After a Long Day I Woke Up - movie poster


short | with Suzy Kewer and Peter Brooke | 14min | 2001

It is in the very early morning hours: A man and a woman are waiting in a motel room for the airport shuttle to pick her up. The opposition of their characters and the clumsiness of night makes communication hard, unfolding the incapability of two worlds to relate…

After finishing USC I wanted to make my first fully independent film. Inspired by a trip to Iceland I wrote the screenplay of this short and teamed up with my friend and producer Katrin Gangl. Back in 2001, shooting on video/DV wasn’t really an option yet, so we opted for 35mm – a format which I felt was perfect for the story I wanted to tell. Only, the story wasn’t much of a “story” – it was more like an atmospheric situation, or a “cinematic poem”, as a friend once called it. So we ended up with a piece of 14 minute film where “nothing happens”. Which is not entirely true – emotionally (and formally), I felt, it was a true firework. But this artistic endeavor did not translate well into festival success. In fact, of the 22 festivals we submitted the film to, NONE accepted it into its program. So I like to say, this is the least successful short film ever produced. I still hold it close to my heart, though. It is personal, not only in its content, but in a way that it also demarcates the last triumph of my European film gene over the American one. Since then, I  have never made a film where “nothing happens” again.


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