By Ryan Keating-Lambert
I stumbled across Mirek’s project Old Prague Legends when I was doing some research on Czech legends to write about for a client. Had no idea that this even existed but it actually premièred in 2013… Thought I might put it out there for other expats to get stuck into. Stunning animation that pays homage to famous Czech animator Karel Zeman and others, coupled with creepy creepy tales of Prague’s past, plus a little moral message embedded in each one to keep you all well behaved. Mirek is also a cameraman by day and has managed to film some interviews with some VERY big international names. Read on for more info.
Where are you from originally?
I was born in Jeseník, but I moved to Prague in 1987.
What is Jeseník known for?
Nice, and what did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a musician and travel the world.
What do you do now?
I’m a cameraman.
Great, how did you get into that?
I studied at a film school in Zlín and have worked for a lot of Czech TV channels. I’ve done a lot of interviews with many interesting people, for example Ozzy Osbourne, Mark Knopfler, Ian Anderson, Ron Wood, Michael Hutchence, Sean Connery and Michail Gorbatschow..
Wow! I’m not even sure who to ask you about.. What about Sean Connery? What was he like?
The interview was done at the premiere of the film The League of Extraordinary Gentleman here in Prague. He’s a great guy and a very good actor. It was also just a great atmosphere to be in.
Who was your favorite?
Definitely Václav Havel. I shot a lot of interviews with him and I really respected him.
He was an icon. How did you start your Old Prague Legends project?
I’d had an internet project for a while and I was looking for some good content. I like the history of Prague so that was an impulse to create the animated legends.
Why do you think it’s important to know these legends?
Legends can be interesting to anyone who visits Prague or likes history. Each legends takes place in a different part of the city and the audience will discover some very interesting secrets and mysteries about these places.
What is your favourite legend?
Well, I like all of them but my favourite is The Innocents of the Jewish Cemetery (pictured below).
Sounds pretty chilling. Tell us a little bit about the creative process.
The animations were created by director Ondřej Žatečka and the main animator was Marek Berger. Basically, it’s a mix of a few techniques – silhouette animation: which closely resembles shadow plays, as well as classical drawing animation and realistic elements.
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
I’d have to say Kevin Spacey.
If you could go back in time and see anything, what would you see?
The time of Rudolf II in Prague.
Photos: Mirek Vesely