I am a British / Austrian / Hong Kong female filmmaker. I started creating content for a charity in London and one day decided to move to Austria to work for Red Bull Media House in their Feature Film department. I was a marketing manager in London, earning a relatively good wage, and a lot of people thought I was insane to start from scratch in an internship position. After a 6 month internship at RBMH, I moved to an up and coming digital agency in Salzburg, Austria. One and a half years in, and grabbing at the scraps of every TV advert, photography campaign that came into the agency, I made a deal with the CEO. Give me 6 months and I will create a video department, or I am moving to Munich to work with a start up as their in-house Producer - he gave me the chance, and I chose my new title: Creative Producer. Fast forward three years: I was producing and directing big international campaigns for PUMA / Breitling / Anheuser-Busch InBev and had a team of 10 people under me. At this point I was 28 years old and I fell in love with someone I had been working with for years. He was the first person I had ever dated that believed in me, and the most talented DP I had ever worked with. We moved in immediately. I took a two month career break to finish off a year-long screenwriting course with UCLA - I won first prize in the screenwriting competition in 2017. To be honest, I decided not to submit my screenplay (it just simply wasn't good enough) and I decided not to tell anyone that I had submitted it after my lecturer forced me to. I got a text from a friend who had been at the awards ceremony - apparently they had called my name and no one stood up. I was the first 'online / international' student to win the prize. I went back to work at the digital agency, but kept writing. My second feature script caught the eye of Ralf Moeller - you would know him from Gladiator or from being the best friend of Arnold Schwarzenegger - and before we knew it myself, and my co-Director / DP were on a FaceTime call with Arnold while sitting in Berlin with our new investors. It was a whirlwind - massively complicated, and massively exhilarating. To cut a long story short, after a lot of discussions and several re-writes, they optioned the script. In the meantime, my now husband and myself opened a new production company called ATTIC Film. It's the hardest, and most rewarding thing, that we have ever experienced. Austria is in lockdown today, and we have changed our company to remote work for the foreseeable future. But we won't let that stop us. We're working on our next feature film from home, and maybe it was the pause that we needed to do that.
It's a love / hate relationship. Creativity goes hand in hand with hard work, crippling self-doubt and the reward of holding a finished script in your hand, or watching a final TV advert after 35 rounds of feedback. Some days I love writing, some days I swear I will never write again and instead decide to become a Doctor or a lawyer or an international aid worker instead. It's important to take three deep breaths, and recognise how lucky we are to work in an industry where we experience real passion for the work we create.
Be kind to everyone around you. It does not matter who they are or where they start. The intern that you were rude to may one day be in charge of the team that you send an application to. I can attest to that one ;)
Along with Philip Eder, my filmmaking partner, I am working on a new feature film script. We are also finishing the edit on a short film that was shot last year, and deals with issues surrounding the refugee crisis that hit Austria in 2015-16.