Your award-winning video “Stars” is beautifully filmed and thought-provoking. How did you come up with the idea of the dancer amongst the soldiers?
I have always wanted to make a film with a dancer. I love dancing and I love human motion. I love making films where nobody knows what’s going to happen next – nobody expects a dancer to start dancing in a war – something like that would never happen in real life. I have always asked myself what a real soldier would think or feel if he was faced with such a surreal situation. I wanted to have a strong contrast in the storyline, even though it had to be authentic. It is very difficult but very important for me and that was the biggest challenge.
How did you end up directing a film for the Red Cross ? Did they come to you/your school or did you contact them ?
STARS is a film school project and students choose brands that are right for their directing projects. It was my free choice to make a film for the INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS.
Can you tell us a bit more about the filming process for “Stars”?
To produce a film like STARS as a filmschool project is a huge challenge. I spent a lot of time working on the project. It was so difficult to find the right location without money. It took nearly four months to find the right place to shoot, three months to find the right dancer, weeks of casting — it was really exhausting. But after my last film I LOVE YOU, it was easier to convince talented people to take part in this project. In the end, the team was great and very big. A crew of 100, three 35mm cameras and three days of shooting. My team and I always believed in the idea and that helped us carry it through.
Have you made other dramatic films? If so, can you tell us more about them?
Yes, I have shot several dramatic films. I worked on my last project with the Jung von Matt agency for Mercedes Benz.
Have a look at my website: http://aleksanderbach.com
Where do you see the advertising industry going (at a time when advertising spending is decreasing)?
The advertising industry will be more specialized and targeted at more specific audiences because of the different internet channels. You will always have excellent films with strong ideas, but you might have to find different structures and ideas to produce them. The industry will have to find ways to shorten the production process and save money. Clients will start shooting films directly with a director and let them write the stories themselves! That would be interesting!
Yes, advertising spending is decreasing, but that’s the situation at the moment. I’m sure companies will always spend a lot of money on advertising when things pick up again.
How do you expect to benefit from the Young Director Award and your special distinction?
Honestly, last year after I won the 2008 award, a lot of people were interested in my work. But now, after winning the award a second time and getting the special jury award for the best film, I have the opportunity to show I can do what I really love doing – directing films! I have a lot more interest from a wider range of people this year. I have already talked to a lot of interesting people and we’ll see what happens. I really hope to start working on a international level.
What advice would you give someone who wished to submit a film for the Young Director Award 2010?
My advice is not to start shooting too quicky! People should work longer on perfecting their ideas. That’s the key!
If you have 70 % idea, you will never have a 100 % film at the end! Maybe with a strong execution, you will reach 85-90 %, but not 100%. My second piece of advice is: EVERYTHING is important. Not just the casting or the DoP. You need to have a STRONG team!
Everybody on the team is important. You need to create the right atmosphere to create something special.
Thanks a lot Aleksander for your contribution and this valuable advice. I look forward to seeing your next film!!!!
To see the previous interview of Alksander Bach, click here.