Fri, 29 Oct 2021 10:51:56 GMT
LA-based Katharina Baron has directed and produced award-winning commercials and branded content for clients such as Mercedes, VW, Swarovski, and Condé Nast. She graduated from CELSA Sorbonne and FU Berlin with an MBA and made her start with documentaries for French TV and moved later on to fashion, automotive, and lifestyle. A sought-after creative director, writer, and digital storytelling expert, she has spoken at Digital Hollywood, Media Summit, Soho House on women empowerment and original content. She recently co-produced the movie Berlin, I Love You starring Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley.
Katharina has directed and written a number of short films that have been featured at Cannes, Hofer Filmfestspiele, and the Rome Independent Film Festival.
Katharina speaks German, French, English, Polish, and Spanish. She is a published academic writer of the book “Prime-Time for Science,” served as the editor of Swarovski Magazine, and is a columnist for She’s Mercedes. Katharina is passionate about using her creativity for a good cause and purpose.
Name: Katharina Baron
Location: Los Angeles
Repped by/in: Durable Goods
Katharina> I get excited when I can see and feel the finished film in my head and I can’t wait to make it happen. My feelings get triggered and my imagination and ideas start flowing. I’m inspired by scripts that evoke a certain beauty, a feeling, a mood and leave room for creativity. I am also excited to see that the storytelling is more inclusive now and takes a more innovative approach to our modern society. I think it is a moment to use advertising for 'good' and to start shifting the narratives.
Katharina> It starts by seeing the finished film in my head, then I work backwards by letting the words flow. I particularly enjoy finding the right references and mood and it can be a back and forth until everything feels right. Something about the treatment process makes it real -- almost as if you are out there shooting. I am a writer and creative so, to me, working on treatments is fun. You are already in the process of creating. I sometimes wish they would be in a different format than PDF as I love to illustrate my thoughts with video and movement.
Katharina> I like to look at the past ads, the brand’s social media, and read the latest articles about them to understand the audience, tone, and the overall feeling of the brand and products, and to learn what their core values and mission are. I think that it’s crucial to be aware of all this and see the creative heritage and direction of a brand. My goal is to understand where the brand is going and how I can help add some art to it and elevate it by still staying true to the core values.
Katharina> I like to think of everyone involved as important, from the producers, to the client, agency, cast, hair and makeup, styling, to the PAs and, of course, my DP. I think it’s so important that a set is in harmony and everyone is part of a family for a day (or more). I definitely think that I interact most with the DP and need to have a level of trust and the same sensibility. It is the most crucial relationship as the camera is an extension of you and you need to have someone who understands what you mean and want and is open to be in the creative flow with you.
I also think that having the right producer gives you the freedom to be fully creative. I love working with Durable Goods as they really support me and I feel that I found the right home to build and grow together.
Katharina> I think my work is often described as 'style in motion' so I will bring a certain aesthetic with me no matter if it is fashion, beauty, lifestyle or even automotive, which are all the genres that I feel most at home. I like when things feel real and stylised at the same time. In the end, it is all leading towards the search for beauty and a form of truth. Ultimately, I think that how you evoke emotions in an audience or a consumer, especially in commercials, is a chance to create a universe for a brand - like mini parallel worlds that make us dream.
Katharina> That I only do fashion. I come from science. I wrote on TV and science and I worked on nature documentaries in the beginning of my career. The only reason that I switched to fashion was because I was taken seriously by fashion companies who wanted to do real creative exploration. I felt that the advertising and TV world were very set in their ways. I wanted the freedom to create and do my own thing.
Katharina> You always have crazy problems, and I think the way of solving them is just keeping at it and not giving up. At my last shoot in NYC, the location fell through, the main actor backed out at the last minute, and I had to replace everything within 24 hours. In the end, it was a much better choice and result for the project. I try to embrace problems with the belief that maybe it is meant to be and the outcome will be better like that. What if the craziest problem could lead to a crazy solution and make your work better? I feel the same way about life. We never know if something that we label a problem can lead to something better.
Katharina> It is always a dance between art and commerce, but I have learned to put my ego aside and really be part of the bigger picture. Ultimately, it is a collaborative effort and, of course, I can defend any idea to a certain point, but only if it makes sense for everyone and really serves the particular project. There are so many other ways to experiment and I find it important to cover the common ground first and then maybe add that bit of jazz to the project that might be a welcomed surprise to everyone else.
Katharina> I love that there is more opportunity for new voices right now. Diversity works when it becomes a real possibility and minorities see themselves represented without a glass ceiling. I think mentoring can be an option, but I also think we need to show better and more role models to break the stereotypes. I think there is enough room for everyone and it should always be a reflection of our diverse society.
In general, I think many women or other minorities do not get into directing because it is not something we see examples of. I never even knew that this was an option when I grew up and it certainly took me longer than necessary to assume that this is what I wanted to do. It seemed a little lonely and I didn’t know any commercial directors for a long time. I think diversity needs to start at the school level. Not everyone who is creative grows up in a big city with resources or with access to possibility, imagination, and dreams. Our school system does not encourage creative thinking or writing, our culture often glorifies superficiality, and creative professions like directing often only seem attainable to the most privileged.
Katharina> I think getting on a Zoom with people instead of flying to a meeting is a pretty good habit. Overall, it’s been good to put the camera on more often during calls. I also think that it shows that we can get a lot done when we are apart and still be productive. In general, the pandemic has been a huge change for so many people, that a certain level of depth has entered our awareness.
Katharina> I just did the first reels for a campaign for TikTok and Instagram that I had to shoot differently. This meant having to adapt my filming styles for different social platforms, the audience, length, and the demographic - in addition to content that works for the platform we cater to. It is interesting to see how things change and I think it’s a fun exercise to play with it. Having a high production value even for socials that is aligned with the overall campaign makes the difference in the end for a brand.
Katharina> I try to stay up to date with technology and with the new generation. I work with Gen Z creatives on some artistic projects and love to see what they come up with. I like thinking about adding art, AI or interactive elements to my work, but I have not gone into VR yet - probably because I personally cannot wear those glasses for too long...
Katharina> Vogue Business
Marie is a stunt woman and the way I approached this new series for Vogue Business was to show her as a fierce warrior and role model for other women. I really wanted to capture her at her most confident, empowered self and set the tone for the next generation. This has a feel somewhere between a beauty campaign or Nike commercial - and the locations, compositions, colour grading, and quality of images really represent what I stand for as a director.
This campaign just came out and it was fun to do the creative concept and direct it. It represents the energy we all need now and the California-cool vibes. The task was to make tailored suits more cool for the next generation and after two days of shooting, I even wanted to wear one.
I loved working with kids and animals in this spot. It was a challenge, but also super fun and I am proud we made it all happen. There was so much magic in front of the camera and it was such a joy to capture it.
I think the videos for the clean brand Julisis are showcasing a more relaxed approach to beauty campaigns. From the cast to the location and music - the choices for a conscious sustainable brand need to feel more real and authentic. These are technically two videos but they belong together. I like to cast artists as models; I think their creativity and talent somehow can be picked up by the camera.
view more - The DirectorsDurable Goods, Fri, 29 Oct 2021 10:51:56 GMT