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Michael Geidel and Annekathrin Wetzel • Producers

CLOSING THE GAP

- Cineuropa interviews the German producer Michael Geidel, one of the participants in the Closing The Gap training course

Michael Geidel and Annekathrin Wetzel • Producers

Cineuropa interviews the German producer Michael Geidel (photo), one of the participants in the Closing The Gap training course.

Please introduce yourself and the films you have produced…
I´ve been working at production/distribution company Kinowelt, which became Studiocanal Germany, for 6 years for German and European films like The Free Will, Projekt Gold, To the Limit, Once as well as international films like comme Saw, Spartan, Blindness, BenX ou The Fountain.
Annekathrin Wetzel has been working as director and producer since 2001 and has produced numerous awarded short films like 25 years after Tschernobyl, The message of Bob Dylan, My child is neo-nazi and The Fighter.

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In what ways did the Closing the Gap programme transform your experience in producing films?
We got expert knowhow on how crossmedia approach changes the way of producing a film and what to take care of for concept, planning, financing, production, distribution, marketing and effectively reaching the target audience.

How did your film benefit from your participation in Closing the Gap?
We extended our network among European producers and experts, also got valuable insights into successfully launched crossmedia projects and from the Sales Agents perspective.

What are the most important lessons you learned during the training programme?
Always plan ahead, know your target audience and how to reach it. Invest in IT workflow, involve your potential users, start building a community way before you want them to become paying users. Offer users a benefit and reason why they should spend their time with you.

At what stage is your film today? Do you think it would be in the same place without having participated in Closing the Gap?
We are still in development stage, but have progressed immensely in the last months. Other projects we had have benefitted from Closing the Gap as well. We are now much more aware what has to be done before you should go into production, so we work precisely step by step on the project and build it up professionally.

Would you recommend the Closing the Gap programme to other producers? What do they stand to gain from it?
Yes, we definitely recommend the programme to producers. The value is very broad, from specific help for the project to general advise for crossmedia products and how you can finance and distribute it better. We also have met great other European producers with interesting projects and started collaborating with them, too.


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