What is the thing that I love best about my work? I love everything from reading the script to filming through to promotion and presenting the film at festivals. Turning a text or an idea into image and sound is the most beautiful achievement in my eyes. Fortunately, this is the job of a producer !
What is my idea of perfect happiness? To live in a world where everyone accepts and loves one another despite their differences. A utopian dream perhaps !
What is my greatest fear? To miss a great project or to engage in a project and not be able to fulfill my promises.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Being too demanding for things that do not require that much perfection.
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? That’s a difficult question as there are so many talented film producers ! I will only mention French producers as I work in France and the way we work is different from the US for example. The US has large studios which finance the majority of films whereas in France we rely on state and regional aid. One producer who has impressed me a lot is Pascal Caucheteux of Why Not Productions. He has produced films for the likes of Jacques Audiard, Ken Loach, Christophe Honoré and Arnaud Desplechin. The Altmayer Brothers (Mandarin) and the François Kraus and Denis Pineau-Valencienne association (Les Films du Kiosque) are more commercial yet remarkable producers in the field of comedy or social issues. They are the best in France today.
What is my greatest extravagance? I think I would have to say my latest project, which is my first feature film. I have personally invested a small fortune on my scale. I cannot divulge any details for the moment however.
On what occasion would I lie? I would lie to protect my interests or those of the people that I love.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? I consider myself really lucky to be able to do this wonderful job as a film producer, I learn a lot and I love it. In addition the missions are extremely varied which allows you to never get bored. There is nothing I don’t particularly like to do, maybe it will come over time.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? It was Thursday July 6, 2017 at Gaumont Parnasse in Paris. That day, I received the Eicar Grand Prize for my short film Y a “R”. Eicar is the film school I graduated from with a Masters in 2017. It was a magnificent occasion. The 800-seat auditorium at Gaumont-Parnasse was packed with all the students of the school. I saw my film on the big screen for the first time, it’s a really strong moment and the feedback was very positive. My mother who was present was suitably impressed ! The prize was awarded to us by a wonderful jury, which included Pascal Legitimus, an idol from my childhood. This was the first prize of my career and it made me realize that it was possible to succeed in this field.I still get shivers thinking about it.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I would like to be more efficient and more focused.
What is my greatest achievement in work? I would say creating my company Zodiac Films.
Where would I most like to live? I love the Mediterranean way of life so I would have to say the South of France
What is my most treasured possession? I used to have an official UN Zippo lighter from the peacekeepers mission in Kosovo which was given to me on my birthday by a friend who had taken part. It was my good luck charm for a long time. I also have painting that was awarded to me at Dublin International Film and Music Festival in 2018 for the short film “The Beginning” which is part of my catalog.
What is my most marked characteristic? Being positive and always looking forward !
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I live near the Seine in the 5th arrondissement in Paris. Going for a walk or a jog along the river is a daily inspiration.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? I really like the rooftop bars, especially in summer. The Printemps Haussman terrace offers a superb view of Paris. The fish and meat dishes are very good. Another Rooftop I like is Le Perchoir at Gare de l’Est. It is a large charming terrace with lots of vegetation. The cocktails are especially good. I love also an hidden gem called L’Hôtel Particulier Montmartre. It is a directoire style building surrounded by a large garden, with a bar and its restaurant open every evening, the place is also recognized as being the smallest hotel in Paris with its five suites of heterogeneous design nestled in a private passage in the heart of the Montmartre district. I love going the Grands Boulevards. It is conveniently located for going to the theatre or the legendary cinemas such as the Grand Rex, Max Linder and Gaumont. district. I am not that mundane and I also really love cosmopolitan districts like Belleville, whose energy I like and which contains many unique and inspiring places. There is among many places in this corner a bar which regularly organizes movie screenings and shows in an invisible back room when entering at the back of the bar, it is called Au Café de Paris.
What books influenced my life and how? Who are my favorite writers? John Huston’s autobiography was one of the books that cemented my desire to make films. Behind the prolific director was first of all a man who was embracing life to the fullest, passionate and courageous with his faults and imbalances. This human side behind the strong and recognized man is what fascinated me and made me want to dedicate my life to the limitless adventures that cinema offers. Otherwise, I like reading classics from everytime and everywhere. I could make a top 3 composed by Victor Hugo, Fiodor Dostoïevski and John Irving.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Le Paradis Blanc by Michel Berger. One the most beautiful song for a funeral, so to speak.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? I have many ! I change approximately every week.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? It is not very original but it is my mother. A very courageous principled person with a huge heart.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? Difficult question ! I love gangster movies, I recently rewatched Carlito’s Way by Brian de Palma, magnificent, in my opinion better than Scarface.
What role plays art in my life and work? The main role !
What is my biggest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? I do not reveal the names of my partners in crime.
Whom would I like to work with in 2020? I would like to work with Gaspar Noé on a film based on the Berlin electro scene of the 90s. Perhaps he may even read this interview? I would hope so !
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2020? The ones I admire and I mentioned before.
What project, in 2020, am I looking forward to work on? My first feature film. It requires a lot of my energy and focus. We are also working on a short film this summer and some advertising projects. I am really hoping that my company can become profitable after two years of investing in its development.
Where can you see me or my work in 2020? It’s a rather strange year so far with the Covid -19 pandemic. Like many others the filming on my current project was postponed. However you can see the first short film that I produced “Y a” R” on YouTube. I will be on the film sets this summer when filming resumes.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? It is a fact of life for me !
Which creative heroes should Peter invite to tell their story? People in movie making like Sophie Martin, Sacha Vucinic or the street artist / painter Waroox have all great stories to tell for sure.
How can you contact me? In the contacts section of my website www.zodiacfilms.fr. I read the messages !
Here follows a message of Peter de Kuster, founder of The Hero’s Journey
Are you a creative leader or creative professional looking to develop your business skills and storytelling?
Amidst today’s uncertainty, it is more important than ever to reconnect with yourself and others, develop your creative business, and build your story. Dive deep into your unique business style and areas for growth with the coaching of Peter de Kuster.
IS THE HERO’S JOURNEY COACHING FOR YOU?
You are a creative leader or creative professional who is interested in developing yourself, your business, and your story.
You are aware that there are no quick fixes. Learning is a journey that works when you are fully committed to it. Coaching can bring awareness and help you navigate, but in the end it’s you who is in charge of your growth.
You want to learn more about how to resource yourself, learn about blind spots, and get feedback.
You are curious and want to engage in online learning.
You are motivated to work in-between sessions on yourself (e.g. working on homework assignments that will help you develop new storytelling, skills, and behaviors).
WHAT’S YOUR COACHING QUESTION?
The Hero’s Journey Coaching is all about your development. To make the most out of your sessions, we ask you to prepare topics to work on with Peter. These topics can serve as a starting point for further in-depth exploration with Peter.
These coaching topics typically resonate with the creative leaders Peter works with:
How can i tell the most powerful story possible about myself and my creative business?
How can I handle self promotion and marketing of my creative business better?
How do can I stay authentic and with focus when having difficult conversations with potential clients?
What are my creative values and how do I align these with my business values?
How can I manage my time and energy better?
How can I radiate confidence to my clients while feeling anxious inside?
How can I steer myself towards creative excellence without becoming rigid?
About Peter de Kuster
Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’s Journey & Hero’s Journey project, a storytelling firm which helps creative professionals to create careers and lives based on whatever story is most integral to their lives and careers (values, traits, skills and experiences). Peter’s approach combines in-depth storytelling and marketing expertise, and for over 20 years clients have found it effective with a wide range of creative business issues.
Peter is writer of the series The Heroine’s Journey and Hero’s Journey books, he has an MBA in Marketing, MBA in Financial Economics and graduated at university in Sociology and Communication Sciences.
The Hero’s Journey Coaching online sessions last 50 minutes and the fee is Euro 189 excluding VAT per session. The Hero’s Journey Coaching is suitable for people at any stage in their career.
Who can sign up for The Hero’s Journey online coaching?
Creative leaders and creative professionals who wish to improve their business story and develop their business skills and mindset.
Should I choose 1:1 coaching?
Our The Hero’s Journey experiences in world cities allow you to learn not only from the coach but also from your peers. For the small group coaching (1 – 4 people), we have selected important, relevant topics that we find regularly come up for creative professional: purpose, storytelling, creative confidence, self promotion, time & money and resilience.
If you would prefer to work alone or on a different topic, individual coaching is a better fit for you.
What language do we speak in the coaching sessions?
Can I buy coaching for my organization?
Yes, you can! We support many organizations around the world with their coaching needs. Please contact us for more information.
Can I bring my own topics?
Yes, for individual coaching you get to choose your own topic.
Are coaching sessions confidential?
Yes. Peter will not share anything that is discussed in the coaching sessions.
Where will the coaching sessions take place?
Sessions will take place online (as per the times we live in) via an online tool like Zoom or Skype. Peter will let you know.
How do I sign up?
Send Peter a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to start booking your coaching sessions.
How do I pay?
After you send the mail, you will receive an email with a link to pay.
How do I book and reschedule sessions?
Once we’ve received your payment, Peter will contact you and book your coaching sessions. He will also support you with rescheduling sessions if needed.
What is your cancellation policy?
Individual coaching sessions can be postponed up to one week before the session.