Stunning independent film inspired by the visual look of the Netflix sensation ‘The Queen’s Gambit’

Watch the 7:30 minute long German independent short film HANS JEDERMANN on YouTube with English subtitles

Why were we inspired by the dreamy aesthetic of the Netflix hit ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ for our independent short film HANS JEDERMANN?

As I explored the HANS JEDERMANN script, featuring a never-ending time loop and a surreal conversation between two characters at a table, I aimed to find a film style that matched the dreamy ambiance and timeless setting. Interpreting the look of Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit seemed ideal, as it captures the timeless 1950s vibe and employs subtle lighting to draw focus to the conversation of two characters sitting on a table, akin to the intense chess matches depicted in the series.

How was the Award-Winning look of ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ film series created?

How did the director of photography Steven Meizler create the Award-Winning look of the Queens Gambit film series?
Klick on the image or following link to read the informative article at, how cinematographer Steven Meizler created the award-winning look of The Queen’s Gambit film series. Steven reveals, among other things, the use of the Tiffen Black Satin 1 filter. Watch Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit film series here:

How did we adapt the dreamy aesthetic of ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ to our independent film HANS JEDERMANN?

  1. Harnessing the Power of Light: We crafted ambiance with similar lighting techniques seen in The Queen’s Gambit.
  2. Lens Filter Secrets: Using the same Tiffen Black Satin 1 Filter as used in The Queen’s Gambit, we achieved a similar dreamy effect as seen in the original production.
  3. Fogging the scenes: Each shot was given a new light haze, which created a special atmosphere and trackable rays of light just like in the Netflix hit.
  4. Color precision and color grading: With high quality 10-bit 4:2:2 4K video capture, enabling a deep The Queen’s Gambit – like color grading process with Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve.

Exclusive Interview with Christian Eberle, the producer and director of the independent short film HANS JEDERMANN

Netflix queen's gambit visual look adopted by independent film HANS JEDERMANN
The actors of HANS JEDERMANN: Sebastian Feicht and Roberto Martinez Martinez (click on the image to enlarge). “Martinez Martinez” isn’t a mistake. It’s the right last name of Roberto in Spanish. That’s because Roberto’s father and mother are both named “Martinez”.

Chris: How did you come up with the HANS JEDERMANN script?
Christian: In early 2022, when I was working as a driver for the Red Cross and had to get up very early every morning. When stuck in morning traffic and bad weather, I envisioned this scenario of an eternal time loop.

Chris: How did the German indie short film HANS JEDERMANN come to be produced?
Christian: Teamwork as always. Film is teamwork! Thanks to a very dedicated cast and crew, we were able to pull this short film off in Unterhaching near Munich in November 2023. This time, we had to find a bunch of retro props and costumes. I was lucky to get some early 1990s telephone on Ebay for a reasonable price and – again – thanks to teamwork, everybody brought some small props, from drinking glasses to watches.

Chris: What are the similarities with the films of the Matrix quadrilogy?
Christian: There are hints in the HANS JEDERMANN script, that it all just could be a simulation. And of course, there’s a reference in the dialogue.

Chris: Why were props chosen that look like they were from the 1980s?
Christian: To underline a retro-futuristic or “timeless” setting.

Chris: Why was a cactus chosen as a prop?
Christian: In the script, the cactus is the only living thing in the eternal office. Also a small joke in a way since Hans is quite impressed as if a tiny cactus makes an almost eternal office job better…

Chris: What exactly does the triptych in the background of the desk mean?
Christian: The triptych was done by my wife Katja Vartiainen, a Master of Fine Arts. I wanted something in the style of Hieronimus Bosch, something surreal, something symbolizing this strange state, HANS JEDERMANN finds himself in.

Chris: What makes HANS JEDERMANN different from other indie shorts? 
Christian: I have always loved the good old “film look” that was basically impossible only 20 years ago for amateur or even semi-professional filmmakers. Now, one can film in 4 or even 8K and attach some awesome (and affordable!) vintage lenses. But I cannot thank you (Director of Photography) and Wolfgang Hawel (Sound & Lights) enough for making all this possible. These days, I prefer writing and producing to doing the camera myself.

Chris: What was the biggest challenge in making this short film?
Christian: As always: Getting it done. When doing low to now-budget shorts, it’s always kind of a miracle to finally making it. Finding a day, where all the crew and actors (who are professionals!) are available, is always quite a hassle.

Chris: Are you looking for a crowdfunding campaign to produce a longer sequel to this short film?
Christian: I think, I’d like to do a bunch of simple short films before that. But I could very much imagine having those two characters appear in future projects again.

Chris: What is your next project?
Christian: At the moment I am pondering several ideas. I had interesting talks with new actors I would like to have in my next project. But most likely another satirical story with comedic elements and a tiny bit sci-fi.

TIFFEN Black satin 1 filter used by independent film HANS JEDERMANN to adopt Netflix Queen's Gambit look
We used the Tiffen Black Satin 1 filter for all the shots, the same filter that was used for the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit (click on the image to enlarge)
Fog machine as used by independent film HANS JEDERMANN to adopt Netflix Queen's Gambit look
One of Wolfgang’s fog machines, which are powered by healthy biological fluid to create a haze
Fog machine going amok as used by independent film HANS JEDERMANN to adopt Netflix Queen's Gambit look
Fog machine goes crazy: The fog machine suddenly switches to heavy fog mode (click on the image to enlarge)

Behind-the-Scenes: The Film Crew

All the photographs captured by the film crew were taken using the 1953 Biotar 58mm f2 classic lens mounted on a Sony full-frame camera.

When you click on an image in the galleries, following buttons will allow you to select some features, including a slideshow (which is auto-started for some galleries, you have to press the pause button to stop a slideshow):

Slideshow | Fullscreen | Image-Info | Original-size


Behind-the-Scenes: Film Set Photos

Many thanks to our film set photographer Rohan Shetty who took these beautiful photos.

Video Equipment

    1. Sony a7C2 full frame camera with 10bit 4:2:2 color and 4K S-Log video recording, well suited for extensive color grading
    2. Much hyped Viltrox 13mm f1.4 wide angle APS-C lens, equals to a 20mm field of view in full frame and shot in Super35 mode
    3. Samyang 24mm T1.9 V-AF full frame cinema lens
    4. Sigma 35mm f2 DG DN i-series full frame lens
    5. Carl Zeiss Biotar 58mm f2, a 70-year-old legendary full frame classic lens used for close-ups
    6. Based on an appreciated advice from Wolfgang to use a tripod with one-step locking system: SmallRig AD-100 FreeBlazer tripod

Explore Further

Legendary Zeiss Biotar 58mm f2 Lens in Indie Film: Why We Ditched Modern lenses for a 70-Year-Old

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