Documentary Babes

‘Documentary Babes was a term coined when Flora set up our Whatsapp’

She is interesting that way and I suppose it just stuck with me

Prolog Stardate 2018 Berlin Germany

It was the end of 1991. The communist wall in Europe had fallen and you could feel the vibrant energy and deep uncertainty all over Europe.  The song ‘Winds of Change’ by the Scorpions played from every radio and convenience store.  No place was the new reality more poignant than in Berlin, a city divided, now reunited. The wall may have disappeared but from the tall buildings at night the lines of separation were clearly visible.  West Berlin was brightly lit like a Christmas tree.  Multicolored storefront and restaurant and crossing signs flashing along the busy boulevards in startling contrast to the quiet darkened unlit neighborhoods, grey buildings and deserted streets of East Berlin.

Twenty years later I returned to Berlin to attend a school for documentary film making. Berlin, well known for its vibrant arts scene, swinging clubs and swinger’s clubs, Low- and high-tech startups, street murals and street life, now the hippest scene and undisputed cultural capital of Europe was vibrating with energy. Yet what changed my life and changed me as a person were the students and the teachers and the mad adventures we had during the three months I spent at the Met Film School in Neukollin. 

In those three months, we spent a week hands-on basic equipment use.  Another week of sound and then of film editing. Armed with the knowledge that the only way to make films was to go out and change the world, we organized ourselves and working together made eleven separated documentaries.  It was mad: and it was magnificent.  Hauling equipment around on the metro, the restaurants, and the clubs at night, our successes and our frustrations and the forming of new relationships with the many people who agreed to have their lives and passions documented in our films. Yet the one thing that stands out over all others is the bond we made with each other, and that will stay with me for the rest of my life. 

These pages are dedicated to the students and my friends from the Met film School fall class of 2018.

Peter Coward

United States

Flora Koller

Austria

Rogerio Queiroz

Portugal

Corinna Sahl

Germany

Benita Dill

Germany

Martino Chiappa

Greece

Errica Makrogianni

Greece

Ashna Bhatia

India

Khalid Kassab

Itali

Manuel De Bernardinis

Itali

Barry Thomson

United States

Julia Gechter

Film Maker

Met Film Instructor

Hanna Huth

Film Maker

Met Film Instructor

Errica Makrogianni, Ashna Bhatia, Peter Coward, Manuel De Bernardinis, Rogerio Queiroz, Khalid Kassab, Martino Chiappa, Corinna Sahl, Flora Koller, Benita Dill, Barry Thomson

Met Film School Student documentaries

- Some of our Stories -

- Berlin Germany

This Documentary was filmed by Benita about her grandparents and their amazing relationship

70 Years

A Love Story

A film in German with English Subtitles

By Benita Dill

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Errica filmed her Documentary in Tempelhoff Park.  Talk about getting to the heart of the matter.

Would You

Let Them Know

A film in mostly in English with Some Subtitles

By  Errica Makrogianni 

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Manuel, already an established and heralded film maker in Italy put this together. 

Manuel asked me and I agreed to do the voice narration. I did it in a small closet with a blanket over my head to reduce noise. Manuel left it untitled and I gave it a name.

There is still a small audio problem in one of the interviews. 

Dream Scape

A film by

Manuel De Bernardinis

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Peter made the most ambitious and comprehensive film with more than 10 shooting sessions and most of the class as actors.

The movie was produced as a film about an interesting person in our class.

But Peter was actually making a film about Peter, and his misadventure into student film making. It was a documentary on the making of a documentary. Actually, it is a Mocumentary about the making of a documentary about a documentary.

This is Barry

A film by

Peter Coward

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My documentary consisted of many hours of shooting interviews with Rogerio, Flora, and Errica. All of the filmings took place at the school. The first day of shooting was filmed on a bed in the main building and the rest at the school’s production studio.

On the second to last day of school, the night before the final screening, I still could not bring it all together so I trashed the whole Idea of splicing together multiple interviews entirely. I stayed up all night and put this short piece, titled ‘Flora’ together using bits and pieces of footage taken over the course of the previous two and one-half months.

Flora

A film by

Barry Thomson

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The following three films are the individual interviews that I made with Rogerio, Errica, and Flora on the Met Film School Studios set.

They and everyone in the class who worked on my project were complete stars. We became a well-oiled and exhausted student film making team by the end of the 3 months of film making.

Roger's Interview

Directed and edited By Barry

Made by the students of Met Film School

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Errica's Interview

Directed and edited By Barry

Made by the students of Met Film School

Play Video

Flora's Interview

Directed and edited By Barry

Made by the students of Met Film School

Play Video

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