Sascha Koellnreitner (28) is a Director and he has just returned from Norway where he was picking up the last few shots needed to add to his latest film ‘Attention – a life in extremes’. I caught up with him to conduct the all mighty and usual iLivExtreme grilling..
If you have a university degree, what subject is it? If you don’t what has been the ‘University of Life’s’ greatest lesson so far?
I studied communications but directing is holding me off my last exams so far. Greatest lesson is actually a very basic realization. There is no second chance!
What was your main memory of filming ‘Attention – a life in extremes’?
Ah. There are quite a few. But having smashed my thumbnail in the cars door during the last RAAM was tough. And that in the middle of the desert. Lesson: Heat does not make the pain easier. The many really nice memories while traveling and shooting so far will last a lifetime. Like sunrise “breakfast” in Colorado. Or seeing a wingsuit flyer live for the first time.
What will audiences find surprising when watching the movie?
That it is much more than an extreme sports movie. The characters we get to know and the very basic human topics that come along with them make it quite a personal journey.
How was the idea for the movie born?
One night at a dark lake in Austria. I sat there quietly and waited for a fish to bite. Suddenly a big creature stumbled towards me… Just kidding. What interested me was the motivation of people who are more willing to take risks than others. Not only in sports. Also the strong will of becoming successful for any prize is an outcome of our society that has my attention. So I thought that extreme sports athletes would serve as perfect vehicles to answer some questions.
Did you make any good friends whilst filming ?
Apart from getting to know my friend and DOP (Director of Photography) Viktor better I got to know a lot of very nice and interesting people. I wouldn`t say friends. But people I would feel blessed to meet again in the future.
Why did you choose to follow long distance cyclist Gerhard Gulewicz, freediver Guillaume Néry and the wingsuit flyer Halvor Angvik over other extreme athletes?
Because they complement each other perfectly. Every single one of them represents a different angle on the theme. And still form a perfect circle. And hey, they are amongst the world’s best in their field.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
Is that a beauty pageant question? I don’t think it needs to be a superpower. To have the power to be truly independent is a state of living I would love to have.
Sum up your outlook on life in 5 words.
Live like you mean it!
What are you most looking forward to during the remainder of 2013?
Finishing this movie. Definitely.
Do you have a party-trick? If so, what is it?
I would love to have one. But never did. To be honest, I am not the most entertaining person during most of the parties. But the starting line: “I am a director!” mostly draws attention.
You’ve just come back from shooting in Norway, how did you find it?
We were shooting interviews with Halvor Angvik’s family and friends. Get to know the private life of this character. It was great. First sunny and warm days up north. A lot of very relaxed people. Very scenic shots. To sum it up: Great shooting with good experiences. Would love to see more of the country next time.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
That’s a hard one. Maybe to be able to progress. Personally and jobwise. I would die to be stuck in routines. But that demands a certain amount of motivation and strength. And I am proud and glad to have that.
What makes you sad?
People born with no chance in life.
What makes you happy?
Good times with friends. Sounds platitudinous but it is THE thing worth living for.
What is your favourite smell?
Who do you most admire and why?
I have no specific person in mind right now. But generally, people who have power and use it for good causes.
In what way is your movie different from other extreme sports movies?
In the angle of seeing the sport. The athletes are vehicles for greater themes and answers and hopefully we got some action shots nobody has seen so far.
What has been your single most memorable sports experience?
My first mountainbike race. 13 or 14 years old. A crash within the first 20 kilometers into the ambulance. My bike was completely ruined. I was glad I wasn’t injured. But I had to go with the mechanics car at the end of the field. 5 hours of watching the brave, last few racers fighting every small hill with a terrible soundtrack of constant high volume folk music from inside the car. A disturbing experience. I never crashed badly again.
What 1 thing would make your life better?
I have to admit that I am very happy with my life at the moment. Anything better would be the cherry at the top. Which comes without asking or wishing for it.
Which is your favourite extreme sport?
Freediving. The full control not just over your body but also over your mind and even basic body functions is amazing.
Can you play any instruments?
Guitar and piano. But I am just a time to time player. So no sophisticated skills or symphonies.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so bad?
Working on constructing sites mixing concrete. The activity itself wasn’t so bad. But the people there where always pretty frustrated and harsh. You could feel the dissatisfaction in their lives.
If a genie gave you 1 wish to use to improve your movie, what would it be?
You tell me! One wish I would ask for is for a marketing blast all over the world.
Tell us a secret…
I’m not wearing pants right now… No! I have no real secrets to reveal. Just the ones which deserve to be kept!
Tell us the first word that comes to mind when you see the following words.
Extreme – “Race Across America Finisher.”
Holiday – “Beach”
Happy – “A dog’s name”
Danger – “High Voltage”
Swear Word – “Scheisse!”
Attention – A life in Extremes TRAILER
Like what you see and read head over to the movie page
All images provided by AdriAlpe-Media