Interview

Uwe Schwarzwalder

CINESCREEN is overwhelmingly grateful to the most creative Director, Actor and Producer from Switzerland. Critically acclaimed for his recent film THE RADICALIZATION OF JEFF BOYD is awarded in various film festival . CINESCREEN Editor Triptayan Chatterjee is now with him to have a talk on his cinema.

Welcome to CINESCREEN, Dear Uwe, Our readers and viewers must have a wonder in mind, How and why did you choice a wonderful subject on RADICALIZATION? What was the background of the thoughts before making the film?

First off, as an actor, I wanted to perform in a role I can identify myself. I had great inspiration of Emmanuel Obi, Jr. with whom I produced a short film we did before, A Tangled Web, where I also starred in it. We were discussing a subject for the film and independently, came up wich pretty much the same story outline. So we knew, we had a similar mindset which was great to realize the project. He then wrote the script and we rented a house in the Black Forest in Germany where we shot the whole film within 10 days. Emmanuel was the director, the DOP, did the lighting and pretty much everything else. He even cooked for us. He also edited the film in the first step and after it was finished, I went over it again to polish it. Learning from this experience, I knew you can achieve a lot by hard work. In regards of the subject of the Radicalization, I was very much influenced by the news, which was at that time and still is, about the matters of Snowden and Assange, the financial crisis with their after affects and general social issues. Last but not least, I tried to incorporate my long time experience on the movie sets in the USA, Switzerland and Germany.

You are the Producer, Director and also the Central actor of the film? How did you manage these three vital roles in the same film?

 I managed the roles pretty easily as I didn’t think about it too much. I was very focused on the story, and that was what moved me forward, step by step. It was challenging and rewarding at the same time watching the continuous progress. The people around me were all very supportive and understood my ideas which is so important. Here’s a big thank you to all who helped and supported me to make this film.

Uwe, well, now we are curious to know, how did you come into the world of film making? Is there any particular incident or it is your inherent will for making film?

 As mentioned above, I got great inspiration by film makers I met during my acting career. And having been able to work on many professional film sets, I saw how film making works, and it fascinated me. Besides, I love the camera and the taste for using nice objects and framing since I was a kid. Nowadays, the cameras are very affordable and still have a cinematic look which helps a lot when you want to do your own film.

A large number of viewers are demanding the show of THE RADICALIZION OF JEFF BOYD. We watched them cheering in the screening of TRIPVILL INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. Our question how did you think for the viewers in time of making the film?

Important to me was that the viewers see the beauty of filmmaking. I edited the film for endless hours in order to get the best quality out of it and trying to get rid of the tiniest mistakes I discovered while editing. And I aimed for a nice colour and film style too. During filming, I was very much focused on the viewer, hence I wanted to bring out the best performances of the actors which I think is crucial. It has to be believable and entertaining at the same time. And I wanted to be original with my ideas. I hope I achieved that, and I’m glad that the viewers at the screening enjoyed the film.

How many days it took for the film to be entirely completed? And which role to play in the film (Producer, Director, and Actor) would you like to play most in future?

 The script was finished in a few weeks, main filming within about 3 weeks, and afterwards during a whole year for all the additional scenes and B-Roll. The editing lasted about a year, plus another half year to really polish it, all this besides my day job. In regards of future projects, I still like to be involved in all the roles as an actor, director and producer, but with much more delegating and co-working.

Uwe, you have been with filmmaking for many days? What problems film maker has to face most according to your inception? Is there any solution of the problem?

The biggest problems might be the shifting around and changing too much, and never really start because you want it too perfect and all laid out. Of course, you have to aim for the best quality, but you also have to compromise or find another solution, and move forward.

How would you evaluate the performance of the team of THE RADICALIZATION OF JEFF BOYD?

It is very important everybody involved understands the idea, and if they do, they will engage. So, in this film, this worked very well, and I think everybody gave so much for which I’m grateful. I’m very happy with each and every performance of the team, regardless how big or small the contribution was.

In this world of colour, you have used black and white shots significantly specially in case of flash-back. Do you have any affinity to past or it is just for the demand of the script?

In real life, there is present, future and the past. And in filmmaking you have the means to distinguish it with a certain style and to underline it. That’s what I tried to do, and I think it’s a nice tool. Many filmmakers do it differently, like blurry, dreamy, different colour style etc. – I like this kind of creativity. So, it is not a special affinity but just how it’s written. Well, maybe there is some little affinity to it…

What message would you like to deliver for the next generation film maker?

Try to be original, come up with crazy new ideas, no matter what. When it’s done – it’s real. Be bold and tell your story! 

Uwe would you please tell us about your next project? CINESCREEN readers and viewers are eager to know about it.

I’m working on a kind of a sequel – The Spiritualization of Jeff Boyd: An asylum escapee and a mysterious woman are destined to meet in Australia and find themselves falling in love on their further travels to a monk in the Balkan Mountains and her guru father in India. I’m still polishing the script and am actually looking for co-producers soon. Stay tuned..

THE RADICALIZATION OF JEFF BOYD……Available on TRIPVILL TV

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