With no memories of his past the puppet Fredelius awakes in the film workshop of his creator. Fredelius – innocent and kind-hearted – soon has to realize that he was only built to play the role of a super villain. Will his new consciousness help him change the course of things?
In an explosive mixture of arthouse and genre cinema “Der Tod des Filmemachers” (Death of the Filmmaker) tells a parable of free will and self-determination. The puppet becomes aware of its own structure and role. From then on it tries to rebel against it. In the movie content and form are tightly interwoven. This way a special style is created: During the journey into the miniature world the aspect of artificiality is always present and drives the plot. The intrigue of the project lies in the mixture of playful experimentation with the medium and conventions of genre as well as the reflection of self-determination and fatalism.
The voices of Fredelius, Chris and Tanja are spoken by the German voice actors of George Clooney (Detlef Bierstedt), Nicolas Cage/Vin Diesel (Martin Keßler) and Cameron Diaz (Kathrin Fröhlich).
Fredelius - Detlef Bierstedt
Chris Cleeve - Martin Keßler
Tanja Titow - Katrin Fröhlich
1. Scientist: Viktor Neumann
2. Scientist: Lutz Schnell
Merc 1: Tim Sander
Merc 2: Marcel Collé
Merc 3: Oliver Feld
Filmemacher - Mika Metz
SHORTS - Trinationales Filmfestival am Oberrhein
April 2019 Offenburg, Germany
Nomination for Best Animated Film
31. Filmfest Dresden International Short Film Festival
April 2019, Dresden, Germany
Nomination for National Film Award
April 2019, Mainz, Germany
Nomination for Rhineland-Palastinate Film Award
World Festival of Animated Film - Animafest Zagreb
June 2019, Zagreb, Croatia
Grand Competition Short Film
“Der Tod des Filmemachers” (Death of the Filmmaker) is a stop motion-animation with puppets. The film is Cornelius Koch’s graduate project to complete his master in media design studies at Hochschule Mainz, Germany. The project was partly funded by the Nachwuchsmedienförderung Rheinland-Pfalz and successfully completed a crowdfunding campaign. The production was taken up in 2014 and finished in 2018.
With the help of the stop motion technique the dead puppets were brought to life. This nearly archaic method of film production is paired with the possibilities of digital image manipulation. Yet the main focus lies on trying to shot as much as possible in an analogue style – “in camera” so to speak – to fully take advantage of the technical possibilities of photography.
The birth of the puppets
First the skeleton of the puppet was made with a ball and socket armature, then the puppets were covered with foam and dressed in clothes that were sewed specially for them. Silicon was used to create the effect of moving flesh. To be able to have a great variety of facial expressions a modular replacement method was employed which allows a quick change of faces and mouths. Another special feature of the movie is the human sized doll of the dead filmmaker, which was made by the professional make-up artist Ina Chochol using the lifecast technique. This way the “corpse” could sit in the filmset for months and become an accessible object for the animation puppets.
From 2014 to 2017 a new world was created on the ground of an industrial estate, a former tank factory, in Mainz-Mombach. On the one hand the set design was inspired by well known spy movies, on the other hand the industrial estate in Mainz influenced the look. With regard to a low-cost production upcycling was the best method to design the set. This way a lot of the film props for the industrial film interior could be found in the surroundings. For example a part of a dishwasher was transformed into an acid tank and a fire extinguisher was made into an atomic bomb. Tools and paint as well as the change of the perspective to the 1:9 scale made this possible.
Portfolio by Cornelius Koch
The filmmaker Cornelius Koch was born in 1988 in Berlin-Wilmersdorf. With only twelve years he started experimenting with animated films. The archaic technique of stop motion animation has never ceased to fascinate him – be it in the form of LEGO minifigures, Barbie dolls, silhouette animation or Claymation.
From 2009 to 2013 he studied film studies and philosophy at the University of Mainz. He then went on to do his masters in media design studies at the Hochschule Mainz which he completed in 2018. He shares his passion for animation by giving workshops throughout Germany and seminars at the university.
The Job (2005, stop motion, 8’)
Rübermachen (2008, stop motion, 2’)
Cité Concrète (2011, experimental, 9’)
iWater (2015, stop motion, 10’)
TubeHeads.avi (2015, live action, 8’)
Der Tod des Filmemachers (Death of the Filmmaker) (2019, stop motion, 20’)