My name is Klemens Hufnagl. I´m a Cinematographer based in Vienna and work mostly on feature films for cinema and TV.
A lot of roads lead to film. Which one did you take?
In my family there were a lot of musicians and painters, so I was exposed to art from an early age. I was interested in the process of moviemaking, but it was not so easy to get your hands on equipment and gain experience in the 90s. So i studied Multimedia Arts in Salzburg with the goal to become a webdesigner. The classes that interested me the most were the video classes. I loved the endless possibilities of composing images in a timeline. As I was always drawn more to visuals and music then words, pursuing a career as a cinematographer was a logical goal.
I went on to study at the Vienna Film Academy and after shooting a lot of shorts and documentaries my first feature film was MACONDO directed by Sudabeh Mortezai in 2013.
There are three stages in creating a movie: preproduction, production and postproduction. As a cinematographer you are involved in all three parts and the combination of these worlds is what makes moviemaking so unique. Every step has different demands, challenges and rhythms. It´s like changing your life multiple times per year. You can reinvent yourself and your approach with every new project.
Financing a movie is a complicated and long process. So it´s hard to plan and know when your next job is going to happen. This is not only difficult for myself, but also for my crew as I often can´t tell them when a shoot is going to happen. You depend on your crew and it´s like a family, but it´s hard to be loyal because of these uncertainties.
Great gear …
It should make your job easier not harder and be reliable in all possible situations. The best equipment is the one that also has an influence to your style and the way you shoot, that frees you from boundaries you previously had.
Are you a nerd?
I´m very interested in the technical part and want to know what´s available and possible. It is the cinematographers responsibility to design the equipment package that´s best suited for a certain job. So I need to have a good knowledge about it. Nevertheless I do not dive too deep into the specifics and also rely on the knowledge of the camera assistants, gaffer and key grip.
My most extraordinary / strange / crazy / weird / fascinating experience on set …
On almost all features I shot we were very lucky with the weather. For MÄRZENGRUND the script called for one day with heavy fog on the mountain. I joked around with Adrian the director that we don´t have to worry about VFX or SFX as I´m always lucky with the weather. So the day arrived and the fog slowly crawled up the mountain at exactly the right time. The only day this happened was when we needed it.
One sentence about our products that we may quote:
Features like the spectrum analyzer and manual frequency management were very important for our shoot in the mountains. There is no other system on the market that´s so reliable and where you can analyze and change these settings on the fly.