The joy that photography gives me, is rooted in my love for life itself, in a curiosity and a deep interest in the world. To me, it is pure emotion, it’s a feeling, it’s affection and trusting your guts. Conception and technology are added later, after that initial spark. Just like it’s the light, that reveals the colors, it’s the sight, that gives shape.
Giving a moment his unique aesthetic and communicating through it – amazes and fills me. Thats what matters in my work and build up my visual conviction as a cinematographer. One of my most important tasks is to support the director’s vision. It is part of my job to create an atmosphere, a space, where he can orchestrate the scenery. I quickly recognise how to photograph a scene so that it does justice to the plot, strengthens it and become visually attractive. Even though, in the moment, I rely on intuition and experience, conception and preparation always forms its base. Moments can’t (and shouldn’t) be fully planned. A film set that flows in a concentrated and steady way, creates a well-balanced interplay between planning and spontaneity. That’s where my job becomes a management job. It doesn’t end with my department boundaries. Staying within time and budget is just as much in my responsibility as coordinating and keeping track with the people involved.
A film is created only through intense collaboration, directly visible through the teamwork between director and cinematographer. Elaborating and defining a clear vision is the foundation of my work with the director. Additional, the communication with the production and producers are key to a successful collaboration. It determines not only the basic conditions, but also helps defining expectations and individual preferences. At that stage, I see myself as an arbitrator between the production and my team. I am open for questions and think a well informed team works smooth and swiftly. A permanent, respectful flow of communication prevents misunderstandings and delays. Film is the meeting of many arts and therefore has to be well organised. I expect full commitment with sovereignty from each team member.
That said, I love to be involved myself. The exchange about locations, dramaturgy, acting, costume, make-up, production design, lighting, camerawork, colors — this development of an overall concept is what drives my passion. The moment of forming a vision, in collaboration with the director is a very exciting part of my work. If the production allows, I see a large advantage in shooting with several cameras — it gives me possibility to capture valuable moments in parallel, not everything can be recreated.
My experience in small and large productions, from simple to very complex, gives me the ability to meet the demands and keep the balance.
Communicating with artistic work always seemed desirable to me. My work as a cinematographer is based on that as well.
Emotion gives the medium of film the decisive power. It is the reason for our sure concern and attention; emotion controls and directs our lives at all times. It is the driving force that we follow, in which we reflect and recognize ourselves. Touching and being touched I consider as the true soul of film.
My lifelong interest applies to the pictures. They always exist in space – but it’s the choice of a frame that creates an energy in the chosen image whose origin and effect would otherwise have remained hidden.
It is the look – that creates and shapes. It is the gaze – that helps a moment to its aesthetics. This poetic look is restrained. That does not mean, however, that he remains uninterested in the action. Calm and attention result in a quality of their own. It is a merge of things and a romantic concentration in which clarity and structure do not limit, but create identity.
I was born in Berlin, Germany, March 2. 1982. Growing up in Berlin in the ’90s means to grow up in a city that changes, that gave space to me as a young creative. My creative career started building surreal objects out of my father’s left-overs from his architecture model work. The next step was me, exploring my mother’s brushes and pencils. I drew a lot and loved to combine everything I could reach. The artistic orientation of my parents was probably the foundation of my creative development. Soon I got my first camera and started taking black and white pictures – first at home but soon I preferred being in the streets and just followed wherever the lens took me.
I deeply loved Berlin, it was an urban playground and a colorful inspiration. I spent a lot of time standing at crossroads waiting for the moment to catch, looking at shop-windows, framing the new buildings around and discovering the streets of my neighborhood. I really took an early interest in the visual arts. My devotion to and fascination for photography continued and slowly my images began to move. After school I started doing what I really wanted: In the next years I worked as an assistant camera on various films. Beside this my own body of work grew and I keep getting further in developing my personal style. On professional work, I learned the rules of business that took me where I am today.
These days I do commercials, music videos, TV-productions, photo-shoots as well as independent projects. I‘m a skilled and reliable cinematographer and a very good team player.
Working on many different projects, I developed a special reputation for not only my work as a cinematographer but also for my personal style and talent as a photographer.
THX for reading… Best, Jakob