“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every now and then we get the opportunity to work on an “unusual” project that takes you out of your comfort zone and makes one rethink the way stories are told.
What if the viewer is not just the spectator? What if one is able to take an active role in the film by influencing the unfolding story?
Everyday we find ourselves facing diverging paths, having to make decisions on how our own story unfolds. As humans, we spend our existence facing a duality that could leave us in constant hesitation and sometimes even stuck. However, when OTAKUS was approached by our friends over at DISTILLERY to shoot an interactive film promoting the new E-Tron AUDI Q4, we were very decisive.
Our protagonist was Roman Huber, a landscape photographer and influencer from Tyrol. Roman’s job was to go on a road trip, meet people along the way and gain knowledge on combining artificial light with natural light. Then with that knowhow capture an epic photo of the Q4 in its full glory. The intention was for the audience to decide themselves, the path Roman takes to the climax of the film.
The first challenge for OTAKUS was to write this super complicated story. We had to constantly consider two parallel storylines that had to join intelligently every time before the next choice was at hand. For that we created a schematic visualisation of the intertwining storylines. It was the only way to make sense of the spider web. However even after all the careful planning during the pre-production, it still required endless rewrites and script-adaptations throughout the shoot. Continuity was key. Weather, clothing, time of day locations etc. Probably the hardest shoot to ensure all was captured in camera. Think, rewrite and continued rethinking to not have any surprises in the edit.
Since we already opted for an unusual way of telling the story, we decided to take an even further distinction with our visual implementation. If we were to tell two stories simultaneously, why not have two different film formats depending on the decision the viewer made. For the Vlog/talking head storyline we went with a spherical lens approach and the cinematic storyline with Cooke Anamorphic lenses. A crazy idea that pushed our brains to the limit, but ensured great satisfaction and ultimately allowed for a lot of DOP fun.
Back in Switzerland, in the post-production our editor had to piece the puzzle together. It was an amazing feeling to see the storylines coming together and realising that all the planning and preparation was all worth it. The credit for this project, to be sure goes to PRODUCER. A cloud base software solution that allowed us to handle everything from development to the final delivery. Thanks to PRODUCER we coordinated all the communication between all the parties involved in the production. Audi Germany, Audi Austria, the Distillery Agency, studio in Austria, and our Colorist here in Zurich. What a huge time saver.
In a way, this film was a metaphor for daily existence. The separator between good intentions and action comes with deciding. Through decision we define our destination.
Agency: Distillery GmbH
Client: Audi Austria
Production Company: OTAKUS Production
Talent: Roman Huber / Cesar Muntada
Story: Xaver Walser, Niklas Burn
Copywriting: Manfred Thieroff
Creative director: Marco Neumeyer
Creation: OTAKUS Production
Client Director: Katharina Nowak
Producer: Marco Neumeyer
Line Producer: Axel Duarte
Project Manager: Fabian Schmidt, Jonee Puelz
Location Manager: Lukas Nagel
Sound Operator: Barnaby Hall
AC: Sven Emmenegger
Photographer: Manuel Kottersteger
Wirewax Technology: Katharina Lauer
Color Grading: Simon Hardegger
Edited by: OTAKUS Production
Post Production: OTAKUS Production
Sound Mixing: Felix Sterzinger- Aton Studio
Director: Xaver Walser
Music: Epidemic Sound – Extrem music
Camera Rental: Eberle