about in advance. One of such examples: As casting director I spent a lot of time and passion in finding and winning the perfect actors, not just for the main characters, also for many minor roles. But while editing, we had to shorten or delete some scenes and shots, sometimes the whole appearance of a role. Get the conflict? ;-)
Working as a set photographer, it is most important to keep to the sidelines. You have to be nearly invisible! Everyone is totally concentrated, schedules are tight, the conditions are challenging, especially on a low budget shoot. So you always have to be in a close dialogue with all the departments on the set, as well to make sure not to disturb the process of filming and creating. Being mindful and aware is key.
Please enjoy a Bela Kiss: Prologue trailer. If you’d like to see the full movie the dvd/blu-ray release in Germany is this November and it the movie is coming to UK in near future. Please take a look and I would appreciate any likes or shares: Facebook page
. Thanks so much & happy film-making!
Thanks for reading! If you ever wanted to dabble in the realm of moving pictures we hope this article inspires you to do so. Feel free to ask Eric Kazak any photo or film related questions in the comments below. To add Eric to friends and follow his upcoming photos visit his 500px page.
Is there an eerie photo-shoot tale that you’d like to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, we'd love to see you as a contributor on our blog.