An interview with documentary-duo Oddisee, featuring their latest offering ‘My Bloody Way’ about a real-life Berlin Vampire, perfectly timed for Halloween…
Here begins a new feature series for Don’t Panic Online, which will bring you the latest updates from the online documentary magazine Oddisee. The project was created in 2010 by Berlin-based documentary-makers Annikki Heinemann and Anna Piltz. The pair met in university and have since formed a working tag team for various projects. Alongside their documentaries, they also work on music and speciality videos.
Every month, Oddisee releases a new short documentary about the weird and wonderful lives of others, unearthing lifestyles and beliefs that do not match that of the norm. From a self-appointed superhero to nature-loving naked hikers to a real-life vampire, Oddisee seeks to find some of society’s most self-styled outsiders, giving an insight into their worlds with a non-judgemental and sensitive approach that avoids any freak-show insight. The result is a collection of perfectly concise, absorbing and intriguing video gems. We asked them a few questions about the project by way of an introduction to the films:
How did the Oddisee come about?
In the beginning it was born out of frustration for predictable television programmes with boring and flat storytelling. It’s also very hard as a young director to step into the TV world and actually make documentaries the way we want to make them… So the internet seemed to be the perfect platform. As the project is completely unfunded, it can be hard at times, but it’s very rewarding.
How do you find your subjects?
Well, we’ll read something in a newspaper or somebody will tell us that they have heard of something strange. Then we’ll start researching via the web. Most people with strange lifestyles gather in online communities, which we then try to get access to. It’s not always easy though, as most of them are very sceptical about journalists.
Have you had any strange/ scary experiences whilst filming?
In the beginning it is always strange, because you don’t know what to expect when you first meet up with people who live as vampires or as furry animals. But actually, these people turn out to be very sweet and somehow quite normal people.
Outside of the project, what would be your dream documentary to make?
Well, Oddisee is all about short glimpses of a life. We really miss making more long term documentaries, the kind where we are really able to immerse ourselves in the topic and peoples lives in quite a profound way.
Lastly if you had to lead the life of one of your protagonists, whose would it be and why?
That’s a tough one… I don’t think we would swap our lives with any of them! We really admire their freedom and the courage they have to live a lifestyle so far away from any societal norm… but also most of them live a life of solitude. We quite prefer our lives!
See the whole series so far at oddisee.tv