David Feuerstein won the Porsche Award’s Automobile Category, as it was called then, in 2015 with his VW spot “People’s Car”, and he still remembers the evening well.
“Winning the award was unbelievable. We didn’t have the money to take part in a large number of festivals, and in the end we decided to submit our film to the Porsche Award and nowhere else. We were over the moon just to make it onto the shortlist, and when we were called to the stage on the big night we were completely stunned.”
Before film school, David studied German and Film Studies in Zürich, but he then realised that the practical application appealed to him much more than the theory. He wanted to be at the heart of the action so he moved to Munich ten years ago and worked for many years on documentary film formats for TV. After that he enrolled at Munich’s Macromedia University to study Film and TV Directing. By now, he has returned to his former university as a teacher and works as a freelance director and filmmaker.
“When I was a child I wanted to be a writer or an actor – there was a clear artistic bent there from the beginning. But I wanted to create something myself, and it was clear to me that I could only realise my vision properly through film, so that’s how I got into directing.”
Today, David is his own boss and he always takes an active role in all stages of his projects, from the initial brainstorming to postproduction. He particularly enjoys establishing a closeness with clients because it means there are no communication barriers and helps avoid misunderstandings. Another passion of his is getting to know the story behind a company.
“I don’t just want to make adverts – I want to capture the spirit of a business. What’s the company’s story? What is at their heart? Who are the people behind the glossy brochures? I believe that today’s generation of viewers are interested in exactly that because it foregrounds the human element and thereby creates trust.”
Documentaries that show “real” characters have always been among David’s main sources of inspiration. These days, he seeks to incorporate this influence into his projects in order to lend authenticity to the brands he works with.
“For me, credibility is the top priority. A while ago I created a film for the cheese producer Baldauf. The film showed all the processes involved in making cheese, and featured clips of all the company’s most important employees. A vegan friend of mine who saw the film has started eating cheese again. (laughs)”
David advises prospective film students to spend time working before attending university. To see how things are done, how they are structured, in the real world of work is one of the key experiences that will lead to success not only in your studies, but also in your career afterwards.