After 12 hours journey with ferry and car we are back home. We spent 14 exciting, sunny, unforgetable, hot days in London. We shot 30 hours material. That sounds very much, first of all, if you consider that in the finished film the London chapter will be perhaps 10-15 minutes long. A shooting ratio of 1:180. Miserable ratio even for a documentary film. But this has several reasons. First reason: we shot with two cameras, very often parallel. This leads naturally nearly to a duplication of the material. Another reason is our work style. We had to find a visual concept, but it lasted some meters of magnetic tape in the camera and some screenings of our footage during the nights before we found our way to tell the story.
The most important reason for the material flood is however surely the medium. For our first shooting in October 2003 for the trailer we had exposed 4 film reels(36 minutes). With this footage we made a trailer of 2.30 min length. We got such an outstanding shooting ratio of 1:14 because of the economic restrictions of the material. Film is expensive in the acquisition, development and scanning and so we decided very exactly, when and whether we huit the record button. With video you don´t have these economic restrictions. A HDV cassette necessarily costs 15 euro, no development and scanning is necessary. With spending 450 euro we were abel to film 30 hours. With film we would have been able to to develop and scan 15 minutes.
Before the shooting our goal was to imitate the film work style wirh our video equipment. We wanted to be as efficient with video as with film. Unfortunately we failed. Not badly because the extra costs are acceptable. But I wanted to work with video in the same way as on film because of another reason. The expensive film material forces you to work very concentrated. If you work with your video camera the whole day and you record 1 or 2 footage every day, you are in danger to lose control und concentration. You waste your energy on perhaps unimportant shots and miss then the really important moments, in which it would have really been worth to switch the camera on. If I look at some footage we recorded during the last days I recognize some shots in which you immediately see an absence of tension. For our next shooting this will be one of the most important challenges: to ban the material flood of the video shooting. Perhaps we could manage to shoot in a more filmike manner with memory cards based systems like the Panasonic HVX-200. There you have a limited capacity in the video world because of 8GB cards.