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3sat featuring Next Level Conference

Last weeks NEXT LEVEL CONFERENCE is being featured amongst other subjects.

We talked a bit about the change in the industry that is caused by independent and artfull games...


In a cooperational project with the Luxembourg City Museum, the Minesota Historical Society, the Helsinki City Museum and the German DASA, KISD developed an advanced web exhibition on the subject of poverty. Under the title "Explore Poverty" we conceptualized and designed a unique explorative net interface, that made the museum´s content avialable for in depth research.


After the initial development pahse with a KISD student group (the project was conducted by my colleague Prof. Philipp Heidkamp and me) we continued with some of the more advanced students and a pro team to finalize the site. If you check it, dont miss to click on the world map to see the interactive visualization of poverty realted subjects on twitter!


The NOTGAMES FEST at CGL was a great success - expo and party saw many visitors and the feedback they gave us was in unison positive! The Event showed that there is a great demand in the indie world for appropriate platforms to show, play and discuss the projects and therefore generate an environment which sets a clear contrast to the mainstream events in this field. My thanks go directly to Katharina - she is the driving force behind this great thing and of course to all the others at CGL who supported expo and fest (Carmen, Krystman, Fab,...) and the awesome KISD Team who created the great architecture for the exhibition! We are looking forward to see you at next years NOTGAMES FEST.

Clip by Katharina Tillmanns, CGL

Clip by Pixelmacher, ZDF.Kultur

...not to forget Tale of Tales for their participation and curating! + Früh Kölsch and Film- und Medien Board NRW for sponsoring the everything!


NOTGAMES FEST is CGL´S alternative games program to the mainstream in Cologne. Visit the EXPO and experience some of Europe´s finest Videogames on CGL campus on August 15/16. Join our finissage with BBQ and beer on Tuesday 16. Submit your game and show the real potential of videogames to a broader public.


Check the NOTGAMES FEST Website!


Human Rights Project – Summer Term 2011


Since my start at KISD 2003, social spots played a prominent role in the field of audiovisual projects – both - during studying as well as in the graduation works. They reflect the aim of designers to interact with society in a responsible way and not only “package” products. The topic range of theses social spots reach from health (aids, non smoking campaigns etc) to environmental and ecological themes (climate change, waste of resources etc) and of course also include all kind of political issues like for example the important field of human rights.

In terms of production there is also a broad range of creative techniques used. Beside live action we do see an increasing number of animation projects – both analog and digital forms, as well as combinations of animation and live action. In this juncture the production value (the technical quality) as well as the creative pretension increased constantly. Digital still cameras evolved into high definition film cameras, animators tools are available for all everyone, compositing and editing is been made easy – you can do it on your laptop...

The wave of social spots in the last years also reflects the changing distribution path for audiovisual media over the Internet. While in former times TV channels had to donate air-time or movie theaters needed to give away precious bits of their ad-block, today’s generation of social activists broadcast their messages over Youtube and Co. Durations don’t play an important role any more and from a design perspective “anything goes”. This freshness of the whole genre makes it so attractive for young designers and directors – a broad field of experimentation in combination with reasonable subjects.


In 2011´s summer terms Human Rights Project, we tried to work on central aspects of the Declaration of the human rights (1948), addressing them with attractive audiovisual concepts and pregnant statements. The topics reached from stoning to fake-toy ammunition, from the (dark) dreams of torture victims to the right for clean drinking water and the critical situations of the refugees. The students managed to conceptualize and design spots with a high quality in live action, cartoon animation and stop motion animation. The professional sound design and composition work done by former KISD student and audio-pro Daniel Migge pushed the results to high standards. The achievements of the project can be found on Youtube and Vimeo.


(Project descriptions by student groups)

Project I: Dreams


The memory of torture and violence keep the protagonists from sleeping. A tracking shot that approaches their faces, makes the viewers observe their panic and fear. These emotions, combined with an oppressive sound design, should arise images of human rights violations within the viewer. The 30” Spots were shot with three different actors, who personified the victims.




Cast: Antje Hamer, Xenia Töws, Warsama Guled



Produktion: Tabea Hraoui, Anton Töws, Sarah Park

Konzept & Regie: Tabea Hraoui

Regieassistenz: Anton Töws

Kamera: Christian Munteanu

Beleuchter: Thomas Fleissner

Beleuchter: Stefan Hjono

Making of: Agata Sakwinski

Maske: Hannah Göb

Catering: Laura Merkle

Sound: Daniel Migge

Grading: Sascha Wolf


Thanks to: Conrad Ballschmiter, Filmhaus Köln, Christian Locke

Project II: Stone

A stone, a matter with a history a million years old, told by the powers of nature, it obtained its shape: neasy to use, perfect shaped, aerodynamical.


The spot tells the story of a stone been shaped by nature and abused by humans. We used the aesthetics of commercials to stage our disturbing break more effective.

The story starts with a positive image of the stone, underlined

by light music and beautiful pictures. The moment where the stone ends up in the sand the story breaks. Drums and confusing vocals predict danger.

To produce the spot we used the Canon 5D to have HD quality and a small depth of field.




Produktion: Asuman Altay, René Möllers, Sarah Schipper

Konzept: René Möllers

Kamera: Ingo Leffin, Sarah Schipper

Sound: Daniel Migge


Project III: Child's Play

In the context of human rights, what can be the purpose of a social spot while most of the viewers are helpless and the victims will not even be able to watch it. To inform and to sensitise would be a possible answer. Therefor this spot deals with the inhumane treatment of children in crisis zones. Although the media provides many pictures, the real dimensions of this perversion are not popular known in our culture. In order to communicate this message emphatically, the spot uses the contrast between the cheerful and cartoon-like play of the meerkats which turns into bitter reality at the end. The story is about a group of jolly meerkats which find a grenade disguised as a teddy-baer. They start a funny game until the granade gets into the hands of a pleased child. The spot is produced as a drawing-animation. Backgrounds, Characters and Animations were drawn by hand, scanned in and retouched. Later, the scenes were composed in After Effects and some digital Elements from Cinema 4D were added.




Volker Zerbe: Concept & Direction, Storyboards & Artworks, 2D/3D Animation, Composing & Editing

Moritz Wallasch: 3D Grenade Model

Daniel Migge: Sound Design & Music


Project IV: The Human Rights Box

The story is about a box, symbolic for a human being, that suffers of war in his own country. Because of this fact he has to leave the country as a refugee, hoping to find future in a new country. The viewer gets an impression of what the situation in the box`s own country is like, his journey on a boat and the arrival in the asylum camp. There he has to face a live as a person with exceptional leave to remain for humanitarian reason and no one cares. At the end, the refugee gets declined and deported back. He is not able to accept these fact, because of that he decides to refuse the deportation boat

and end his life while running into the water. To get a unique look and build a whole world for our story we decided to use stop motion as a new way of experience video/animation in a classical (analog) tradition. We captured the Pictures with a Canon 500D that offered us the LiveView Mode to see the Pictures in a constant situation, during the single takes. To get a better and closer look at the animation we used the software "Dragon Stop Motion“ on a Windows PC. Using the Camera also allowed us to take control of the depth and acuity adaptation we used as a stylistic device.




Story: Günes Aksoy

Production/Artworks: Günes Aksoy, Martin Moldenhauer, German Arefjev

Animation: Günes Aksoy, German Arefjev

Direction & Capturing: Martin Moldenhauer

Editing: German Arefjev, Martin Moldenhauer

Music: Jean Taes


Project V: Water

The idea of Human Rights assume that all humans are equal in rights, and

that those rights are universal, indefeasible and impartible. The Human

Rights should assure a humane life for everybody and guarantee the

fulfillment of basic needs, physically and emotionally. Paradoxically,

the Declaration of Human Rights doesn't mention any kind of right for

the most fundamental need of humankind: Water.


The supply with clean and healthy water should be, of course, guaranteed

for everybody »without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour,

sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social

origin, property, birth or other status.« In reality, the privatization

of water wears on. Private Corporations acquire the right to sell the

common property water to the people and to make profit with that

business. Unfortunately, in most cases the impact, especially for the

poor, is disastrous. After privatization the prices increase to a level

where parts of humankind are excluded from the supply with water.


Dealing with this actual political issue, our spot demands an universal

human right for water. By setting up an surreal environment we create an

dystopia of the not-so-far future, where the access to water is

regulated in an two-class society. Referring to the web 2.0-culture,

where everything is »free«, but still exploitable in an capitalist

economic system, we minimize the gap between the now and the day after

water has become a product like everything else.




Regie, Kamera, Umsetzung: Leah Victore, Hannes Jung, Johannes Schmitt

Effekte und Nachbearbeitung: Leo Dakik, Johannes Schmitt

Schauspieler: Thomas Ulrich

Sound Design: Daniel Migge, Hannes Jun

Cookies and Cakes

The German "Assosiation of Pastry Bakers" (Deutscher Konditoren Bund) asked me to come up with a spot which promotes their educational programs. and of course they wanted to distribute over the internet - this should spread viral and generate a lot of traffic... In a short term project a group of around 15 students created the spot below, using a canon 5D DSLR. Music was composed by Frank Schulte, the rap lyrics were written and performed by N.T. - a Cologne b_boy...