Wholetrain’s Florian Gaag Interview

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Toxik ‘zine: First of all; Thank you for the promo copy of your movie. I enjoyed it very much with the subtitles this time. I noticed you included 14 different languages for your subtitles in this latest release. What is the process of getting your Movie subtitled in that many languages?

Florian Gaag: Some of the subtitle versions i got from the film festivals where ‚ÄûWholetrain‚Äú was shown, for some I had to pay, others I got for free. For the ones I didn’t have I contacted a German cultural institute and sold them the non-commercial screening rights, in return they financed the translation and production of the subtitles.

TZ: What is your back round as a graffiti writer and as a film maker? any other projects you have done?

FG: I started writing back in 1984 and was active up until the early nineties. I went to film school in New York, did many shorts, documentaries and fictional films and started working on ‚ÄûWholetrain‚Äú after graduation. It took a while to get it made…

TZ: You filmed the movie in Munich and Warsaw. Why was it easier to get trains painted for the film in Warsaw?

FG: The German railway company refused to collaborate and informed all other railway companies about the project so it would be blocked. Luckily I had contacts in Warsaw, co-production partners who knew just how to talk to the officials.

TZ: – Was the cleaning crew OK buffing the whole train?

FG: At first all the guys working at the yard hated us. They showed us clubs they use for beating up writers when they catch them, so naturally they hated spray paint on their trains. However, we grew closer to them during the time we spent there and they really started to admire the elaborate pieces. Soon we were sharing vodka bottles with them…When they had to buff the Wholetrain in the end, some even refused to do it.
TZ: Do you plan to make any more films or shorts in the future? New projects?

FG: Yes, definitely. My new film which I´ll be shooting next summer will be totally different though, a psychological thriller with horror elements.

TZ: The movie sound track is quite good and I see you take part in most of the songs, whats your music back round?

FG: Thanks! I produced all the tracks featuring MCs and some instrumentals. I chose the artists I worked with because of their background. They’ve either been active as writers themselves (like Tame One of the Artifacts) or have a connection to the culture (like KRS-One, Planet Asia, Afu-Ra etc.). I sent them a film clip, my beat and some ideas I wanted them to reflect on in their lyrics and we started recording. I’ve been producing music for a while now. The ‚ÄûWholetrain‚Äú-soundtrack is my first professionally released album though.

full interview after the jump

More info about Wholetrain and his reedition in 14 languages on the official web page

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