It is 07.30 clock in the morning and today I’ve just a minor role. But one after the other.
With jeans, T-shirt and a simple clamp in my hair, I’m standing on a farmyard where lunch (!) Is about to start with the family. Placed on the table in front of me are – as common in the Palatinate region – “Dubbeglaces” with wine / apple juice, some bread, sauerkraut, Saumagen and black pudding. My two weighty counterparts are professionals and seem to be quite relaxed, and would rather like to take a bite.
In my boots I start feeling “wetlands”. No, I have not forgotten the minus sign in the title, because the summer TV shoot was just taking place. As supernumeray I was allowed to play a longer scene alongside with Henriette Richter-Röhl and the colleagues Lorenz Klee (otherwise actor at the Staatstheater Mainz) and Gerhard Fehn (also acting as voice actor and regisseur). The TV-series is running on German television (ARD) under the title “Winery W.”; Leslie Malton, Maximilian von Putendorf, Adnan Maral and many more are also part of the team.
By the way, the casting was already 18 months ago, but only four weeks ago I got the cast call for the role of Mrs. A. in part 3. At this point I have to ask for your understanding that I am currently not allowed to mention any complete role names or contents before the movie is shown on TV.
Anyway, script is script and no matter what the weather is like, the clothes must be authentic for reasons of cut and continuity. So if you need tough, warm work shoes, you have to withstand the temperature. In return a crew assistant ensures a shady parasol against the heat during breaks, offers refreshments and some make-up control. However, if you play a farmer’s wife, it’s no beauty contest. To preserve authenticity there is hardly any makeup and the clothes selected are simply functional.
Sound on, camera is running, flap 172 / the fifth …. Everyone is very focused, professional and trying to support each other. Especially the main actress “Anne” constantly checks her movements, gestures and emotions including the step length. In one scene she has to drive an older tractor on the yard, which is not so easy. The stubborn vehicle does not have the best clutch and once it jumps from her hand before standing still and bounces forward uncontrollably. No one would blame her for that incident, but immediately she apologizes for the misfortune, because now, of course, the entire scene requires a repetition.
For a good TV broadcast it is important to capture the situation not only from one direction with the two cameras. Each take, e.g. a close-up, must always be recorded and focused separately with full play of all parties involved. That means, not only words and emphasis must always be identical, but also facial expressions and gestures. A teleprompter that allows the reading of text, is incidentally not used!
Although everything runs smoothly, the completion of this scene lasts four hours. Generally one says that per day of production you get a transmission output of 3-4 minutes.
Present on the set are about 20 people, who complete the various functions. As there are: regisseur/director, 1st and 2nd assistant director, 1 crew manager, 1 stage manager, 2-3 cameramen, 2-3 light / sound technicians, 2 mask and costume designers, 1 property master, 1 food manager, 3-4 refit/ remodeling helpers, etc. Whether the producer was present as well, I don’t know (probably not).
Although I have already participated in some studio and outdoor movie-shootings as an actress in commercials and image films, I wasn’t aware that there is even a prop driver. In this case it is his job to always drive the tractor backwards from the yard.
The whole time there is a very pleasant constructive tone among the crew members, everything goes hand in hand. Atmost attention is paid to every detail. If something needs adjustment, a short discussion among the crew members is sufficient. Director Tomy Wigand also likes to discuss a scene with the actors from time to time to optimize a key moment. He leaves them interpretation space, but also makes suggestions and explains why he wants a scene interpreted in a certain way.
In doing so, he pays attention to me as well and gives instructions on moving frequence and viewing direction. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomy_Wigand
As fast as the whole equipment – such as cameras, light ambrellas and catering – was set up, so experienced and fast the entire location is cleared again. The caravan moves on and the ground looks like nothing had happened. And once more the sentence “time is money” is so true. According to press release the movie locations were /are the Palatinate wineries Schäffer (Neustadt) and Ziegler (Maikammer) as well as the wine shop Diedesfeld.
In the end, there is a short applause from the director and the shooting team. As in the beginning, regisseur Tomy Wigand (looks a bit like Volker Schlöndorff with his base cap) finally shakes my hand. On leaving, there is still the chance for a snapshot with Henriette Richter-Röhl. In a break, we were briefly talking about gliding, which she would like to do once. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henriette_Richter-Röhl
She is a very pleasant person and always focused at work. When she moves, she seems to float across the floor, but she can also be very energetic and enduring if the role demands for it. So take a look at the winery trilogy. After all, parts 1 and 2 had a market share of around 15%.
Spectators are of course not allowed during such recordings and it is of course not allowed to make any recordings of the scenes for legal reasons. Therefore, this highly up-to-date blog post is not illustrated as usual. When the actual part 3 of “Winery W.” is broadcast on TV is still open.
By the way, according to an excerpt from the magazine HÖRZU in 2015, TV production cost for one minute are as follows: (exemplary mentioning of the various genres):
“Jungle Camp” (RTL): € 21.250 per broadcast minute
“Donna Leon” (ARDt): € 17,500 per broadcast minute
“Tatort” (The First): € 15,500 per broadcast minute
“Welcome to Carmen Nebel” (ZDF): € 10.000 per broadcast minute
“Bergdoktor” (ZDF): 8.888 € per broadcast minute
“Terra X” (ZDF): 6,000 € per broadcast minute
“heute-show” (ZDF): 4.666 € per broadcast minute
“Günther Jauch” (the first one): 4.634 € per broadcast minute
“Good times, bad times” (RTL): 2,000 € per broadcast minute
“The Sports Studio” (ZDF): 2,000 € per broadcast minute
“Markus Lanz” Talkshow (ZDF): 1.230 € per broadcast minute
“Really delicious” (Bon Gusto TV): 170 € per broadcast minute
It is easy to calculate that a 90-minute production will easily add up to 1.3 and 2 million euros.
Well, it was not at my fee, but it was fun and interesting to be there. Hopefully, something of “my scene” will be left after the cut … Have a nice time and the movie-serie furthermore lot’s of success!
On another upcoming occasion I will refer to the topic “actors” again. For now remain with best wishes for some nice Pentacost days …