Behind the scenes of Tobias Hutzler’s short film “Balance”

Before we delve into the making of Tobias Hutzler’s Balance, we offer our sincere thanks to Time for featuring the film last Friday and B2Pro for supporting the production. Within two days, Balance racked up close to 50,000 views on Tobias’ Vimeo channel and nearly 2,000 likes. (As of this writing, it has surpassed 70,000 views.) It also has been picked up by online media outlets ranging from Zeit, which is like the Time magazine of Germany, to U.S.-based Juxtapoz. And it was named a Staff Pick by the editors of Vimeo.

.

.

The inspiration for Balance was Maedir Eugster, an artist with the Rigolo Swiss Nouveau Cirque, who performs the astonishing feat of balancing a series of palm-leaf ribs on a single feather for audiences at the avant-garde circus Spiegelworld’s “Empire” show. Tobias, who is interested in temporary sculptures, was introduced to Maedir, and the two decided to collaborate on a film based on the performance.

“I am very interested in the aspect of perpetual motion, an object of perfect symmetry, geometry and balance, like a mobile by Alexander Calder,” Tobias says.

Rather than try to re-create the colorful staging of the palm-leaf piece familiar to Maedir’s Spiegelworld audiences, though, Tobias took a much more spartan approach and chose a bare studio for the setting.

Tobias Hutzler Balance stills

Production stills from the making of “Balance.” Photos by Tobias Hutzler. Click to view larger.

“I felt that working with this ‘life installation’ in the studio would have some magic to it,” Tobias explains. “To me, the process of writing a concept for the piece was a reduction process, a process of elimination—abstracting in order to get to the essence.”

In the film, the focus is on Maedir, with nothing to distract from what Tobias calls “the simplicity and universality of his process.”

“It’s about balance: between human and objects, between emotion and intellect, between the physical and the spiritual,” he says. “It’s almost like a mandala, the magic and energy of stillness. Once completed, it has lost its purpose. Traditionally, most sand mandalas are deconstructed shortly after their completion. This is done as a metaphor for the impermanence of life. In Balance, we see the transformation of energy from the artist to the artwork.”

Tobias shot the film at Parlay Studios in Jersey City, New Jersey, using a setup comprising multiple RED cameras, in order to capture “the tension and sweat in detail.” Balance was produced by James Jolly of Prime Pictures, executive produced by Brent Langton of B2Pro, and edited by Bunker Media.

“Prime Pictures became involved in Balance after meeting Tobias and loving his idea and passion behind this project,” says James. “Prime is a production company bridging the gap between still photographer and cinematographers. We are able to fund projects like these due to the support of our parent company, B2Pro, and editing division, Bunker Media.

“We saw a wonderful opportunity to grow and expand our fashion-based company by adding a more art and style piece,” he continues. “Once we heard Tobias’ idea and saw the strength and concentration of Maedir, we knew we wanted to develop the project. It is a very unique and special art form that we are very excited to have been involved. It was an amazing collaboration we are very proud of, and we are looking forward to working with Tobias on the next one.”

.

Credits
Director: Tobias Hutzler
Producer: James Jolly of Prime Pictures
Executive producer: Brent Langton of B2Pro
Location: Parlay Studios
Editor: Sam Maliszewski of Bunker Media
1st assistant camera: Corey Jenkins
2nd assistant camera: Patrick Racheff
Gaffer: Jared Roessler
DIT: Chris Davis

Tobias extends his thanks to the entire B2Pro crew; Jared, Roessler and the entire RED camera; the DP crew; and Parlay Studios. Special thanks to Amber Rooney and the Spiegelworld Empire people.

.

.

3 Comments

  1. Steve Burgess
    Posted 04/08/2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Who composed the music? No one is credited with this – yet it is integral to the whole piece?

  2. Fábián András
    Posted 05/08/2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Who composed the music?

    • Tobias
      Posted 05/08/2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your interest in the film! We worked with several different composers, and the piece is the result of their contributions. They suggested that there be no attribution for the final piece.


Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*

%d bloggers like this: