Open Source


Valkaama is based on the novel Valkama written by Hendrik Behnisch. The book has been published in March 2010 in German language.

Supported by...
VEB Film Leipzig
50 GB Postproduction Webspace
Source files distribution

Interview zu Valkaama
Valkaama - Open Source Film
Open Source Film goes Beta
Open Source Film
Bericht zur re:publica '09
Breitband - Portrait
Trackback - Kurzinterview
mySputnik - Kurzinterview
DPA Pressemitteilung
Surftipps September

Valkaama is a collaborative Open Source Movie.
Important facts in short:
- Our FTP postproduction server:
- Valkaama is licensed under Creative Commons by-sa.
- The film is an open source no-budget full feature drama.
- Valkaama = valkama (Finnish: home) + kaamos (Finnish: polar night)
- Contact: e-mail, Skype.
Link:en:19   Valkaama Alpha 2 online

posted: 2009-03-25
The Alpha 2 version of Valkaama is now available. The most important improvement affects the sound which has been completely reworked by Michael Georgi. For a more detailed overview of what has changed, have a look into our changelog.
Link:en:18   YouTube Partner Program

posted: 2009-03-23
from: YouTube (   -   to: Valkaama

Dear Valkaama,

Thank you for your interest in the YouTube Partner Program. Our goal is to extend invitations to as many partners as we can. Unfortunately we are unable to accept your application at this time. The current level of viewership of your account has not met our threshold for acceptance.

Applications are reviewed for a variety of criteria, including but not limited to the size of your audience, country of residence, quality of content, and consistency with our Community Guidelines and Terms of Use. Please review the program qualifications ( for a complete list of our criteria.

As we continue to expand we hope to be able to accept a broader group of partners. We have registered your interest in the program and will continue to monitor your account for potential future acceptance into the program.

Thank you for your understanding.


from: Valkaama   -   to: YouTube (

Dear YouTube, Inc.

Thank you for the automatic review of our Partner Program application and account data. We understand that quality cannot be evaluated by algorithms or simply doesn't matter. Next time we will produce tons of videos of animals playing the piano. This kind of content seems to be more suitable for a broader audience. We have learned our lesson.

Thank you for enlightening us,

The Valkaama Team.

Link:en:17   Safe colors and related problems

posted: 2009-03-21
When applying color grading to video it is usually recommended to stay within the safe colors. Safe colors range from values 16-235 for each RGB value. This is the broadcasting world.

In the computer world however we got the full range of RGB colors with values from 0 to 255 and that's a tricky thing to combine. If you want to play a game on your broadcasting-world TV set and the game shows a dark object on your computer screen (RGB values lower than 16 for one or more of the color channels) your TV might not understand that and display everything below the safe values as its lowest value so you will loose all the details. The other way round, when playing back safe color coded video on your computer screen, you will not get a nice black but rather a milky look since the dynamic range of the computer screen isn't fully used.

To compensate this, today's graphics card drivers usually can either be set to display the full dynamic range for video (0-255) or use the limited 'safe' range (16-235). And here is the trap. With the wrong setting you might have a nicely looking video displayed on your computer screen while the image on other computers with different settings will be much worse. This is exactly what happened at the first public screening of Valkaama. What was intended and displayed on my laptop you can see on the left-hand side of the picture below. What the beamer was showing you can see on the right side.

After a day of searching for explanations of this bug I changed my driver settings to display the full dynamic color range for videos. This resulted in my laptop displaying videos much darker. Now I only had to do the color grading for most of the scenes again... and raising black levels as well as tweaking the gamma and brightness values brought the details back. Thank you graphics card driver for another 2 days of work.

A smart explanation of the issue can be found here ;)
Link:en:16   First Public Screening

posted: 2009-03-07
The first public screening of Valkaama will take place at the Linux days in Chemnitz on March 14. The Alpha 2 version of the movie will be shown including some scenes with music.

Update (2009-03-16):

The event was a bit smaller than anticipated and only about 70 to 80 people attended the night of free movies. The reactions towards the movie were quite different and anything from 'I like it' to 'boring' could be heard. Especially the end of the movie was criticised for being too sudden. So there's still some work to be done... although certainly no miracles will happen.

Another objection of the audience was that the story is a bit too confusing in the beginning of the movie. The question arose whether Lasse knows that Ari is dead or if he doesn't. This problem might have occured because on the one hand the acoustics in the screening room wasn't the best and on the other hand there was a lot of chatter in the back of the room. People who were not interested in the film rather hacked with their laptops disturbing the people who were actually trying to follow the story.

Anyway. The best moment we had in the middle of the movie when the previously ordered pizza arrived resulting in a 5-10 minutes chaos while everyone was trying to get his or her share. Watching the movie was impossible during this time. But... no reason to get upset. In the end it was a side venue of a Linux conference so most of the people attending weren't really the target audience for the film.

Special thanks to Sirko Kemter at this point who organized the night of free movies and also attended the talk following the screening of Valkaama. He pointed out some very interesting aspects concerning Open (Source) movies so we were able to create an interesting discussion about the topic which surely was very interesting for the audience.
Link:en:15   Elusive Bonds Released + Call for Open (Source) Soundtrack

posted: 2009-02-21
We are proudly presenting Elusive Bonds, the title song of Valkaama. This great Finnish tune has been exclusively produced for Valkaama by Matti Reinola (Shamrain, Hanging Garden) and Ilpo Paasela (The Chant). With lyrics from Hendrik, the author of the novel Valkama which the movie is based upon, the release of this song represents another important step for the Valkaama project. So go and have a listen...

Also we would like to announce our Open Soundtrack Project, which intends to produce an Open Source Soundtrack for Valkaama. If you or your band want to contribute a song to it... Get in touch!
Link:en:14   Elusive Bonds Release Announcement

posted: 2009-02-19
Soon it will be here... The countdown for the release of our title song is set. From the Finnish coldness with melancholic sound. Stay tuned.
Link:de:13   Open Source Film Geschäftsmodelle

posted: 2009-02-17
Gestern habe ich meine Diplomarbeit eingereicht, die in Symbiose mit Valkaama entstanden ist. Darin habe ich mich zum Beispiel damit beschäftigt, wie die Eigenschaften von Open Source Software bezüglich Entwicklung, Lizenzierung und Distribution auf das Medium Film übertragen werden können.

Den Hauptteil der Arbeit macht aber die Untersuchung der Frage aus, wie man mit Open Source Filmen Geld verdienen kann, also welche Geschäftsmodelle sich im Zusammenhang mit Open Soure Filmen anwenden lassen. Neben Valkaama werden dabei auch die bekannteren freien Filmprojekte von VEB Film Leipzig, der Blender Foundation und Energia sowie A Swarm of Angels betrachtet.

Für Interessierte gibt es die Arbeit hier zum Ansehen und Herunterladen:

Tim Baumann:   Open Source Film - Chancen von Open Source Software Geschäftsmodellen und Entwicklungsansätzen in der Filmindustrie

Das Format der Arbeit ist PDF (Version für doppelseitigen Ausdruck hier) und natürlich steht sie unter einer Creative Commons Lizenz. Die Lizenzbedingungen sind: by-nc-sa. Remixen ist erlaubt, plagiatieren aber natürlich nicht ;)

Für Hinweise und Kommentare bin ich jederzeit erreichbar.

Update (07.05.2009):

Die Arbeit kann auch direkt auf der Webseite angesehen werden.
Link:en:12   Valkaama music score

posted: 2009-01-25
The post production is gaining momentum. Currently the audio recorded on-set is being enhanced. For this we actually could need some more help. Apart from that first coordinations concerning the music score are underway. For more information have a look into our Forum.