Interview: 10 questions
1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background
I am anthropologist and filmmaker. I worked in several jobs and during all the time I did my film work.
2. When, how and why started you filming?
I made my first attempts in making films in the late 1990´s with the Video8-camera of my father. Before I started filming, I was looking for other ways to express things visually: photography, paintings, drawings and collages. I really get started to make films at the time when I worked in the audiovisual media centre at university. I developed my first documentary film in 2002.
I grew up with the Super8-films of my father and rediscovered them for a film I made later. I like the material he shot in Greece during holiday which I would see as anthropological. Maybe he influenced me, because he always photographed and filmed (Super8, later video). The idea of sharing pictures with others made me starting collecting pictures. I like the frozen image of a photograph, but video can show movements and processes.
3. What kind of subjects has your films?
I am interested in life histories, biographies and I like to give those people a voice who normally do not have the opportunity to express themselves or to speak out loud what they are thinking. I want to show different worlds (in different countries but as well in our society) and different ways of living.
Above all I work in documentary films, but I also made short films and experimental films. As an anthropologist I also do research with my camera.
4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
I am not sure if I follow a certain principle when I develop a new film. In the beginning it is much of intuition, later after research, discipline and planning are the most important things to realize the ideas. Ideas for a film often begin with one thought, something I saw in the streets, a memory. When I start filming I do explore with the camera.
I try to carry the camera with me as often as possible and I collect material, document events and everyday occurrences. I often do not know what will happen to this collected material later. In the most cases things develop in different ways I did not expect before.
5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
MiniDV camera and a reflex camera. In the editing process I use my own material and found footage (Super8, Video8, Hi8, photographs), I use Premiere Pro as editing tool.
6. What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general
and you personally?
If you do not have the chance to screen own films or to distribute them, the internet is a platform to share the films with people. It is an opportunity to share the work of social or political activities (video activism) in different countries. I worked in a project in South India, where the village people had access to the internet. Via Internet they broadcasted radio and video.
For me personally it is a possibility to show short films or trailer of longer films, but as well to see the work of other filmmakers. I like the idea of connecting and networking.
7. How do you finance your films?
I work in different jobs to pay my living. Smaller film projects I finance by myself, but for bigger ones I try to get film subsidy. But I am not content with this situation because working in other jobs takes time and energy, waiting for funding stops the creative process of my work. That is why I try to combine both ways that means I start filming and try to get funding at the same time.
8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team? If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
Film is teamwork, but in most cases I work alone or in a very small team.
It depends on the film project if I prefer to work alone or in a team. Sometimes I prefer working alone as circumstances demand. If I work alone I can follow my intuition, concentrate on camerawork or it is easier approach the object or person I want to film. In this case I accept that there will be a loss of quality.
When I work in a team, it is good to know that every member of the team is an expert in his or her field. It is important for me to work with people who understand my way of working and my attitude towards the film. For example: If the camera person knows about it, he or she will find the images I am looking for.
9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
Talking to people, travelling, film makers and other artists, cinema, watching photographs, films and paintings, nature, architecture, the news, everyday life…
10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
I would be happy if I could realize all my projects I have in mind. My current film project will be my first long documentary film. I try to get funding for it.
Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel? Where?
List some links & resources: