Berlin diary entry 1

Thursday 19th May 2005 – Mid Air

Well, it’s 5.20pm (Berlin time). I’ve just put my watch forward. For the next six days I have a series of interviews lined up. The resulting video footage will hopefully be the raw material for ‘My DDR T-Shirt’.

I’m currently sitting in a window seat aboard an Easyjet Airbus to Schoenefeld Airport. Phil Wynn is sat next to me – listening to his Walkman and reading his book.

It’s a pity, but we both seem to be worn out. From my point of view, I’m really feeling the fatigue from a busy time at work. Added to this is the anticipation and planning for this trip that has taken place over the last few weeks.

Now that I’m on the plane, the prospect of what’s in store over the next week is really quite exciting. I just hope that the fatigue monster doesn’t make us lazy.

On the whole, under the circumstances, I feel at this point that I have done as much as I could to make sure the trip runs smoothly. I suppose there is always more you can do, but there you go.

The project starts as soon as we arrive at Scheonefeld. We have to get the train to central Berlin and I want to get some shots on the way.

It is always easier to not bother with the filming. It is always a drag to get the camera out, clip on the mic – and worst of all, actually talk on camera. But that is what we are here to do. We’re just going to have to keep some focus.

To quote Michael Dean’s $30 Film School, one of the golden rules of filming is to ‘Get the Shot’. Sounds simple, but it really isn’t.

As soon as we arrive in Berlin – or Kreuzberg, more specifically – I have to phone Henning Krull. He is a friend of a friend who has agreed to put us up for the whole trip. It’s amazing to think that he is willing to welcome two strangers into his home for 6 days.

One of the most amazing aspects of my preparation has been the generosity of the people I have contacted in Berlin. People have been incredibly helpful.

The most remarkable contact has been Sven Kubala. Without Sven, the list of interviews wouldn’t be so good. But more than this, his positivity and support has been fantastic.

He’s a gift from the god of amateur filmmaking. We’ll meet him face to face tomorrow afternoon/evening and I’m going to buy some drinks and something to eat. An inadequate thank you really, but the best I can do.

I must be feeling tired because I’m finding it surprisingly easy to waffle. I’m going to sign off now and attempt to sleep.