Franz Rodenkirchen (1963) is an international script consultant and advisor. He is a core advisor for the Binger Filmlab in Amsterdam, where he also gives his ‘A la carte’- workshop Script Editing – Six days of practice. He is an advisor at TorinoFilmLab/ Script&Pitch workshops; CineLink, the co-production market of the Sarajevo Film Festival, and the Berlinale Talent Campus.
“At Binger, people are given the best possible opportunity to develop into the film maker that they want to be. For five months, the group is like a second family. The programme is so intense that you can’t afford to lose focus. On top of that, Binger is fantastic for your network.
I don’t know of any other method like it. Of course there are courses and universities, but those are aimed at younger and less experienced people. And the coaching is less intense. If there's not much interaction, it is very easy for writers to loose themselves in their own thoughts. At Binger, that’s virtually impossible. If film makers get stuck with their project, there are always fellow film makers around to help them get back on track. That’s a sharp contrast with the outside world, where writers are very isolated and there’s not much room for feedback. At Binger, it’s impossible to withdraw from the group. Everyone is pushed to progress and to share each step with one another. This gives you the unique opportunity to find out how people on the other side of the world think.
I have certain ideas about film making and a comfortable working atmosphere. I don’t believe in labels and I feel very strongly about respect and openness. I don’t tell anyone what to do or how to do it. Instead of rules, there’s respect. The most important point I want to get across to film makers is how they can keep their own style, while at the same time communicating in a universal way.
My goal is not to sell wisdom; I’m not even sure if I possess that wisdom. We have what I call ‘fruitful cooperation’. People come here to share their knowledge and experience. That means I, too, learn something new every day. As a forty-something my frame of reference is different from that of a twenty-five-year-old. I have however had a woman of that age in my group who had a very similar frame of reference. I think she devoted all her time to watching films, because at her age she had seen as much or even more than I had. I was very impressed, and really love the dedication and intense commitment it shows.
I don’t believe in systems. Everyone’s an individual and every project should be seen in the context of that person. And there’s a different approach for each of them. For example, I often look at the way someone communicates and adapt my approach accordingly. That way I am more compelled to stay open-minded and curious. It also helps that I have never had to work on projects that I can’t get excited about. I’m not the best person for every project that comes along, romantic comedies for example, but the Binger has always been aware of that and they also know how to get the best out of me.
Working in a new environment is always very inspiring. It opens your eyes. The art is in helping everyone as an individual, while at the same time giving advice to the group as a whole.
Basically, being part of Binger is all about curiosity, open-mindedness and constantly meeting interesting people who have something to share that is also important to them; people who have totally different backgrounds and points of reference. Believe it or not, but I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the world quite like it.”
Consulting Projects (only selection of projects):
Leones (Wr/D: Jazmín Lopez); ARG, F, NL 2012; Venice, Orizzonti 2012
The Woman who brushed of her Tears (Wr/D: Teona Strugar Mitevska), 2012, Berlinale Panorama 2012
Best Intentions (Wr/D: Adrian Sitaru), 2011, Leopard Best Director, Locarno IFF 2011
Code Blue (Wr.:/D: Urszula Antoniak); NL, DK 2011; Cannes, Quinzaine 2011
Swans (Wr./D: Hugo Vieira da Silva), 2011, Forum Berlinale 2011
Adrienn Pál (D. Agnes Kocsis, Wr: A.K. & Andrea Roberti) 2010
Women Without Men (Wr./D: Shirin Neshat) D, AT, F 2009; Silver Lion –Venice IFF
Lourdes (Wr./D: Jessica Hausner), AT, DE, F 2009; FIPRESCI award, Venice IFF
Snow (D: Aida Begic, Wr: A.B.& Elma Tataragic), BiH, DE, F, Iran; Grand Prix – Semaine de la Critique, Cannes 2008
Grbavica (Wr./D: Jasmila Zbanic), AT/DE/BiH/HR 2005, Golden Bear, Berlinale 2006
Hotel (Wr./D: Jessica Hausner), AT/DE 2004, Un certain regard 2004; Grand Prix for Best Film and Screenplay Prize at Diagonale, Graz 2005
I am from Titov Veles (Wr/D: Teona Strugar Mitevska), FYROM/F/B/Slo 2007, Special Jury Award, Sarajevo 2007; Berlinale 2008 (Panorama)
Noi Albinoi (Wr/D: Dagur Kari), IS/DE/DK 2002, Nordic FilmAward Gothenburg 2003
Suzhou River (Wr/D: Lou Ye), CN/DE 1999, Tiger Award Rotterdam 2000
Consulting Projects in (Post-)Production:
Salvo (Wr./D: Antonio Piazza & Fabio Grassadonia); Silver Premio Solinas
Labs: Directors Lab, Writers Lab, Creative Producers Lab, Company!