Interview with directors Alicja Pahl, Luca Sgnioretti and Tobias Buchmann

  • Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking is your way of telling stories?

A.P. Well since I was a kid I wanted to be involved in making movies. The First minutes on set and I knew that I want to become a cinematographer.

  • Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?

Well I think it helps but it is not a must. A Filmschool is helping you to develope your own style and way of working. It gives you time to experiment and connections to a whole filmmakers generation. You have access to film equipment and the whole work flow process. But of course you can make it differently. I think it depends on your personality!

  • Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?

I think keep going is always the hardest part. Filmmaking is a very long process and you are depending on a lot of people and their good will. You always have to push yourself try it harder, better. You wake up and you always ask yourself is the price worth I am paying. You give all your heart, energy and most important time into your projects, not knowing if you are failing or doing ok.  

  • What were the production realities from casting through editing that you had to accommodate? How did you navigate those compromises or surprises and still end up with a cohesive film?

The Project `Out Of Ordinary` is part of our Masters Degree under the wings of Andreas Birkle one of our two mentors and good souls in our Master degree Programme. The project was implemented as part of our Master’s Degree at the ZHdK. Every year who should tackle the master’s degree in camera  must make a film in collaboration with a given choreographer and the first year of the Bechelor’s course in dance. It is an absolute interdisciplinary collaboration with the different departments that the ZHdK houses, like choreographers, composers, dancers, editors, sound designers etc.

  • What was the hardest artistic choice you made in the making of a film, at any stage in production?

The third part was rehearsed and organized, but we had bad luck with our locations. We did not get a permit for our desired location and switched the day before the shoot to the ZHdK internal film studio. Luca was great and flexible. He showed us cutout from an Israeli choreographer Hofes Shechter. Unfortunately, we are all not completely satisfied with this part, but when will you be.

  • You are a collaborator. How have you discovered members of your team and how do you keep the relationship with them strong?

Tobias, Luca and I wanted to create something beautiful and challenging right from the beginning. The three of us are very ambitious when it comes to quality. We are very different and yet we spoke a common language very quickly and everyone was able to contribute their strengths. Tobias is incredibly strong at implementation. He has fast lightning ideas and incredibly technical, demanding images in his head. I am someone who works in terms of content and also the creative spontaneous in the group. I always keep an eye on the overall picture and also try to bring everyone into line. I also think that I was a bit of the moderator in our ‘trialogue’. I love art and dance and orient myself a little in this world. On the other hand, I’m of course a cinematographer who developed her visual language at the Polish Film School in Lodz (PWSFTviT). Luca is the one who moves the story and the dancers. He has incredibly great visions and ideas and also pays great attention to the location. He always has a space in his head when developing a choreography. But it was also so funny to implement into Luca`s mind that film is not just the perspective of a viewer in the theater. He is such a bright, funny and highly talented Choreographer but he had a gap in  filming. During our discussions he recognized very quickly how different but for sure how interesting can be the camera perspective. You can get close to the skin so you can fell it. Film is also extremely exciting when it comes to space. The importance of depth and movement or shifting perspective.

  • What do audiences want? And is it the filmmaker’s role to worry about that?

I am sure it is a lot of filmmakers and artists are suffering during the pandemic and at the same time watching films, listening to music and reading books haven’t been so important to people for a long time. Because culture is a ‚thing’ everybody is consuming everyday mostly for free or for a very low amount of money. And still most people do not see why they should pay for iculture, because it is still not classified as system relevant. Well I think it is system relevant. If we wouldn’t have our culture shot everyday, we would have so much more mental issues.

  • What role have film festivals played in your life so far? Why are they necessary? How do you get the most out of them?

I think film festivals give you a chance to show your work to an audience and getting feedback. It is also a chance to exchange with other filmmakers, get connected and most of all inspired.

  • Do you believe that a filmmaker should be original and fresh or he/she should stick to classic but safe cinema style?

Always original, fresh, up to date. Looking around what is happening around you. What are the politics and social challenges our days.