David Grumbach • Paul Thiltges Distributions
Producers on the Move 2011 – Luxembourg
by Boyd van Hoeij
- David Grumbach got his start as a production manager in Luxembourg and now works at Paul Thiltges Distributions, which co-produced Sleepless Night
French-born, Luxembourg-based producer David Grumbach got his start as a production manager in Luxembourg and currently works at Paul Thiltges Distributions, which co-produced the recent French Toronto title, Sleepless Night [+see also:
interview: David Grumbach
Cineuropa: So, what’s your background?
David Grumbach: I’ve wanted to be a producer since I was eight. Films, like books, are the most moving things on Earth and during my adolescence, instead of sneaking out at night to go to parties, I was sneaking into the living room to watch films. I started working as a production manager and line producing was the logical evolution, as for me it is essential to understand the crew needs, the technical constraints, the human factor and the money issues.
Cineuropa: In what ways has being a Producer on the Move this year been helpful?
David Grumbach: Being chosen as a Producer on the Move was a nice acknowledgement from the European film industry. On top of that, as I'm aiming to build a strong European network with producers of my generation, I've been able to meet and get along with producers from countries I have never been involved with yet. So far, I've co-produced 15 films with ten different European countries and I hope to continue in this way.
How was Sleepless Night put together and how was your experience on the film?
Sleepless Night was developed by Marco Cherqui of Chic Films in France. I had the opportunity to read the script, and I was deeply excited - this was, for me, a great Sunday-night film, simple but strong, entertaining but clever and intense and gripping. So, I insisted on co-producing the film, worked hard on the finance plan and budget to prove that a France-Luxembourg-Belgium co-production was the best option, and I ended up as a co-executive producer. It was really hard to shoot and post-produce but, in the end, the result is just amazing. Warner Bros. have already bought the remake rights.
What are the big differences between producing local features or documentaries, such as those by Andy Bausch, for a small local market and co-producing international films that need to reach wider audiences?
I'd like to say that there is no difference. Even when I produce short films, I just simply do the best I can with the given means. Producing consists of mixing all the technical, human and financial constraints to best serve the artistic value, whatever the type of film. In reality, it's sometimes much harder to deal with all the constraints and to pull out everything on a film with a smaller budget. On the other hand, on international projects with a great cast and expectations from the financiers, the pressure is tougher to handle, but the work and my involvement remain the same. In any case, even with a local film, the intention is always to turn it into an international one.
How would you describe your ideal project?
It's like with women: the ideal film doesn't exist but I'm still looking for it! Let's say it must be clever, modern, emotionally mature and a bit of fun.
What are you working on now?
I'm now finishing the post-production on Sylvie Testud’s first film. I'm also in the middle of the production of Ari Folman's next masterpiece starring Robin Wright. Last but not least, we are rushing to finish The Road Uphill, the new documentary by upcoming Luxembourg director Jean Louis Schuller about the 2011 Tour de France.
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