2013 I got an job offer for a movie from port au prince filmproduction from Berlin. I read the script and was right from the first page amazed about its story.
People and friends are always asking me how we filmmakers read a book. Well, we read it the same way! Hahaha.
No, the first time I read a book I just read it. Then the second time I have my markers in different colors and a notebook to write all the questions I have what’s not clear to me. I structure the book in how many characters the book has, special effects, children, special costumes and props. Everything what is needed to shoot the scene.
The script JACK was written by the amazing director Edward Berger and the wonderful Actress Nele Müller-Stöfen.
An affecting, gritty tale about two lost and neglected brothers in Berlin, performed by non-professional child actors.
An accident causes 10-year-old Jack to be separated from his neglectful mother and sent to a state-run shelter. After he gets viciously bullied there, he flees the home to look for his brother and mother, beginning an odyssey after which nothing will ever be the same.
In Germany we are only allowed to shoot with children for a certain time. Meaning, five hours on set and three hours to shoot. Children aren’t adults! They need to have more breaks and attention and that’s a challenge. Especially when the script included roundabout 12 children and just a handful of adults. Of course you can’t shoot a movie within 25days. We had more shooting days because we shot every day with the children. And trust me, on that time I didn’t really know what to expect and what that meant when I signed the contract for that movie.
The shooting days:
We always said it’s “a half day shoot”. Usually we shoot 10-12hours a day but in every scene the character jack was included so we shot only 3-4hours. From the moment the kids arrived the set the clock was ticking. Meaning, from that moment the supervised child care leader wrote the time on her sheet and started to count the time. Our challenge was to finish the scenes that were planned to shoot. God, I was everyday on adrenaline and got everyday a heartattack!
But good thing we shot JACK in the summertime and we had a great teamspirit!
Almost a half year later the movie was finished and was even nominated at the Berlinale filmfestival 2014. When the producer called me up I was so proud and felt so honored. Jack is a great and wonderful movie. For me a little treasure of German Film. This is why I believe in films.
Please watch JACK if you can!!!
Nominations and prizes:
“‘Jack’, a powerful social drama from director Edward Berger, won the runner-up best film Lola in silver.” GERMAN FILMPRIZE
Now on dvd: