To celebrate the upcoming edition of Womenize! Games & Film in Cologne, Womenize! Wednesday Weekly will not only feature inspirational women from games and tech, but also film in our WWW – Games and Film Special! For this edition we talked to Milena Klemke, Producer at Weydemann Bros. Read more about Milena in this interview:
Hi Milena! You are a Producer at the film production company Weydemann Bros. You’ve been a producer for several movies already, what made you pursue a career in this field in the first place?
I think it was my love for movies in the first place. I always loved films and was fascinated by them during my childhood and teenage years. When I finished school I didn’t really know what to do with my life but I knew that I loved watching films or theatre plays and that I wanted to work in a cultural field. I didn’t have a „career plan“ and didn’t know anything about film schools whatsoever, so I signed up for theatre studies. During my studies, there were a few film classes and I also started working on film school projects and did internships on set and in some film production companies. I found out that I love film production as it combines so many aspects I like. You’re working very close with authors and directors – and it’s a lot of communication. I think what I love most about the work as a producer is that every project brings its own challenges and brings together new people. With the films we produce it’s also a lot of idealism. The German film industry is not an easy field for sophisticated films and we want to produce films which are entertaining but still politically and socially relevant.
Can you describe us a bit what your work includes when you’re working on a feature film production?
Oh it is so many different things! It’s creating new ideas or committing to other ideas and developing them together with the writer/director. It’s about pitching them, packaging them with cast, crew, partners, possible co-producers, distributors, world sales.. There’s the financing aspect, including calculating costs and raising the funds. So it can be pretty bureaucratic too. t’s raising the financing, keeping everything together during the shooting and the post, sometimes basically playing a psychologist / doctor / mum, and making sure you’re doing what you can so that the film reaches the audiences. The requirements just are very diverse which for me is a very positive thing. It takes a lot of work and dedication but It’s a lot of „cool“ and entertaining things, too, like being on film festivals, getting connected to people from all over the world, seeing the movies reaching the audience.
What would you recommend to someone who wants to start a career as a producer, are there any specific skills that will help you out?
As film production can be so diverse, I think every film producer has its own talents. This is also why I love working together with three other producers at Weydemann Bros. We don’t have the exact same skill set. Everyone of us brings their individual talents to the table and teamed up it just gets to another level. Film production is a lot of learning by doing and growing a network. Film school helps with that of course, but the knowledge and network can also grow naturally starting to work in any positions on bigger movies and vice versa in a little higher positions on smaller movies. I think what definitely is helping a lot is patience, good communication with people, a creative mind-set and a healthy balance of diplomacy and strong will.
Thank you for all the insights Milena!
WWW Feature by Anne Zarnecke