Kasper Dissing • Produttore, Zentropa
"Fare film significa scendere a compromessi, ma uno dei miei compiti è trovare quello giusto"
di Marta Bałaga
- Dopo il successo di Un altro giro, il produttore danese è pronto per brindare
Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.
Working at Zentropa since 2012, Kasper Dissing has collaborated on The Hunt [+leggi anche:
intervista: Thomas Vinterberg
intervista: Thomas Vinterberg
scheda film] or Love Is All You Need [+leggi anche:
scheda film] before making his first mark as a producer with last year’s smash Another Round [+leggi anche:
scheda film], a film marked by tragic death but which is all about life. Selected to represent Denmark at European Film Promotion's Producers on the Move, Dissing discussed the impact of the pandemic and his career within Zentropa.
Cineuropa: I can’t get over the fact that Another Round is your first film as a producer. Still, I can imagine it wasn’t easy, especially given Thomas Vinterberg’s personal struggles, which he has been very vocal about.
Kasper Dissing: In regards to Thomas’ tragedy, that was one of the most challenging things I have ever experienced. Standing beside a man [who lost a daughter], trying to get him through it… It was a time filled with uncertainty and it was very emotional for everyone involved. We were already in production when it happened and we will always carry it with us.
Despite all that grief, Another Round turned into one of the films that defined the pandemic, bringing joy to so many people.
We were in post-production when COVID-19 hit; we were just finishing the sound. We managed to keep on working, even though everybody at Zentropa was sent home. At that point, we thought it would last for two or maybe three months. It turned out quite differently.
We couldn’t attend Cannes, which was very sad, same with San Sebastian and Toronto. Everything was about planning and then re-planning. The local release was postponed too, and we had no idea what was going to happen. We decided to go forward, because from our perspective, this film has a very joyful message. It’s about living your life, which suits this time of distress. We were surprised by how many viewers showed up and even more surprised by how young some of them were. I guess sometimes you want to see the exact opposite of what you are experiencing.
They kept coming back, too, bringing along their own drinks apparently?
We heard stories about people drinking each time the characters drink on screen [laughter].
Like you and Thomas during the European Film Awards! It’s easy to forget that you have actually been with the company for 10 years though, starting out as an intern.
You have to toast when something good happens! We have this three-year-long internship at Zentropa. You go from answering phones to being a line producer, which was my case, and then I became an assistant to Sisse Graum Jørgensen.
It is quite rare to stay with the same company for so long, mostly because it’s hard to work your way up. But Zentropa trusts in talent and it gives people a chance. Every time I had an urge to leave, they would help me change within the company. I guess they just chose to believe in my skill set. I have worked with Thomas Vinterberg before, I was a producer’s assistant on The Hunt and an associate producer on The Commune. But when he and Sisse asked if we should do the next one together, it was still quite a leap. These are real stars – they can work with anybody. I was just flattered they chose me.
Is it a burden sometimes, to work for a company that is so recognisable?
I have embraced it. It’s a bit scary to think how many people actually know this brand, but I try to “brand” myself as well within Zentropa. I have my own office and my own projects, and I can do what I want. As long as I am not costing them money.
I think that long relationships with people are generally very beneficial. Frederik Louis Hviid [behind the upcoming heist drama The Quiet Ones] is another director I have known for years and when you have that relationship, it’s easier to figure out what’s important and what’s not. Making films is all about compromise, but one of my duties is to find the right one.
I love a good heist story, but I have never heard about this one before. How do you go about taking something so local and making it universal?
I love it too, but this isn’t some Hollywood take on it. We want to show the kind of people that we might not understand that well in our everyday life. We don’t know them and would rather keep it that way. It takes years to prepare a heist – it actually reminds me of a film production. But we don’t want to excuse them, we are more interested in what drives them. They just want to be the best at something. And that’s interesting to see.
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