Single. A Record is Being Produced

Single is not a theoretical treatise; it just uses clips to show how a single is produced. The song is Time to Love, the singers call themselves Witchcraft. Also involved are the composer, arranger, producer, the studio musicians and later on the strings.

At the beginning the off camera narrator points out a scandalous discrepancy. The film crew spent two days in the recording studio observing a three minute piece of music being produced. The film itself condenses the duration of production: 15 minutes into the film, the narrator announces that the producers are satisfied with the basic backing-track, after a four hour test. After 24 minutes we learn that the crew has left the studio after nine hours filming, whilst work on the guitar tracks continued for some hours. […]

"Each product affects an individual air; individuality itself serves to reinforce ideology, in so far as the illusion is conjured up that the completely reified and mediated is a sanctuary from immediacy and life." (Adorno, The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture, London, 1991) Adorno's cultural criticism was formulated in traditional terms. Single demonstrates that such arguments are in urgent need of re-vision.

(Ulrich Kriest)

Original title Single. Eine Schallplatte wird produziert Director, scriptwriter Harun Farocki Cinematographer Ingo Kratisch, David Slama, Gerd Braun Editor Gerd Braun, Gerrit Sommer, Helga Kohlmeier, Dorothea Haffner, Brigitte Kurde Sound Rolf Müller, Johannes Beringer, Karl-Heinz Wegmann Music Time to Love by Stephan Baal, Caryn McCombs production Manager Rosa Mercedes Production Harun Farocki Filmproduktion, Berlin-West, for SFB  Format 1-inch-MAZ, col., 1:1, 37 Length 49 min. First broadcast 27.07.1980, West 3 and Hessen 3 (evidently not broadcasted) Note commissioned for the TV series DENKSTE!?