The Worldcitizen Club

Expat Life: The Stories of Those Who've Left It All Behind - Part 2

20.07.2022 18:40 | The Worldcitizen Crew (Administrator)

We continue this series with the report of our co-founder Stephan Graf:

Los Angeles / Berlin

Three fascinating seasons in the global and the European movie capitals.

Both my longer stays abroad have to do with film production. In 2002, this career aspiration led me to the film Mecca par excellence: Los Angeles. Here I attended an evening course at UCLA and worked during the day at Splendid Pictures (their productions include "The Devil and Daniel Webster" with Sir Anthony Hopkins or "Narc" with Ray Liotta).

The film industry is omnipresent in this city, with roadside shoots, movie premieres in the evening - and yes, really every cab driver has a self-written script in his glove compartment.

My life as a student and intern defined how I experienced this city. During the day, I biked from my humble Westwood Village lodgings up to Bel Air, where Splendid had its offices - in the same building as the legendary Warren Beatty.

In the evening, I'd go to the university campus and later join my fellow students for a few drinks on Sunset Boulevard or at Moonshadows in Malibu.

Looking back, I realize that my second and third stays abroad - in Berlin in 2007 and 2009 - were also influenced by film productions in the way I perceived the city. During the first production, "The Baader-Meinhof Complex" by Uli Edel, which was nominated for an Oscar, I shifted between Charlottenburg, where I lived, the production office on the Spree and the filming locations at historically relevant sites.

Wherever possible, the producers shot on the original locations, which on the one hand made the film all the better, but also offered me a fascinating journey through time. For example, this incredible scene with Rudi Dutschke at the auditorium of the university.

The second Constantin production, the biopic "Zeiten ändern dich" about famous-notorius rapper Bushido, on which I was privileged to work, I experienced according to the circumstances mainly in Kreuzberg. The countless multicultural influences in this neighborhood have not only enriched my professional life, but also my free time with many culinary highlights.

Our editorial team has put together the following book tips - available from our partner Orell Füssli:

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