Interview Movidiam

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This is an interview by Alex Vero published on the new web plateform Movidiam about my work as film director. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

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Günther Gheeraert – An interview with Mister Gü

Award-winning film director, art director, photographer and motion graphics artist Günther Gheeraert, otherwise known as Mister Gü, has created films for some of the biggest names, including Euromillions, L’Oréal and Audemars Piguet. We spoke to the Paris-based filmmaker about exercising creative control in the commercial industry and the art of storytelling.

Movidiam: What first inspired you to get into filmmaking?

Günther: Since as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to tell stories. When I was little, I spent my time drawing comics with little characters who live great adventures. I think I have always been inspired by culture, films and comics but also the world, animals, travel and history. I always knew I would work to tell stories, so it’s natural that I evolved this idea. After Art studies and a few comics published at the beginning of my career, I worked for the video game industry by drawing environment designs. Then I worked in agencies as a motion graphics artist for several years and I was quite free to develop my ideas for small web commercials. Then I became interested in photography and direction, pushing further reflection on storytelling, framing, staging and direction of actors.

Movidiam: There is a personal touch and approach evident in both your personal projects and branded films. How do you balance creative control on commercial projects?

Günther: It’s always a delicate balance to find. Early in my career I took the time to find my style but I think I found the right chemistry on « Morning of the World »: a subtle blend of discovering outstanding landscapes all around the world and emotions through the eyes of people in everyday life situations. I’m lucky that I’m always asked to work for films where I’m given a lot of freedom, so I can continue to develop my world and my type of narration, even for more commercial projects. I just learned to develop my ideas with teams and with better equipment, always in search of an ever more beautiful image.

Movidiam: Would you say you have a particular style or technique in your approach to storytelling and production? Any routines you always follow?

Günther: I think my work is really influenced by photography. I always try to make up my image as if I were composing a picture in the frame, and it shows in the narrative. I will say that this is the constant of my films. Besides that, I don’t attach myself to a particular routine. I try to find new ways to manufacture my films each time and to experiment, whether it’s with new staff or the equipment used.

Movidiam: How did the name Mister Gü come about?

Günther: My name is a bit curious and complex, especially for French people! Even for German, my first name is a bit dated. My last name meanwhile is of Flemish origin, but I wanted a name that sounds a little more international, in order to work everywhere. I know people have a little trouble spelling my name, so I went the diminutive route and reduced it all to the first two letters of my first name. I think it sounds good!

Movidiam: A lot of your films feature traveling as a prominent theme, such as in Lost in Manhattan, Rise Up and Morning of the World. Is travel intrinsic to you as a filmmaker?

Günther: Travel, as a director, is one of the themes that I like dealing with above all. For me traveling is one of the best experiences in the world and I think most people who can, should travel to discover other cultures and other ways of living, because I think it opens your eyes to the world and puts a lot of things into perspective.

Movidiam: Nothing Bigger, a commercial for Euromillions, took you around Madrid, Bangkok, Phuket and Palma. What was your experience of filming in different countries over the production period?

Günther: The main idea of this film was to get away from the usual bling bling image of a Euromillions winner. I wanted to tell a story that sounds authentic: a man wins the Euromillions and decides to travel the world, where he meets many people who become his friends, discovers beautiful landscapes, falls in love. His experiences lead through to the realization of all his dreams…I wanted nothing less than to stage a part of the life of a character and try to develop this story in a two minute spot. I had the chance to work with a great production and a lot of talented people that helped me create this story. There were many challenges ahead: 1 month of production starting from scratch to the delivery of the film, 6 days of shooting around the world, and creating a great story that seems real. I think it’s an unusual advertisement and a great human experience! I loved working on that piece!

Movidiam: Is there a country or city you’d love to shoot in but haven’t yet?

Günther: I would love to shoot in Bhutan, Fiji, Australia, Japan, Greenland…in fact there are so many!

Movidiam: You wrote a blog on Movidiam detailing your behind the scenes experience of filming Nothing Bigger. How important do you think it is for filmmakers today to share their experiences?

Günther: I always write my shooting experiences in a blog. It’s a good way to keep track of what I did and it also helps me remember my adventures. I think people are very fond of BTS, in any case it is something that I like seeing every time I watch a movie, so I just try to do the same on each of my projects.

Movidiam: How much has the industry changed and where do you see it going?

Günther: The advertising industry is constantly evolving. Thanks to digital, market shares have swelled more and more. The TV series industry now competes with cinema films. Digital ads have the advantage of being designed for different media types and can target users more precisely. I think digital will become the key focus of all brand communication devices and that’s when everything will play out in the coming years. I think a website like Movidiam will be more and more useful in the future for all kinds of creatives.

Movidiam: What features do you find most useful on the site?

Günther: Movidiam is a great platform with a really nice concept and I like to use it for my professional uses. The feature I use the most is the portfolio because it helps me communicate on my work, and being able to add the Vimeo links is very easy! I also work with the blog feature. It’s great because all your work, all the information, all you need to work with productions or agencies is concentrated on the platform. Through the community, a new production in Colombia contacted me and decided to represent me as a film director on their website for their country, so it is fantastic!

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About Mister Gü

Film Director & Photographer. 5 Vimeo Staff Pick Awards Winner. Co-founder of blacknegative studio. World Traveler.