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Ghost Guns (2019)

FORMAT: Documentary series in 4 parts // LANGUAGE: German

LENGTH: 08:26; 07:25; 09:01; 09:19

MY ROLES // I directed the whole production, conducted ten in-person interviews, edited all rushes (with a cutting ratio of around 1:52), and collaborated with a sound mixer in post-production.

LOGLINE // How does one actually get an illegal firearm in Germany? Assuming one does't want to travel abroad to procure a gun on the (often still illegal) market, then they might simply go online. This four-part documentary series looks at two methods of procuring illegal firearms via the internet: buying on the dark net, and DIYing with the help of a 3D blueprint.

STORY // The first storyline ("buying") follows the events before a tragic 2016 mass shooting in Munich, committed with an illegal gun bought on a dark net forum. Viewers are taken on this journey through the trading business of "Rico," who sold a gun to the shooter who eventually killed nine people and injured more.

The second storyline ("building") depicts the process of downloading and 3D printing a firearm. After a legally audited shooting test, during which the plastic gun successfully fired a single 9mm shot, the weapon was sent to the police and subsequently destroyed. 


Explanatory sequences about anonymizing technology, the dark net, cyber investigations in general, and cyber forensics and trends connect the two storylines.

MY PROCESS // The second story, about building a 3D-printed gun, unfolded during the shooting process. The unforeseen outcome of the shooting test strongly defined how I would proceed with interviewing. Editing also commenced as soon as the test had been completed.

Keywords came in handy from pre- to post-production. By following keywords from the very beginning, my camera crew and I were poised to capture, even in the most mundane settings, images that not only illustrate certain themes but also evoke certain emotions. For example, the keyword "hidden“ defined camera framing or angles that mimicked crawling on the floor or looking around a corner or through trees into blue light.

It was producers' luck that the cyber investigator's identity had to be concealed. With his permission, we played with his role over the course of the series: first, as the "bad guy“ and later, as the "good guy." As a result, he acquired the nickname "Flieger“ from the investigative unit. Across the four episodes, this anonymized figure – a supposed expert in the dark net-enabled illegal firearm trade  – recounts his surprising role in the arrest and eventual conviction of "Rico," who had previously sold a gun to the Munich mass murderer. 


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  • Criminal gun trader

  • Shooter (dead)

  • Cyber investigator

  • Lawyers

  • Prosecutor

  • Professor in bio informatics

  • Police expert in illegal firearms


  • Illegal firearms

  • Online

  • Munich

  • Marburg

  • Shop floor

  • 3D printing

  • Garage

  • Dark net

  • Deep web

  • Bitcoin

  • Tor


  • Hidden

  • Dark

  • Digital

  • Chasing

  • Justice

  • Good wins

  • Events

  • Coming closer

  • Black

  • White

  • Red

  • Blue


  • Gun trade on the dark net

  • Munich shooting

  • Investigating online

  • Cyber security & forensics

  • Technology

  • Building plastic gun

  • 3D gun shooting test

  • "Rico's" trial & sentence

  • 3D gun destruction

  • Outlook

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