Carl Zitelmann, independent Venezuelan Writer, and Director discovered he wanted to be a professional filmmaker through animation. His first career was Computing Engineer, but one day he began making experiments with a group of friends with whom he got together for a year, every night, to complete ten minutes of computer animation. He then decided to study at the National Film and Television School in England, where he studied to be a Director.
He has worked as a Commercial Director for ten years since he started working for Passion Pictures in London. Since then, he has made a feature film, six short films, fifteen music videos, and more than seventy commercials. His work in fiction has been acknowledged in festivals such as Montreal, Sitges, Raindance, Palm Springs, Savannah, Animamundi and Mar del Plata. He was recently awarded a Grammy Latino for Best Video and is currently living in Mexico, where he is looking for new brands and stories to tell.
Q: What are your references for artistic inspiration?
CZ: I love German expressionism in all its forms. I like the aesthetics of painters such as Emil Nolde and Max Pechstein very much, as well as Murnau and Fritz Lang films. In cinema, I am a Hitchcock and Kubrick fan; I love both of their storytelling styles. However, I grew up with Jaws, E.T. and Back to the Future. Spielberg is one of the filmmakers that have influenced my career the most, Lucas, Zemeckis and Tim Burton, too. I've never seen a Sergio Leone film in a movie theater, but Sunday afternoons I never missed westerns with my father. I also admire the works of Wes Anderson, Spike Jonze, Jonathan Glazer and Romain Gavras. They are very versatile Directors, addicted to innovation, that is why they move between the worlds of cinema, music, and advertising.
Q: How does the fiction filmmaker coexist with the advertising Director?
CZ: Cinema is like a long-term relationship with your platonic love and advertising is a wild night with a supermodel, the only difference is that film and advertising can be done in parallel. I enjoy both very much, although each format requires a particular approach. In advertising, you can afford the luxury of working with the best pieces of equipment and turning each frame into a piece of art. Cinema requires a more general approach, in which all the elements must serve a story that takes years to build. Ultimately, in both fiction and advertising I seek ways to seduce the audience, achieving that thing that glues them to the movie theater, TV or mobile screen.
Q: Who have been your recent clients?
CZ: This year I've had the opportunity to work with Netflix and Café Tacvba, which has been thrilling. Netflix is my source of entertainment every night and Café Tacvba is a band I listen to since I was a teenager. With Netflix, I directed promotional pieces for two of their most recent series: Ozark and The OA. For Café Tacvba I directed the video of "Que No", one of the singles in their new disc "Jei Beibi".
Q: What client would you like to work with and why?
CZ: PlayStation. I think advertising for video games is the most daring. It is almost always absurd and surrealistic. I love the campaigns Sony has made for the launching of each console. I am thrilled to participate in advertising campaigns for brands I identify with and products I use every day, although I have also had the opportunity to make commercials for sanitary pads and I've enjoyed them.
Q: Where is Carl Zitelmann heading for the future?
CZ: I want to continue growing as an advertising Director, to have the opportunity to work with bigger and more daring clients. I am not going to stop making video clips, those are projects I am passionate about, that allow me to try different techniques and experiment with the image. I am also finishing the postproduction of my first film that will be launched at the end of the year.
Independent filmmaker, México
Contact: Carl Zitelmann Watch video