We had the pleasure of connecting with Peter Kondra and Mikael Schallock, the producers and co-directors of the indie drama/dark comedy Good Old Friends. Learn more about their dark comedy/drama that took more than 4 years to make.
The independent film Good Old Friends was produced and directed by Mikael Schallock and Peter Kondra. It marks their directorial debut and first feature length film as producers. Kondra created the story and penned the script. Schallock tended to camera and editing. Andrej Vickers was cast for the third leading role playing Marc. Given our limited resources, we were constantly jumping back and forth from acting to directing. It was a minimalist approach that was at times overwhelming but also felt liberating. Our cast was rounded out by the wonderfully talented actors Ronja Klatt, Marie Céline Yildirim, Haydar Türkoglu, Anna Rosa Braun and Martin Herden. The legendary actor/filmmaker Ulli Lommel, famous for The Boogeyman and his many collaborations with Andy Warhol and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, makes an unexpected voice cameo at the beginning of the film. Ultimately, after winning six awards at four international film festivals, we were delighted to find worldwide distribution with Indie Rights Movies based in Los Angeles, CA.
Here’s the short synopsis: Mike (Mikael Schallock) is an actor from Los Angeles and visits his old college friends, the drug dealer Pete (Peter Kondra) and the office worker Marc (Andrej Vickers), in Berlin after five years. It quickly becomes clear how their lives have changed so much that they all can’t quite find their way back to each other. During the drug and booze fueled festivities at Marc’s apartment, a harmless prank devolves into the tragic death of one the friends. The remaining two have to figure out how to dispose of the body in order to avoid jailtime. They set out on a roadtrip driving a VW Beatle, with their friend’s body in the trunk, and scour the Berlin nightscape in hopes of putting their huge problem to rest. During their odyssey, what’s left of their friendship is put to the test.
Most of the film was made in Berlin. The intention from the beginning was to show as much of Berlin as possible. The film was shot mainly in two locations. The first half takes place in Marc’s apartment, which is really Peter Kondra’s place. The second half essentially takes place in Marc’s VW Beatle, which was actually Mikael Schallock’s mother’s car. The finale of the film takes place at a lake outside Berlin, but we actually shot this scene in Poland for practical reasons. The quiet location of the lake was extremely important to us and we found the perfect motif in the region of Borne Sulinowo in Poland.
The first take was shot in Poland in the summer of 2016, where we shot the finale of the film first. Due to unforeseen interruptions, the shoot dragged on until the middle of 2019. For the most part, we were only able to start shooting in the evenings after our other commitments. In exchange, we started editing immediately afterwards and were able to complete it in early 2020. The film was immediately submitted to international film festivals. It first won an award in Prague in October 2020, followed by further nominations and awards in the USA, Cannes, Sweden, Japan and Slovakia. The VoD release for American audiences was in September 2021 on Amazon Prime, followed by Tubi TV, Google Play and Youtube. Additional releases on Amazon Prime have already appeared in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Mikael and Peter worked together as actors and assistant directors for the controversial filmmaker Ulli Lommel (The Boogeyman, films with Andy Warhol and Rainer Werner Fassbinder) until his unfortunate passing in Dec. 2017. Lommel encouraged us to make our own feature film. The idea for Good Old Friends was Peter’s brain child. He recalled from his mid-thirties how friendships at the time were falling apart. The film was supposed to portray the disintegration of friendships and the viewer is encouraged to think about their own friendships. The three main characters were meant to be as different as possible. Mike, the actor from L.A., is generally looked up to. Marc has a regular 9-5 office job like millions of others. And Pete portrays the drug dealer who manuevers on the fringes of society. Emotions like envy and jealousy play against the goodwill and joy you see in friends. In addition, it was important to incorporate the city of Berlin and its landmarks into the film. That’s why you see the Brandenburg Gate, Alexanderplatz, Potsdamer Platz and so much more of Berlin in Good Old Friends.
Our film Good Old Friends can be found on the video on demand platforms Tubi TV, Amazon Prime, Google Play and Youtube. A DVD/Blu-ray release is currently not planned.
Watch Online (for free!):
Leave a Reply