Jan Harlan is member of the international jury. His documentary Stanley Kubrick – A Life in Pictures, is part of the Tampere Film Festival special programme.
How did you become a film producer?
Through Stanley Kubrick himself. I lived and worked in New York 1963/64 and worked in my previous profession, data-processing and business organisation. Stanley and his wife (my sister) returned from England with their 3 children with Dr. Strangelove(1964). I saw the family regularly and Stanley and I became good friends. Music was one of the topics we connected professionally.
I had no intention or interest to change my profession but I stayed in touch with him while he returned to England and I to Germany. I got married and lived in Zurich. It was 6 years later when Stanley asked me to join him in my profession for a year in Romania for exterior filming on his project NAPOLEON. I decided that this would be a great challenge and moved to England for pre-production planning. We got along very well and after MGM pulled the film Kubrick asked me to stay for another project. One thing led to another and I happily worked with him for 30 years. After his death I worked with Steven Spielberg on “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” and made a number of documentaries, two for Warner Bros..
How would you describe your career? What were the highlights of it? Is there anything that you would’ve done differently?
Film-Production is fundamentally a manufacturing process. The ART needs to be brought in through artists, through writers, directors, actors, designers etc. My work was negotiating, money, planing, getting permissions and rights. I loved it.
You worked with Stanley Kubrick for 3 decades. What was the most fascinating part in working with him?
He himself, his focus on the political aspect of societies and his conviction that humanity is doomed the way be behave. Here is the thin red line through all his films.
Do you still follow closely what is happening in the film industry?
I do, but to a lesser extent.
What do you think about the metoo campaign?
It’s about time. A good development.
You also lecture at film schools. What advice do you give to young producer or filmmakers?
First fall in love with an idea, with a story – then evaluate this critically, very critically. If you are still “in love” – go for it! Make it your own and don’t let anyone stop you.
Any pitfalls they should avoid?
Thinking that technical skill, money or effects can camouflage the lack of love and passion for the subject.
What are the most important values or principles that you live by?
To be the best partner for my wife, and a good father and father-in law and grandfather for my seven grandchildren.
L131 | 10.3. SAT/LA 17:00 | PAKKAHUONE | alk. / from 8 €