DREAMER OR VISIONARY



We were having a beer at the “Waschbar”, in Potsdam. At the bar we started talking to Eric Schumacher and what we found out just proves once more that Berlin and its surroundings are flooded with creativity. Eric Schumacher is a filmmaker – a director, a scriptwriter, and a producer. He has only little experience and never went to a film school, but he makes up for it with ambition, by always being curious, and with unshakeable faith in his first film project – CHILDREN OF KINGS.


Why did you chose the medium film to express your creativity?

I have always wanted to tell stories and I am a huge fan of films. When I was eleven, I was given a director’s chair for my birthday, because I could not think of anything cooler than making movies. “Aliens” and “Die Hard” were the movies that inspired me at the time. Back then it was not my intention to tell profound stories with pictures, but I wanted to instill emotions. I wanted to show the kind of emotions I experienced as a child when I watched these kind of movies and I still experience today – the ‘Wow-Effect’. My basic idea remains the same, but my point of view has changed and developed over the years.

One can say that you are a freshman in the film business. What kind of experiences have you had so far?

CHILDREN OF KINGS is my first script, but I have invested three years. I have gotten plenty of advice from other scriptwriters and more experienced filmmaker. Their feedback was very helpful and a lot of times it forced me to look at my ideas from different perspectives. Learning the craft to actually make a film was shaped by long hours of conversation with my producer Andrés Jauernick, research on the internet and in libraries. Shooting the trailer also let me gain priceless experience. It took six month of intense preparation, two long days of shooting, a crew of 40 people, and three weeks of post processing and editing. All that for a trailer of 1,5 minutes. The filmmaking process definitely teaches patience.

Your film CHILDREN OF KINGS is located in Bolivia. What is your relationship with this country?

Actually I have no relationship with Bolivia. My mother is from Ecuador and I was also born there. The South American culture and history is a part of me and I have always been very interested in and fascinated by their struggle for independence. I had the idea for
CHILDREN OF KINGS whilst researching for another film project. I discovered my central character – Juana Azurduy – and her story struck me. There are many interesting and exciting stories from that time and I have always wished to see a blockbuster made about one of them.

How far are you with the movie now and how much more time will it take until we can see it in the theatres?
 
The preparations have been in progress for the past two years. The script is finished and translated for the Spanish actors. The script is hosted on
THE BLACK LIST and features a rating of eight out of ten points, which we are very happy about. This also creates trust among everybody involved in the project. A few crew positions (e.g. Camera, VFX, SFX, Make-Up, Costume) have already been casted. Most of the main actors are from South America, but one major character will definitely be played by a German actor. Who that will be remains a secret, though. Shooting is scheduled to start in Fall 2014.

You never visited a film school and have hardly any experience, but your first film project needs a budget of 6-8 million USD. As a filmmaker do you have to suffer from delusions of grandeur? What is it that keeps you going and makes you believe in what you do?

I am an idealist. Maybe the word visionary fits here better, even though I am not inventing a new sort of power generation. When I developed the script, I was not aware of the budget necessary to bring it to the screen. I think what thrives me is stubbornness, a blind optimism, and knowing that other filmmakers achieved a lot with even fewer resources than I have. With the right vision, a structured plan, the right crew, and a few sleepless nights everything is possible.

During the last years, Potsdam developed to an international respected film location. Films such as  CLOUD ATLAS, THE BOURNE IDENTITY, and THE INTERNATIONAL were made here. Did this fact inspire you in any way?

I cannot say that it really inspired me to be creative, but it gave me ideas as to how to plan and finance the project.

You are working together on this project with the producer Andrés Jauernick. The responsibilities of a producer involve keeping the project within a given budget and that can conflict with the visions of an artist, such as the director or scriptwriter. Do you have to compromise to realize your project?

So far I did not have to make any compromises. Andrés already worked on a number of films and TV-Series and totally understands and respects my vision. If we have to make compromises later, it will probably be due to the budget or time restrictions (which happens often enough during filming). But we have already planned for this scenario.

Eric Schumacher’s
CHILDREN OF KINGS is a courageous „DISCOVERY“. One might think that delusion and vision are closely related, but as Albert Einstein once said: “ If at first an idea isn’t absurd, there’s no hope for it.”

Stay tuned for more about CHILDREN OF KINGS!





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