Where are you based and how did you first get into this line of work?
We are based in Berlin, Germany. I work as en editor and director. Isabella works as a photographer, colorist and producer. Together we work for brands, companies and agencies.
I started skateboarding 18 years ago which somehow led to film-making. Skateboarding has a very strong visual & creative connection. Skateboarding and film-making – for both, you need passion, patience and experience. If you understand the basics, you can build up from there.
How did you get the Jonas from Austria project?
We worked on a project for a client the last two years. Traveling all over the world and shooting portraits. Jonas was one of the participants of the show. We were really lucky with him. He’s never done a film like this but he was on point. Especially when it came to shooting under critical conditions, like available light, outdoors at the blue hour.
We finished a five-minute episode for our client, which was fine too, fitting to the projects concept but my friend and DOP Frederick Gomoll and I were sitting there knowing the potential of the raw material. We had to work on a directors cut which is very different to the original client’s narrative concept.
What gear/cameras did you use and why?
We shot on Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6k, Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera and GoPro Hero6. Rode NTG3 and Zoom H6 for recordings.
Did you plan out the story structure from the beginning or did it come out in post?
The director’s cut evolved in the edit room. I was constantly getting feedback from Frederick and Isabella. It was very helpful because we had so much footage of Jonas. I had to clarify the story first. An example: In the beginning there was a rough cut with more friendly pictures – lense flares, sunny pictures, surfing – the typically surfer short. Then we discussed and the edit became more and more dark and dramatic. In the end the short film was a very democratic process. Getting feedback from experienced people opens your eyes. I am really happy to have them around me.
What do you do differently from other filmmakers?
At a certain level we all copy from each other. Or should I say we are influenced by creative people we love. Somewhere I read the sentence in an interview: “You are judged by the jobs you don’t do.” I am careful who to trust and work with as well. But when I do – I am all in. Democracy in the film-making process is really important to me. Also I always ask Isabella for input. That became part of our relationship and I am thankful for her very critical eye.
If you had to go back and do it all again, how would you get a foothold in the business?
I never studied or worked internally in bigger productions. So I have to network a lot in my free time, which intensely takes time. A lot of things I learned in film-making comes from crazy hours at the computer or camera. Nowadays, I would have loved to share experiences with other creatives in a university. But there is also another side… Like Werner Herzog said: “Don’t only hang around creative people, but be friends with someone – like a butcher.”
What’s the one secret tip, go-to trick that you use often that takes your work to the next level?
Talk to people, look them in the eyes and listen. Don’t be afraid to ask; should be common sense, but sometimes we forget the basics as we grow older.
What has been the hardest part of doing what you do?
Connecting with people I admire. I am working on that one!
What is currently the best part of doing what you do?
Choices! Imagine working 40 hours a week and every day is the same. And for another 40 years you are not experience any difference. When you are creating a new project it feels always different.
What are some of your favorite stories or web videos that you’ve gotten inspired by?
‘BACKSTORY’ by Joschka Laukeninks. Incredible short!