Making of 'Gutenberg in the Cyberstorm'

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In Hollywood's footsteps

To film "Gutenberg in the Cyberstorm," we found themselves in a few very unusual locations, like the Los Angeles River. It's a favorite backdrop for Hollywood chase scenes, like in the blockbusters "Terminator" and "Chinatown." The eerie canal was an ideal setting for host Kate Müser to film her narration about Daniel Suarez's apocalyptic science fiction novel, "Influx."

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From self-publishing to bestseller

Daniel Suarez used to be an IT consultant, but is now a bestselling author. He self-published his first book, "Daemon," in 2006 before it was discovered by a publisher. Suarez uses an entertaining storyline to warn society of the dangers of unaccountable technological power. To survive in the modern world, he says, we have to learn how computers think.

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Drone's eye view

"The book has become something that is reading you instead of you reading the book," said Jaron Lanier, winner of the 2014 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. In Berlin's Mauerpark, we used a drone camera to represent the omniscient transparency of e-books. They know everything about what and how we read. Despite the Berlin wind, the drone did its job and made it down safely.

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Not just a toy

To fly a drone in Germany, you have to apply for lots of permits - from the flight safety authorities, the local aviation authorities and the flight tower, to name just a few. While the drone might look like a toy, it's capable of soaring up to 400 meters (1,300 feet) - though it's only allowed to reach a height of 100 meters.

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A city of paradoxes

Brooklyn, 6:00 a.m., 0 degrees Celsius. We were rewarded for enduring the rough conditions with this unique light. In New York City, the pressure on the book market is particularly evident. A third of Manhattan's bookstores have had to close in the past 10 years. At the same time, the city is a hub for creative book-related startups.

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Social reading

A social network within a book - that's the idea behind New York-based startup Zola Books. Here, founder Joe Regal is showing host Kate Müser how his new app works. Zola Books doesn't want to turn the book market over to Amazon. Instead, it offers an alternative by turning reading into a collective, interactive experience.

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No time to waste

We ran on a very tight schedule, and the streets in New York City were jam packed - as always. Searching for a parking space takes valuable time away from the shoot. Each scene has to be carefully planned, so that the graphics can be worked in during post-production. Here, director Susanne Lenz-Gleissner is planning the next scene with New York-based cameraman Zoran Drakulic.

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Transatlantic differences

The harbor in Hamburg is a symbolic location to discuss the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and how it might impact the book market. Germany's book price fixing law could become an issue over the course of the negotiations between the EU and the US. Fixing book prices is tradition in Germany, but a foreign concept for Americans.

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Rendezvous

Grand Central Station was a romantic and iconic location to generate travel-related images. Here, camerawoman Bettina Kolb is explaining to host Kate Müser what she should do next. Crisscrossing through all the travelers in the station was an exercise in agility!

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Through the data glass

Google Glasses appear throughout our film. Not only do they play an important role in Marc Elsberg's bestselling thriller "Zero," they also represent constant data collection and surveillance. Even though Elsberg is critical of the accessory in his novel, he didn't pass up a chance to try it on.

From the canals of Los Angeles to drone permits in Germany: Director Susanne Lenz-Gleissner and camerawoman Bettina Kolb take you behind the scenes for an up-close look at the filming of "Gutenberg in the Cyberstorm."