Hangovers, zombies and a love story – Discocalypse, out of Germany, is the story of how one man can turn his life into a living nightmare from one hell of a night.

Produced, directed and written by emerging creator Dirk Rosenlöcher in 2016, Discocalypse is nominated for Best International Comedy and Best Editing at MWF 2017. Featuring Michael Knoefler, David Daria and Yvonne Forster, Discocalypse is an entertaining series through a fantasy horror world for all to enjoy.

Do you think the web series benefited from being directed, edited and scripted by one individual, and if so why?
I think if you run on a small budget like we did, it is very good to be involved like that throughout the whole development. But I constantly asked for feedback from people I trusted, whether they were film fans or people from the industry. This was necessary, since you of course tend to oversee things the longer you work on it – especially when you work in all these fields. As a graduation project, it definitely offered me a great chance to understand the whole production chain much better. You see much better, which effect early decisions have later on in the project, like however you write a scene directly affects not just directing, but also your options in the editing room.

As a young film maker, did you encounter any obstacles?
I would say the biggest difficulties is finding courage, but also having the strength to take criticism. It is hard to find the right people to share your vision with, people that help you to find the courage to overcome all your doubts to make your projects happen. But I also think it is very important to have an open ear to constructive criticism, not be stubborn and only go for your ideas, but instead allow yourself to benefit from the creative, professional input of others. You have to constantly question your decisions without losing the overall vision.

What inspired your web series?
There were multiple things. I had this idea of a coming of age story with a stuttering guy who needs to become a hero. And I loved the idea of starting a story with waking up hungover on a club toilet. I feel like many people can relate to that feeling of “What the f… happened?” Somehow it all blended in with other ideas and concepts we had – the dream of having a zombie horror project and a special zombie make up idea we had developed before and many other little ideas.

What did you want to achieve in creating this series?
I wanted to learn how to really entertain and reach the audiences heart, making them feel for this stuttering guy who really has to grow to deal with love, friendship, life. But instead of making it a story about a poor disabled boy, I wanted to give it a rather light hearted approach, making it a hero’s journey in this young, fantasy horror world.

What was your experience with web series before creating your own?
I had watched a few web series, but had no real clue about the scene. I entered this world really while making Discocalypse. The whole thing has grown a lot since we started with development some years ago – and now all of a sudden we are in the middle of it.

What was your release strategy?
We first approached  web festivals to see how Discocalypse would be accepted by web series audiences. This then helped us to find contacts to potential distribution partners.

What was your target audience and how did you build a relationship with them?
Our target audiences are young people aged 15-21, but also fans of zombie genre movies of all ages. We have already started community building since the shooting, to have a fan base when going live. We use basically the ‘standards’ like FB, Instagram, Twitter but also a few pages for horror fans etc.

What is unique about your series?
I would say the blend of a young stuttering anti hero going for love and friendship in this colourful, a bit weird fantasy-horror world in a sometimes funny, sometimes scary tone makes Discocalypse pretty unique.

And last but not least, what advice would you give to emerging creators?
Don’t lose your ambition, even when it gets tough – because it will for sure. Find people who share your creativity, who you can learn from and be open to their criticism. And to quote the famous philosophers at Nike: Just do it!