Night Ride from LA is a wonderful short animation by German filmmaker Martin Gerigk. We have screened many of Martin’s terrific films over the last few years and here is the interview I did with him over the internet.
Nigrin: Night Ride from LA is based on a real car ride at night from downtown LA to the desert near Palm Springs a few years ago. How did you decide you were going to make a film about it.
Gerigk: It was a spontaneous decision. That night, when returning from LA to the desert all these incredible lights and vibes of the impressive huge city suddenly and unexpectedly approached me on an artistic level. I got my camera out and just held it out the window to create continuous long exposure shots. I think as an artist I simply couldn’t resist documenting this night life graffiti.
Nigrin: Your film is a trippy time lapse animation. What film techniques did you use to make it?
Gerigk: The film is made from nearly 1000 long exposure shots. I held the camera out of the window for more than two hours shaking and moving it like writing abstract symbols in the air. The visual effect is a kind of complex graffiti of rear lights and city lights, a twirl of time-stretched movements. Combining these single photos resulted in a flickering fast night ride, a nearly psychedelic experience.
Nigrin: Would you say that your film is kind of a love letter to Southern California?
Gerigk: Definitely! A love letter to the energy and vibe of the Californian way of life!
Nigrin: Are there any memorable stories while you made this film or any other info about your film you would like to relay to us?
Gerigk: Physically and mentally it was an intense and painful experience, holding the camera uninterruptedly against the violent frontal airstream for such a long time. After a while, unexpectedly, time seemed to slow down and strange, vaguely coherent memories of the day came flooding back as a reaction to the persistent pain. These memories are also inserted into the film, mingled with a pinch of humor…
Night Ride from LA screens as part of the Shorts Program at the Fall 2023 New Jersey Film Festival on Sunday, September 17. The film will be Online for 24 Hours and In-Person at 5 PM in Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ. Tickets are available for purchase here.