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An Interview with Oliver Tietgen and Jens Holzheuer, Directors, and René Wiesner, Producer of ABCs of Superheroes

by Mike Haberfelner

July 2015

René Wiesner on (re)Search my Trash

Jens Holzheuer on (re)Search my Trash

Oliver Tietgen on (re)Search my Trash

 

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I know we've talked about this before [click here], but do bring us up to speed: ABCs of Superheroes - in a few words, what is it about, and what's the concept behind it?

 

René: Crazy and lunatic superhero anthology with lots of blood, sexy babes and cool cameos. In other words pure german moviemaking madness.

 

Oliver: We wanted to combine our love for superheroes with our love for absurd and over the top trashmovies. For every letter of the alphabet, there is a superhero or a supervillain. That was the starting point and then we just came up with as many weird variations of classical comic tropes as possible.

 

Do talk about some of the superheroes you've added since our last interview?

 

René: We made one of my favorite episodes which is Tarantrella versus Unicorn Man. We built a great set and also shot on a cool rooftop. The cast was great and Lloyd Kaufman and Fred Olen Ray are in it too, which is fantastic. Jesus Space Missionary was also a great experience. With extras we were about 70 people on the set in a nice club in Hamburg.

 

Jens: Originally we had an idea for a recurring hero that pops up in different episodes. His name is Hero-Boy. That didn't play out the way we thought, but we shot one scene with him and a very aggressive female supervillain. That shoot was a lot of fun, even if the scene will be really short in the movie.

 

Since we've last talked, you have finished the movie, right? So what can you tell us about the remaining shoot days?

 

Oliver: After assembling a rough cut we noticed some things missing, details, close ups, scenes that didn't make sense. We shot over the span of one year and it was a 20-man job done by three people. No assisstants, no continuity persons etc. So we did make mistakes and spent the last two month trying to correct those.

 

Jens: The last shots were mostly effect stuff or things without actors. We spent a whole day shooting details and then in the evening I would get a call from Oliver and he would say "Hey we forgot this shot!" So the next day we would have the same set-up to do this one take again.

 

René: Right we are done with shooting but there is still a lot of stuff to do in post production. It's exhausting but when we got the call that the film will be shown at the Fantasy Filmfest that gave us another adrenaline shot to finish it.

 

You have added quite a roster of guest stars to your cast for the new episodes, including Troma head Lloyd Kaufman, legendary German horror filmmaker Jörg Buttgereit, genre legend Fred Olen Ray, and also German hip hop group Fettes Brot - so how did you get each of these people, and what were your collaborations like?

 

René: Oh yeah, they were all great. We showed Lloyd and Fred some of our material and asked if they wanted to have a small cameo. Obviously they are great supporters of independent filmmaking, so they agreed.

 

Oliver: I know the guys from Fettes Brot for years and directed some music videos for them. They are smart artists and really funny.

 

Jens: We met Jörg Buttgereit at the premiere of his own film German Angst and talked about our project. He is an incredibly nice person and agreed to do this immediately. He has his own superhero comic and stageplay Captain Berlin, so he has an affinity to our ideas.

 

Oliver: It's great to see how directors work when they are on the other side of the camera. They still think like directors and offer different takes or ask where you want to cut. No one was a diva. They all wanted to give the best for us. They were really great.

 

Speaking of Lloyd Kaufman, Jörg Buttgereit, Fred Olen Ray, and another guest star of yours, Uwe Boll - to what extent do you see your movie in the tradition of either of these filmmakers?

 

René: I think what these moviemakers have in common is that they make movies against any resistance. For forty years Llyod has been producing the most anti-mainstream movies possible and showing that there is a market for this. Jörg made a few of the most intense and memorable German movies ever with almost no budget and he even came in conflict with the law.

 

Jens: What I love about Fred Olen Ray is the variety of his output and I admire the sheer amount of his oeuvre. He seems to be working non-stop. That's just incredible. Definitely one of my heroes!

 

René: Uwe knows the business like almost no other and is a really nice guy who loves movies. He makes these broad action films and then he surprises you with a real intense and personal story like Darfur, where you see how much the stuff matters to him. It's amazing to see him working against all the obstacles that are against him.

 

Oliver: I admire that these people are self-made men. They didn't have to ask anyone for permisssion to make their movies.

 

As far as I know, you're presently running a fundraiser for your movie - so do talk about that one for a bit, and with the movie as such being finished, where will the money go?

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/abcsofsuperheroes/abcs-of-superheroes-postproduction-final-
touches
 

 

René: The money goes completely into post production and into the pockets of the VFX-artists. We dont earn anything with it.

 

Oliver: We were behind schedule when the call from the Fantasy Filmfest came. So we had to hire additional help with the visual effects. We had to pay these artists to finish the film in time.

 

Jens: Unfortunately we were already absolutely flat broke, indeed we have a lot of debts that might follow us to the end of days. So we thought of this as a fun way to pay the artists without having to sell our kidneys.

 

The $64-question of course, when and where will your movie be released onto the general public?

 

René: It will have its world premiere on August 13th. After that it will be shown in six other German cities. We are also in talks with other festivals around the world. There is still no distribution plan. We are sure that will change as soon as the film was shown at some festivals.

 

Your/your movie's website, Facebook, Kickstarter, whatever else?

 

René: Please support our Kickstarter:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/abcsofsuperheroes/abcs-of-superheroes-postproduction-final-
touches/dashboard

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ABCsofSuperheroes

Twitter: https://twitter.com/abcheroes

 

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Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

René: Thanks to all of our fans and friends. We hope to see all of you at the Fantasy Filmfest or any film festival near you.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

René: Thank you!

 

Oliver: Thank you!

 

Jens: Thank you!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

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