Where German Producers Pantaleon Films Go Next – The Hollywood Reporter

IIt took Pantaleon Films 13 years to get exactly where it always wanted to be. When the producer Dan Maag and Marco Beckmann founded the company, then called Pantaleon Entertainment, in 2009 with the German actor Matthias SchweighöferThe idea was to produce films outside of Europe for the global market.

But first, Pantaleon had to build a reputation, which it did with its German-language features, most of which – What a man (2011), Manny (2015), The most beautiful day (2016) – leveraged Schweighöfer’s star power to become a hit at the local box office. Pantaleon moved into TV production in 2017 with You have been wantedAmazon’s first German-language series, also starring Schweighöfer, spanned 12 episodes over two seasons.

At the same time, the company has expanded and diversified, adding a film and television services division, Pantaleon Studios; VOD platform and VOD service team, Pantaleon Technologies; a business and advertising consulting group with cc15; and most recently the podcast outfit Pantaleon Sounds. All operate under the umbrella of the parent corporation Pantaflix AG listed on the market.

In 2020, the company produced its first truly international feature: Resistancemain character Jesse Eisenberg like pantomime Marcel Marceau, in the true story of his fight with the Resistance Against Nazi Germany. Last year, it followed with Army of Thievesthe Zack Synder-produced prequel for Army of the Deaddirected by and starring Schweighöfer, the series hit #1 on Netflix in over 90 countries in October. Schweighöfer is notable for his absence from Pantaleon’s upcoming German chart, consists of Hüseyin Tabakby dramady Oskars Kleidthe Alain Gsponer-Command Wolke Unterm Dach and Sky Original feature Orizzonte. Maag notes: “We never wanted to be just a Matthias Schweighöfer performance.

Ahead of this year’s European Film Market, a trio of Pantaleon co-directors – Maag, Patrick Zorer and newly appointed Yoko Higuchi-Zitzmann – has talked to The Hollywood Reporter via video link on why, after 13 years, Pantaleon just started.

With Resistance and Army of Thieves, Pantaleon produced the first two major works in English. Will that be your focus in the future?

Dan Maag That is always the goal. Matthias and I met in the making Red Baron [in 2008], which I have produced. Even back then, the idea was to make a German film that would go around the world. We have analyzed the market and we have found that in Germany, if you build a company in the right way, it can achieve international success. We start with [German-language] comedies were successful, but understandably didn’t go a long way, but it did help us build the company. Now that we are firmly established, we have a large talent base – we are not just a Schweighöfer company anymore – and we can move on to a bigger stage. We know first of all to create a solid base, a good infrastructure. Now that we have that, we can take advantage of it. So these movies are the first steps [into the international marketplace] but certainly not the last.

How did Matthias Schweighöfer get the job of not only starring but also directing and, with Pantaleon, producing Army of Thieves?

Maag Zack [Snyder] and Matthias get along so well with Army of the Deadand we started talking to Zack and Deborah Snyder about the whole idea of ​​a Dead franchise, set in the world they created. And the role of Matthias is even more interesting [as German safe cracker Ludwig Dieter] in Army of the Deadthe more obvious that the character will work [in the prequel]. At one point, Matthias also suggested the director. Netflix reviewed [German] movie, we talked a lot and in the end, we all decided to do this together.

It’s a big step for Schweighöfer to make Army of Thieves His English directorial debut…

Maag That is a big step forward. If I remember when he directed his first movie, What a man [2011], it was crazy. Matthias really didn’t know what the assistant manager was for. He has learned a lot since then. But we are also honest with the people we work with [on the German films]from the cameraman [Alexander Berner] for production designer [Christian Eisele] and a lot of other people behind the camera came to us. All the work we’ve done in the past is paying off.

The partnership with Netflix is ​​really fruitful. And we are looking to develop more things for English speakers [and] Global market. You can expect a few surprises in the coming weeks and months.

Patrick Zorer For example, we are co-producing a premium series for Sky, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel [Downfall] with a truly incredible international cast. We are filming in English with our Italian partners [Indiana Production].

Army of Thieves is a product of Netflix. Resistance is a classic indie film, financed through pre-sale. Which model do you prefer?

Maag In terms of budget, the two films are comparable. But if you look at the two timelines, how long it takes to put everything together, it’s completely different. Resistance It took five years to get funding and was incredibly complicated. You think you have all your finances together, everything is ready, and then part of it is lost and you have to start over. It’s the typical story of having to bring a project to the US Cinema Market three times to get funding.

Because Army of Thieves, you have great ideas from Zack and Matthias, Netflix says yes and we can start shooting. Then the movie debuted on Netflix and was suddenly released worldwide, an unbelievable number of people watching.

With Resistance, because it debuted during the pandemic when cinemas were closed, it was difficult to reach audiences. It’s extremely frustrating. But we are not giving up the cinema. There are stories we like to tell that work better for the independent market. And there will be a time after the pandemic when people will return to the cinema. Our structure is such that we can do both and we intend.

Yoko Higuchi-Zitzmann, you just joined the company on February 1. In your previous jobs, at Letterbox, Studio Hamburg and Constantin, you’ve made a name for yourself primarily with authentic works in the English language. Virtue. What is your role at Pantaleon?

Yoko Higuchi-Zitzmann I was so happy when they asked me to join. Because Patrick and I, we have the same DNA, we are both students of [legendary German producer] Bernd Eichinger. We both work for Constantin Film, we’ve known each other for 20 years and we were raised on the same “orthodox” milk.

In terms of content, we thought the same thing: We wanted to create challenging stories that could reach a wide audience. I’m also excited about making feature films and feature films.

As Dan said, we are passionate about cinema, we believe in cinema. Theaters and distributors have struggled during the pandemic, but we believe in the return of cinema, and as creative producers, we think we have a responsibility. became the driving force, produced popular commercial films and brought them to theaters.

In terms of the series, I really wanted to make an office comedy. It’s a gap in the market in Germany. There are incredible shows outside of the US, like Office or Emily in Paris, where you have dramatic and humorous conflicts and people in a modern work environment come together. I want to develop something equivalent for Germany. On the cinematic side, we’re focusing on commercial projects for younger audiences. Like Human history, a little shorteneda comedy that we just finished with a mix of german comedy scenes – Christoph Maria Herbst, Bastian Pastewka and Carolin Kebekus – which Warner Bros. will be released in cinemas later this year.

What role does Matthias Schweighöfer play in the day-to-day running of the company?

Maag A smaller and smaller role, and that’s fine. That is always the goal. We never wanted to be just a Matthias Schweighöfer gig. When we started, we of course used his position in the industry to help open the door for us, especially to the creative community. But now we have those relationships. We are working on our third movie with [German actor-director] Florian David Fitz, Eg. Of course, we still have projects that we develop together, especially projects in the United States, and he is an integral part of the company, he is the founder and shareholder. . We talk every day and he knows everything the three of us are doing. If we need him, he’ll be there.

We’ve seen a lot of consolidation in the independent manufacturing scene over the past year, especially in Europe. Are you getting a buyback offer or are you looking to mix and match with other production outfits?

Maag We are definitely looking at acquisitions or partnerships. Especially with other European companies, companies in other German speaking countries, but also other European outfits. My big dream is to form European unions. We don’t need American investors, we don’t need investors from Saudi Arabia or Kuwait. I see things from a very European perspective. I think we can build and accomplish a lot, both financially, in Europe. The American partners we speak to are very open to strong alliances. As long as you have the same creative vision and you don’t talk nonsense.

Zore I’ve worked for many years on the international film business side, and with our setup, I think – and we’ve shown over the past few years – that, both from a creative and structural perspective, architecture, we promise that we can deliver. If I may quote what the former Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit about the city: “poor but sexy.” That’s how I see Pantaleon.

Maag Selling the company will be a lot easier. We do not care. Every time we have those discussions, we realize how good we have a team. We don’t need to sell, so why should we? It’s still too fun and exciting to work together and with commercials. If we’re at a point where we think, “Wow, we’ve tried everything, now we have to sell the store,” [we would]but the funny thing is, at Pantaleon, we still feel like we’re just getting started.

The edited interview is long and clear.

Source link


News7h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, Sports...at the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button