Samstag, 09.11.2013

The 2013 Filmmakers VII

Kostas Gerampinis: ICEBERG

The 2013 Filmmakers VII Until the start of the festival, we are going to introduce this year's filmmakers and their films: Kostas Gerampinis: ICEBERG, Greece/UK

Which situations or people inspired you to make your movie?
The film is based on a song of the same title I used to listen to during my army service. The song was written by a friend who had lost one of his high school friends from adulterated heroin at that time.

What was the best/funniest/worst thing that happened making this movie?
We were shooting interior scenes in a block of flats where the parking space of the ground floor had a very low ceiling. Before we started shooting the second scene in the morning, the director of photography asked the second camera assistant to bring something from the camera car. I was alone in the living room of the flat we were shooting in, when he came back empty handed and went straight to the bathroom. I noticed that his back was full of dirt so I followed him to see what happened.
When I opened the bathroom door I saw his face through the mirror and there was blood pouring from his forehead. I don't remember much after that. The director of photography told me later that he had entered the bathroom the moment the camera assistant fainted and we caught him before he fell on the floor; and that I was slapping him to wake up while screaming "DON'T GO TOWARDS THE LIGHT" and other crazy stuff. What happened was simple. The camera assistant is tall, he was in a rush, didn't pay attention to the very low ceiling and hit his head. The dirt on his back was from the fall after the hit.
The line producer took him to the hospital and when they told us that it was not something serious, we found the courage to continue with the shooting. Of course we were behind schedule and would barely manage to shoot everything we needed. We already had problems from previous days so that day was critical. If we failed to shoot what was on the schedule that day, then the film would most probably not have been made. We finished another scene and had a small break. Some people left the flat to grab a coffee etc. Before the break ended, the door opened and the sound recordist came in with his head full of blood. Again, the same scenario. Tall sound recordist, low ceiling, Boom!
He was actually quite careful due to the producer's "heads down" speech after the first incident, but had accidentally raised his head earlier than he should. The next thing I remember is the people from the hospital calling us to ask "what the hell are you doing there" when the same doctor examined the second head injury. At that point, I was sure the film would never be finished but I didn't care. The crew's health is way more important than a film. We waited for a couple of hours for the sound recordist to come back from the hospital. He came back with eight stitches on the top of his head and x-rays that confirmed he was ok. We had lunch and when I was about to call it a day and say goodbye to my graduation film he said "let's keep on shooting, I am ok". At the start I thought his head injury was talking but he was dead serious. He wanted to finish the shoot. And so we did. We kept on shooting and managed to get what we wanted.


Is there a specific movie/director that was the reason for you becoming a filmmaker?
There was a specific event. I went to a retrospective of films in an art-house cinema in central Athens. They screened David Lynch's "Lost Highway" and I remember leaving the cinema in a state of shock. I was trying to understand what the film did to me. Now I could give a pretty good explanation but I don't want to. It would ruin the memory.

What's the secret for making a good movie?
You should ask Ken Loach, Darren Aronofsky, Christopher Nolan, Jacques Audiard or somebody else who has made a good movie.

Is there something particular about being a filmmaker in your country?
A friend once said that "it's like selling the best pork outside Mecca. You might be selling great meat but nobody is buying because they don't eat pork".
I live in a country without an established film industry. I am pretty sure the ones abroad have problems but I am just jealous they actually have one.


If you weren't a filmmaker, you'd be a…?
Photographer. Or private investigator. Maybe an investigator who takes artistic pictures while in a stakeout.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Somewhere I can make a living out of filmmaking so I can feel good about all the money my parents paid for filmschool.

What is your next project about?
It's a short film about identity and masculinity in contemporary Greece.