ShortFusion: Alexander Tuschinski

Short Fusion, the short film strand at Cambridge Film Festival 2012 offers the best value for money for cinema lovers wanting to see fresh ideas and new talent. CFF are offering 2 for 1 on all tickets in the short film strand.

Playing to a large crowd last night was young German filmmaker Alexander Tuschinski’s film HOLLOW DATE. Making his Cambridge debut, Alex spoke to the short film programmer Joao Serejo in the Q&A after the screening. TAKE ONE was lucky enough to speak to Alex about his thoughts on short film.

How does your film fit into the theme of this strand, “To Accommodate”?

“To Accommodate” is an ironic title and it deals with innovation in films. HOLLOW DATE is innovative as I try to be unconventional as I work with a very small budget. If you try to imitate big budget films with little money it can seem a little awkward.

Working with a small budget I grasp the viewers’ attention by trying to be daring and original and experimenting with technique, so, for example, using quick edits, unexpected camera angles and surprises in the narrative.

I feel more comfortable giving my films a unconventional structure. I find it boring when I can predict a film’s outcome and find that conventional filmmaking can be quite uninteresting at times. My films have a strange, surrealistic logic to them.

Do you think that short films are so often overlooked?

Short films are sometimes overlooked because they’re not always released or available on DVD, for example, as features are. Short Films are however a vital part of a film festival, where you can find new offbeat voices and audiences really get into this.

You used to see short films before many features as part of the regular cinema programme, but less so these days. But with the internet short films are again gaining in popularity and many filmmakers publish them online.

Do you think short films are just as valid and challenging as features?

Short films are just as valid as and easily as challenging for filmmaker and audience. They are similar but also different in approach. There are lots of liberties for a filmmaker in a shorter format.
If you have an idea or an inspiration which is not enough for a feature, then you can let your idea determine the length of the film. It can make for stronger films in the end as you can explore your idea for as long as it takes.

There is some comfort in feature films as you understand the progression of the story – that something will happen in the first ten minutes, that there will be a certain structure. Short films are surprising – you don’t know how long it might be. Without a usual feature film structure you don’t have the comfort of knowing what might happen.