* Belinda Sallin, Director
Producer Marcel Hoehn and I discuss the artwork for the film poster with Andreas Peyer. I again examine the photos, the last portraits of Hansruedi. Hannes Schmid made fantastic images. Very close, very direct, very authentic. Yet on that afternoon of May 7 it wasn't plain at all whether Hansruedi would allow himself to be photographed. He wasn't feeling well, was pretty tired. And the lighting was fairly poor, it was raining. And in the kitchen of house number 1, where light generally falls through the thick foliage, the kitchen was devilishly dull. But finally it came about as it often did during shooting. The rain stopped, there was some light in the kitchen, and Hansruedi made himself available for a moment. A brief combing of the hair and then ready for the photo shoot.
Then I could lean back and watch how Hannes Schmid, himself a star, one of the great photographers, shot with ease these great pictures of Hansruedi. Hannes took the portraits without any auxiliary means. No lighting, no particular background. Nothing at all. Hansruedi sat there at the kitchen table where he always sat. Using an analogue-camera: Hannes is old school, he had 36 black-and-white shots done within little more than five minutes. The peculiar sound of the camera-ratchet was one that seemed to come from another era. Of it Hannes said, laughingly: "Those were the days: 36 shots and that's your lot." Only we didn't know that Hannes was to prove absolutely correct. He took the last, the 36th picture of Hansruedi.
Shortly thereafter Hansruedi retired. He thanked Hannes, and, as always after our shoots, me too. And as always, it being a small ritual between the two of us, I myself answered, "No, thank you, Hansruedi." It was the last time that I saw Hansruedi. It was an appropriate ending to our shoot and – albeit far too early – a good farewell.
HR Giger, May 2014 © Hannes Schmid