Lost in Space – Bavarian Style

All photos (c) by Marco Meenen

In the year 2030, an operating error in the hyperspace module of the Bavarian space station “Stoiber” sends the two astronauts Franz Daxenberger and Dirk Mandelbrot to the planet Aldebaran 9, almost 23,000 light years away from Earth, where they and their station are placed in a small enclosure at the city zoo. While the two astronauts try to get the station up and running again in order to return to Earth, the zoo administration mistakes them for males and females and tries to breed them…

Cast: Elmar Wepper, Uwe Rohde, Michael Brandner
Production: T4-Filmproduktion / Claudia Gatzke

A co-production of T4-Film, HFF Munich, ARRI and Bayerischer Rundfunk
supported with funds from the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern

TV: Bayerischer Rundfunk, arte

Theatrical release as supporting film to “Vaya con Dios”, Senator Film

numerous festivals

Franz (pops his pill): Vanilla! Your miracle is very imaginative! If they were to let us down with white sausages, for example, that would be a miracle… mwith pretzels!

Making of

My graduation film “Space Zoo” was extreme in every respect. The story takes two astronauts from a space station in orbit via a zoo enclosure on an alien planet back to Earth. In order to tell the story, all the sets had to be built from scratch. No one had dared to do this in a university film since Roland Emmerich’s “Noah’s Ark Project”. When we were finished with “Space Zoo”, we knew why.

The main set of the zoo enclosure in particular presented us with almost insurmountable difficulties. The thing was huge. Fortunately, we had a disused exhibition hall in which we could set up the set – but we had completely underestimated the dimensions of the project. The set building ate up our entire budget and, despite an army of volunteers, ran so far behind schedule that we spent the first day of shooting not filming but trying to get the first set reasonably finished. While I was trying to keep my main actors happy, our special effects supervisor Jürgen Schopper was still applying patina to the spaceship with a small sponge. As soon as we started shooting, however, we conjured up pure cinema magic: an Elmar Wepper floating weightlessly through the spaceship, an Uwe Rohde making pantomime contact with two aliens and the two of them dancing a waltz in a spacesuit to cover up their escape. Without the generous support of the team at Magicon, who built the aliens and played them, ARRI, who provided us with equipment and 3D effects, Stefan Galleithner and his team, who made the “Stoiber” fly, as well as an army of highly professional employees who worked days and nights to somehow get it all done, I would never have managed it. I would therefore like to thank this army once again.

As you would expect, this madness continued in post-production, but somehow we finally got it done, weightlessly, easily, my first real “big picture”. As exhausting as the whole thing was – I would do it again in a heartbeat.