Interview with Filmmaker Javier Ubell (SP.A.CE case Collective “Arrival 2.0”)

SP.A.CE case Collective “Arrival 2.0”, 8min., Austria, Experimental
Directed by Javier Ubell, Tobias Mertke, Nina Aufderheide, Luzie Nehls-Neuhaus
SP.A.CE case Arrival is a 360° performance that creates imagery through dance and theatre sequences. From this immersive dance performance created by the SP.A.CE case collective; in 2022 the short film version “Arrival 2.0”, which was funded with the cultural program Tanz Digital II in association with Dachverband Tanz Deutschland. The film is the artistic essence of the 50 minute live performance. The filming took place with the invitation from Auf! Auf! Residency program in the Lehar Theatre in Bad Ischl, Austria

Get to know filmmaker Javier Ubell:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

In 2021 the SP.A.CE case Collective created its first live performance titled SP.A.CE case Arrival. All members of the collective have many years of experience in live theatre from costume design, dancing/choreography, stage design, and directing. Our main goal is to create live performances in which the audience is able to experience the show in a completely different way compared to traditional theatre. After SP.A.CE case Arrival was created and performed in March 2022 we applied for some additional funding from the Dachverband Tanz Deutschland under their Tanz Digital intuitive with the concept to create dance for a digital format. After receiving this funding we the collective wanted to see how we could transform our live performance of SP.A.CE case Arrival into a digital representation SP.A.CE case Arrival 2.0. We knew that we didn’t want to show the complete show in our film but to show the idea of it. We could say that the motivation to make this film was to create the atmospheric essence of the much longer live performance.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

From the first day of filming to the finished product it took around nine months to complete.

3. How would you describe your film in two words?

Surreal journey.

4. What was the biggest obstacle in completing the film?

The biggest obstacles was the work schedule in regards to the time it took to get to our film location in Bad Ischl, Austria and time management during the editing process.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

It was a really humbling experience watching the feedback videos. We had no idea how our film would be perceived since it was based on a live performance that we had created. Live theatre and film are very different in how the audience experiences it. In the live performance the audience has a 360 degree viewing of the show, there is no auditorium or stage set up. They are completely inside the narrative of the show. After hearing the feedback it was really great to know that even through film our concept still came across strong to the viewers.

6. When did you realise that you wanted to make films?

We realised we wanted to make this film especially when we were granted the funding. We have always been interested in using projections in our work but never thought of making a film until the opportunity was awarded to us. An unexpected thing that did come from the filming was that when we shot specific scenes for the film those actually moments became better for our live performances. We learned that through the lens we could see clearly how things could be improved for our shows.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

The Fifth Element (Javier Ubell) Night on Earth (Luzie Nehls-Neuhaus) Every Star Wars movie ( Nina Aufderheide)

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

More updates about the different stages the films are going though while the festival is going on. More social media announcements about the films in the festival and what to look for, award announcements.

9. You submitted to the festival via FIlmFreeway. How has your experience been working in the festival platform site?

Its been very convenient to have all the festivals there to look though and to have all your projects uploaded already which makes applications much easier.

10. What is your favourite meal?

Chicken wings (Javier Ubell) Avocado bagel (Luzie Nehls-Neuhaus) Lasagne (Nina Aufderheide)

11. What’s next for you?

The SP.A.CE case collective is counting to develop and create new works and we also continue to have performances in Hannover, Germany of SP.A.CE case Arrival. There has been talks about a second film with the idea of prequel to one of our characters. We would love to develop our digital aesthetic by incorporating digital and live performance in our art.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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