Round III: going international-er

by  Willi Haninger

*Phew*: Cannes film market is over. Ten days and 42 meetings later Juliane and I have learned a few things:

  • After five days everyone is ready to drop. Meeting or not.
  • That our commercial concept is received well by distributors and financiers. Yay!
  • Steak ‘n Shake in Cannes is a blessing. Thank you Roger Ebert!
  • There is one major box to tick before things get really interesting: the director. Talking to distributors narrowed our list down, now it’s off to writing emails. Lots of emails.
  • Germany finally got tax incentives as one of the last countries in Europe.
  • We need to sort out which constellation of co-producing nations makes sense… the options so far: South Africa, Italy, UK, Ireland, Iceland, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, Spain.
  • In a meeting, never sit with your back to a window. The other people in the room might not be paying attention to what you are saying, because there is a shirtless guy in the building at the other side of the street, making a show of opening his window and stretching his lean figure in the morning sun. France, man!
  • Use the back streets, never the Croisette.
  • Don’t forget to eat during the day and then turn up for a cocktail party.
  • Don’t buy the 380€ ticket when you get access to most areas for free.

All in all, Cannes was a great market: (a lot) less organized than EFM, but certainly more international and exciting. And I don’t think I need to mention the scenery :-)

We moved forward with “The Fall of Men” and made meaningful connections. Next step: AFM in November. Looking forward to it!

10407789_688404227955099_747546477311666394_n 11017676_10153370249466155_8200493836378925854_n 11053586_10153357441226155_4286174870463808388_n




Round II: going international

by  Willi Haninger

14179_10153134120286155_6077568571159847268_n 10603771_636225053173017_1180873465557526513_n

Juliane and I have just wrapped up EFM at the Berlinale. And the feedback about the VITRO series and the feature “Fall of Men” from distributors and producers was more than encouraging. Several producers have requested the “Fall of Men” script and are also waiting for the pilot script of the series and an attached director. So our ToDo list until Cannes is clear.

We mainly had meetings concerning the series and it seems clear that we should be shooting in northern Europe. The film commissions of Britain, Iceland and Ireland helped us set up meetings with local producers. We were also told by a british representative that due to the TV series boom, many areas were running out of studio space. This forces some productions to improvise: one major production converted an old car tire factory into a studio :-)

We have also dropped in on the two panel discussions about european high-end series. Both confirmed our conclusions from the meetings with german PSBs: as long as we can build an international team of directors and producers, high-end “german-made” fiction, far away from the usual german themes of WW2 and the cold war, is possible.
Btw, if any german official is reading this: please add tax incentives to the film financing mix in Germany. EVERY other country we looked at had them!

I would also like to thank Stacey Parks for her invaluable industry intel and support.
Any independent filmmaker looking to actually make successful films should join her community FilmSpecific.

The next chapter will be Cannes, stay tuned!




The series 1-pager

by  Willi Haninger

This is the 1-pager we’ve been handing out to distributors and producers at the markets:

Vitro front

Vitro back




Feature Film

by  Willi Haninger

As we are nearing the completion of the first draft of our feature film “THE FALL OF MEN”( set in VITRO world), we have prepared a production flyer for our marketplace presentation:

Vitro front_printVitro back_print




VITRO Teaser

by  Willi Haninger




Color is final!

by  Willi Haninger

We’ve finished color grading the Teaser, now we can finally move on to VFX.

Bildschirmfoto 2014-01-11 um 05.07.03 Bildschirmfoto 2014-01-11 um 05.09.03 Bildschirmfoto 2014-01-11 um 05.08.06




Environment Artwork

by  Willi Haninger

As we are close to finishing the new presentation materials for the pitch, Concept-Designer Klaus Scherwinski was kind enough to build two new environment artworks for us.
Here you can see part of the capital city, with the snow-covered home island of our main characters in the background.




Airship Concept Art

by  Willi Haninger

Concept Art plays a vital role for pitching a TV series or movie. We have the unique opportunity to work with Klaus Scherwinski, a lead concept designer mainly working for the game developer Crytek. Here’s an Airship design for a vessel carrying government officials in the world of VITRO:






More color!

by  Willi Haninger

Color grading of our proof-of-concept clip is commencing as you can see by the  preview shot below.


For the Tekkies amongst you: We shot the clip with a RED Scarlet @4k and are now grading it on a DaVinci 9 System.




Round I: German PSBs

by  Willi Haninger

Due to the fact that everyone in the creative team behind the VITRO concept is german AND currently living in Berlin, it was obvious to us that we wanted to try and pitch our idea to a german broadcaster. Although the german-speaking TV market is not very fantasy/scifi friedly, at least in it’s own productions, we gave it a shot.
The public-service
 broadcasters (PSBs) were our first stop, since the free TV model doesn’t seem to be able to provide the right budget. We looked at ARTE first, which is owned by german and french public broadcasters. This has the advantage of being able to pitch to a number of TV stations like ZDF, when talking to the people at ARTE. And we did. And to make a long story short: we never made it past the first round. Why? The short version is that they thought that our concept, while original, was too “commercial” and more importantly written for a genre that the public broadcasters “had no experience in”. The same thing happened when we talked to the austrian ORF which was also experiencing massive budget cuts to the fictional sector this year.

Granted, it was not a big surprise to find that public stations had a hard time doing something that was outside their usual programming. While disappointing, this confirmed our opinion that our TV series would have to be an international co-production.

So now we are refining our concept and going international. Let the journey begin!