German filmmaker, film coach and accomplished author Phil Ramcke is a film production expert with over 15 years of experience in producing high-quality promotional and commercial films for start-ups as well as big global players. In this interview, Phil and I talk about his very own hero's journey from a small town boy with big dreams to a financially free feature film director.
Alia: Hi Phil, thanks for taking the time! Your journey in the world of cinema has already been quite incredible. From overcoming societal norms to facing personal and professional challenges. Let's start by delving into the environment you grew up in.
Phil: Thank you, Alia. I grew up in a small town in Northern Germany, where the prevailing notion was that filmmaking was merely a hobby, not a viable career. People around me constantly reiterated that I couldn't make a sustainable living as a filmmaker and advised me to pursue more conventional paths.
Alia: I can absolutely relate to that. I’m sure many creatives have initially been pushed to find “a proper career”. It's interesting how societal views can influence our choices. Can you tell us about the moment you realized that you were living the wrong life?
Phil: It wasn't until I turned 22 that I realized I was living someone else's dream, not my own. I had nurtured a fascination with movies since I was four years old, but the limiting beliefs within me led me to seek permanent positions. I initially found myself in television, then commercial production, and later in video production.
Alia: So, after making your way to working in a field you truly saw yourself in, how did you make the transition from seeking permanent positions to embracing the idea of pursuing your own dreams within the filmmaking industry?
Phil: I soon came to understand that I cherished freedom above all else. The constraints of a permanent job were stifling my need for creative and personal freedom. This realization prompted me to make bold decisions - I knew I had to leave the company I was in.
"I realized I was living someone else's dream."
Foto ©Phil Ramcke
Alia: And I assume by company you mean both your employer and your environment?
Phil: Yes, exactly. I realized, I had to break free from anything that was holding me back from reaching my true potential.
Alia: I know from my own experience that it takes a lot of courage to step out of one's comfort zone. Speaking of realizations, what was the pivotal moment that initiated the change for you?
Phil: The turning point in my life came in 2016 when I embarked on the journey of creating the "Gotterdammerung Investment Trailer." It was during this time that I met my wife, and together we set out to make our dreams a reality. This period marked a significant shift in my life, from making mistakes and facing failures to ultimately finding success in various aspects such as love, health, business, and finances.
Alia: "Gotterdammerung" is your upcoming full-length feature film?
Phil: Yes. My idea for "Gotterdammerung" was born almost 10 years earlier. So being able to finally bring it to life and publish a trailer was a big milestone for my personal goals as well as my filmmaking endeavors.
"Every experience added to my growth."
Foto ©Phil Ramcke
Alia: Yes, I can imagine. Creating something so personal can indeed be very transformative. Your journey seems to have had its share of challenges, though. How did you navigate?
Phil: Well, the journey was akin to a rollercoaster, with numerous ups and downs. From nearly facing bankruptcy to achieving wealth in the most crucial areas of life, every experience added to my growth. It was during these challenges that I understood the value of persistence and resilience. And of course, never to lose sight of your dreams, even if it’s cloudy or stormy.
Alia: Your positive mindset towards challenges is definitely inspiring and I feel like your love for filmmaking becomes evident through your perseverance. Can you tell me a bit more about the role of film in your life?
Phil: At some point I started recognizing that my true voice was best expressed through the medium of film. My most significant successes occurred when I created movies against the advice of sceptics, who believed it couldn't be done. But I proved them wrong, time and again, by producing films that spoke volumes.
Alia: I’m sure that felt pretty good. I’m personally looking forward to those moments in my own undertaking. As someone with a deep passion for storytelling myself, I’m curious about your why. What is it that makes you love filmmaking so much?
Phil: Whenever I find myself grappling with life's complexities, I turn to filmmaking. Film is the language I speak most fluently, and it allows me to communicate my thoughts, emotions, and experiences in a profound manner. It's a language that transcends barriers and connects with people on a deeply human level.
Alia: Definitely, and I think your story sets a great example for anyone who wants to succeed in the film industry. It demonstrates that the road to success is often paved with challenges, but it's those challenges that shape us into who we are. Now, before I let you go, I have one last question. Do you have any upcoming projects or dreams you’d like to share?
"I proved the sceptics wrong, time and again."
Foto ©Phil Ramcke
Phil: Yes, of course. I have a book full of ideas, scripts, and dreams I want to fulfill in my life. My next project is the filming of “Gotterdammerung” and then my wife and I will start our next chapter by relocating. I want to leave the old world behind and find new shores, new challenges, and bring back hope to the film industry.
Alia: That sounds awesome. I look forward to seeing your film on the big screen and then hopefully many more. Phil, thank you for sharing some insights of your filmmaking journey with me and my readers. Keep me posted on any new projects and let me know how everything goes with your big move.
Phil: Will do. Thanks for having me, Alia.
"I want to find new shores and new challenges."
Foto ©Phil Ramcke
If you would like to learn more about Phil and his work:
- visit his websites at www.emotionphilm.com and www.philramcke.de
- listen to his podcast The Fortune & The Fame on Spotify
- check out his books "Endlich Erfolg im Filmbusiness: Dein persönlicher Weg zum Erfolg mit Film" and "Lights, Camera, Action: A Beginner’s Guide to Everyday Filmmaking Business" on Amazon
- or take his masterclass on filmmaking.