Watching the ball got funded from European Cultural Foundation (ECF)! -much needed support which makes it possible to fly in the whole crew from 5 different countries for a workshop in late autumn. We don’t know yet where this will take place- hopefully it’s gonna be in moderate climate:)
Lately our main storyline got almost finished mostly, which meant that 8 different story-lines had to be aligned along the progress of the final match of soccer championship 2010 (Netherlands against Spain, in case you do not remember). Done that, we are striving towards the animatic, hopefully ready in summer…
Anastasia Tasic has a passion for superheroes. She even hosts one in her room in a tiny self made puppet set. For her episode in the film this super will become Iron Man, equipped with the super power to: iron. Of course Iron Man can also fly and is very much into watching football. Probably that’s why he misses to tackle the problem with the city being attacked by a monster in a prober way.
The monster on the other side is not the classical Godzilla-style creature with big claws and bad manners. Tatiana Moshkova’s monster is made of people who couldn’t watch the match properly because of a power blackout. Who said that football makes people aggressive? No football is even worse.
The stories of Anastasia and Tatiana will interact over the course of the film and finally give us the answer to the question: Will Iron Man finally save the city from the destruction caused by the monster? And will electricity be back before the end of the match?
The story of our film takes of from ground- into space. Nenad Krstic places his part of the story of football-watching people around the globe on a space ship. While all the other members of the crew watch the final match, only the navigator is left to keep the ship out of trouble. Bad luck that just now a massive munch of asteroids heads for the ship….
Hoologanism is a problem quiet common in Russia. So we are told. Tatianna Moshkova lets a crowd of football fans get violent after electricity breaks down in the city. The fans literally become a monster which is devastating the city. While both hooligans and monster are clearly up for evil, the first still have a certain association to football. When the football is gone (how do you watch a broadcast of a match when electricity is off?), it’s clearly monster time….
With Watching the Ball being an episode film about the problems of watching football, what is needed in the first place, obviously is some good episodes. For inspiration we started a bit before that point and asked ourselves: In which places and situations people use to see football matches? And more interestingly: in which conditions they regularly don’t, but the possibility would be there nevertheless? So immediately we had a start: public transport, prison, home in the midst of marital problems, a bar and a cab: our first scenes.
The DEFA awards us a development grant for Watching the ball, to be handed over in Munich during a screening of selected film from the Filmfest Dresden’s 2010 edition. We are excited for this really good start, crossing fingers for more support and the detailed scriptwriting that begins now.
Animators and producers from nine different countries were gathered together for the Exchange Forum in Belgrade. How many of them will work together on the film? I really hoped for a production with a team as diverse as possible. And many mails and hours of skype conferences later we startthe project with a crowd of ten from six different countries. There is Anastasia Tasic, Krunoslav Jovic, Nenad Krstic, Uroš Krčadinac, Vid Rajn from Serbia, Ivan Ramadan from Bosnia, Tatiana Moshkova from Russia, Katre Haav from Estonia, Scotsman Steward Comrie as well as Michael Schwertel, Martin Kleinmichel and Till Laßmann from Germany.
It is full spring in Berlin, Sitting on a bench in Treptower Park, I’m thinking about the best plot for a multinational episode film. Trying to fit the different cultural perspectives of the team into a subject my thoughts drive off to lighter topics. The news I was listening in the morning. The buzz everybody is making about the forthcoming championship. And there we go. Isn’t football such an universal subject that it moves people in a way, otherwise only elementary needs do? How much will audiences reactions differ around the world? What about making the question, how universaly such a match truly is, the core of the story?
Belgrade, 2 am. After a workshop with Miloš Tomić that sends us with cuddly toys into town (see picture above), we are sitting in a bar with a lot of smoke and a shark hanging from the ceiling. The music is so loud, you scream to your neighbour if you want to be heard. „Why don’t we make a film all together“? I scream. We, that is all the animators sitting under the shark at night and being proud participants of Dresden Filmfest’s Exchange Forum at day. After some days at the Filmfest in Dresden we relocated to Belgrade for more workshops, panels and films. Participants come as far as Japan, Israel, Russia or Scotland. Well, let’s top the experience with a film, shall we?