The creative endeavor Room 168 consists of 27 year old media designer Emil Goodman aka András Szabó and 25 years old animator Menzkie aka René Mednyánszky. Graduating in 2011 from Moholy-Nagy University of Arts And Design Budapest (MOME) the duo first gained attention via their fascinating short films and music videos but more recently created a buzz with their feature length film concept titled Henry Waltz; an animation-live action-hybrid fantasy science fiction. Emil Goodman, the director and brain behind the project introduced their concept and plans.
Room 168 is your creative partnership founded in 2010, what was the path from your first acquaintance to the enormous feature film project?
We have known each other for ages, we met as children, we were neighbors, class mates, friends. As we entered the university MOME, we shared a dorm room numbered 168 (that’s why we’re called Room 168), it was the big beginning of our creative career. We made a slot on the door to be able to receive bills and pizza boxes [laughs], we just forgot about everything else. But really, we furnished the room as our micro studio and as we got commissions we just locked the door and were working together without break or any help. We constantly produced the videos, commercials and short films one after the other until we graduated last year. My diploma work was the visual concept of the Henry Waltz-world. So we are currently working on – parallel to commercial works – on the feature length film version of Henry Waltz, script, funding, production, etc.
So the plot is still a secret, all we know is that „a gentleman adventurer named Henry Waltz lives a life of adventure on a half-finished man-made planet.” Watching the teaser there might be a strong steampunk-influence. What were you inspired by exactly?
As I had been in New York for first time and I was blown away by the architecture of the city and I had the first ideas about Henry Waltz’s world. Imagine that you have just arrived from Italy by ship in 1931 and Empire State Building is just about to get ready, and you say – what’s this? To be honest, I don’t really like steampunk. I tried to avoid using the classic steampunk elements from my film, however, the film will still have a certain steampunk atmosphere. Though, my favorite era is the golden age around 30s in America, for instance films, stars, beautiful ladies, elegant gentlemen, classic dance and typical movies; for instance Fred Astair. This is more likely what I’m inspired by. Even though, the movie won’t be a tiring cliché-story but an epic, contemporary action film with fresh humor and characters.
You also mentioned that currently you’re seeking funding to realize your vision. When can we expect the film coming out?
The script-writing takes about six month, after that we can start seeking funding for the production costs. The production process takes about two years, but we also plan to create a mobile app as well as a computer game. First of all, we’re working on a five-minute short film featuring Oriol Vandela, the sidekick of Henry Waltz. This is a spin-off story of the feature film about a beloved musician on the artificial planet preparing for his last performance. Guest directed by Menzkie, produced by Umbrella Studio and Kreatív M?hely, music by Pascal Avatti, script by Csaba Varjasi Farkas; the short film is set to be out at the end of May, and we intend to apply to some film festivals.
Published March 30, 2012. Words by Andras G. Varga.