Many dream of a job in the film sector. But does this extend to “Corporate Video”? In a conversation with Lars Reckmann, managing director of Bavaria Film Interactive, we explore what jobs in the film industry are really about, what knowledge someone should bring along, what makes our company so special as an employer and why good coffee in the office can never be good enough.
What’s so inspiring about “Corporate Videos” for you?
Reckmann: We translate corporate messages into moving pictures. In order to do this as well as possible, we deal intensively with the companies. Only when we really understand the products and services, we can develop an effective motion picture strategy and implement it successfully with and for the client. This highly content-oriented work and sharing a client’s journey over a long period of time inspire me.
There are wide-spread practices in dealing with employees in the film sector and also in the area of corporate video. These include Hire & Fire and the use of interns instead of professionals. Does this apply to Bavaria Film Interactive as well?
Reckmann: No, neither the one nor the other. We mainly support customer-oriented formats such as Volkswagen TV and SAP TV. We cannot afford to think and plan short-term. For such formats, you need established project teams that develop and produce content regularly and over several years. We want to retain this customer-specific know-how, which employees build up over time in the company in order to do a good job for our customers – and of course to work efficiently.
Contrary to trends in the industry we also employ a lot more professionals than interns. Interns or trainees need to learn. They have the right to learn and be educated instead of being overburdened with responsibility. Some of our professionals have already completed an internship at Bavaria Film Interactive. It is important to us that there is a clear cut and new start. In terms of job content, responsibility and, of course, remuneration.
Is there such a thing as a classic CV in order to gain a foothold in the corporate film industry?
Reckmann: No. But there are certain aspects that make applicants particularly attractive. These are often less connected to their education than their personality, their hobbies or other interests. It’s certainly good in the age of social media if the applicants are interested in digital media and corporate communication outside of their job as well.
What kind of employees are in demand at Bavaria Film Interactive?
Reckmann: We are always looking for editors, producers and motion graphics artists. If these have previous knowledge in an area such as automotive, communication or didactics even better!
What are you looking for in an applicant?
Reckmann: Enthusiasm! I want to see that my counterpart is “burning” for the job and wants to engage with our clients’ topics. When I notice that they have captured the “story-behind” and are interested in corporate culture, this is more important for me than the fact that they’ve already mastered the classic film craft.
We are looking for people who are interested in topics and find creative, appealing ways to transform these into moving pictures. Therefore, potential employees should definitely love working with content.
Bavaria Film Interactive is part of the Bavaria Film Group and thus one of the largest German film studios. Do you cooperate in the training and further education of film-makers?
Reckmann: Yes, very intensively! The training takes place in the individual companies of the group. Depending on the traineeship, let’s take media designers as an example, the trainees also spend some time with us. And because we are reluctant to leave good people behind, we often take successful graduates on board. Last year, we hired 4 “newbie” media designers, who’ve completed their training with the group. These work in positions such as motion graphics artists in our company.
Has the training for classic professions in the film industry like media designer for example changed over recent years?
Reckmann: Yes! Complex processes are rarely displayed with a real image, but are visualized on the computer. And the education of a media designer has therefore become much more digital. Themes such as animation, computer graphics and 3D take up a lot of space during training. This trend towards graphics and digital technology is visible in the professions that we offer training for, but also in our overall corporate structure. The percentage of graphics professionals has grown disproportionately. Apart from editors this is the area where we have the greatest need for new employees.
How do you handle the employee search?
Reckmann: With very specific job descriptions. For example, we never look for an editor or motion graphics artist in general, but always refer to a particular customer. The requirements are simply too different depending on the customer project. At Volkswagen TV, we need technical editors with a mechatronics background. And the motion graphics artists have to be able to implement technical explanations and computer graphics.
For our SAP TV team, on the other hand, it is imperative that the editors speak very good English in order to exchange ideas with people around the world. And of course, they should be able to understand terms like cloud computing and software.
And then again, producers / production managers must be able to manage productions independently of a customer from beginning to end. They are the central point of contact for the customer in all strategic and operational matters and are solely responsible for the budgets.
What career opportunities do employees have at your company? What do you do in terms of employee development?
Reckmann: All our project and department managers have started out as content editors, editors in the postproduction, floor managers, etc. If you prove you work well and you’ve got a good way in dealing with our customers, we offer many opportunities. We support this development through targeted measures such as seminars and coaching. But here, too, we expect self-initiative.
Bavaria Film Interactive is an attractive employer because …
… the atmosphere is splendid. Our goal is to work well together in the long term and to continually enjoy coming to work. That’s why we select colleagues very carefully and tolerate egotistical behavior only in very little doses.
… our employees enjoy many freedoms. Colleagues are very free in how they shape their job and professional life. You decide, for example, whether you prefer to work at home or in the office on a particular day. It is important, however, that tasks are completed in a way that the work processes of other colleagues are not hindered.
… we develop modern and future-oriented solutions. By combining media production and media distribution, Bavaria Film Interactive offers modern communication solutions, which will continue to be in great demand in the future.
… there is good espresso. Admittedly, good coffee in the office is not as important as a friendly business environment. But why settle for only one?
*Note: Regardless of the different terms or job descriptions every job at Bavaria Film Interactive is offered for both sexes, even if we have chosen to use the male terminology for easier readability.