Gewaltmarsch! Launch of Kickstarter for Sierra Zulu in Vienna!

July 3 was a glorious day for international solidarity. A Soviet Unterzoegersdorf delegation visited the Austrian capital. His Excellency — the Ambassador of the People’s Republic — Nikita Perostek Chrusov gave a speech! He did not speak about tradition and skiing lifts, but hope! (And he screamed strong words at an anti-Semitic tourist.)

Image by Dan Taylor.

All images: HERE.
Link to Kickstarter campaign: THERE.

Sierra Zulu’s Film Score: Long Live The Keyboard!

Our idea is to have a musical score that uses a Casio MT-100 keyboard as the primary instrument, but over time expands to also use a classic brass band.

Backstory: Yaphet Okuna — the Nigerian UN soldier in the camp — is playing a Casio MT-100 in his spare time. It helps him to forget his troublesome past and functions as an outlet for his emotions.

The first act of the movie is only using Okuna’s cover versions of pop songs as the soundtrack. We consider how Okuna would perform songs, given the actual limitations of the keyboard, and what kind of arrangement will serve the tone of the scene where the song is used. We like the verité aspect of this truly diegetic introduction. Here is an example, a draft version of Okuna’s (aka Damien DiFede’s) take on “Crazy”: Crazy Draft MP3.
The second act uses the keyboard as the main instrument for the actual original score.
The third act introduces the Soviet brass band, joining the keyboard and making the soundtrack richer and more forceful for the big showdown.

Mark Mothersbaugh
wants to compose the original score. Damien DiFede is arranging the pop songs for Okuna’s play.

Soviet Unterzoegersdorf Ambassador will join Kickstarter Launch Gewaltmarsch!

Honorable internet users! Proletarian scientists! Planned economists!

July 3 (not 4, this is a different, slightly awkward celebration) we plan to launch a glorious Kickstarter campaign for the financial triumph of Sierra Zulu!

It is our pleasure to announce that His Excellency — the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf — Nikita Perostek Chrusov will travel to Vienna to give a speech! He will not speak about tradition and skiing lifts, but hope!

Vienna, July 3.
7 PM at the Soviet Monument on Schwarzenbergplatz. Rain or shine!
Please dress properly in Bolshevik attire and bring red flags! We plan a Gewaltmarsch towards the pub “Flying Pig” around 8 PM! The friendly owner of the drinking establishment will offer special beers and Molotov cocktails, will prepare borscht and blennies!

(Facebook event)

Sierra Zulu @ HOPE Conference in NYC

Our director Johannes Grenzfurthner will give a talk at HOPE Conference in NYC in July 2012: How To Create A Feature Film About The Digital Age — And Why That’s Pretty Hard

Movies are exciting. Things crash and burn. Bolts and fists fly. There are bangs and kabooms. People go to the cinemas in order to experience new worlds. But cinema is about to lose its prime source of narrative, having so far tethered to physical action that can be filmed. Cinema needs tempo, needs speed. The “movement-image” (Gilles Deleuze) depends on physical action onto which the cameras can point. Yet in contrast, the real world of non-cinema is losing physical action day by day. It is a time of abstract, optically unpresentable processes in networks and data systems. This regress of visual displayability is rather daft. Cinema has lived well on it for more than a hundred years. It’s easy to create a feature film about a bank robbery, but that’s anachronistic. Some of the most important crimes exist as electronic money movements between international stock exchanges. Hollywood cinema on the other hand still hasn’t evolved beyond anything better than banal sequences straight out of an Errol Flynn movie. How can we accurately portray the stories of our (new) world? All those dramas and comedies? All those crimes and stories?
That’s why we at monochom are working on a feature film called SIERRA ZULU. Let me tell you about our challenges and hopes – and why we think you might be able to help us.

July 13, 2012; 9 PM (Room: Dennis, 18th floor of Hotel Pennsylvania, NYC).
Link / HOPE

Sierra Zulu says: Defeat is not an option!

We were informed that our film grant was declined by the Austrian funding bodies. That is bad for troop morale and it complicates things, but it’s not the end of our little utopia.

First of all, we plan to re-apply. It seems there were a couple of open questions, and considering the unsual style, content and boldness of our production(*), we can’t blame the jury. A project like Sierra Zulu was never ever attempted in our little country of Soviet… aaah… Austria.
We plan to update our application and send in a few more tons of paper in July.

Still, we need to find alternative solutions for financial problems. So we decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign. We are well aware that it is unrealistic to obtain all the funds we need via Kickstarter, but even a symbolic amount is important for additional investors and foreign grants. It’s the old game: no one wants to invest money in a project that doesn’t have any money.

We will keep you updated, and we hope you will support the struggle of the creative proletariat!

(*) It’s the bastard offspring of Catch-22 and Buckaroo Banzai, reborn with the soul of Harun Farocki. Nothing that you usually see in a jury meeting.

Soviet Unterzoegersdorf asked for bravery, and Connie Panzenboeck provided!

Soldiers, performers! A triumph of international solidarity comes to an inspiring closure! Soviet Unterzoegersdorf asked for your bravery — and you responded fast, reliable and swift!
We received truly engaging videos! All of them a sign of hope and struggle!

Special kudos to Lukas Hoffmann, who not only worked out and sang, but also shot a dozen Nazis using the tactical simulator “Castle Wolfenstein”! We want to hire him as a truck driver or mechanic.
And we apologize to Cali, the dog. Your effort is beyond comparison, but there are no canines in Soviet Unterzoegersdorf. Trust us.

The glorious winner of our socialist outreach is Connie Panzenböck.
See for yourself.

She will be a motivated part of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf’s military might!

A message to all other contestants:

Never forget to persistently educate yourselves in communist convictions! Learn to live, work, and struggle as Leninists, as communists!

Sierra Zulu presents: Robert Picardo and Georg Friedrich

We are enormously proud being able to use “tools of hypermedia” to “blog post” about new developments on Sierra Zulu‘s casting front!
Should the Western development funds ever be transferred to our account, we will be able to welcome two loved and much-admired actors to our team! A guarantee of the complete triumph of communism!

Glory to Robert Picardo and Georg Friedrich! Applause!
Long live the indissoluble union of the Soviet people!

Robert Picardo?

Robert Picardo was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, where he spent his whole childhood. He graduated from the William Penn Charter school and attended Yale University. At Yale, he landed a role in Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” and at the age of 19, he played a leading role in the European premiere of “Mass”. Later, he graduated with a B.A. in Drama from Yale University. He appeared in the David Mamet play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago and with Diane Keaton in “The Primary English Class”.
In 1977, he made his Broadway debut in the comedy hit “Gemini” with Danny Aiello and also appeared in Bernard Slade’s “Tribute”, “Beyond Therapy” as well as “Geniuses” and “The Normal Heart” for which he won a Drama-Logue Award.
Then, he became involved in television, where he soon was nominated for an Emmy award for his role as “Mr. Cutlip” on the series “The Wonder Years” (1988). Bob appeared in several series: “Frasier” (1993), “Ally McBeal” (1997), “Home Improvement” (1991), “The Outer Limits” (1995) and “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” (1996). In 1995, he got the role as “The Doctor” on “Star Trek: Voyager” (1995) where he also directed two episodes. He also got roles in Doubletalk (1975), Star 80 (1983), Get Crazy (1983), Oh, God! You Devil (1984), Innerspace (1987), Munchies (1987), China Beach (1988) (TV), Samantha (1992), White Mile (1994) (TV), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Small Soldiers (1998), Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey (2010) (aka 2004: A Light Knight’s Odyssey), and so on.

Georg Friedrich?

Georg Friedrich is an Austrian actor and performer. After finishing his acting training at Krauss Acting School in Vienna, he has grown to be a vital part of Austria’s movie scene and participated in many successful film and TV productions. From time to time he performs at various theatres, including the prestigious Volksbühne in Berlin. In 2004 he won the Shooting Star Award at the Berlinale Film Festival.
Exemplary filmography: Müllers Büro (1986), 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994), Blutrausch (1997), Nordrand (1999), Dog Days (2001), Free Radicals (2003), Nacktschnecken (2004), Klimt (2006), Nordwand (2008), Atmen (2011).

Sierra Zulu’s Costume Designer: Monika Buttinger

Costume Designers‘ work is integral to defining the overall ‘look’ of films, and their role requires a great deal of expertise. Their creative work ranges from designing original costumes, to overseeing the purchase and adaptation of ready made outfits.
During pre-production Costume Designers break down scripts scene by scene, in order to work out how many characters are involved, and what costumes are required. They then begin the more complex task of developing costume plots for each character.
Costume Designers must carry out research in to the costume styles, designs and construction methods which are appropriate for the productions’ time period.

We can assure you that there is a ton of research and design to be done for Sierra Zulu. A challenging job for a real pro!

We are very fortunate being able to announce Sierra Zulu’s costume designer: Monika Buttinger.

She was born in Wels/Upper Austria. After attending art school in Linz and studying fashion design in Vienna, she worked as a freelancer for different fashion labels such as Eisbaer and Airfeld.
In 1998 she made her first costume design works for TV. Her prolific feature film credits now span over thirty-five films. They include Fernando Mereilles’ 360°, Goetz Spielmann’s Revanche, Arash T. Riahi’s For a Moment Freedom and Erwin Wagenhofer’s Black, Brown, White.
In 2008 she started her label “zojas” which is based in Vienna.

Soldier, Performer! Soviet Unterzoegersdorf needs your bravery!

The Soviet Unterzoegersdorf Armed Forces (in co-operation with Soviet Unterzoegersdorf’s Bureau For Analytical Research Of Problems Related To International Understanding) want to add a new member to its workforce.

Task assignment:

  • Create a video (1 minute or shorter) of you doing work-out while singing the Soviet anthem.
  •  Add an element of surprise.
  •  Don’t be afraid. Just do it. (Not in a Nike-sense.)

There is no limit of age and no gender-bias.
Send the video link to sierra-zulu AT before June 6, 2012.

If we like your video, you will be allocated to the honorable cast of Sierra Zulu.

Don’t disappoint the State.

(June 7, 2012 – Update: And the winner is…)

Sierra Zulu’s Electronic Intelligentsia: Dmytri Kleiner and Sean Bonner

Comradettes! Comrades!

Long live the Soviet electronic intelligentsia — active builders of the New Communism!

Welcome Dmytri Kleiner and Sean Bonner, our digital politics consultants and co-ideologists!

Glorious is their work and support! They create quickly, durably, economically, and on the basis of contemporary technology!


Dmytri KleinerDmytri Kleiner?

Dmytri Kleiner is the author of The Telekommunist Manifesto, a founder of the Telekommunisten Collective and contributing artist to the Collective’s Miscommunication Technologies continuing series of artworks, such as Thimbl and deadSwap. Miscommunication Technologies address the social relations embedded in communications technologies by creating platforms that don’t quite work as expected, or work in unexpected ways. In The Telekommunist Manifesto, Kleiner has published the Peer-Production licence, a commons-friendly Copyleft/Non-Commercial license the author has described as CopyFarLeft, and proposed Venture Communism, a mode of worker-controlled production modelled on peer networks and the pastoral commons. He can be followed at

Sean BonnerSean Bonner?

Sean Bonner is a Los Angeles based entrepreneur, journalist, activist and enthusiast. Bonner has co-founded hackerspaces and blog networks, an art gallery, design firm and record label. He is a board member of Coffee Common, works closely with Neoteny Labs and has been a regular contributor to BoingBoing. He is a co-founder and director of Safecast.

Sierra Zulu presents: Jello Biafra and Alfons Haider

Peasants of the infosphere! Every day life is getting better!
We are proud being able to inform you about two more Letters of Intent!
The (soon to be) triumphant creation of Sierra Zulu will be supported by two superbe performers!

Glory to the workers and actors! Guardians of culture!
Jello Biafra and Alfons Haider!

Jello Biafra?

Jello Biafra is an American musician, spoken word artist and leading figure of the Green Party of the United States. Biafra first gained attention as the lead singer and songwriter for San Francisco punk rock band Dead Kennedys. After his time with the band concluded, he took over the influential independent record label Alternative Tentacles, which he had co-founded in 1979 with Dead Kennedys bandmate East Bay Ray. Although now focused primarily on spoken word, he has continued as a musician in numerous collaborations. Politically, Biafra is a member of the Green Party of the United States and actively supports various political causes. He ran for the party’s Presidential nomination in 2000, finishing second to Ralph Nader. He is a staunch believer in free society, who utilizes shock value and advocates direct action and pranksterism in the name of political causes. Biafra is known to use absurdist media tactics, in the leftist tradition of the Yippies, to highlight issues of civil rights and social justice.

Alfons Haider?

Alfons Haider began his acting career in kindergarten, playing Prince Charming in “Cinderella”. He trained professionally at both The Conservatory of Vienna and the Lee Strasberg Institute in Los Angeles. After starring in many plays in Austria’s most prestigious theaters, he made his way onto the international scene with various European co-productions of television miniseries and specials. After winning the German Tony Award (INTEGA) for the role of Daniel Kaffee in “A Few Good Men” he was upgraded from prince to king in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I”; which became the most successful production of the play in Europe. He has also more recently become Austria’s most renowned cabaret star, playing stages from Vienna to Carnegie Hall, while emerging as Austria’s number one television personality (e.g. host of “Dancing Stars”, Vienna Opera Ball). He is passionately involved in charities for the benefit of children in need and the Austrian Aids Foundation.

Sierra Zulu Crew Members: Martin Gschlacht and Michaela Oppl

Let’s welcome two glorious members of Sierra Zulu’s workforce!

Martin Gschlacht
(Director of Photography)

Martin Gschlacht is an Austrian cinematographer and co-founder of the Viennese movie production company coop99. He graduated from Höhere Graphische Bundes-Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt Wien as a camera assistant and started working as a cameraman for music videos as well as short films and commercials. He continued his studies at the Filmakademie Wien, where he graduated 1996 in cinematography and production. Two years later he founded the Martin Gschlacht production company along with Valentin Hitz and Markus Wogrolly, which produced a couple of short films. In 1999 he co-founded the Viennese production company coop99 along with the directors Barbara Albert, Antonin Svoboda and Jessica Hausner. Gschlacht continues working on other cinematographic projects and also has been teaching at the Viennese film college since 2008. Two of the movies he has worked on as a cinematographer were featured in the contest program of the international film festival of Venice: Shirin Neshat’s Women Without Men and Jessica Hausner’s Lourdes.
Gschlacht founded the Academy of Austrian Film along with other Austrian creators. He is now a member of the board of the same.

Michaela Oppl
(Make-Up and SFX-Make-Up)

Michaela Oppl is a make-up artist and a specialist for SFX make-up and has worked on such diverse film productions as Haneke’s The Piano Teacher, Glawogger’s Slumming, Riahi’s For a Moment Freedom, Murnberger’s Der Knochenmann and Carreras’ Flores negras. TV productions: Vier Frauen und ein Todesfall and Dorfers Donnerstalk.
In 2009 she received the award for best make-up in Flores negras from the Málaga Spanish Film Festival.