Filmography Thomas Hezel

Pre-thoughts on contemporary filmmaking

Behind every single film there are many preparation days, several days of shooting and countless camera setups. Behind every camera setup is the effort and the passion for quality that must be achieved within the timeframe, and the budget.

Today almost every film is a product. This product has to be produced with its respective properties for a specific market (broadcast slot, screening time, audience). There is a product framework that must be adhered to in accordance with the experiences and expectations of broadcasters, producers, distributors, cinema operators and streaming services.

The challenge is to work as creatively as possible (without going beyound the boundaries) within this product framework, under the given conditions (money, time and environmental conditions such as the weather) and to output the highest film quality as possible. What often is misunderstood, is that "quality", in this context, always refers to the respective product framework, not to cinematic work in general. This very often leads to the false argument that filmmakers in Germany would not be able to make a "good" movie. The term "good" usually refers in this context to the comparison with a successful foreign cinema film, which was created under the premises of an individual, creative process. Or it was created within a product framework and has become fortuitous or fortunately (as a side effect) a unique piece of creative work.

The cinematic process of "creation" has changed radically in the media age, over the past 20 years, as it is now always surrounded by a product framework, that aims towards marketing for a very specific audience.

That's why you can not talk about "making films" any more. It's much clearer and more straight foreward when you talk about producing "cinematic products". This applies to all types of online, television and cinema films produced in Germany, with the exception of low or no-budget films that do not want to, or can not achieve significant audience numbers. The film, which in its basic features is devoted to dramaturgy or artistic impetus (in the framework of normal budgets), presents too great a risk in the ebullient media landscape, so that nobody will be able or willing to finance it. Perhaps Wim Wenders is the last great figure of German cinema, who can still devote himself to a creative idea and then in the end - just because, or nevertheless - reaches a considerable audience for refinancing. All other directors must, or only want, to act within the explicitly set or implicitly expected product framework.

The creative process of the director thus needs a self-reflection of his own impulses, decisions and evaluations in every moment of the cinematic creation, in order to channel them into the product framework.

"Film-making", to the extent that it is intended to create a living for all involved, has become a very complex process, in the balance between creative impulses and the predefined form of the framework. Any claim by filmmakers to "make a unique movie" (with a relevant budget) may be a well-intentioned, but objectively illusory apperception.

This can be regretted or denied, but it is certainly more effective to become aware of it and to act accordingly. In the longer term we have to seek for new markets with different requirements, or even better develop the markets ourselves in the interlinkage between "creativity" and the opportunities of the "digital" - but this also has to be financed.

Producer and Director Thomas Hezel – Corporate Films

Thomas Hezel Film Director

Director – TV

Idea, Exposé and Script Consultant

1st Assistant Director and other