Iron Sky Goes Germany: Visiting the Art Department

January 14th, 2010 by Janos Honkonen

Hello everybody! This is my first blog post here in Iron Sky website, so a small introduction is in order. I’m Janos Honkonen and you might remember me as Fukov / Festerbester from Star Wreck. In the beginning of the year I started as the publicist and the making of -producer of Iron Sky. The production went to warp speed in the beginning of the year and the shootings are already looming in the near future, so this is a really interesting time to hop aboard.

For me the work started off with a bang. Timo and I returned last Sunday evening from our band’s album publication tour and we had barely time to repack our bags and catch a couple of hours of sleep before we were back on the road. Timo, Samuli, our director of photography Mika Orasmaa, concept artist Jussi Lehtiniemi, production manager Tarja Jakunaho and I were off to Germany to see what the local art department had come up with set- and locationwise, to check out some filming locations and to see some of the actors try on their costumes for the first time.

Energia Goes Berlin - Visiting the Art Department

Ulrika is going over the set plans with Timo, Mika and Samuli.

The first leg of our trip took us to Berlin to visit the local production company 27 Films and the art department  put together by our production designer Ulrika von Vegesack. The art department is responsible for finding our shooting locations in Germany as well as planning and building the sets for the film. The walls of their office were covered with mood shots and set plans, and there even were miniature versions of the sets made out of cardboard.

Energia Goes Berlin - Visiting the Art Department

Timo found out that using a cell phone camera with the miniatures was a nice way to simulate a camera in the real set.

What made this trip really interesting for everybody was that up to this point all contact and co-operation has taken part over the net and this was the first time the Finnish and German teams knocked heads in person. So far the different teams had been working in a relative isolation. Doing your daily grind in your own office gives you a creeping feeling that nothing much is happening, but seeing the amount of work other people had done on the project and being able to bounce ideas with them made people see that things are rolling forward with quite the momentum.

The crew in germany

For the first time our concept artist saw his vision of the look and feel of the film fleshed out, and the models and blueprints of the sets gave Timo, Samuli and Mika concrete ideas on where to place cameras, which parts of the sets were visible at which point, what should be done in CGI, what has to be constructed, and so on.

Energia Goes Berlin - Visiting the Art Department

The anatomy of a Nazi ufo.

We were supposed to end the first work day in a reasonable hour, but surprise surprise, people were so engrossed in comparing their notes and coming up with new ideas that we ended up back in the hotel rather late. Timo, Samuli and I gathered up enough energy to go and do a bit of clothes and electronics shopping near Alexanderplatz. The local Media Markt, a four floor electronic apartment store, made us go into gadget geek shock: an enormous amount of consumer electronics with prices lower than in Finland. Luckily there is no such thing in Helsinki or we’d never see our paycheck.

So, that was the first leg of our trip. What will follow is a few days going over some of the shooting locations our location scout has found, but that is a story for the next blog post.

Anyway, now that things get really interesting with our production, we’ll be keeping you informed about what’s happening behind the scenes, so stay tuned for more blog posts, video reports and other nifty stuff! You can start by checking out more photos from our trip from our Flickr account!

Energia Goes Berlin - Visiting the Art Department

Back at the The Circus hotel. When the crew stays there, Timo will get the astronaut room. This is not negotiable.

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13 Responses to “Iron Sky Goes Germany: Visiting the Art Department”

  1. Angela says:

    Thanks for blogging, Janos! It is absolutely brilliant to be able to get an insight of what is going on outside the Tampere office. And of course, great to see you join the team again! Seen how fundamental to Star Wreck’s success your contributions were, I’d say having you back is a real asset. :)

  2. Marshal says:

    Thanks for post, Janos and congrats for joining team. I hope that Samuli will not too much scream at you (this is just Star Wreck reference of course :)) Very interesting behind look. You really accelerate my heartbeat :)

  3. Ukko says:

    Nice one mate. It’s great to hear that (at least personally) the most anticipated scifi project in the history of mankind is gathering warp speed velocity. Extra bonus points from all the nice picts. It’s great to see that the PR and making of – project are in capable hands.

  4. [...] Shared Energia Goes Germany: Visiting the Art Department. [...]

  5. Thank you for the thank yous, it’s really great to be part of the project!

    We are currently in Frankfurt, recuperating after a few days of scouting out some shooting locations. A big bunch of pictures is uploading via MotelONE’s infernally crappy net. Hopefully I’ll get you a new update by Sunday!

  6. R3ckl355 says:

    You guys were in berlin – should have told me first! Would have organised some groopies ;)

    BTW: When the media markt opened a cuople years ago the ploce had to clear the place because people would almost kill each other?

    Hope you scout has found some cool locations? Brandenburg (not the city the state) is full of cool places if you take a couple steps in the wood!

    Will you cooperate with babelsberg filmstudios? I am always surprised when i watch the outro in how many movies they are.

    Greeting & hope the warp speed holds on…

  7. It’s great to see the behind-the-scenes process of creating what I’m sure will be a fun and innovative film. And praise to Timo for finding he could use the cell phone camera to block out shots for the production. The scale of phone camera screen to the size of the mock-up sets seems a perfect match, and probably makes the work go a lot smoother. You rock, guys!

  8. R3ckl355: Hehee, yep – unfortunately we have had quite a little free time here, last night was really the only moment when we weren’t doing something work related, so there’s unfortunately precious little time for socializing. Now we have three more days ahead of us, full of stuff to do. I’m not really exaggerating about that warp speed thing, the days are just packed.

    Babelsberg studios… hmm, as far as I know we are not currently co-operating with them.

  9. R3ckl355 says:

    well, too bad. The hard life of a movie crew :P
    Thanks for the blog so makes us see some progress which is very good (been waiting for the next signal episode 4ever).

    but now i need to check our newest blog :)

  10. Miroslav says:


    good chance for your production. A would like to suggest you a really adapted music for your movie: You must absolument use the music from RAMMSTEIN – a german rock-industrial band!!!! I hope You know, if not go to the YT and try… This is totally teutonic mega-metaphysic-III Reich-huge-romantische industrial panzer music, which have a very big success not only in the actual post III Reich, but in much of other countries!!!! Only wiht their msusic, your movie will have a much more biggest success!!!!
    You can adapt their tube “Amerika”
    to: We fuck Amerika… and so one
    Other YT with military movies and their sound:
    And in concert… with fires
    But the best of the best is this pastiche with bayerische muzik: “Bayern des samma mia”
    Miroslav, Prague, CZ

  11. [...] unpack and repack, and to get a little bit of sleep, before it was the time to leave for the first Iron Sky work trip to Germany. I swear that when the alarm went off at three in the night and I had to get up, I thought [...]

  12. media markt says:

    Thank you for the good writeup. It actually was once a entertainment account it. Glance advanced to far brought agreeable from you! However, how can we communicate?

  13. [...] the job in the January 2010, and the job started with a bang by a trip to Germany where we went to visit the art department, did some location scouting around Frankfurt and met with some of the actors in costume fitting and [...]