The cinematographer Peter Badel has interviewed many DEFA-cinematographers of different generations and different DEFA companies. They talk about shared and individual experiences with film and DEFA-production.
Between 2004 and 2006, Peter Badel conducted interviews with DEFA cameramen of different generations and from different DEFA operations. In an entertaining way, they talk about their shared and individual experiences with the medium of film and the only GDR film company, DEFA. Traces and beginnings, continuity and production stoppages, successes and disappointments in one of the most beautiful film professions are the focus of the 20 conversations published here. This book deals intensively with the image work for DEFA films and the changing cultural-political conditions within the DEFA studios, but above all it gains its charm from the experiences of the cameramen.
The conversations are not primarily about film or lighting tricks, as one might expect among camera colleagues. Rather, they are about how people change by meeting each other and getting involved with each other. No matter how different the individual characters and training paths are: All these considerations describe the unceasing effort to achieve the most important prerequisite for making films - trust.
It is therefore just as much a matter of the cameramen's cooperation with the directors as it is of dealing with the closest collaborators, from assistants to lighting masters. The history of DEFA is brought to life through the memories and arguments of the employees of this film company, thus complementing the numerous film science and film history projects with personalities, photographs and anecdotes.
Samples (in German):
Peter Badel, a graduate of the Babelsberg Film School and until 1991 DEFA cameraman at the DEFA Studio for Feature Films, has been working as a freelance cameraman in the documentary, feature film and television feature film sector since 1992. In his films it is always East German history that the cameraman translates into lasting images.