UMF Cologne 2011 Diary… Teil Zwei

Howdy everybody, today Roachman continues his German adventure in the second part of  his exclusive Urban Media Festival diary for peppergrain. Stay tuned for the third and final part coming later this week! (If you missed out on the first part you can still read it here) Enjoy!


Day 3

Day three started with a well-deserved lie-in on my uber-comfortable German pillow. I felt well rested after a good night’s sleep and I must confess it was very much required, because on our first night, I sneakily ventured out straight after landing at Cologne Airport and ended up going out ALONE at 1.45am to experience Cologne’s nightlife, rolling in at half four in the morning.

Once I was fully recovered, I attended a workshop which started with explaining what our favourite films were and why.  We also discussed the cinematic techniques used in those films and the emotions those films evoked. Afterwards, we had production group time where we began organizing script questions and our methods of undertaking the interview with the Cologne locals who I would be interviewing as part of our documentary. We left to start filming and decided to shoot as we walked and talked, but I stayed out of shot as the artistic aim was built around a focus on participants. I’d written positive and negative questions the day before and they seemed to work. At points where the interviews got deeper, the participants were replying in German. One interviewee even took us to her favourite place in Cologne to film.

I rounded the day up with some research about the rates of movement and depression in Cologne and Big Cities on the whole and then it was time for one of my favourite parts of the day, DINNER! After waiting a lifetime, there was hardly anything left so I ate what I could then went home to relax. I had a quick drink then ventured out with Ryan (Roots and Routes UK) and Junior from Belgium. We ended up in McDonalds eating, and then having debates about world issues until the early hours of the morning. We walked back to the hotel, after the heated and passionate debate, had a drink and talked with a few locals before collapsing into bed.


 Day 4       
Myself and the two other male Roots and Routes UK talents, Ryan and Paris, took a walk to our new favourite place, McDonalds, for what became a disappointing breakfast, after a rather tedious effort to order in English to a German-only speaker. We then ventured into central Cologne to find a place to change money and see the cathedral quickly before heading back to the headquarters for our workshops.

A little late for the workshop, we managed to integrate into class and listen as people read out the scenes they had written up the day before as part of the screenplays we were building up. After the workshop we took a break for lunch then got back into production groups and planned out the day, filming, editing, collating and working out ideas. The day drew to a close after dinner, and excitement built up as talk of partying and going out started. A few R&R talents from Germany, Holland, Belgium and UK met at the hotel bar, before heading out to the City Centre for an underground type party where the venue had Graffiti sprayed all over the walls. Everyone had a great time!!

Day 5

A group meeting replaced the usual workshop format that had become common for our morning routine. Unfortunately I missed this meeting due to health reasons. (Eds note: *cough hangover *cough)

I met up with my group later and we headed to a place called Mulheimer Bridge. This was the favourite place of one of the interviewees, Marcel, and it was beautiful. We filmed there until severe rain spoiled it forcing us to take the shoot inside the local station, much to the disapproval of disgruntled Germans. After a lovely lunch in Burger King, we headed back to headquarters and set up to go and shoot another interview in the countryside. This was with a German lady who had moved due to a dislike for life in Cologne aka ‘Big City Life’. The interview was great, all our topics were covered and we got some great responses, as well as presents from the interviewee’s incredibly sweet daughter. We piled back into the car and headed back down the German motorway to get back to base. We did a little more work and then had dinner before heading home.


Make sure you come back towards the end of this week for the third and final part of Aaron’s experience of the Urban Media Festival and also for an exclusive first listen to the poem he wrote to accompany the documentary he filmed whilst in Germany!