“I would feel lost as a DP if I wasn’t touching the camera. I like to strip everything down to bare essentials – I like my camera set-up to be sparse and clean. I don’t like ‘gubbins’,” he adds, using a very British colloquialism meaning paraphernalia.
“For my whole career I’ve been shooting in the real world, with real light, in small spaces – documentary filming makes you make the best of things. The AMIRA allowed me to do that, and when I moved into features it allowed me to carry on doing what I do normally – but in a more controlled environment.”
"Mother´s Day" tells the story of the IRA’s bomb attack on Warrington in 1993, in which two boys were killed. It was a pivotal moment in “The Troubles” that claimed the lives of more than three thousand people in Britain and Ireland over a thirty-year period. The deaths of the two boys – Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry - caused a wave of revulsion that lead to a new dialogue, culminating five years later in the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland.
Johann went to great lengths to capture the authentic feel of the north of England and Ireland a quarter of a century ago for "Mother´s Day." “I asked myself ‘what do the 1990s look like?’”, he says. “The fifties, the sixties, the seventies have a ‘look’ – but the nineties? I spent a long time looking at archive film from the nineties, from Belfast and Dublin and Warrington. I wanted to project the time and I didn’t want to apply any gloss to it, in fact I wanted to strip out any glossiness and get down to the real. I designed my own LUTs to match that – to create a dirty, dingy look.”