March 21, 2024

Why We Chose


Hi Zooliners,

It's been a while. As you can see from above, we’ve been…busy.

In January of this year, the team achieved something we’ve dreamt of doing since our very inception: producing our own fiction project. What we didn’t envision was that we could do it all completely independently.

With a script developed in-house and directed by Ken, a ton of technical feats mastered by Dom, producing prowess demonstrated by both Kat and Aurelia, overseas support graciously given by Carly, and the eternal encouragement and financial backing of our master-in-chief Tom, we shot a short film. Of course, we picked up a TON of talented and gifted individuals along the way. But for us, it was one hell of a ride - and not an easy one at that. But as with anything worth doing in life, you should be ready to fight for it. And, boy, did we fight hard to make this film. And now, with our post-production process well underway, we felt it was time to talk about ‘Close Encounters.’

Why Fiction?

Well, for us, the question is more “Why not?” We’re an eclectic bunch in this production company. We all have varying tastes and strengths, each of us helping make Zoo, well, Zoo. But we are each of us aligned in our desire to break into the world of fiction. So we devised a plan internally whereby we could produce something ourselves, something we cared about and that we felt tested the team and our resolve. So once the script was ready, we moved into pre-production in late 2023 and started to assemble our cast and crew.

It was months of location scouting, permit acquiring, equipment renting, actor casting, you know, the usual with this stuff. But it all finally came together in January of this year. And once the planets aligned and everyone was available at the right moment, we shot our short at the end of January.

Yes, it was absolutely freezing.

We were blessed with the cinematic eye of Philip Henze and his incredible camera department - shout out to 1st AC Emrah, 2nd AC Emma, Key Grip Manuel and Best Boy Grip Matteo. The lighting department ensured our actors shined on screen, and for that we thank Avner and his assistants Felix and Sascha. But not too shiny, for that we thank our Makeup and Hair master Inga and our ever-wonderful costume supervisor Marius. We were all kept warm and fed by our stellar caterers, Flo and Lisa. Our production assistants were a treasure, so thanks to Marlon and Mariana, and the insanely talented Clara deserves our thanks too for her BTS photography. And the director would like to particularly thank his AD Maria, who ensured he never lost his mind.

We couldn’t have asked for better collaborators. But we got them anyway in the form of our two gifted actors: Richard Sammel and Àlex Brendemühl. Their talents brought to life the characters in this film in ways we couldn’t have imagined, and for their kindness and professionalism, we are forever grateful.

All filmed on location for 3 days in Berlin and Brandenburg, our short film ‘Close Encounters’ will be released later this year. We are immensely proud to have been able to create this project together, and to have worked with some very inspiring creatives. As the film currently stands, we are proud of what we have achieved together. And we cannot wait to share it with you all.

Post-production is a long creative process, and we’ll be in it for another while yet. But as Simon joins us with his stellar music and Johannes with his beautiful sound design, the team is now complete. All that’s left is to make the film. And we’re nearly there.

We literally cannot wait to show you.

Greetings on top, from Zoo Kid On The Blog

Why We Chose Fiction

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