The pathway to success in independent filmmaking is different from person-to-person. What filmmakers have in common is that getting there is always a struggle. Ultimately, being resourceful and finding solutions only makes us better filmmakers.
I spoke to one such filmmaker, Marianne Hettinger, who wrote and directed Prince Harming. Now on Amazon Prime Video. We talked about her journey from Germany to here, finding help and support, putting a crew together, and finding success through passion and hard work.
I read your bio about how you immigrated from Germany to the States. I’m just curious because it mentioned that it was the film American in Paris that inspired you. Just mixing Gene Kelly with Gershwin is pure magic. What was it about the film that got you into filmmaking and made you want to pursue it?
Marianne Hettinger: The power of the visuals, the dance. The joy, the mere joy. I’d never seen anything like that in Germany. The musical is an American art form. I said, “I’ve got to go to a country where this is possible.” The dancing, the music, the combination of those factors. Also, it was a very happy, upbeat relationship story. I’m always interested in relationship stories. My films have become a little darker than that, but I always put some dancing in there.
Also, you have a vast breadth of experience. Was it a matter of trying to hit a broad target, or was it a combination of gleaning skills and expertise from each of those career opportunities and then developing yourself as a filmmaker from that?
That’s an interesting question. Nobody has asked me that in that way. I was very naive. All I wanted to do was art and dance. I wanted to do something that I loved, and to follow my soul path. So it was more like just following my inner calling, because I had seen that movie, and I said, “I got to go to that country and do this. Where can I get training?”