BREEZE won Best Cinematographer Award in the 7th Season of MP Film Award Victoria Koberstein Director, Writer, Producer, Editor & Colorist of the Film BREEZE agree to interview with us.
Victoria Koberstein started her film studies in Chicago in 2014 and continued at the School of Arts and Design – Kunsthochschule in Kassel, focussing on Visual Communication in Film. She writes, directs, produces and edits fictional short films, documentaries, music videos and dance films in cooperation with international filmmakers. A continual collaborator is award-winning Director of Photography Makito Kumazawa as well as Musician and Composer Luca Alessandro Hettling.
About the Film: Synopsis: BREEZE Film Synopsis:
A young woman finds herself in the suite of an abandoned hotel that seems to have fallen out of time. A little box opens up a world between dream and reality, space and time, external control and free will. Her subconscious seems to have company – and it remains unclear whether a dream is really over once we open our eyes.
What was your drive behind making this film?
Victoria Koberstein: I wanted to create a music based film which incorporates contemporary dance in a way that is different from what we’re used to see. We used dance as an expression of dark emotions, of feeling dependent and unfree and let it tell a story about internal and external control. My feministic points of view have influenced this musical film as well. Not in a finger-wagging kind of way, but more of a perception, a glimpse of what seems like a reality – especially being a female artist working in and living for the production of films and music.
How you feel when you are awarded with the MP FILM AWARD Award?
Victoria Koberstein: This question is for our Director of Photography, Makito Kumazawa, who won us the award for Best Cinematography. He really translates my thoughts and words into pictures, he lets something abstract become clear and tactile. The award is a recognition for his work and marks the beginning of our rewarding cooperation.
Can you tell us about the greatest moment during shooting this film?
Victoria Koberstein: For me, the greatest moments while shooting a film are those that feel like every involved person’s endowments come together to create something real and truthful. A moment like this that I remember vividly was when our dancer Tina Machulik held the huge tarantula in her hands, very close to her face, and managed to look at it in a way that was so trusting and fearless. Having witnessed this scene, having the camera as an artistic witness, makes me very happy because all of us, every person in the room, was able to create something honest and sincere.
How rigorously did you stick to the script while shooting?
Victoria Koberstein: We had to throw half of the script away while shooting because time was too short. We had technical problems that took a lot of time to solve, so I had to break the script down to the absolute necessary scenes. Sometimes, this isn’t even a bad thing, because you have to focus on what is really important to make the story work and say goodbye to the rest. It was „killing your darlings“, on set.
Were there any onset problems during the filming of the film & how did you deal with it?
Victoria Koberstein: We faced technical issues in the middle of the night, minor things like broken camera cables and difficulties with the electricity supply on location that forced us to work with a different camera set-up than what we had planned. This is when filmmaking challenges your creativity once more, forces you to come up with quick solutions, to keep your head cool and stay focused.
Do you have any advice for young filmmaker out there? Or like yourself?
Victoria Koberstein: Shoot as much as you can! There’s no better place to learn than on a film set. Sometimes young filmmakers, including myself, work on their ideas and scripts so much that they can hardly find the energy and courage to actually get into production. Their ideas exist on paper and don’t make it to the screen - but being on a film set and realizing these ideas is the only way to improve as a filmmaker.
Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?
Victoria Koberstein: No. There’s no curriculum that can teach you how to become a successful filmmaker. A school can only ever be an environment to develop, but there’s different environments that can do the same. Besides, success - and film - is something very personal. How could there be a school for that?
Which film has inspired you the most?
Victoria Koberstein: There’s two films that had a very strong impact on me. One is The Departed by Martin Scorsese, which I watched as a teenager in the middle of the night on my tiny tube TV. The twists and turns made it hard for me to even blink. The other one is Gone Girl by David Fincher, but with this film it was the story written by Gillian Flynn that stuck with me so much that it made me feel like making films, telling stories through film, is all I ever want to do.
Which particular filmmaker has influenced you the most?
Victoria Koberstein: This is a tough question. Today I’d say it’s David Lynch. It’s not primarily his films but his approach to film that influences me. Tomorrow, I might name someone else.
Which book would you love to make a film out of one day?
Victoria Koberstein: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. It has been turned into a film in 2015, but the film was fairly disappointing compared to the book. Gillian’s writing is very figurative, the story is unbelievably dark and takes unpredictable turns. It would be a film I’d really want to see.
If you got the opportunity to go back in time & change something in any particular movie of yours, then which movie & what changes will you opt for?
Victoria Koberstein: There’s so many things with every project I’d do differently, looking back, and I think that’s a good thing. Even while editing a film I oftentimes think: why did I do it like this? But that’s exactly why I love film. You write down a sentence in a script that you would’ve written differently on another day. You give directions on set that wouldn’t have been the same if you did the scene a week later. You edit a scene and you’re really happy with it and then the next day you aren’t. These processes make you reflect on your film and yourself, they let you develop. And development is always better than stagnation.
If you were to shoot the film again, what would you do differently?
Victoria Koberstein: I would probably choose a different location. I fell for it while visiting the location and didn’t think about the cons, I only wanted to see the pros. The set design is still one of my favorite things when I watch the film but it always reminds me of this irrational decision.
What is your greatest achievement till date?
Victoria Koberstein: Filmmaking, just like every art form, is a vocation that can be a burden sometimes. It makes you doubt yourself and your work. My biggest achievement is that I never let these doubts stop me from doing it.
How do you pick yourself up after a failed film?
Victoria Koberstein: I think there’s no such thing as a failed film. If you made a film because you needed to make it, because you had the urge to tell this story, a film can never fail. The number of viewers, the box office, the commercial success, should never be the primary reason to make films. If you told the story you felt the need to tell, how could that be considered failing?
Where our viewers can catch you (share your social media)?
Victoria Koberstein: Instagram: vika_kob
Hope to see you there!
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