Filmmaker Makes Us Second Guess What the Real Horrors of Our World Are

Filmmaker Walter Stoehr just released his newest project, "Horrible Prospects." It's a timely short with all that is going on in our world; with a new president in the U.S., there is much that is unknown for the future. But what goes bump in the night is actually more scary than you might think. 

"Horrible Prospects" was a film produced for Stoehr's Master's program as a spec piece. He pitched the idea to WWF, but they were unable to help with his budget, which he didn't seem to mind. He told me because it was his graduation film, the budget limitations actually opened up space for his creativity and artistic freedom, which clearly shows. He also was awarded a grant, the "Film and Mediennachwuchsförderung Rheinland-Pfalz," which is a junior development program for filmmakers granted by the administration of Rhineland-Palatinate. The bulk of the film was shot with the Arri Alexa, while the high-speed shots we capture on the Phantom v641. The majority of the film was shot handheld.

Thirty people were a part of the pre-production and production of this film. Seventeen people, including the cast, were on set in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. They shot in two different stalactite caves over four days. Stoehr edited the film with Avid Media Composer, and used Adobe Photoshop for the matte paintings. Overall, from start to finish the project took just under a year to complete.

This isn't the first time Stoehr's produced a beautifully shot, thought-provoking film. Back in 2015 I shared his film "Connectivity Lost," a short about our dependency on phones and apps. I truly believe it's our duties as filmmakers and photographers to work on projects that help shed light on issues we care about. Issues that really matter. How many movies have you seen that have brought you to tears, or made you change your mind about something? The same can be said about a series of photographs. Of course my mind jumps to Benjamin Von Wong, an activist photographer if there ever was one. I think we can expect to see much more from Stoehr in the future, and as he puts so eloquently, 

People refuse watching horror films for them being too scary but at the same time they do not have a problem with having newscasts showing them the details of real horrors. Why does fiction frequently surpass the scariness of true events? Have we grown accustomed to it? Or is it the strength of a fictitious story that uses filmic techniques to captivate our imagination? If that is the case we should try and use storytelling in order to make clear that imagined terror wanes in the face of true horror.

How will you help shed light on other important issues? Have you done similar projects? Share them below! 

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23 Comments

Anonymous's picture

I completely agree. We accept horrific events because they're common and we've been slowly desensitized to them. Of course, we'll disagree about what is and isn't horrible which, in my mind, illustrates the process. Throughout history, to a large degree most people agreed upon what was right and wrong, good and bad, safe and dangerous. More recently, in increasing numbers, some people see a thing or event as good while others see it as bad while in another case, the roles reverse. This makes it all the more difficult to 'shed light on important issues.'

Good article, except for the part where you felt the need to share your politics by mentioning president Trump.

Anonymous's picture

I noticed that too but didn't think it was distracting. As long as it's done in a respectful (or at least subdued) way, I don't think anyone needs to withhold those kinds of opinions. As a Christian, I will ALWAYS add God to a conversation if I think it's relevant.

Have you not noticed the many people on this site complaining about this kind of thing in articles? Mentioning him around the words "horrors" and "horrible" is disrespectful and distracting to readers. The fact that we are discussing it obviously shows that to be the case.

Anonymous's picture

Of course I have. I just think there's nothing wrong with allowing others to express an opinion, even one you vehemently disagree with, so long as it's done truthfully. For example: I have no problem with someone saying the President (whoever it is) will be bad for the country. I DO have a problem with someone saying President Trump is discriminating against Muslims or that President Obama tried to destroy America.

Too many folks get offended too easily these days. Don't be one of them.

Except the mentioning of president Trump is distracting and likely pushing a political agenda. There was no reasonable point in mentioning him.

Anonymous's picture

I am often distracting and unreasonable, as well as stubborn, short tempered, callous, rude, ...
Please forgive me.

I don't think it's disrespect. It is just mentioning alternative facts.

Chelsey Rogers's picture

Hi Peter, didn't mean to offend, I actually thought that was an apolitical comment, that could easily be said with anyone who comes into a new position; we don't really know what will happen yet, read future unknown. :)
The title of the film was chosen by the filmmaker, not me. But thanks for your input!! I'll try to keep the separation of state and photography from here on out!! :P

Anonymous's picture

"separation of state and photography"
They were going to put that in the constitution but the ink well fell over and the pen ran out. ;-)

@Chelsey Rogers Well, if you "don't really know what will happen" then what's the point of mentioning him in an article about "real horrors" and "horrible prospects"? There is no point in that except to be political.

Go view the recent fake news article about the Palestinian photographer. The reaction is overwhelmingly against such articles pushing a political agenda. Look at how the comments have been distracted away from the actual project you were highlighting in your article.

Studio 403's picture

Come on F.....stop...stop this over dramatized squid of so called horror. drama.....Of course anything is possible, and yes you have the right to your first amendment rights.....Surely you don't believe any sitting President would be passive on this issue.......the "fake' film is wonderful, I am jealous , lol. Lets keep this in entertainment category . Come on Fstoppers, because you can does not mean you should. ken

Chelsey Rogers's picture

I think people are totally missing the point of my post... I wanted to share this AMAZINGLY well done short, to encourage other filmmakers to go out and make films about what they are passionate about! I am not trying to be political, because I agree, politics doesn't really need to be on Fstoppers.

Your article was good Chelsey, except for the part where you, for whatever reason, felt the need to include president Trump. That's all.

I think it is totally valid to mention President Trump. Here's why: The main theme of the film is the environment and how we are treating it. With recent developments in the USA, It's pretty clear that environmental protection is not on the agenda of President Trump. For me, the author didn't put in his political views, but he created a link to actual developments in the context of the film being about environmental protection. I enjoy reading articles that connect different topics and I would find it rather annoying if authors on fstoppers would have to stay away from referring to actual events because of being accused of sneaking in their political views.

No, the main theme is "real horrors." Another horror could have taken the place of the toxic waste. The mentioning of Trump was certainly unnecessary.

The author of this article is also a she, not a he.

stir photos's picture

"What we have here is failure to communicate... Some men you just can't reach..."

The last paragraph simply stated, "How will you help shed light on other important issues? Have you done similar projects? Share them below!" Like the rest of the article, seems very positive, upbeat, without too much cow bell, and to the point.

I just don't get the whole hyper sensitivity thing...

Minorities are usually more vulnerable...

William Howell's picture

I think President Trump is doing great, of course I voted for him.
And he won the popular vote, contrary to the popular misconception that he didn't! MAGA
Petapixel banned me for my right leaning views, the left doesn't like to hear anything contrary to their belief system, they get really agitated!

Petapixel bans anyone that doesn't agree with the left wing consensus on their site. Unfortunately that is typical of the vast majority of media and tech sites since most are left wing and ultimately intolerant of opposing views, and yet they dishonestly refer to themselves as liberals.

Chelsey Rogers's picture

don't worry we won't ban you for something like that! I honestly did not mean to make such a political statement!! haha I have learned my lesson and will 100% stick to photo info only!!

Won't ban for something like that? I've seen it happen already on this site. Just takes a little longer, that's all.