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NIKI NEVER GIVE UP 丨Feature Film Shot with Pictor丨Interview with Director Tobias Karlinger  

The Story of a Young Skier Who Never Gives Up

6-6-2023







Can you tell more about you?(career/major/hometown/hobby...)


My name is Tobias Karlinger and I am a director and screenwriter at Berglandfilm. I have been working with cameras for as long as I can remember. When I was 10 years old, I made a short film with my parents’ old camera and my friends, which we even showed in small circles. But I never went to a film school - I taught myself everything and founded the film production at the age of 20. We earn our daily bread with commercials for companies, but our biggest passion is making feature films! In my free time I love to do sports and can almost always be found on a mountain. In winter mostly skiing and ski touring, in summer extensive mountain biking and jogging. My hometown is near St.Pölten, which is in Lower Austria.








What is your position in feature film" Niki-NEVER GIVE UP" ? Could you share the idea/ brief storyline of this film? 


The idea of the film came to me while skiing. I’ve wanted to make a movie ever since I can remember, and when I was thinking about themes, I came up with the idea of a little girl who never gives up and defies all odds to make it to the top. Initially, the film was only intended as a short film (maximum 10 minutes), but it quickly turned out that the film will be longer and contain more.  I want to inspire and motivate the audience, give them the feeling that anything is possible!








What is the creation process? How to make the shooting plan and equipment selection, etc.?  Do you have any funny experience during filmming can be shared ? 


The script for the film was written relatively quickly, within 3 weeks it was ready. I wanted to start filming as soon as possible! And when we finally had the first day of shooting, before which I was terribly nervous, it turned out that our leading actress is not good at skiing at all .... In a ski movie!! But we got a stunt double for her, a real skier who also competes, and so we were able to shoot the movie after all. 








How is your feeling when you shooting with the DZOFILM Pictor Zoom (color rendition/resolution/natural characterist/ etc..)? Any impressive moment that DZOFILM Pictor zoom brings to you?


I had to choose the equipment according to our budget - we didn’t really have any - and so I chose camera, lens and gimbal from manufacturers that deliver excellent quality, but are still reasonably priced. That’s also how we came across DZO LENSES. They deliver this a special look, somewhat vintage style, but not too much and have stunning quality! Just by the lenses alone, the film looked extremely high quality! Paired with the Blackmagic 12K and shot in 8K resolution (!) we were able to create a stunning image.  

The DZO Lenses also convinced with the compatibility, an adapter for EF Mount was already included and so we can use the lenses comfortably with all our cameras. Also the, factually not existing, Focus Breathing was very convincing! With the 12K and the DZO Lenses, you really had the feeling of producing cinema quality!






The reason we chose the ZOOM version was that we had to be as flexible as possible. Our shooting schedule, for budget reasons, was only 9 days, so every scene had to be as fast as possible, but also as perfect as possible. With the Zoom Lenses, we saved ourselves a lot of annoying lens changes. And for the action shots, we really needed them anyway to get the right characteristics.







What’s is the most important thing for a nice filmming from your point of view? What do you think about the cinematic sense ?

The most important thing when filming is to understand the image in front of you. You have to have an eye for how something quite normal can suddenly look particularly beautiful. Cinematically, every shot has to look so perfect and beautiful that you could sell every single frame as a work of art. Storywise, the film has to work like a synphony. There must be ups & downs, it must be sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, sometimes stormy, sometimes calm. And production-wise, you have to be creative and skilled. You have to be fast, effective and efficient. You always have to keep in mind that the viewer doesn’t care if it’s a flashlight for 10€ or an ARRI spotlight for thousands of EURO, as long as the quality doesn’t suffer.








What are the challenges of video creation under the epidemic situation?


We started shooting in January and already after the second day of shooting we had to postpone the shoot because one actress had COVID, this continued, one actor after the other. It became February, it became March and just before the snow melted, at the very last moment, we were able to finish the last days of shooting. Not 2 weeks later the melting started and the snow was gone. 








We are looking forward to seeing your next project, can you tell me something about it?


My next project will definitely be a bigger one. Not to give too much away, just ask yourself this question:

Imagine growing up in a family that has been running a fairground ride for generations, but you’re the first one who doesn’t want to continue that tradition.






Unfortunately, the most difficult thing here is to find enough money. In Austria this is much more difficult than for example in America. So I would be happy about any contact that could help me here. Because that’s my next goal: to produce a 120 minute feature film for an international audience.