helmfried kober

June 2015

© kober pictures


I remember these days when we came back from our trip to Pakistan with 3 cans of completely exposed stock (black film) and horizontal in bed with diarrhoea: indeed we had been afraid of being subjected to any obsolete x-ray machinery on one of these military checkpoints on our tip to Nanga Parbat without knowing.

The total exposure turned out as an error of a meanwhile closed German lab and the diarrhoea was gone after a view days. But for a moment it seemed as if you have to better think about what to say because this could be one of your last sentences…

I for myself started to write a short reflecting all these strange experiences. And this film will be indeed shown at the Festival of Nations 2015 in Austria now: YesYes, No Problem - with a great Jany Tempel and Steven Charles Nicholson. One shot, 15 min.

A muggy afternoon in a hotel room somewhere in a mullah-run state in the Near or Middle East, where an American journalist takes his chance to interview Fatima, the widow of a suicide bomber. Behind her veil, however, Fatima has something different in mind…

It was entirely shot on location in Schwäbisch Hall with a wonderful voluntary Team! THX for that again! And thanks to your parents, too !!!



Aug 2014

What joy digitalization would have brought to Neuer Deutscher Film, La Nouvelle Vague or Italian Impressionism -- the ability to shoot films with a DSLR camera, a complete lab on MacBook and the opportunity to distribute the movies on YouTube to an almost limitless audience!


How economical! Art for art’s sake. L’art pour l’art on film. Digitalized democracy.


But, as we all know, digitalization also brings with it a deflation of the value of craftsmanship. Remember what happened to technology, photography, music and art! I know it's impossible to do anything about it. That’s progress, it will happen as surely as the extinction of mankind. Because the rules of nature are subject to the peculiar process of progress until something better shows up. From outer space or inner world. BrDi, Breaking Digitalized…


Please don't get me wrong: I guess the invention of the Internet is as important as that of printing was. I've been fighting on the front line of digital cinematography since day one! However, every tear I shed takes me back to the days when that perforated strip and its 35mm-wide magic held my life together.


So once again I started to follow that perforated strip and once again fell under its spell, as this time it took me into the world of film archives. Here, the last bastion of the analogue world is under siege. There are still some brave film scholars fighting for its survival and incidentally that of its content, which is nothing less than the cultural heritage of mankind. I cannot just stand by and watch this. So, with my bi-technical background, I now define the specifications for state-of-the-art film preparation tables and help to create digitalisation workflows for film archives. But I am of course also continuing with digital cinematography.


Once you've tasted blood, you can't stop! Now I just shoot the occasional film and no longer just any old rubbish. I think Truffaut, Fassbinder and Scola would have done the same, because all in all it means too many films, too many bad films, a situation that none of us really wants.


And this way I’m privileged to experience film as what I thought it was when I was growing up: a treasure. www.KEM-Studiotechnik.com. By the way: the photos, texts, promos, the whole website is my own work.


If stored the right way, it will still be readable without codec by extraterrestrials in 500 years and may yet turn out to be the last reason for us not to be exterminated...


--love from helmfried


July 2012


welcome to my new website, albeit still in the old look. I don’t want to boast, but I can honestly say:

I really have worked with them all, all the stars…

…fromHDV to 70mm, Alexa to Red, Bolex to A35III, DSLR to AATON, 535 to mobile phone cam, EX to XD, HDCam to P&S, Scuba to Crashbox, Flashcard to Super16, h.264 to Epic, log C to aja ki pro, I’ve muxed to DNxHD185x – been there, done that.

And the things they told me:

I am the best, get the most beautiful pictures, from now on only with you…

In the end, making the jump from FILM to CMOS was easier than anticipated, the system has been stabilized – in fact, it’s now child’s play, if not to say democratized.

© 2012 Georges Pauly

Then along comes the new German Pirate Party with its promise to undermine copyright laws.  My dear young newly elected politicians, to quote the great American philosopher John McEnroe: you cannot be serious!  If original works aren’t protected, the originators can no longer make any money from them.

I don’t want to spend the rest of my life watching ‘funny’ videos on YouTube, even if they have been blown up to feature film format.  Do you?  Yo ho ho, me hearties!  It’s time to drink up and ship out!

And this from someone who was once inspired by a Caribbean curse to wear a Will Turner beard!



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