A Film About Me and What I Do – I am Afraid

A statement upfront: by the time writing these lines, I haven’t seen anything from the documentary apart of the three trailers on YouTube

It must have been end of 2018 or maybe beginning 2019 that Stefan Nitzsche approached me with the idea of creating a documentary about beyond tellerrand and, well, me. He and his friend Andreas Brüggemann wanted to create a film about the event, the people coming and my input to make it what it is. I wasn’t sure, if someone really needs this, but I liked the idea for some reason and we met for a first chat about a theme and reason to create this documentary.

If you know me, I am not a person who likes to point the camera into my face and tell you how great I am or how cool it is that I make. I like what I do, I learned in 23+ years of doing what I do, to be kind of proud of what I do and especially of what I have achieved over the years. But I would not – for a single moment – think about creating a movie about myself or my work.

That was also one thing I wanted to make very clear to Andy and Stefan. It is their work, their project and I have no saying in the final outcome. I also wanted to make sure that anyone who gets notice about the film clearly understands, that I have nothing to do with it. I did not plan anything, I had no saying on how this film would be created, what it contains or what the overall story would be. So we needed to sit down in the beginning, so that I would get an impression about their overall storyline and idea of why they want to create such a documentary.

Their first idea beginning 2019 was to take the three cities beyond tellerrand took place in by then as the hooks: Düsseldorf, Berlin and Munich. Later that shifted to the idea of showing the three “main groups” at such an event: the attendees, the speakers, the organiser. Once more, I need to emphasise, that I don’t think what I do is special, but I do understand, that the fact that a single person runs everything (even the tech on stage) sounds crazy – well, and it sometimes is.

I do also see, that the people attending create the atmosphere, many people talk about. The friendliness, the warm, welcoming vibe. And yes, maybe it is because I set the tone for this. But would this make me create a film about it?

So the question for me at this point, two weeks before the premiere of this film takes place: Why does someone want to create a film about me and what I do?

As said above, I have no decision in what they gonna show and I am pretty sure, many of the things told and show will be “too much”, too bold for me and my taste.

At this point right now, I am afraid. Afraid that I don’t like what they have done. Afraid of the reactions of others. Afraid of the idea that someone thinks I told them to create this film about beyond tellerrand and me. Would you be afraid? But I guess, there is no return now? People have been invited and I can’t not show up. That would be rude to Stefan and Andreas who put in so much time and work and also to the people they invited. But I’d love to hide or be there dressed up at someone else. 🙈

I remember what Seb Lester said once on stage, when he showed a still of a YouTube video by Casey Neistat, in which he was a guest:

Can you imagine, how a trapped rabbit feels? That was me in this situation.

I first said, I don’t want to see the movie, but a few things that happened along the way made me change my decision here and I asked the two to please send me a preview, which I will watch in the next das. You know, I bet it will be a nice evening, where I hopefully see a lot of nice people. And maybe the whole situation isn’t as bad as I imagine it right now. Let’s find out. It is simply not my nature to be in the spotlight like this.