“The dramatic structure of Frauensee was only generally outlined. The exciting thing about this project was that we improvised most of the scenes while filming. We have taken this approach very deliberately to make the best of the very short shooting period and the limited budget in order to make a film that is able to enchant with vitality, beauty and spontaneity.
A month before we started shooting, we rehearsed for a week. We developed the characters, analyzed their development in the story and changed it when we came up against problems. This groundwork served as the working script. Then I wrote, at the request of the actresses, a screenplay so that we would have an idea of when we’d start shooting. So it was a work in progress until the actual start of filming. For all its authenticity and vitality the film remains fiction; the actresses act out of the developed characters, the internalized figures. We exercise this craft; the art of acting and filmmaking. It was an exciting journey together.
Obviously, we were working with a small, flexible team. We shot chronologically as much as possible and built on each other’s ideas. The development of the characters had to be very consistent, for there was a lot that had to be cut when we were finished filming. A small team was able to respond at a moment’s notice to the actors and deal with the changes in the environment; storms, sunrises, sunsets, etc. The almost documentary-like footage showing the fisherwoman doing her work on the lake we shot in four days.
The modern digital camera technology was ideal for the way we work. Through the interaction of all these components, it was possible to create and understated the story in stimulating cinematic images without much human or technical effort and without a large budget.”
Zoltan Paul (Zoltan Pal Pajzs Baron Rácalmás), born in Budapest in 1953, emigrated in 1965 with his family from Austria. From 1970 to 1973 he was a guitarist and singer for the rock band “Dust.” In 1976, he attended acting school in Vienna and worked at the Vienna Action Hermann Nitsch at the famous/infamous “Orgies Mysteries Theatre”. From 1978, Paul worked as a theater actor (since 1990 also as director) and worked at various theaters in Austria and Germany. Occasionally, he also appeared in TV productions like Lemminge (Michael Haneke), Befristeter Aufenthalt (1987) or Crime series such as Solo für Sudman (1997).
His debut as a film director was in 2003 with the psychological drama Gone: Der Film about a publisher-married couple that is confronted by a mysterious author with a manuscript that seems to recount in detail a chapter of her own repressed marriage, was invited to be in competition at the Argentine Film Festival Mar del Plata. An entirely different tone, Paul’s second film Unter Strom (2009), is an overwrought comedy that brings together a variety of bizarre characters in a posh country house.