American Golden Picture

International Film Festival


AN INTERVIEW WITH Thorsten Schade, WRITER & FILMMAKER


As a filmmaker, please introduce yourself and let us know why you became a filmmaker?

Hi, I’m Thorsten Schade, actor, screenwriter and filmmaker. I already wanted to make movies when I was 8 years old.

My sister and her husband invited me to the cinema. It was my first time. We saw the Kung Fu horror thriller: "The Legend of the seven Golden Vampires“, produced by the British Hammer Studios. I was amazed. Peter Cushing fought against creepy vampires.

Back home, I told my friends about the movie and convinced them to “reenact” the movie under my direction. After that I watched movies

such as "Jaws", "The Omen" and, of course, "Star Wars". These movies were the reason why I began to love cinema.

Later I decided to become an actor. After my studies, I played in theaters and in different productions of German television.


Give us some more information about the films you have made so far, and about your experience?

My first three short movies were produced in cooperation with a youth center. The actors were kids and adolescents. Together we wrote

the screenplay, which we then filmed. We enjoyed this work a lot. A few years later, I had the idea for a script. I asked my fellow actors

of the dinner theatre whether they’d like to shoot a film under my direction. There was no money, no make up team, no guaranties;

success was quite uncertain. They agreed. This is how my first short movie "Showtime" was made; it’s the story of a woman who has

to find out that her husband is a serial killer. "The Invitation" is the fifth short movie that I wrote and produced.


How you got started in the film world. What sparked your interest in visual storytelling?

I like inventing stories and the corresponding images are already in my mind. As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve been to cinema regularly since

I was 8 years old. Often alone. Back home, I kept telling my friends and parents about those movies. It was a really special feeling.

I wanted to amaze them, just the way that I was amazed. Today I want to make movies that amaze people because they are especially thrilling

or surprising. I want to pass on this feeling that I had as a child to other film enthusiasts.


What are the films or people that had impacts on you and deeply inspired you to become a filmmaker?

George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, Wes Craven, Stanley Kubrick, Francis Ford Coppola, William Friedkin, Richard Donner

are some of the directors that inspired me. Among my favorite movies are "The Omen“, "The Shining“, "The Exorcist“, "Star Wars“ and "Star Trek“.


Why did you decide to tell this specific story in "The Invitation”?

On the first glance, "The Invitation" is a horror movie with elements of comedy. However, the story has a second, deeper level,

a message that is important to me. It’s about the human desire of wanting to belong to something bigger.

We see all those successful people on television, or the world of stars, and we’d like to be part of it. But we can never see behind

those sparkling curtains. We can’t know what those successful people had to sacrifice, how they had to bend over backwards,

which price they paid and still have to pay in order to be successful and, whether we’d be willing to do the same.


Can you share how you started and finished this film, what were some of the challenges you encountered while filming and how did you overcome them?

The Invitation is a no-budget short film. That was basically the biggest challenge. When you direct with a low budget, you have to be flexible.

You should always be prepared to throw your plans overboard, to arrange things differently. Additionally, you also have to take

over tasks that normally aren’t yours. I was not just a director, I was also responsible for screenwriting, location scouting and pizza ordering.

And you should be quick. We had four days for filming. Nicolas Mussell is a good cameraman, so it wasn’t that much of a problem.

But the most important thing is to have fun.


What was your casting process like? 


Did you have any actor in mind while working on the screenplay?

All the actors in "The Invitation" I personally know, so there was no casting. When I wrote the screenplay, I had no specific actors in my mind.

I was incredibly lucky with my cast and crew. Orestes Fiedler as Tom Renner is just awesome. Neven Nöthig as Adam Birkenholz is just as good. And all the other actors and actresses were just perfect in their roles and the crew was fantastic.

Did you have any other burden during filming?

I will find a nice spot for the award in my apartment. Whereas the filming of "The Invitation" ran smoothly, we had to face some

problems  in the post production. Unfortunately, two cutters backed out in a row, so that in the end, I had to cut the film by myself.

But looking back,  that was actually not a bad thing. How often do you have the chance to make your own directors cut?

It’s been a great pleasure to work with Christian Reisert, who composed the music for "The Invitation". I value good film music a lot. Music can make a weak movie better  and a good movie worse. Music is often underestimated by directors, at least in Germany.

I was amazed by Christian’s film music and  I’ve rarely ever experienced such a smooth cooperation.

My crew and I were really happy about the award of the “Best Fiction Short”. It’s an honor.

I want to thank “American Golden Picture International Film Festival” for this award and

I want to thank my crew of "The Invitation" for their great work and my wife Melanie La Porta for her support.


For you what was the biggest lesson you had to learn?

Filmmaking is teamwork. You should always treat your cast and crew friendly and be open to suggestions.

As long as you know how the final movie is supposed to be, and as long as you are well prepared, you can stay cool.

A good movie is the summarized effort of everyone who is involved in its production.

The most important part is distributing the film. What did you do so far for distributing your film?

I found a German streaming service to include The Invitation in their program.


What are your filmmaking goals?

As a filmmaker who is producing non-budget movies, I am dreaming about a big budget feature film. Preferably in the genres of horror or thriller.

It could be either a commissioned production or a longer version of "The Invitation", or even a completely new idea.


What are you currently working on and what can you tell us about your next project?

I am currently working on a twisted horror story about the friendship between a person and a dog. I’m also planning a serial killer story.

In the area where I live there was once a killer who ate his victims. And there are more stories in my mind.


Good Luck Thorsten