Filmmaker in conversation

Director Florian Arndt talks about his current project and the upheaval of the television series.

Born in 1992, the founder of SONS OF MOTION PICTURES GmbH is making films since the age of twelve. He founded the “Filmfabrik Mühlhausen” during his school years, was named “Germany’s best young director” in 2012, “Leipzig’s most successful young entrepreneur” in 2018 and is currently Germany’s youngest senator. His company’s documentary and advertising films have already won over 40 national and international film awards. Amongst others, the FBW seal of approval “Highly recommended” and the “Golden Dolphin” of Cannes.

I meet the production team of more than 30 people at their headquarters in Leipzig’s bohemian Southside. Bente, the production manager, leads me through the sacred halls. I visit the recording studio, the grey workroom for colour grading, and meet collaborators in animation technology, sound, and visual effects. Only the props room stays hidden from me, with the excuse that it is too messy. Finally, I enter the technical area with bated breath and see the RED Epic W 8K film camera. Wow, a piece of Hollywood in Leipzig! The concierge costume of German actor Bernhard Bettermann (As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me, Tatort) reinforces the impression. It hangs in the hallway, ready to be returned to the lender.

Young director Florian Arndt

Florian Arndt, Managing Director

Questions to Florian Arndt

The interview was conducted by Sarah Barnert on 20 June 2019.

Actors and film team

In June, the SONS OF MOTION PICTURES production team shot the pilot for the web series Fool Service at the Felsenkeller in Leipzig. It is Florian’s first large-scale production and he can be seen in the photo in the second row, middle, with natty bow-tie. The project will continue to stir up the series landscape in Germany.

Hi Florian, thanks for the nice reception. How did the Fool Service shoot go last weekend?
Awesome! It was incredibly big. I’ve never before worked with 40 people just behind the camera! It was a huge team in a feature film format (shows photo). That’s the whole team plus actors and extras in the location. We also shot the party scenes there.

The production looks high-quality.
That was precisely the goal. It shouldn’t look “German”, like an early-evening series. Netflix and Amazon are — quite rightly — destroying everything in the German TV series market. The approach is to reposition ourselves there with the same quality. The idea came from me and Katharina Stoll wrote the script on our behalf. She is experienced in TV comedy formats like Knallerfrauen and Knallerkerle.

I’m really looking forward to the result! Where will the web series be published?
Plan A is to offer the pilot to streaming services and other producers. We’ve already written the whole season. There are also screenplays for 12 episodes at a time. In the best case we will produce the whole first season right away. Plan B is to finance the production via advertising partners and Plan C is to release it on YouTube.