Monday, 11/12/2012

The 2012 Filmmakers

Vitamin B and the Weather God - Director Jan-Gerrit Seyler on the last day of shooting COWBOYS AND INDIANS

The 2012 Filmmakers

Jan-Gerrit Seyler

Ever since the last day of shooting - it was a Sunday - I feel I have a personal connection to the weather god. It was autumn. We still had four scenes to shoot, exteriors, all with different kinds of weather. The most important was the final scene of the film in which Karin's imaginary world takes the place of reality and she collapses at the playground. What I really wanted was a match cut with totally different weather and light.

It was damn cold (there had been frost on the meadow in the morning. The crew was shivering. My assistant director had everything ready to roll. The sun had disappeared behind bilious clouds. Low, dark grey clouds and they kept coming closer. And then it started raining. "Quick", I yelled. It started raining even harder. "And… action!"

What then happened was so unbelievable and surreal. As if responding to my "… action!" a downpour set in. A cloudburst. I kept staring back and forth at the monitor and the actors in front of me as, suddenly, the sun appeared out from under the rain clouds and not only made the rain particularly visible but gave the entire scene an otherworldly look. We all held our breath. In just a matter of seconds we were all drenched. Beata and Tobias gave an intense performance soaked to the skin. At some point I yelled 'cut'. I was worried about the camera that had nothing but somebody's jacket held over it. We retreated under a large umbrella and waited for the shower to stop.


I had somehow believed in this weather from the very start. That sounds easy to say now and, of course, it looks like pure luck. It probably is, too. But still, that's the way I feel, that my believing in the right weather had worked. How else could weather obey the words "And… action!"?

COWBOYS AND INDIANS is in Program 5 on Tuesday, Nov 13 at 2:30 pm and on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 pm.