Born on 1971, Jan Thüring is an independent filmmaker living in Berlin. He studied visual communications before entering at Film academy Baden-Württemberg in Germany in 1997. He has made several short films, mostly presented at international film festivals and won various awards. Since 2003 he is working as a freelance director and storyboard artist. His last short film ‘Three Travellers’ is going to be shown at L.A. Shorts Fest on Tuesday, July 28 in Carl Laemmle Theatre
Cinema Without Borders – Three Travellers won several awards in international short film festivals and is going to be shown at LA Shorts Fest this year. Is it its US premier?
Jan Thüring – Yes, it’s the Los Angeles Premier and the US Premier. “Three Travellers” was running successfully on festivals in Europe and Asia. Now the “three Travellers” could travel to America. The premier is at L.A. shorts fest on Tuesday 28.7 in Carl Laemmle Theatre.
CWB – The story revolves around the meeting of two persons who seems to have no way to get together because of their physical handicap. They want to reach, let’s say an impossible relationship. How this idea came about?
Jan – The film is about three travellers who meet each other accidentally in a train. Everyone has a secret and when they arrived at their destination for everyone something changed. I didn’t want to tell a story about handicapped people. I wanted to accept them as they are and to tell an “Hitchcockian” suspenseful story with them. The story theme is communication and the real language of love.
CWB – The Film takes place in a train. Concerning the low-budget you had for the whole project, how did you manage to shoot in a moving train?
Jan – “Three Travellers” plays completely in a train, mostly in a compartment. It was the most difficult thing to get the impression the train is rolling. First we tried to shoot in a standing train with green screen technique for the moving backgrounds, but that was too expensive for us.
Fortunately we got a great support from German Railway company. A small intercity train was moving just for the movie for about three days. For one Day we could use a train standing at the terminal.
The train was going from Berlin to another city and back. The problem on the way back was that the train couldn’t turn. It went back backwards. So the speed lines of the background were in the wrong direction, which was a serious continuity problem. We solved the problem by hanging another wagon to the train. This one was dressed exactly like the main wagon but flipped. When the train went back to Berlin we changed just the compartment. So the speed lines were correct and I could shoot double time. Three days we shot like that. The fourth day we shot all inserts, close ups etc in the standing train,. The challenge was to work it out very precise to get all the shots within the limited time. Because of that I storyboarded every scene after the rehearsals with the actors.
CWB – How about the next film project?
Jan – The next project is a thriller playing in a house. 6 old friends meet each other after 20 years. There’s a dark shadow in their past which comes out in a way that the situation escalates.
The second film after that one is a drama.
A small-time crook makes a pact with a gang lord to find the men who tried to kill his father. When he drags his brother into his dangerous exploits, a deadly rivalry ensues.
CWB – What are you going to do while presenting your film in LA Shorts Fest?
Jan – I am happy to be screened in this famous epicentre of movies. I try to watch as many films as possible and also I will meet producers to present my future projects.
11:55 Min. – 35 mm – 2008 – Germany
Director: Jan Thüring
Script: Shohreh Jandaghian
Producers: Benedikt Herré, Jan Thüring
Camera: Wolfgang Wambach
Sound design: Rüdiger Fleck
Edit: Jan Thüring
Music: Jan Weber
Actors: Daniel Steiner, Melika Foroutan, Thomas Schmidt