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Shot in the Dark (Schüsse ins Dunkel) © Frank Amann

Shot in the Dark

Creative Documentary by Frank Amann, 79 min./52 min., Germany 2016

„Even with no input, or maybe especially with no input, the brain keeps creating images." Pete Eckert, blind photographer

SHOT IN THE DARK is an intimate portrait of three successful artists who have one thing in common: visual impairment as a starting point for their visual explorations.
This film poses fundamental questions about seeing and the imagination.

Script / Director / DoP:
Frank Amann
Montage:
Bernd Euscher
Gesa Marten
Music:
FM Einheit
Mix:
Martin Steyer
Sound / sound design:
Shinya Kitamura
Producer:
Kristina Konrad
Co-production:
WDR/Arte
Commissioning Editor:
Sabine Rollberg
World Sales:
Deckert-Distribution

SYNOPSIS

Three blind photographers.
It is as if through the slow working methods of these blind photographers something about the creation of photographic images and the phenomenon of light becomes visible to me for the first time. It is something performative, dynamic and very filmic.
Watching SHOT IN THE DARK will introduce three extraordinary people. These blind artists insist on participating in the world of visuals. At the same time they question this world with their work, in which nothing is taken for granted.

Pete Eckert (56) practises a photographic technique he calls "light painting". Because he can no longer see in which "decisive moments" he should trigger the camera, he lights in complete darkness all elements of the image how he imagines and would like to see them. To orient himself in his studio he uses the echo of his voice reflecting from the walls. He is living quite secluded with his Japanese wife Amy in a wooden cabin in a Californian city, and for this film he will create a series which reflects on the precarious togetherness between blind and sighted lovers and partners. What consequences will this work have for his own relationship?

For Bruce Hall (59) the sky of his childhood was black. He saw the stars for the first time when he was nine, through the telescope of a school friend. "I think all photographers take pictures in order to see, but for me it's a necessity. I can't see without optical devices, without cameras." He uses a snapshot camera to magnify elements of his surroundings in order to read or recognise them. He can only perceive facial expressions when facilitated, like the expressions of his profoundly autistic twin sons Jack and James (13), who never or barely speak. Like a tragical twist of fate the invalidity of his sons brought to him the long sought subject for his photographical passion and his artistic abilities to life.

Sonia Soberats (77) unexpectedly lost her eyesight at the age of 56. Her portrait photography resembles a theatre-stage and still is extremely intimate. She builds minimalistic backdrops from her imagination. Like a visual hunter she moves with flashlights around her models. Sonia Soberats lost her vision after fostering both her children and her husband who died from cancer within a few years. "I went through hell." Existence determines ...
the images and imagination too?
Inspite - or maybe because of – their medical lack of vision these three photographers have been invited to exhibit not only in the US but also internationally (Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, South Korea and Spain).
How and why are these photographers able to advance their work so consistently? How does this intuitive approach to images by these visually impaired photographers differ from mine as a cameraman? Can less be more?

Founded by

  • Film Förder Anstalt
  • Film und Medien Stiftung NRW
  • Gerd Ruge Stipendium 2013
  • BKM Web en

 

Trailer

Shot in the Dark © Frank Amann