Student film series: “Meine Leidenschaft” highlights people’s passions

Spending the nights in sleeping bags, Daniel Hasel and Lorenz Weisse hiked through the mountains shooting film scenes at several locations and adapting as best they could to the unpredictable weather.

Hasel is a junior at Southern Adventist University, majoring in film production with an emphasis in Spanish. He has been a devout photographer and filmmaker since he purchased his first camera seven years ago. He practiced on his own, at first, and continued to hone his skill, taking his camera through all of his travels. 

He has served organizations in various countries across the globe, including Lebanon, Argentina, and even here at Southern through the former outreach program, Westside4Jesus.

Eventually, he began to develop an interest in the documentary style. During the summer of 2019, Hasel started a filmmaking project called “Meine Leidenschaft,” which translates from German to “My Passion.”

“I started the project, together with my cousin, Lukas Sikora, out of an interest in creating something meaningful,” Hasel said. “Telling stories is a passion of mine.”

Hasel’s first episode featured Sikora’s passion.

“We spent a lot of time together [and] collected some ideas,” Sikora said. “I like repairing and working on cars, and we had all the materials we needed.”

In his second episode, he featured Weisse, a landscape photographer who was eager to work with Hasel on this project.

“[Hasel] is one of the most talented filmmakers I know,” Weisse said.

Hasel starts by finding someone he knows who is interested in participating. He then interviews the person and works off of that to produce a script. Together they edit the script, envisioning how the film scenes can match the text and scouting shooting locations beforehand as much as possible.

“The rest is following the person in their passion,” Hasel said. “…For every episode, I have a shot-list of what I need to film. So, it is difficult to work with classic storyboard because conditions change; and we adapt the visual storytelling throughout, but the shot-list gives a structure.”

Hasel already has plans for two more episodes: one in California, as well as one at Southern. He hopes to continue the project when time allows.

“In the end, this is a project about friends who are passionate,” Hasel said. “I am glad I can use my passion of telling those stories and collecting them, and I plan on keeping this project going.”

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