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Winfried Bellmann was raised in Dusseldorf . He and his partner, Doreen Schweikowski, are now based in Erfurt, central Germany. They and this film were a hit at UNICA 2010. Winfried's "calling card" DVD includes The New Washing Machine and also two live-action shorts: a gangland thriller and a science-fiction tale. Since graduating from film school he has made some corporate movies (on his website look out for the James Bond style opening title for a business conference.) When we contacted him about this article he and Doreen were just two days away from the premiere of their new feature-length movie: Draußen (Outside) - but he still took time to send us his storyboard for the film and to write ...
We are pleased about the BIAFF 2011 Diamond Award, Best Comedy and Best Animation prizes.
|It is great to hear, that the two hamsters, called Ralle and Bolle, can reach beyond the hearts of German people with their nonsense. These awards give us the incentive to make more films like this. In fact at the moment I am working on the sequel: Ralle and Bolle - addicted to television.|
|As small boy, I liked every type of cartoon. I also had a passion
for comics, so at an early age I began to try out drawing my own. As a
twelve-year-old my dream job would have been an animator. My early experiments
with moving images were also 3D animations.
My interest in real actors first grew during my studies. However for my diploma piece I wanted to rely on old strengths and decided on an animated film.
|I also enjoyed the work of Chuck Jones, of course, mostly in secret, when my parents were not home. As children we were not allowed to watch much television. And of course he has influenced me subconsciously. I loved Tom and Jerry. From their adventures I took the idea never to show all of the housewife, just her hands and feet.|
|Is there a villain in this story? I believe that the villain is the washing machine in the film. First, the hamsters must reach it, then it becomes the object of contention between them, then its door doesn't want to close and in the end it shakes the two hamsters. But its great trump card is the fascination it causes the two hamsters. A villain cannot be more awful.|
|The story board was my script, therefore the basis of the film. I started drawing small scenes,like the one with the tap. That was the most creative part of the work. After the story board was ready, also the film was certain. In the cut, I still then rebuilt small things here then the shape of the film was settled. I made a few tiny changes here and there in the editing but nothing major.|
|From the start I wanted to avoid dialogue, because the story was simple enough to tell completely in actions. That was also a challenge, I wanted to try out. And something in me said that the hamsters would lose their credibility if they could speak. In this way I learned a great deal about how much you can tell in a film without dialogue, using only pictures to tell the story. I have noticed that audiences seem to like that.|
|As I said, I am working on the further adventures of the two hamsters. My dream would be if they became established as a short series. There are lots of ideas for nonsense. My brother and I need only sit down at home for a little while to dream them up. On the other hand I also like serious stories and creating scenes on the set with the actors and cameraman. Each story requires an appropriate style and so I will try to continue to adjust to the story not vice-versa. A further planned project is a music video featuring a band from our town. We also want to tell a story in images cut to music. Wait and see!|
|- Winfried Bellmann
Visit the Bellmann film website. It is in German but go through Google Translate if necessary