Projects

Stefanie Schneider’s Process – Script, Design, Shoot, Print, Edit, Exhibit

THE GIRL BEHIND THE WHITE PICKET FENCE (2012)
a short / art piece by stefanie schneider with udo kier, heather christie, kyle larson, steve marshall and others. funded by medienboard brandenburg & arte, produced by mica film.

A careful young woman picks herself up from the cold reality of a failed relationship and finds what she hopes are her dreams come true in the garbage man she sees through the window of her dead parents old trailer. Past parental demons must be dashed if she is to determine her own destiny, which she does in the dumping of haunted possessions, cutting holes in concomitance clothes that once held a meaning or memory. This film, “The Girl behind the White Picket Fence” done with still Polaroid film is the latest from Stefanie Schneider, which breaks all rules in movie production. The gaps are aloud to be filled by your imagination. This is exactly the point Schneider makes as she dabbles in our subconscious. Exploring and questioning the frequent co-incidences we all find in our own life. In fact, these very fortuities which Schneider illustrates are integral to the creation and manifestation of her films and artworks. Fate is allowed to develop, enhanced and even plotted. Is that even possible?
“The rules are there to be broken, Isn’t that art?” muses Schneider.
Without an exploration of possible within the cosmos of happenings, there is no such thing as serendipity, maybe a message or maybe just the way things are in the world, if you just let them.

THE SCRIPT WRITING PROCESS….
Stefanie Schneider’s recent projects involving….”The Girl…” written by Stefanie Schneider, Tanja Trittmann, Robert Mack. The monologs written by: The DJ – Steve Marshall, the garbage man – Kyle Larson, fight scene improvised by Heather Christie & Jeff Leaf.

   

working on the script: Robert Mack, Stefanie Schneider

EXT. POLAROID STILLS THROUGHOUT – HEATHER’S ISOLATED DESERT
– TRAILER HOME – SUNNY MORNINGEXT. POLAROID STILLS THROUGHOUT – HEATHER’S ISOLATED DESERT
– TRAILER HOME – SUNNY MORNINGEXT. POLAROID STILLS THROUGHOUT – HEATHER’S ISOLATED DESERT

EXT. POLAROID STILLS THROUGHOUT – HEATHER’S ISOLATED DESERT
– TRAILER HOME – SUNNY MORNING

CLOSE ON a beautiful red rose being cut with large silver engraved shears held by red rubber gloves. Heather, an enigmatic, beautiful woman in her thirties, holds the rose against her cheek. Heather stands by the gate, inside a white picket fence, which surrounds her desert mobile home and garden, filled with rose bushes. The wind blows at her hair and dress as she stares out at the barren desert landscape.


HEATHER
(INTERNAL MONOLOG)


One day I’ll leave.
It won’t be an escape, not a break-out, nothing that dramatic, but a quiet get away,
well prepared, magic in its intuition, in its immanent need.
Heather goes over to the trailer, kneels down, and begins to prune her rose bushes in earnest.
No, I am not longing for that moment any more. I am here and now.
In this body, in this garden, in this place.
The trailer where my parents lived without love, for so many years.
People call me the inheritress.
In doing so, they refer to the fact that I don’t have to earn money.
They assume I don’t work.
I try to ignore what people think, or say, for they don’t have the faintest idea about me.
Heather kneels in the desert sand, carefully adding water to several young plants from a long spouted watering can.
My work is called “Seeding“. At least that’s what I call it. Out here, it becomes a twenty-four-hour-service. A Happiness-Creating-Service.
It requires tenacity. It needs calmness and inner peace.
Not my typical traits. But I try.
It’s not that easy, surrounded by death and memories.

        THE SHOOTING PROCESS….

103A INT. HEATHER’S KITCHEN – DAY
A few Polaroid shots of Heather listlessly frying a fish.
Repeatedly looking out the window, eating the fish obviously
without any appetite at the table set for two.

STILLS …

157 EXT. HEATHER’S TRAILER – SUNSET
As she wakes up, the Goat is gone. Heather looks everywhere for the goat, to no avail.

       

HEATHER

When I was with my goat, I inhaled him. Whenever I brushed him, I took a deep breath and his austere flavor dispersed inside me and left his mark. Animalistic self confidence, goaty stubbornness spread warm, pleasant and spicy into my stomach, flew back to my
head and ousted all doubts for a while. Put me into a world without whys.
(sighs)
(PAUSE)
Look at the flowers in that dry, poor soil! Isn’t that pure rejection? So what! Nothing to fear…Every single particle in the universe has to deal with rejection. Perfect chaos, just once in a blue moon there’s a wonderful arrangement. Sometimes you are the flower and sometimes you are the poor soil… How calm I feel now. Finally, I feel ready to defend myself if necessary.

THE SHOOT – Stills -
CUT TO:
Heather sits on the roof of the trailer like the horned Queen of the Disks.


THE SETS….

THE DOCTOR IS OUT


It was the size of a average room with doors and windows where there were no walls.
A skeleton room placed in the middle of desert scrub, all part of the dream scene from Stefanie Schneider’s latest short film called “The Girl behind the White Picket Fence”. Together with Schneider, I designed and built the room. I scoured the remains of dilapidated ruins strewn through out the desert. It didn’t take long before I had built the hollow cuboid and transported it to the set location. This ‘room’ perfectly personified my interpretation of Canadian cabin building.  All those years with a chainsaw in Canada had finally paid off. There it was, a room without walls, ceiling or floor.

On the first day of shooting, the strangest thing happened. A helicopter landed on set and the pilot got out to inform us that we were on private property. Now there’s nothing that ticks me off more than some meddler that flys down in his own helicopter to give false information. After showing our valid contract for the shoot, he flew off never to be seen again. Day two, breakfast before dawn, driving in the dark to the set location and what do
I find? Nothing, literally nothing. The entire set was just gone.



There was no trace of anything whatsoever. Could the set had been skyjacked? With no time to reconstruct, the missing operating rooms disappearence ended up being just part of the dream. One aspect of ‘going with the flow’ so entrenched in a Schneider production. It couldn’t have happened on any other scene and worked out so well.

161 HEATHER’S DREAM:
EXT. DESERT, DOCTOR’S MAGIC STAGE – DAY
A wooden structure, invisible walls, the empty desert landscape
surround.

Heather V.O.
(gasping)
My chest felt squeezed. Certainly it is
because of the close fitting elastic
bandages it is wrapped in.
Heather is sitting on the edge of an examination table, her legs
dangling over the edge.

Heather
(breathing heavily)
A large light box on one wall covered with Heather’s hands on
photo curtains. Palms and back.

THE DOCTOR slips his stethoscope underneath the narrow
bandages.

He is listening. The thin window curtain is closed. A covered birdcage
on a drip cage is hanging in front of the window.  A silhouette is
visible against the light.

Gloomy feeling. The doctor takes her feet, thus he makes her lie
down on the table. The rotating ceiling fan above Heather. The
Doctor listens again. He then takes his stethoscope, puts the
earplugs into Heather’s ears and whispers through the membrane
while petting her head.

BUILDING AND SHOOTING


157 EXT. HEATHER’S TRAILER – SUNSET

36 B EXT. TRAILER CLOTHES-LINE – DAY
Heather hangs her parent’s clothes onto the clothes-line.
She sits down at the outdoor terrace table, takes out a pen and inkwell and writes her first letter to the LHR station.

……….
………:
……….

………:
……….
……….
………:
……….

Stefanie Schneider, Shooting, photo by F. Reischauer

THE LONELY HEARTS ROOM
WONDER VALLEY. GODWIN RD, 30 miles east of 29 Palms, CA.
THE LONELY HEARTS ROOM
WONDER VALLEY. GODWIN RD, 30 miles east of 29 Palms, CA.
THE LONELY HEARTS ROOM
WONDER VALLEY. GODWIN RD, 30 miles east of 29 Palms, CA.
THE LONELY HEARTS ROOM
WONDER VALLEY. GODWIN RD, 30 miles east of 29 Palms, CA.
THE LONELY HEARTS RADIO STATION
WONDER VALLEY. GODWIN RD, 10 miles east of 29 Palms, CA.

Stefanie Schneider had her eye on the only two story house in Wonder Valley, California for years. This house, would be turned into the radio station for Schneider’s “29 Palms, CA” project. Schneider is well known for using Polaroid static film in the art world but
not so much in motion pictures. Actually, this is a contradiction in terms due to the
fact that this new film (which is supported by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Arte
and Mica film) is really a veracious pictorial machine gun about love. One thing about Schneider and this film is the way she and it, let the audience become a part of the
story by leaving gaps that are filled in, by their subconscious.

mmm
This dilapidated derelict house personified perfectly the vision Schneider had about
the valley called Wonder. A strange place where artists like Jack Pierson or Andrea
Zittel live and military marine families are separated by camouflaged meth labs.
From the first piece of furniture to the wallpaper, Schneider’s vision of what the
“Lonely Hearts Radio Station” would look like, was by any standards, obtuse. This
station was not some technological manifestation, but reflected more on her analog photography. There were records, old playboy centerfolds and a landline telephone
to name but a few.


mmm
While this was all going on, Schneider’s serendipity was in full mode as a chain of
events just happened, neighbors dropping by, to introduce themselves and have a
little sticky beak at what was going on. The old couch and arm chair turned up when
an old friend was getting rid of them, then realizing we could use them, which also
saved him a 20 mile drive to the dump. Greatly, they fit perfectly. The days leading
up to the actual shoot were wickedly windy but on the day, thankfully serene.

mmm
The Disc Jockey was played by Steve Marshall, a New York City comedian who flew
in special to take part in this love laced libretto. The radio program unifies the rag
tag group of broken hearted desert dwellers with each having their own take, on why they’re where they are and why they feel the way they do. Here providence played
a part too as nothing is scripted in stone and the shoot is allowed to develop by concentrating on the coincidences that inevitably evolve. Typical Schneider.


mmm
THE  EDITING PROCESS

to be continued…
………………..


THE  EDITING PROCESS
THE  EDITING PROCESS
THE  EDITING PROCESS
THE  EDITING PROCESS
THE  EDITING PROCESS
THE  EDITING PROCESS

THE  EDITING PROCESS
THE  EDITING PROCESS
THE  EDITING PROCESS
THE  EDITING PROCESS
THE  EDITING PROCESS
THE  EDITING PROCESS

mmm
THE TEAM

Tanja Trittmann

Robert Mack, photo: F. Reischauer

Kyle Larsen, The Garbage Man, photo by F.Reischauer

Lance Waterman, Set Design, photo: F. Reischauer

Tanja, Lance, Stefanie, Florian, Bob

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