Emperor (2008) 

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Juliane Block

"Zero budget, zero damage." In Nov 2007, we (Adrian Lai and Juliane Block) got together to talk about our movie careers. We wanted to test ourselves to see if we could make a movie for nothing, so we worked around the mantra; "if you don't have money, you can't spend money." If there's zero budget, there's zero risk for damage. *** One of the key to successfully making this movie was, we had not 1, but 3 plan B's! "If this doesn't work, we do this. If this person doesn't turn up, we use this guy" kind of thing. The process was almost mechanical, with little or no space for experimentation. The results however, felt organic, because to a certain extent, it was ALL experiment. The main focus was to FINISH THE SHOOT. *** We literally did everything ourselves. Juliane was director, production manager, AD, secondary camera operator, SFX make-up artist, editor and graphic designer. Adrian was lead actor, DP, primary camera operator, sound supervisor, gaffer, driver, sound designer and music composer and score supervisor (for the 2 additional composers). However, credits were also given out deservingly as we had many dedicated helpers on set, and they made us look more heroic than it sounds. Consisting mainly of students and film buffs, we are proud to say that by the end of the "Emperor" shoot, they had graduated into a bona fide film crew. *** We are now in the process of finding our audience in the new era of social networking: Youtube and Facebook, to generate interest in the movie and ourselves as filmmakers. *** It is our sincere hope that you will help us on this journey. Cheers, Adrian Lai and Juliane Block


Juliane Block

My filmmaking career started in Germany as special fx make-up artist on an underground Zombie flick (“Mutation“, released on DVD in 1999) followed by producer & screenwriter credits on several other shorts (e.g. “Killerbus“, released on DVD in 2004). I got hooked. Even though I have a design masters from the university of art in Braunschweig, I continued with film making. In 2005 I migrated to Asia to pursue Asian cinema. My current record: I directed a low budget feature in 2008 (“Emperor”), ±9 shorts which have been screened in film festivals around the world, and my 2nd feature (“Kinks”) is in post. I lived in Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and now in Indonesia. And I love my life!

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on December 19, 2012 at 3:14am

*SPOILERS* ** Man, "that one" scene in Germany was super disturbing -- it was almost too much for me and I came close to turning it off. But I suppose you want to thread that line sometimes, and a scene like that is supposed to be disturbing, so it was well executed. This makes me think you could make a good horror film if you wanted to.

I'm going to watch this again soon.

One thing: next time, can you make the subtitles a bit larger or provide them separately? And I'm looking forward to next time!


on March 02, 2012 at 4:13am

***SPOILER ALERT*** ***SPOILER ALERT***Do not read this if you have not seen the movie yet. I hope I'm not breaking any rules by posting a comment with potential spoilers. First and foremost BRAVO on a job well done. By far this is one of the best pieces I've seen in the short time I've been acquainted with this site. That being sad, I was very disappointed with the way this movie ends. Maybe I didn't quite understand the end as intended, but in my opinion Pho Sin should not have lived. This movie could have ended much better if Victor never slapped that girl, enforcing a character who is conflicted between family business and the road to virtue and honor. Plus Vikram being the right hand man, if you will, of the Snakehead leader used unnecessary force in the murder of Rosebud. Right hand men, or "enforcers" or as they are better known in the gang world, wouldn't need to kill an unarmed 110 pound girl to defend a fellow gang member. He could have just as easily pistol whipped her. But i understand she needed to die for the story, and because she was a bout to rat them out. I just think she should have died at the hands of Pho Sin, enforcing his character as a ruthless human being. This would all give way to what i think would have been a perfect ending.After learning the truth about the murders, Pho Sin's father could have given a green light to Victor to kill his own son as a show of "Saving Face" as put in the movie OR, Victor being conflicted between right and wrong could have decided to do right, and murdered Pho Sin on his own, without the knowledge or approval of the snakehead leader, and disappear into the night the unsung hero! Oooo that woulda left the movie open for a sequel!!!! (part two: Pho Sins Father tries to hunt down victor and avenge his sons death) WOW! I didn't even think of that one until just now.. Thanks again for all your effort, i did enjoy this movie!***SPOILER ALERT*** ***SPOILER ALERT***


on March 21, 2012 at 10:36am

Thank you! I agree with you on some of your story suggestions :D Well, it was my first feature - more to come! :)


on January 30, 2012 at 8:49pm

It is amazing how you have done this great work when you see the budget. Thank you!


on March 21, 2012 at 10:36am

Thank you :)

jan korthuis

on June 03, 2011 at 7:29pm

thank you


on June 02, 2011 at 4:32pm

i like it


on March 25, 2011 at 6:42am



on January 27, 2011 at 8:53pm

I finally got a moment to watch this last night. Juliane, why have you not made it big yet? I forgot until just a moment ago this was a no-budget film. I enjoyed the journey. As weird as it may sound, my favorite part was the boss vs father Dai Kor moment with Poh Sin & Victor when talking about the trip. Anyway, great job as always. You have a real talent, as did the people involved with the film.


on May 04, 2011 at 12:04am

Thank you! Working on making it big hahahaha :) Well, persistence always gets you somewhere - someday :D Your comment made my day :)