Hanna Maria Heidrich
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Levi’s “Life Is Calling,” student spec
How did you get into directing?
I’ve always been fascinated by the power of pictures and started with photography, drawing and painting at an early age. I discovered my love for filmmaking at the age of 19. After forming a VJ group with friends, I went to intern at production companies and agencies before I enrolled at the Filmacademy Baden-Wuerttemberg to study Direction. In order to deepen my direction studies, I spent 2009 at Central Saint Martins College in London and was awarded a scholarship for the UCLA-Masterclass in Los Angeles in 2010.
What is your most recent project?
My most recent project is my graduation film. It’s a 45-minute TV pilot called Killing All The Flies. It’s still in postproduction and will come out at the end of 2012. I’ve always wanted to do a film in the thriller/sci-fi genre, so I’m really excited to bring this film to life.
What is the best part of being a director?
Being able to move and captivate people as well as giving them the opportunity to escape reality even if its just for two minutes. I cant think of anyone else that is able to do that!
What is the worst part of being a director?
The actual realization of my vision is dependent on a lot of people giving their best.
What is your current career focus: commercials & branded content, TV, movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre–comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.?
My plans for the future are commercials and features. That’s where I’m heading.
I signed with great commercial production companies in Germany and the U.K. and am looking forward to start working now.
I have a lot of ideas for new themes, I want to explore and am working on concepts for my first feature. I am planning my next project around the thriller sci-fi genre as well as I am still fascinated by this genre and hope to explore it further.
Have you a mentor and if so, who is that person (or persons) and what has been the lesson learned from that mentoring which resonates most with you?
During my first job as an assistant director I was taught a valuable lesson. During the shoot I was unable to fulfill a task in the required time. I attempted to explain myself but the director told me that If I wanted to be a director I must always take full responsibility for not having done a job properly. You can never blame your crew, weather or any other negative circumstance, the responsibility is always yours. It was a hard lesson at the time, but its something I have taken with me ever sinc
Who is your favorite director and why?
I am a big fan of Christopher Nolan and admire his ability to captivate millions of people around the world by creating parallel universes that feel so real.
What is your favorite movie? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
I like films that have its own world, a logic and feel that expands beyond the exact image that the audience is seeing. So in terms of features Inception directed by Christopher Nolan and Leon the Professional by Luc Besson are definitely among my favorite movies. I love the atmosphere of these films, the feeling that there was this whole world outside the frame of the scene.
Three of my all time favorite commercials are “Bouncy Balls” (Sony Bravia) directed by Nicolai Fuglsig, “Double Life” (Playstation) directed by Frank Budgen and “Whole world” (Discovery Channel) directed by James Rouse.
Tell use about your background (i.e. Where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
I grew up in a small town close to the Black Forest in Southern Germany. I’ve always wanted to create and was constantly looking for ways to express myself. I’ve always been fascinated by colors, by light, shadows, movement, almost in a scientific way. After a childhood full of handicrafts, I started with drawing, painting and photography. I wanted to understand the things around me and was obsessed with the possibility of capturing emotion within images. This obsession still exists to this day.