“The goal is to always create exceptional films that touch and inspire.” by EASYdoesit
EASYdoesit a film production that not only cares about outstanding content, but also wants to make a positive contribution, which is why every project is carbon neutral, thanks to their Green Production Guidelines. Dimitri Hempel gave us the honor and answered a few questions. So, let him guide you through the world of EASYdoesit.
Tell us about projects which kick-started your career. How has your approach to your work changed over time?
For me personally, it started in 2006 when I was DoP for my graduation film “Casa Mia”, a feature length documentary in Romania. We accompanied street children for a month and followed their daily lives. It was my first long cinematic work and won several awards – that was pretty much the start of my cinematographer career.
Then, in 2012 we shot the music video “Lila Wolken”, with Marteria, Yasha and Miss Platnum, that was our first big major label music video and the start of EASYdoesit. At that time, we were still a loose group of friends, who together, passionately made projects together, and the focus was always on the fun and the best possible output. From a small living room production, we have developed over the years to a creative full-service commercial and music video production, with today 15 employees, about 80 projects a year and through and through an elaborate structure, as far as pre-production, shooting, post-production, green producing, film law, accounting and more. So we have a much more experienced and professional look on all projects today, but we still try to work with the same family team from back in the days! We will always be a family!
What technical challenges had to be mastered for your recent short film „THE ART OF AUTHENTICITY”?
Our director Carlo Oppermann approached us with the idea for this short film and we were enthusiastic about his concept from the very beginning! The most difficult task was to find an actor who could perfectly embody the role of our protagonist. We were very lucky to find Randolph Herbst, who gave the character even more personality than we had imagined. In addition, we financed the film ourselves, together with Carlo Oppermann and his DoP Jannik Nolte. Therefore, the limited budget was another big challenge. But with the support of a great crew, film equipment distributors and a lot of passion from everyone involved, we managed to produce an authentic mockumentary film, which has been screened at several short film festivals this year and has already won film awards at the Rüsselsheimer Filmtage and at the International Short Film Festival Detmold. And we are happy to announce that we just partnered up with interfilm Berlin who will be handling the world distribution of our short film.
A good idea by itself is not always enough. To stand out with a film or music video, it’s important to generate exciting images that touch or like in this case, even shock the audience. It’s good to break conventions and to rethink or reinterpret existing ones. You should also not underestimate the impact of the latest camera equipment and grip technology. But in the end, it’s all about good teamwork, in all positions and departments. On this project, a great cast, our art department Studio Perazzo, talented cinematographer Simon Dat Vu and especially our incredible director Chehad Abdallah contributed a lot to make the music video for Ezhel so special. And in the end, you also have to be a little lucky that you leave a lasting impression on your audience and your work goes viral.
Which are the main hurdles when running a creative production company?
First of all, we have to deal with the same problems as other companies, economic insecurities, shortage of skilled workers etc. In addition, we aim to produce content that is state of the art. We try to create films that technically and creatively stand out while remaining financially profitable. That’s not always easy, but it’s also part of our business. Another limiting factor is time. Part of our day-to-day business is leading a team, aquise, connecting with agencies and clients and at the same time we still want to have enough time with family and friends, time to travel and to enjoy life!
Working with content since 2012 you guys always create something out of the ordinary staying true to your rebellious spirit. How do you keep yourselves inspired and motivated?
The film industry is pretty hard and you have to fight passionately for many projects. But if you create content that excites the people and work in an extraordinary team it simply creates happiness. We have great directors that we represent, but we’re also open to meet new directors, DoP´s, photographers and clients. We constantly look for new challenges, for films in other areas, such as documentaries or series formats. By always trying to develop as a company and as individuals, it never gets boring, and the work is still as fun today as it was 15 years ago!
Is there a mission you want to accomplish with your work?
A mission is a luxury. You can’t always afford a mission, but we have internal guidelines that we follow, such as sustainable production and nowadays we even cancel many projects that don’t follow our values. From the technical point of view, our mission is to question existing visual conventions and set new standards for every project. The goal is to always create exceptional films that touch and inspire.
And we try our best to make that possible!
Tell us more about your preproduction process and workflow. What makes you work most effectively?
On each project, a producer, a PA and a founder/executive producer work close together. This way, the workload and stress is shared, which helps a lot. If possible, it’s also good to have enough time in pre-production, at least 4 weeks. When preparation time is tight, it’s a much bigger challenge to have everything ready by the day of the shoot. But everything is possible with a good crew. Since we mostly work with internal producers or external producers we have worked with on several projects, there is a lot of trust and experience, which makes the production easier.
And I think that’s what makes the work even more effective. Working in a good team that knows each other, with excellent professionals in all areas. And in the best case, we work with sympathetic creative agencies, for customers who have similar values as we do! Because when you think alike, working together is even better!
How do you keep track of your ideas? Do you use any apps or are you keeping it old-school, writing notes?
That changed a lot over the years. In the very beginning, ideas were simply in a notebook, or even on a napkin! Our calculations and storyboards used to look rather wild. Over time, of course, that has evolved. Today we have a great structure, templates for all documents and contracts, several supportive apps , a team that helps to layout concepts and presentations and mood researchers to reflect the ideas of our directors. And since we are 3 founders and executive producers at EASYdoesit, we share the projects and creative input on several shoulders. Therefore, the creative load and overview is more manageable for each one. Only teamwork is dreamwork!
You produce award-winning concepts for agencies, brands and artists like Mercedes, Huawei, Zalando, Tommy Cash and many more. Are there any tips for creatives who aim to keep going in this direction while working with the global giants?
The best is to do projects that you like and enjoy. In addition, it’s great to always be passionate, open to learning from others and networking with professionals from the scene, because in a creative team, you always create better things than alone. But it’s not just about good ideas, you have to be open for criticism from others, be open to compromise and on the other hand, you need to work hard, live for your job and be stress resistant. You should have clear principles and create films that somehow reflect your personal values. If you do what you love and that even in a great team, you can create extraordinary things.
Even though you have collaborated with a huge number of credible clients and cultural platforms, are there any projects you still have been dreaming to realize?
We are currently focusing on the production of short films and festivals, we´re working on a series concept and at the same time, talking to directors and broadcasters for documentary film projects. One of our main goals for the future is to realize more projects that fulfil us personally. And I think that the documentary projects we produced over the years have often touched me the most and that is something we are now focussing on more.
EASYdoesit is one of our key speakers at Forward Festival Berlin this year. She will speak at the Forward Festival Berlin in September. Next to EASYdoesit, you will be able to hear Creatives like Wade & Leta, Anna Ginsburg, Live From Earth and many more.