Telegrafia through a Professional Lens

Telegrafia through a Professional Lens

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Wait, what?

Every now and then, an unexpected request comes your way. No matter where you work. That’s why, as a company manufacturing electronic sirens, we were taken aback when, over two years ago, a request landed in our e-mail inbox to film footage for a forthcoming documentary about the sound of warning systems and the environments in which they are used. The feature-length documentary, by a British filmmaker with a pseudonym that refers more to a different artistic spectrum, PhD. Aura Satz.

The overall process of creating any work of art often requires a lot of time, effort, preparation, and in today’s world, bureaucracy. Okay, it could be debatable whether this also applies to modern art. Before visiting Telegrafia, Aura’s production team had visited places like Fukushima in Japan, Lapland, America, the Netherlands, and their home turf, the United Kingdom. After months of waiting, shooting, and messaging each other, we were eager to meet the artist’s every request during her two shooting days in our company.

horns and electronic siren boxes are frozen

At least it’s atmospheric

May days are changeable in Slovakia, and unfortunately, like Anakin, the weather has chosen its dark side. So the welcome of our guests was accompanied by drops of rain. Still, even these did not spoil the strange stressful and exciting feeling of a new and unusual encounter. Aura was accompanied by her producer, Luke W. Moody, and Slovak filmmaker, Michaela Hošková, the camera operator of this documentary for Slovakia.

We had two days at our disposal, divided according to the schedule, which of course we had to adjust on the fly, not only because of the weather. Due to the emphasis on the visual aspect, the most interesting for the camera were the shots of our sirens in the acoustic soundproof chamber. Its atmosphere perfectly captures the tension and fear of the sound of sirens and, simultaneously, the loneliness of a person in critical situations. At least, these are the feelings this environment evokes in me. The main protagonists inside were the sets of horn loudspeakers of the Pavian siren and the latest prototype of the round-shaped horn loudspeaker of the Pavian Car mobile electronic siren. The second most exciting element to the camera’s eye indoors was the oven in which our horns and electronic siren boxes are frozen at minus 40 degrees Celsius. However, that wasn’t the only thing filmed on our premises.

Aaand action!

Shooting the shots outdoors was equally fascinating, at least from an adventurous point of view. Here we chose locations that have been tested several times with our camera lenses: the Bukovec reservoir to present the EMA monitoring station and the quarry in Jaklovce to demonstrate the Mona siren. Without further information, please believe that everyone involved will remember the climb to the quarry for a long time. Although the weather wasn’t to our liking here and there, as I mentioned before, it still improved when we needed it the most and allowed us to at least get some drone footage afterwards. At last, fog and clouds might have been atmospherically better for capturing shots of the sirens than the sun. The two days went by faster than we expected.

Through the lens of time

Two days, about twenty-four hours, tens of kilometres, hundreds of shots and who knows, maybe even their incalculable value. Time will tell. Perhaps only in a few years will we see what we have contributed to the entirety of the forthcoming documentary. However, I must note that we have done our best and shown what we could. The rest is no longer in our hands. All that remains is to wait and look forward to the final product, in which we will enthusiastically seek out footage of our company.

The article was written by

Róbert Jakab

Robert is like a moving photograph – because he is like a video. He can capture 60 frames per second. Whenever something happens, he records it. Currently, he’s working on smaller videos and hoping to make a feature film one day and then its sequel. Telegrafia 2: Monkey Power

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