He has travelled the world and filmed it all – read Dedo Weigert, film producer & camera operator’s story
Dedo Weigert Production Company may have been going longer than perhaps you’ve been alive. Since the beginning in 1965, the company has grown into one of the main importers for video equipments, travelling to all corners of the world. Dedo Weigert, a man with over forty years of experience as a working director, producer and DOP involved in feature films, commercials, documentaries & American television series, took the time to chat with us and here is what he had to say…
Production Paradise: What is your main role with Dedo Weigert Film?
Dedo Weigert: This company has gone through many changes and developments. At first it was a pure film production company. Then we had a sizable camera rental. We also supplied complete film teams, mostly for American television. On occasion, we sent more than 20 teams for sport events for ABC sports. We sent up to 12 film teams to cover the Monte Carlo Grand Prix race (total was 24 teams with international directors of photography). We became in the film days, the main house for high speed film on the continent. In 1981 we introduced high speed video, mostly for industrial motion analysis. We had a very serious research and development department, working contract task for science and industries, universities, German rail road, resolved many optical challenges, which were deemed physically impossible by many professors. Since 1984 we started building lighting equipment which by now is a serious part of our activities although we continue importing high class equipment from all over the world.
Production Paradise: From which countries do your clients tend to come from and how do they find you?
Dedo Weigert: We have established exclusive sales agencies in 70 countries, and we try to pursue an educational approach, not just selling equipment but teaching users how to use the equipment, how to make better images.
Production Paradise: The company was established in 1965, how do you feel it has progressed over the years?
Dedo Weigert: Many changes, ups and downs, but all in all it has grown to quite some serious size in this small niche industry and market. I guess today our brand name is very well known in many parts of the world.
Production Paradise: As you’re quite a reputable company, what is the relationship like between you and your team?
Dedo Weigert: Since at heart I am still a passionate cameraman and film producer, my tasks today are running the company, and I regard my team as family which brings with it a serious responsibility, trying to give the team a secure future beyond the time that I can actively lead the team.
Production Paradise: Being the largest supplier and rental facility for high-speed film and video, you must have over seen some fantastic productions. What can you tell us about the most inspiring one?
Dedo Weigert: There are too many to tell them all. In the 70’s I did a series of films in Japan, and I may be the only one who ever shot high speed film with synchronous sound and Kendo fighting on the beach. The sound recorders (Nagra) were not able to receive high frequency pilot tone, and Stefan Kudelski, a good friend, built special pilot tone amplifiers for the high frequency for my high speed camera (500 frames/second). Maybe it was not really inspiring, but it was a dream, a fantasy, and a challenge, but then I could not think of many more subjects that would lend itself to be shot in high speed with synchronous sound.
Production Paradise: Could you share with us your thoughts on some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced being part of such a successful company?
Dedo Weigert: Many of the films that I shot as a director of photography involved very serious challenges from shooting near the North Pole at -60°C, very ambitious images, working with Russian cosmonauts, like Yuri Gargarin on the NBC film “Soviets in Space”, shooting the frescos of Fra Angelico and recreating some of his subjects in the tusk and landscape, designing optics that were according to several professors against the laws of physics.
Production Paradise: How do you feel your equipment and technology affects a production, in comparison to what else is on the market that clients could use?
Dedo Weigert: For most production tasks you can live, use and survive with almost anything that has always been used, but if there are extreme demands for quality in controlling light, shaping light with the highest degree of precision, then directors of photography will find us. For example all the special effects of the Harry Potter series were shot exclusively with our lights and similarly on Lord of the Ring, and many others. Not everybody needs that precision, and not all the time is such precision useful, but that is our main domain where we can show exclusive advantages. At the same time, many thousands of small teams are using our Portable Studio concept all over the world, because it is more compact, lighter, more versatile, and pretty much indestructible.
Production Paradise: How did you discover Production Paradise and can you leave us with a final comment about PP?
Dedo Weigert: I was contacted by a German member of the Production Paradise team and offered to take a detailed look onto your services. I was impressed and very much attracted by the spectrum of services you offer and by the focused and clearly structured format Production Paradise offers for people in our business. It then didn’t take long and we decided to get listed and to participate in your mailings.
We would like to thank Dedo Weigert for taking the time to speak with us. You can find out more about the company and how to get in touch with them on their website.
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