„Bus Stop“ hat im Jahr 2000 beim 1st European Online Film Festival den ersten Preis als Bester Film gewonnen und wurde seitdem bei mehreren Festivals, u.a. am New Yorker Times Square gezeigt.
MFVA Article (August 2000)
WOLF ZOETTL WINS BERLIN INTERNET FILMFEST Maine filmmaker, Wolf Zoettl’s Bus Stop, won the Gold Prize at the first “European Internet Film Festival Award 2000” held online and live from the Sony Center on Berlin’s famous Potsdamer Platz.
The gold prize included an award of 7000 euros ($7,000).
The festival was sponsored and carried by the television station webfreetv.com, partnered by the magazine “TV Spielfilm.” Over 100 short films from German language countries as well as from England, France and the US were submitted. “Bus Stop is a film about waiting,” said Zoettl, “and what people do to keep themselves occupied while they are waiting. How do you fill the time; what makes waiting so uncomfortable?
Watching people in laundromats, in line at the Post Office, and waiting for the bus, gave me the idea for the film. I knew there was a comedic element, so I explored the films of Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd, but there were no obvious elements of slapstick in just waiting. Then I realized that if ordinary happenings – flying a paper kite, a bird flying back and forth building a nest, different ways of sitting on a bench, people moving past – were a little exaggerated and shot in slow-motion or slightly speeded up, they were wonderful slapstick, because they were all in the context of waiting.” Zoettl’s technique of a stationary camera with the action flowing in and out of the scene, as in the first Lumiere Brothers films in France and Sennett in the US, created the distinctive feeling and pictorial quality of Bus Stop.
“I found that simple “stage” concept attracts an audience more than camera cuts and angles. It draws you into the waiting process with the central character; it makes you wait with him,” says Zoettl. In the final process of the shoot, a continuos one-day production, it started to rain. Zoettl decided to continue the filming, “because I could see it was a fast moving thunderstorm that flowed over and around us, creating scenes with different lighting, background and action conditions that emphasized the passage of time, and so too, the frustration of waiting, for the character and for the audience. At the end of the day a beautiful rainbow appeared, just as the bus pulled up, providing the closing scene for the film.”
Wolf Zoettl – attending film school and working on film productions in Maine as well as Europe for the past thirty months – has been chasing the cinematic rainbow for a dozen years in Austria and throughout Europe and Asia.
He began his schooling as a technical engineer, which with additional training provided by his stint in the Austrian Army, gave him the experience to become an explosives and pyrotechnics specialist. His job was to detonate charges to cause controlled avalanches in the Austrian Alps before they could rumble down and harm schussing skiers.
Combined with his studies at the Austrian Film Academy, Zoettl moved easily into establishing himself as a sought-after special effects professional. This led to also becoming a lighting director for films, theater and galas, but his real goal was to be a director of photography.. a DP. […]
This experience motivated him to come to Maine to attend film workshops and master classes, and to become a masters degree candidate. Which, in turn, resulted in his teaching cinematography at Rockport College and as a guest lecturer at Bates College.
“It’s about the magic of the camera,” says Zoettl. “It is the framing of emotion. It is not only what you see in a frame, but also what is not seen. What is suggested.”
The film was also selected to be part of the SHORTS ON SCREEN-Film-Festival in New York in January 2002 and thus was the first ever to be screened Austrian Short Film on the big screen on Times Square.