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The making of How Time Flies

Portrait of Uwe Germar. This film won a Gold Standard award.

The real purpose of the film is revealed in the last shot. The old mill lies in ruins and behind it the modern one turns. That is a real picture - the scene really looks like that. I am in that area occasionally and have to watch as this wonderful old windmill disintegrates. Soon only the shell will remain.

I looked for an idea, something cinematic to use as a way of telling the story of this windmill's fate. The wind should play a central role. If the mill disintegrates in the wind and new wind turbines arise in the background, that would be a little bit of story for a film, I thought.

I like fantasy and experimental films very much. However, a prerequisite is, that the film has both a story and a message. Another dimension is added to the film thanks to the current debates about alternative energy in Germany and Europe.

The mill used in 'Wie Die Zeit Verweht'. Shooting inside the mill used in 'Wie Die Zeit Verweht'.

The challenge for me was how to bring this "dead building" to life and to show its disintegration cinematically. In the first place I shot scenes at another virtually intact windmill. The interior shots are from various other mills (including, incidentally, a water mill!) I had to integrate these shots in a way that did not call attention to them. The wind and the clouds were, of course, added through blue-screen techniques. I shot the actual disintegration separately with a practical model.

I try to let the pictures speak for themselves without dialogue. I take great pleasure in working that way.

The biggest problem during the shoot was that the mill is a dangerous structure at risk of collapse and I had to do some interior scenes. Fortunately nothing fell on my head.

The entire production took 3 years and was cut to several different lengths. In the end I had about 3 hours of material.

Today, I am happy to have many shots both of the interior and exterior of the mill. This film has an additional value as a documentary for posterity. The disintegration of the mill cannot now be prevented.

The model work used in 'Wie Die Zeit Verweht'.

I am very happy that the film was received so enthusiastically in England.

- Uwe Germar    March 2006

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Page updated on 09 October 2011
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