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photo courtesy of Boje Buck Produktion

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 01/2012

In 2005, Daniel Kehlmann's novel Measuring the World had just entered the best-seller list when producer Claus Boje of Boje Buck Produktion secured the film rights to Kehlmann's re-imagining of the lives of the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss and German geographer Alexander von Humboldt and their many groundbreaking ways of measuring the world, evolving from their meeting in 1828 on the occasion of the first German Scientific Congress in Berlin organized by Humboldt

However, the idea for making the film in 3D came to Boje after he saw the 3D short DECONSTRUCT by Tina Braun in Cannes two years ago and became “convinced that this format can open up completely new kinds of narrative. 3D doesn't just have to be effect-driven, but can also be lyrical and one can develop a new force to the narrative thanks to 3D.”

The 11 million euro co-production marks the third collaboration between director Buck and the Polish cinematographer Slawomir Idziak who had previously worked with him on JAILBIRDS and A BUNDLE OF JOY and had already gathered experience of shooting in 3D on Jerzy Hoffman's historical epic BATTLE OF WARSAW 1920 in 2010.

“We spent three years looking for the two leads, only deciding on Albrecht Abraham Schuch as Humboldt just a week before shooting began,” Boje recalls. “Albrecht had first made an impression on us in the TV film NEUE VAHR SÜD, and it was quite something to place our trust in the work of Birger Laube's SFX aging make-up design without digital modelling as well as in the actors' abilities and Detlev Buck's gift of developing cinematic characters.”

The film also sees novelist Kehlmann making his debut as a screenwriter as he adapted his own novel. “It was a really enjoyable experience because I came into contact again with the fantasy world I had first encountered when writing the original novel,” he says. “I incorporated lots of Detlev’s ideas into the final draft, so I would say that the screenplay is a joint effort from us both.”

Category Feature
Director Detlev Buck
Screenplay Daniel Kehlmann
Cinematography Slawomir Idziak
Cast Florian David Fitz, Albrecht Schuch, Sunnyi Melles, Jeremy Kapone, Katharina Thalbach, Karl Markovics, Vicky Krieps, David Kross
Producer Claus Boje
Co-Producers Tommy Pridnig, Peter Wirthensohn, Erich Lackner
Production Company Boje Buck Produktion/Berlin, in co-production with Lotus-Film
 German, French, Spanish
Shooting Dates October 2011-February 2012
Festivals Vancouver 2013, Kolkata 2019
With backing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds, German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, BKM, Austrian Film Institute, Vienna Film Fund, FISA

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