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Dream of Eternity: An Interview with Laurentius Emmelmann

Tell us about yourself. What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

As a kid I was not allowed to watch a lot of TV … but the seldom occasions, I totally enjoyed it, especially adverts and above all beauty and hair adverts. I thought back then – this is what I want to do. Well, I´ve become a filmmaker but never done any hair advert.

Talk about your last work. What are some of the challenges you faced during production?

My last project was a run&gun crew of 4. Downsizing is extremely hard when you are used to work big crews.

What makes you want to tell stories? In other words, what are the themes/issues you want to incorporate into your work?

To tell something through a simple gaze is what is the beauty of filmmaking. I totally love non-verbal communication. It has become quite rare due to all the very loud and attention grabbing social media world, but I think deep down in us, this is what it´s all about.

Please tell us about your vision and your method of approaching a new project?

If there is an idea … it haunts me until I bring it to life. This is not an immediate process, but can take a lot of time. My vision is to do things that matter. Even in my advertising films, I try to incorporate subtle things, which are off the mainstream. I also believe the more honest a storytelling is, the more approachable it will be for the audience. That truth I am constantly searching.

Who are your filmmaking influencers? What are the films that were influential for you?

This constantly keeps evolving, as also the way to approach a story changes over time. Just look at James Bond as example – changing from nonchalance to rough throughout the years … but my last true aha experience was Roma by Alfonso Cuaron. Wow, what a masterpiece.

How do you think the industry is changing? How has COVID affected independent filmmaking/creation?

Well, LED screens is the new thing. But I think it´s transitionary. The real big new thing is gonna be virtual worlds … metaverse & Co. Filmmaking it seems is becoming less and less important. If you look at Gen Z and beyond, I guess we will witness a blend of game and film. How independent filmmaking is going to blend into that … well, hard to say. At least, from what I can say … difficult locations and settings are going to be easier to shoot, as you don´t need such a big crew to craft something huge … just get in front of your virtual set … and boom, you´re set.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists? What are some of the things they must follow/avoid?

Advice … I think there is no real advice, as things change. I saw the transition from analoge to digital and now we´re in the middle of the shift to fully digital. I think there is more to learn from the kids, than they can learn from us old people. Also the way things are being approached is totally different … the only advice I can give: Stay true to your audience. Because, this is what really matters.

Do you think films/stories can bring about a change in the world?

Yes, if people start talking about it … it eventually can change things. The storytelling must just be right …

What do you think people like to watch these days? Has the pandemic changed people's taste?

Good question. I generally think the attention span is decreasing. But this is more related to social media than the pandemic. I think there is still a difference in what young people love and what the older generation loves. But that is related to life experience in general. I mean, who wants to watch the 10th Marvel film … as a kid no. 10 might be a first … so there is a natural difference in what you watch. Though, I think films are less and less important, so is TV … Youtube and Co. is the new norm.

Please tell us about your upcoming projects.

Get out there and shoot … this is what I do almost on a weekly basis. A small crew, fun and experimenting. This is cool … sometimes without a concept, just seeing what we can do. This is fun and serves the hunger of more and fast content.

People generally want to see something fresh … and fast. Don´t overthink things, just do it!


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