EN: What is the feature film project “Gotterdammerung” and how does the search for investors work?
Gotterdammerung is a feature film project by the director Phil Ramcke and was created in November 2011. From the beginning it was clear: if this project is to be realized, then it will be a feature film project with a large million-dollar budget.
What was special about it: at that time I was a trainee, without large financial reserves and without any significant contacts in the film industry. But I saved one thing: my first small system camera.
How it was possiblewith a small idea for an investor trailer to come up, what the current status of Gotterdammerung is, why PRO-duction is continuing the project and what options the project now has, you will find out in this article!
The idea for Gotterdammerung
The idea for “Gotterdammerung” came up in 2007, to make another film with the one action hero. The good one who grows himself on his adventure. The struggle between good and bad. The dramatic ending and the cool claims that pave his way.
The idea matured between 2007 and 2011 until it found space on a DIN A4 piece of paper. The first system camera, a Canon 650D, was to be my companion for the first few years; practical experience for dramaturgy, the correct image and for evaluating the performances together with the actor or actress.
I shot and organized projects, with friends, drama schools and professional actors. Each project was then evaluated by a narrow circle of confidants and continuously improved.
When we finally managed to make a 45-minute short film without any budget we felt ready to shoot the big ones. The feedback from the audience was extremely positive and, above all, it was clear to us that we could achieve a lot with just a few resources. And so we started the planing of a budget for a crowdfunding and investor film.
The first steps of Gotterdammerung
As the idea took almost 6 years to mature, the treatment for the investment trailer was written quickly. I immediately started with my Director of Photography and some producers planning the first steps for the implementation. I was aware that with the unusual locations, such as Norway, a lot of planning capacities and money had to flow in for this investor trailer.
We shot on the first day of shooting in our Greenscreen Studio Düsseldorf could achieve few snippets, which we were able to show in later discussions to find investors and supporters. As with the planning of an image film production or an industrial film production, I planned the times schedules and a budget.
During this time, some members of the team thought it would be unrealistic to reach our goals and left the group. Just a few days later, I met five investors who were enthusiastic about the project idea. In retrospect, I am convinced that the snippets in particular led their contribution to strengthening the team.
With fresh thoughts, fresh personal and financial support, we were finally able to tackle the shooting days.
The first day of shooting – video production Sauerland
With the first real day of shooting, we left the pre-production stage and entered production. We shot a zombie attack on the protagonist in a cave in the Sauerland. This external shoot was particularly demanding because we had to keep going far from civilization. Our electricity generator supported us, but also the flexible conversion of cooking utensils from electricity to gas.
The second day of shooting – video production Austria
The second day of shooting took place in Austria near Salzburg and near the Zugspitze in Germany. The film production Düsseldorf “PRO-duction” supported us with mobile equipment. Lots of battery-operated lights and cameras ensured that we could climb two mountains with little equipment. We needed this scene for later animations of the planes of the villains. Especially in 3D production, it is important to use real fundamentals for a realistic result.
The third day of shooting – video production Norway
Norway was arguably the logistically most outstanding day of shooting. The team had to be split up. Half of the team flew to Stavanger by plane, the other half of the team had to reach the Stavanger fjord landscape with the equipment in a car via Denmark and Sweden.
Since we had no possibility of a previous location inspection for our investor film, we were forced to conduct a location inspection, set-up and filming in one day. That is why we only planned one shot in advance, a super long shot that you wouldn’t be able to shoot in Germany, and then implement the rest at home.
The fourth day of shooting – Saarland video production
In Saarland , we had a special film location available: a noble house from the 18th century, also known from our real estateproduction. Even though the rooms were quite small, we decided to shoot the bad guys’ meeting here. With tailor-made uniforms, we gave the antagonists an authentic picture of their time. As in a fashion film production or make-up tutorial production , it was particularly important that the uniforms fit well and that the actors could concentrate on their acting.
The fifth day of shooting – video production Wuppertal
The fifth day of shooting probably had most in common with a commercial production or advertising production. Resistance should be established in a barn and it should be shown in friendly colors. We chose a dark background and a warm light color for the protagonists. Later in color grading for film psychology, we worked out this effect a bit.
This would not have been possible if my current business partner Marcel Nicolaus, with his expertise, had not joined us.
The sixth day of shooting – video production Koblenz
We were able to realize the sixth day of shooting in beautiful Koblenz on a real knight’s castle. As with an image film production, we needed equivalent equipment. The challenge here was that the last 100 meters could only be done on foot and therefore a large team was needed. While one team was unloading, Team two prepared the camera, the actors and all legal matters.
As with every shoot with actors, it is very important to negotiate the actor’s fee in advance and to buy a corresponding buyout. Of course, torches had to be used on a real knight’s castle. Of course, these do not generate enough light for an 8K RED helium camera. That is why we had to use special lamps that could imitate the flickering of the torches and thus amplify them. In this case our ARRI Skypanel was used.
The seventh day of shooting – video production Cologne
The seventh day of shooting took place in Cologne. Here, too, there were special circumstances for our shoot. This was a scene between the Norwegian resistance and the occupation forces in a forest. On the one hand, this scene lives from fast action and lots of details. Nevertheless, it was important to create an overview for the audience and the target group. Aerial photography using drones was not possible due to the short distances between the trees.
Instead, we use a crane on a dolly rail system. Our drone for aerial photo productions was used from a safe distance for our making of. In contrast to the Norwegian shots, there was no snow in this forest, and fire was not allowed here either. So we went to a special effects shop (SFX) who helped us with artificial snow, biodegradable, and smoked paper.
The eighth day of shooting – video production Remscheid
We spent the eighth and actually last day of shooting in Remscheid. There was supposed to be a bar fight between the protagonists and the villains. This day of shooting was particularly changeable. Sometimes we had direct sunlight and sometimes not. Our lighting technician was intended for precisely this task. He first darkened the windows and then set constant light for the scenery. In this way we were able to save costs and time for re-shoots!
We also had a premiere during the shooting. During the long breaks, we started our first livestream service for Instagram. The audience liked it because they could ask questions directly to the actors during their break.
The ninth day of shooting – video production Duisburg
When we found out in post-production in our video production in Düsseldorf that the cut and the story wouldn’t worked that way, we had to stage two more days of shooting. It was important to us that investors and funders can get a good overall picture of our heart project. Although we have our own studio for green screen productions in Düsseldorf, but a conversion would have been too expensive. Due to a tight budget for more days of shooting, a school helped us out with its sports hall.
For this we had a photo of the Alps taken in Austria printed on a 6 x 3 meter tarpaulin, which we used as a background. Freshly bought Christmas trees were then used for the foreground. The interplay of background, middle ground with the actors and foreground (trees) resulted in a realistic overall picture. Our artificial snow was also used here together with a wind machine.
The tenth day of shooting – video production Düsseldorf
The last day of shooting was the continuation of the ninth day of shooting. However, school operations started again in the sports hall and we had to move to an industrial hall of a Düsseldorf industrial company . Here we built the same setup and shot the ones that weren’t there to the end.
Since the cut was started after the eighth day of shooting, we had already done a great preparation for the final result. Together with a video production in Essen and a video production in Oberhausen, we were able bring the 8K video material into a cinemacope format and then turned it with color grading for film psychology into a great looking picture. The mastering format was then a 4K production.
The music is also not to be neglected. We could have switched to high-quality royalty-free music, but we had our own music composed. Since the video should ultimately not only be shown on YouTube and a website, but also in social media channels and a cinema premiere in Cologne, we needed a DCP conversion.
Although we have had many Negotiations since the premiere about the rights to the feature film project “Gotterdammerung”, we have not yet been able to find a suitable investor.
But there are also many positive talks that are ongoing and should be continued after the lockdown while the corona pandemic. Of course, we don’t interrupt our search for new investors for this reason. We are active at film festivals, in business meetings, zoom calls, sponsorships and of course where we feel most comfortable: with our team. With a lot of actors and team members, we implement great projects for our clients. Some team members got together as couples, others started their own crowdfunding projects with our support and still others became influencers.
Gotterdammerung is a very lively project and detours, breaks and new ideas often lead to the ultimate goal. Our presentation folder, with facts and figures, is ready and can be requested at any time! That is why there was an eleventh day of shooting in January 2021. It is supposed to reveal even more of the script for our feature film project, which has now been completed. For this we implemented another day of video production in Harz mountains. The finished trailer “Gotterdammerung Investment Trailer by PRO-duction” will be published on November 19, 2021 at 8 pm (CET) – with a previous live stream service, of course.
Thank you for your attention!
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Über den Autor
The director and CEO Phil Ramcke has been active in film and video production in Düsseldorf since 2004. After various freelance projects, he has been responsible for advertising campaigns for major international clients over the past 8 years. But medium-sized companies and start-ups are also close to his heart. He is our specialist for image film, advertising and livestream service in our film and video production in Dusseldorf.