Method to the Madness // Gabriel Saurer on turning mistakes into masterpieces


Within every "mistake" there is room for genius. Nathan and Gabriel Saurer of Switzerland-based have thrived off this philosophy. 

We recently collaborated with them on this rad interactive film for Lausanne tourisme — dig it HERE.

Racing out of the gates at a young age, this duo has been making some of the most unique brand films from across the pond. We caught up with Gabriel Saurer as he chats about what drives him to make films and how he turned a potential error into one of the most impactful moments in his ascending film career. Read on...

M: When did you start filming?

GS: My brother Nathan and I started filming when we were at studies, we were both in multimedia apprenticeships and we were learning all sorts of stuff like: graphics, photography, programming, marketing, etc. Then we specialized ourselves in video. We were knocking at doors and proposing our services to people and companies who inspired us like 2nd division soccer clubs or artists — that's how it all began. 2010 must have been our first year, we both finished our studies in 2012 and the company will legally have two years on the 1st of January 2015.

I was really interested in what my big brother was doing and one day I asked him if I could edit one of his videos for practice. That's how we got started working together...Nathan and I started 4 years ago. We registered the company on the 1st of January 2013. Now we are three people working and normally we'll have an intern in January.

M: What's your favorite moment in the filmmaking process?

GS: I would say that the best moment is when we have a good atmosphere on our set and every one gets along, this is really important for us. We want everybody to enjoy the shoot so that they will give 200% of themselves in the project. We also get excited when we realize that we've just got the "prize" shot and we start screaming all over the place and high-fiving everyone.

M: Have there ever been any happy accidents? If so, which ones stand out?

GS: On a video we did for a Swiss fashion designer, we felt like something really big was missing in our edit to really make the project different. We were looking closely into all of the footage in our almost-finished edit; we noticed  a big plane left it's smoke in the shot, so we had to mask it out. We then realized that the smoke looked like some sort of meteor. Then we decided to add meteors everywhere on the footage. Our client just loved it and the project was a huge success for her and her investors. [See the film below]

M: How do you feel music plays a role in filmmaking?

GS: Of course the music and sound is very important to us. We spend much of our time looking for the perfect musical and sound interpretation for each project. Music is usually the most important tool we use to describe or express emotions and moods. If the budget allows it, we try to hire producers to create original tracks to perfectly match the atmosphere we're imagining together. We usually start searching for music with your awesome platform! Marmoset enables us to make a quick and good preselection of the music we're looking for. We then try to integrate some tracks, we like to see suits the film the best. We know we found the right music when we really feel it in our body and can't take the smile off our faces. We really do feel that you just have to link the music to the film, in one way or another. Can be through the edit rhythm, the actors, the luminosities, the energy, the subject or really anything that you can imagine! But if you can't feel at least one link anywhere, well, you just have to change something in the film or in the music.

M: What's on the horizon?

GS: We've just finished half of the Lausanne Tourism video. This winter we'll have the second part of it, which will be quite original too! Our next big step is our new offices, we're moving in on the 1st of October. Otherwise, we are working on a personal short, but never seem to find the time to give 100% of ourselves to it.


Learning to Listen // Terry Rayment on how filmmakers misuse music in film

Finding the Perfect Song // An interview with Joe Simon

A Soundtrack for the Extreme // An interview with Wes Coughlin and his approach to adventure filmmaking