Here’s the first batch of 20+ rolls I shot in Riga and Vienna. I’m posting this in stages, so it won’t get too long. Luckily this time the company didn’t put me in the crew hotel in the Old Town (which is pretty, but full of tourists), but further up in a neighborhood where the locals live. This way I got to shoot almost a little bit every day, on the way to the set and back to the apartment. I also took a few pictures whenever I had a bit of free time on set.
Tri-X at boxspeed and pushed to 800, developed in Xtol 1+1.
Rollei Retro 100, developed in Rodinal 1+50.
I finally figured out how to get film hand-checked. The trick is to take a lot of rolls, at least 20, I had around 30. I had the impression that the more you have, the more you’ll be taken seriously. I once tried getting 5 rolls hand-checked, it didn’t work. With a bag of 30 rolls there were no discussions. Take at least 2 rolls of ISO 3200 film (I had Delta). The argument I hear from airport security most often is that x-rays don’t damage film up to ISO 1600 (which is not true) and that it’s safe to put them through the machine. Thus the Deltas. Put them all in a zip lock bag. The films should fit tightly into the bag, otherwise they might fish out the ISO 3200 rolls easily and only hand-check those. Get to the security check with enough time, it may take a while until they find somebody who can do the test. Be patient and ask politely. This worked for me in Berlin Tegel (did a powder test in a seperate room), Riga (inspected each roll by hand) and Vienna (waved me through without checking), but in might be different outside of continental Europe.
Everybody gasped a little at the sight of the small propeller machine.
She studied piano sheets.
Seen from the bus shuttle
Jurgis picked me up from the airport
Went straight to the set. Empty. Oh right, lunch time.
Latvian light technicians
Seen from inside of the former US embassy (we used it as set).
In the production office. Karina, the office manager, scribbled down for me how to buy a tram ticket in Latvian.
The company put me and the guys of the art department in an apartment in the North Town. This is the view into the backyard.
Right around the corner of our apartment we found this fantastic coffee place. It’s called Maize.
Evening light. The sun doesn’t set until 11pm in summer, perfect for taking pictures after work.
This construction site hasn’t changed a bit since last year.
Which of them works better?
Loved how the light bounced off of windows and building facades in Riga
Again, don’t know which one works better
Tamara, Latvian actress
Berry and Baiba, production coordinators
Luca runs Maize, amazing coffee place.
When Tiff and I entered the restaurant, this guy snapped a picture of us, without asking btw. I was suprised, but of course I had to take one of him too. Found out later that he’s German…
Sinja, German actress
Agnes, Set PA
Latvian Make-Up artist
Thomas Thieme, German actor
You might know him from the film Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others)
Alus = beer. One of the few Latvian words I learnt.
View out of my room
After waking up
Wrong settings, should have stopped down way more
Liked this place a lot, it’s called Apsara Teahouse. You order your tea downstairs, and upstairs you take your shoes off and sit/lie on mattresses and look out the huge windows.
Half of the population in Riga is Russian
Martin, Latvian actor
Berry and the art of stacking food
On location, Production Manager and Set PAs.
In the bus to the set. Making-Of VJ.
Gurgen, Armenian actor
Agnes and Agnes, Set PAs
Latvian actors and costume girls
Latgalite flea market. Zorkis, Feds and Kievs in abundance.
Afternoon off. Getting out of Riga.
Rollei Retro 100 from here on
20 minutes train ride from Riga
Overexposed the Rollei a lot, I’m so used to shooting at ISO 400
Jurmala Beach, not much happening on a weekday afternoon
Back in Riga Central Station
Back to Tri-X +1. Jude in front of Riga Film Studios
Numan, Turkish actor
Special make-up, layers of silicon to create a burn wound
Shin-Ae, special make-up artist adjusts the colors on the burn
The Grand Cemetary
At Istabas, they serve fantastic food
The Old Town
Action choreographer talking to Jenny
Exploring Riga with Shin-Ae
Note to self: Stop down
On set. Weapon master explains to the actors. Rollei Retro again.
German stunt man, Matthias
Numan getting his hand burned again
Werner Daehn and Tayfun Bademsoy
German stunt guys, Tonni and Can with Sim, Korean Set PA
You gotta look good as a PA