The BIGFISH director on his first steps into advertising and the virtues of intuition and patience
Lars Timmerman is not just any other talented upcoming director. He’s also been a student at the famous Filmakademie Ludwigsburg and it shows. He’s currently signed to German production company BIGFISH and he’s already directed a number of post-heavy ads and music videos for a considerable amount of clients. And he’s keen to do more. He looks at film and post as a puzzle and enjoys putting the pieces together to create a larger picture.
LBB’s Jason Caines caught up with him to get his views on studying film, his ethos towards making ads, his favourite work and his plans for the future.
LBB> What inspired you to become a director? When did you first realise you wanted to be a filmmaker?
LT> When I was 15, I played in a punk rock band. I started shooting videos on Mini DV to post on our MySpace, mostly to distract from our mediocre music skills. I didn’t think I’d become a director back then, but it definitely laid the foundation.
LBB> You’re just about to graduate from Germany’s Filmakademie Ludwigsburg – what are the biggest lessons you’ve learned during your studies?
LT> Don't overthink stuff, follow your intuition and be patient.
LBB> You’ve already directed a number of ads for real clients – what did you learn during this process that you maybe couldn’t have done through studying?
LT> Speed matters. In film school you have all the time in the world. As a working director you need to make well-informed and practical decisions quickly.
LBB> You’re signed to BIGFISH in Germany – why are they a good fit for you as a director?
LT> At BIGFISH everyone really cares about their work. Some of their films were the reason I got into shooting commercials. It’s great to surround yourself with people like this.
LBB> A lot of your work is quite post heavy - why do you enjoy working in this way?
LT> I enjoy the technical thought processes which come with post-heavy work. It makes the process challenging, a bit like solving a complicated puzzle. But I only apply it if necessary. A lot my work comes with little or no post production. I let form follow function.
LBB> Which pieces of work are you most proud of and why?
LT> I’d say my recent work for AUDI China. It took a lot of effort and brainpower from all departments. 99% of what you see was shot in camera. The sets the were all physically built and the film was shot by combining different techniques such as stop-motion animation, puppetry, remote-controlled cars and the Milo camera system. Fun but very challenging.
LBB> How would you define your directorial style?
LT> Very visual and experimental. I love combining different shooting techniques. I also believe in other people’s expertise so I share my vision and ideas early on and then try to get all departments to work together.
LBB> Who are you biggest influences and why?
LT> My friends, my parents and everyone I work with. The best ideas always come up in conversations with other creative people.
LBB> What does the rest of the year hold in store for you?
LT> 73 sunrises and sunsets
LBB> What do you get up to when you’re not making films?
LT> If I am not making films I sit around wondering WHY I’m not making films. Sad but true!