To mark its tenth anniversary, the Mercedes-Benz Museum has commissioned two fun animated films that take a light-hearted yet informative look at the unique story of Mercedes-Benz, which began with the invention of the automobile 130 years ago.
The productions are the work of up-and-coming young film makers from Stuttgart and the surrounding region. In commissioning the films, the Mercedes-Benz Museum is actively encouraging a new generation of animated film makers.
Stuttgart. Ever since it opened ten years ago, the Mercedes-Benz Museum has been committed to promoting film. In summer visitors can enjoy the special atmosphere of its Open Air Cinema and in spring the Museum hosts the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (ITFS). The Museum’s productive partnership with the ITFS since 2012 recently gave rise to a competition which has resulted in two new films being created for the Mercedes-Benz Museum: an animated film celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz Museum and, marking 130 years since the invention of the automobile, a stop-motion animation about the origins of the Mercedes-Benz brand. The films were made by six young creatives from Stuttgart and the surrounding region.
Both films were premiered on a big LED screen in Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz on 26 April to mark the opening of the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film. They are now available to view on YouTube, on the Mercedes-Benz Museum’s Facebook channel and on the website.
A Museum Monster
“Hungry for History” is the work of Marco Erbrich and Florian Greth from Flyvision Media, both of whom were students at the Film Academy in Ludwigsburg until 2014. Erbrich and Greth’s film plays with the aesthetic of classic monster films. In it a gigantic shiny silver creature suddenly appears in a series of historic film sequences from the company’s archives. The Museum-shaped monster has a huge appetite for iconic Mercedes-Benz-branded vehicles. The succinct story lasts around a minute in length and all becomes clear in the final shot. The monster grew out of a digital animation of the Museum’s façade.
A Girl called Mercedes
This stop-motion animation was made by three students from the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design – Annarita Matuschka, Eduard Losing and Dirk Michael Flach – plus Stefan Heller, a freelance artist and animated film maker. Their short film, which lasts around two minutes, invites the viewer to see the history of the Mercedes-Benz brand in a new dimension. The stars of the short film include the inventors of the automobile Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler along with two female protagonists: Bertha Benz, who made the world’s first long-distance car journey with her sons in 1888, and Mercédès Jellinek, who gave her name to Daimler’s car brand in 1902. The individual scenes are told with skilfully drawn figures, along with buildings and scenery. The creative use of scissors, pen and paper has brought the two-dimensional protagonists to life. When it came to creating the animation, the most important tools were the film makers’ own hands and their voices which feature on the accompanying soundtrack. They also used various models which they built themselves and a computer, and the music was specially composed. From the screenplay to post-production, the film is the result of intensive teamwork.
The film is narrated by actor Boris Aljinovic. Aljinovic is familiar to German audiences as police inspector Felix Stark from the Berlin-based series of the German police procedural “Tatort”. Aljinovic is also the narrator of numerous audiobooks, including the German versions of the Discworld novels by fantasy author Terry Pratchett.
The two animations show the range of possibilities to be explored in animated film today. Their level of detail and humorous subtleties invite viewers to watch them again and again. Given the Mercedes-Benz Museum’s family-friendly policy and the fact that it is visited by over 100,000 children and teenagers every year, there will be plenty of options for further screenings.