Founders of the Berlin production company reflect on a dramatic but impressive first year in business
A year ago Zauberberg Productions set up in Berlin, borrowing its name from Thomas Mann’s witty, depressive novel of the same name, meaning ‘Magic Mountain’. And already the company has built a reputation worthy of its namesake, curating a roster of impressive talent and working on films for brands as big as Ikea, BMW and Kia.
Managing directors and partners Andrea Roman-Perse and Frank Siegl took a minute to talk about the ride.
Q> Overall, what is your overall feeling about the first year of Zauberberg?
Andrea & Frank> We are extremely happy and thankful. We did great projects with fabulously smart and nice people. We shot seriously cool commercials with some of our dearest and nearest directors like Warwick, Daniel&Dorian, Björn Rühmann, Bryan Buckley, Wayne McClammy, Nathan Price, Max Millies and great international partners, like Hungry Man. It totally worked out. Agencies and clients have been trustworthy. Also our directors and partners. We know who we are and are riding on our ponies into the sunrise.
Q> What have been the biggest surprises, good and bad?
Andrea & Frank> Good: We did a lot of very big productions and nice scripts. A lot of car stuff.
Bad: Some projects suddenly died after months of pitching. For reasons nobody understood. Most of the time also very surprising for agencies…
Q> Which productions have been most important to you building a new company?
Andrea & Frank> Deka, Warwick - amazing scripts, perfect execution.
Ikea with Björn - beginning of a relationship with super duper client Ikea.
Kia with Bryan Buckley - man!
Café Royal, Daniel&Dorian - shows the blossoming reel of D&D.
Go Spring, Max Millies - we think it’s hilariously sweet and funny!
Q> What were the biggest challenges on those projects?
Andrea & Frank> For sure there were challenges, but actually it was mainly a lot of fun, oh boy - yes! We are dancing inside.
Q> What were the most memorable moments from those productions?
Frank> For me it was the wrap moment on the Deka project after five shooting-days, standing in the “artificial” rain in the NY back lot studio in Bucharest, at night.
Andrea> When the best freelancers walked into our production office for the first time and we knew... yes, we are actually doing this!
Q> What do you still want to prove to the broader industry about Zauberberg?
Andrea & Frank> Actually, we are not finished. Still working on directors’ portfolios, more to come! We have ideas and next year is the time to work on them. Exciting...