Francis, the dreamy film projectionist, accidentally crashes into the limousine of gangster boss Mascarpone. Suddenly he finds himself in a mobster film. Francis ́ dog Farfalle is taken hostage by Mascarpone’s gang and Francis is being forced to stand guard at their next bank robbery. When the coup fails he has to rescue his dog and conquer the heart of the film diva Vivien.

TEAM: Director & Lead Composer: Jonas Riemer, Set design: Jenny Sonnenschein, Art Director: Max Schönborn, Producer: Johannes Schubert. And more than 200 helping and without two year of pre- production and postproduction.

Cast: Cornelia Ivacan, Yannik Fischer, Jörg Moukadam, Jörg Westpfal, Dela Dabulamanzi.

Mascarpone screened at over 100 Filmfestivals word wide. It’s been honoured with multiple awards, including the precise DEFA Promotion Prize at the 30. International Film Festival Dresden

Argumentation: “In a skilfully abstracted and lavishly adapted declaration of love to the great dream factory of Hollywood, the winning film embodies an accomplished balancing act between technical perfection and deliberately haptic simplifications. Brilliantly interwoven animation techniques and real-film elements impel the audience onto a high-speed filmic rollercoaster.”

Furthermore it’s been shortlisted for the BAFTA  Student Film Awards an nominated for the Studio Hamburg Newcomer Award. The camerawork has been nominated with the German Cinematography Award in 2019.

The making of Mascarpone

It was a fruitful cooperation between the Set Design, Animation and Cinematography department. We went to explore old techniques, such as Rear-Projection, Stop-Motion and Cut-Out Animation. But also modern Compositing with analog miniature buildings and 3D-elements.

For myself, this film was a great opportunity to dive into the world of visual effects, as well as analog film tricks. I love preproduction, the more complicated it is to archive a certain shot, the more valuable is a good preparation. I appreciate the creative freedom you gain, when introducing effects and VFX people tent to appreciate my commitment in pre-production. Mascarpone is my practical BA thesis movie, it’s been screen at over 100 festivals worldwide and won several prizes and nominations. My cinematography work in particular has been nominated for the Deutscher Kamerapreis, the most presics award in the german speaking area.

If you speak German, you can check out my thesis with a detaild discription about how it’s been done and how to figure out, how tot do it 😉

We shoot in two dimensions: 1:10 Miniature with DSLRs and real size sets with AlexaPlus. Partly with green screen to include the miniatures. Some of the car scenes are made with rear projection, so it was a bold mix of techniques. Because we wanted to try out so many differnt tricks, as DOP one challanges was to mantain coherent look, despite the differnt cameras, set, models and actors beeing intercut frequently.

Some sets where just build in real size and you could act and interact in it, as in any other studio set. But most precious was the work inside the city. Beeing as smal as 1:10 the pure size of the camera callage you to match perspective.

The cars where build twice, as miniatures and in real size. So the actors could interact with the cars. In wider shoots, you most likly see a miniature car, either moved on wires, or with stop motion. In three shoots there replaced with a 3D model. We used green screen and rear projection and moving ligths to blend them in.

The movie inside the film is made of cardboard as well, using a combination of pixellation and cut-out animation. There were littery shoot, printed, cut out and placed in sets made of moving boxes. For the small car scenes we used front projektion with stiop-motion footage from the miniture city.

pixelation footage, before cut out