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How I Made It: Under The Trees (2020)

Under The Trees (2020) is a story about three lumberjacks - Paul, Kalle and Boris, who discover a mysterious briefcase deep in the forest, hidden under trees, which brings unexpected wealth and turns their simple life upside down. The money is divided and invested in culture, pub and family planning. Unfortunately, the profit brings shady characters to the game, who turn out to be the "rightful" owners of the money and demand every cent back. Inevitably, the lumberjacks are forced to work off the lost money and carry out risky "jobs" while trying to escape the misery.

The Three Lumberjacks

89 mins | German | Comedy-Thriller, Feel-Good, Life | Germany | 2020

In its persistent mission and zeal to promote good cinema, the Indian Film Institute brings you the experience of the Director of the film - Thomas Scherer

Why this subject matter for your film?

The film is about Friendship and Home feeling. Where is the place we belong to be? The three main characters are very different and they define this feeling differently. One of them loves arts and doing art, the other is dreaming of having a family, and the third one just wants to do his job, drink a beer and chill. Three different attitudes of life, but they all belong together. And, obviously, they have to fight against gangsters...

Where did you find the story for this film?

After school, I worked in the forest to earn some money for studying. And there I got the first idea, twelve years ago. The idea was in the drawer for a long time. And then, in 2016, I took it out again and worked on it... It was a long process, and meanwhile, the story, characters and everything else are different, but the first idea was born a long time ago.

What were the challenges you faced in making the film?

We had a really big cast, a lot of actresses and actors. We had to manage the timetable in all its details. That was really difficult, ´cause we had no money... But planning is everything.

Did you face any problems in releasing the film?

We are masters in improvisation. One time it was raining, but we had to shoot the scene, no chance to do it on another day. So I had to change the script. Finally, the scene is inside, and, between us, better than before.

What was your background before making your first film?

I studied media, but I always wanted to make films. So I put a crew together and we made some short films according to the motto: learning by doing. Then I went to a TV channel with my idea and a short movie, which tells a part of the story. And after a year I got the "GO". That was crazy and I have to say, I was a little afraid.

How do you think filmmakers like you can overcome common challenges like finance and distribution?

We never had a big budget, so we had to improvise and come up with solutions. You don't need the best technology or the best camera to make a good film. In the beginning, it is important to work with passion, then it works. Most important is the story. If you have a good story, you can tell it. It is also the way to learn the most. You can benefit from it later if you made your first film with no money. Because you learn to make difficult decisions quickly, but efficiently.

Any other interesting facts about this film that you may like to cover?

I am very grateful for our cast. Especially our three main characters harmonize well with each other. They are the heart of the story. Before shooting they had never met, so I was very excited to see them together. But the three lumberjacks loved each other from the first moment on.

Film's Official Poster

How to Reach the Director

Thomas Scherer





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