Klaus filming_edited
Photo by: Angela Viscido

I was born in Düsseldorf, but raised in Linnich, a rural village near Cologne, in which my father was a vicar and my mother a primary school teacher. During my school years the positive influence of several ambitious teachers made me decide to become a teacher myself and study Music and English at the universities of Münster, Siegen and Dortmund. In one of the classes in Münster we studied film analysis and produced little short films. This was very intriguing to me and must have raised my initial interest in filmmaking. Later on, as part of my final exam, I was working on a research paper analyzing the portrayal of Hip Hop culture in school books when I found out that the art of making drum beats with the mouth has largely been neglected by writers and researchers.

When I started working as a teacher, I was able to gain some more experience in low budget filmmaking through the production of several music video clips together with students from schools in Bochum and Aachen.

While following my teaching career, I continued researching in the field of Beatboxing and had the idea of writing a book about the phenomenon to put it on a scientific level. In order to get first hand information, I decided to travel to California and New York, the places where Hip Hop and Beatboxing originates from. While establishing contacts to several artists overseas, I thought that it would be a good idea to also videotape the interviews in order to document everything. Thinking more and more about the recording of the interviews made me gradually work on a script and suddenly I found myself working on a full-length documentary, and so I postponed the book-writing plan for the time being to focus on the production of the documentary.

I started my first trip to the US in the summer of 2007 and after receiving a lot of positive support from the artists, I was determined to finish the documentary regardless of the difficulties this may include. I think it was the experienced actor Michael Winslow (Police Academy Movies) who encouraged me most when he said “I know, you will make movies one day.”

I hope that this documentary helps the Human Beatbox to finally become recognised and accepted as a true art form and a full musical instrument.

– Klaus Schneyder