Interview with Filmmaker Dominik Hill (SALT)

SALT, 3min., Germany, Fashion
Directed by Dominik Hill
“Salt” tells the story of a group of people, who put away their fear of the elemental forces of nature and instead rediscover natural power, returning a bit to their own roots.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?
When it became clear that we would be allowed to shoot in this magnificent location, it was of course a great source of inspiration. Before us, only one other brand had been allowed to shoot in the salt flats, because the whole area is under nature conservation. It’s this contrast between modern fashion and the source of life that appealed to me from the beginning and is expressed in the finished film.
At the same time, I think it’s important that in our modern society we don’t lose the connection to our roots in nature. This is important for our psyche and health. Initially, there were two ideas about the direction the film could take. One version was how the film was ultimately completed. The other storyline still included film sequences that showed the protagonists landing as some kind of “aliens” on an exotic planet. The film title would have been “Voyager”. However, I decided on a more abstract starting point and let the shots of the salt-works and the nature reserve speak for themselves.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
At least in the commercial sector, after all, the planning and production may not last longer than one season. The designer Marcel Ostertag started with the preparations even earlier, of course, to finish the collection, but the film production time until completion was exactly 6 months. The film was – due to a longer post-production than planned – finished exactly two days before the fashion show, where it was shown to the public as part of Fashionweek Berlin.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Origins and modernity

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The shooting conditions on location were pretty tough. It was incredibly hot and the white salt all over the floor also reflected the sun from below. On the earlier production at the location, some models fainted from the heat, luckily everything went well for us. The salt crystals in the air were omnipresent. The crystals clung to every piece of equipment and to the collection pieces. But the salt also reflects the light in a special way, so the efforts were definitely worth it.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
It was very gratifying to be able to participate in the first reactions of the audience. I had also talked to the guests at the time after the fashion show, but it makes a big difference to get such intense feedback. I was very happy that the effect was also felt by the audience and that the audience was able to follow the basic intention.
It was wonderful to hear that I succeeded in combining nature and modern fashion with the film.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
When I was 16, I got offered a role in a theater production when I and the theater director were at the hairdresser’s at the same time. Later I also took on the role of assistant director. But then the stylistic elements of theater became too limited for me, and I began to work mainly in film. At the age of 19, after leaving school, I immediately started working in the film industry. I studied film only later.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
I suppose the film I have seen most often is “V for Vendetta”. But that also has to do with the fact that during my university studies I compared the stylistic elements of the film with those from Sergei Eisenstein’s films. I also studied Eisenstein’s films very intensively.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
So far it has been a great experience participating in your festival and I have no suggestions for improvement.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
FilmFreeway is a great communication channel between filmmakers and film festivals. Everything is well arranged and the festivals are easy to filter. Among the festivals, there are also less good ones that don’t perform adequately for the fee. With the help of the reviews you can already recognize something like that, but I would recommend filmmakers to research the festivals again to see if it is really worth participating.

10. What is your favorite meal?
I love my wife’s special mashed potatoes with cucumber yogurt.

11. What is next for you? A new film?
Of course. Three film shoots are already planned for January, including one again for designer Marcel Ostertag, but we’re staying in Berlin this time, because Fashionweek has been moved to two months earlier, so we only have one week for the whole post-production.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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