We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris von Hoffmann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
It’s pretty simple. I have no choice. I’m what some might call an emotionally immature person but that doesn’t mean I don’t have emotions. It’s that I have trouble conveying them, especially toward others. So in order to prevent me from feeling emotionally trapped on a daily basis, I have to tell stories in order to cleanse myself and feel human. Otherwise, I’d be in a straightjacket.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a writer, director, producer, editor, blogger. Breaking into show business can be intimidating but it’s not impossible. Sculpting a career feels like a wrestling match between you and a T-Rex. My initial path was pretty straightforward. I made tons of short films plus a feature film as well as networked like a psychopath. Eventually, the chips fell into place and my foot was in the door allowing me to make a second feature. What I learned pretty early on is that Hollywood is controlled by screenwriters. This forced me to buckle down and strengthen my skills on the page. However, it wasn’t until the last year or so that I found my footing as a literary storyteller. Since the 2020 lockdown, I’ve written 8 spec features, a short film, a pilot, and experimental monologues/scenes that I workshop with actors in an ongoing zoom class. Right now I’m labeled as a genre filmmaker. Horror specifically. What separates me from others is that most of my inspirations don’t come from genre films. They come from dark comedies and dramas. Paul Thomas Anderson is my favorite director and I still consider him the most exciting filmmaker making movies today. I’d like the world to know that my best stuff is ahead of me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a loaded question considering the casual apocalypse we’re living in but I’ll do my best. I lived in Los Angeles for 8 years and am currently on the east coast but I’ll give an itinerary for LA nonetheless. I’d recommend checking out the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) on Wilshire. Take a nice drive up the PCH and have lunch in Malibu at the Paradise Cove Cafe by the beach. Check out a violent movie at a drive-in. Ding dong ditch celebrity’s houses. Go pool hopping in a random neighborhood in Burbank. Finish it off with a mushroom trip in Joshua Tree. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Might seem like a cliche answer, but my mother and father. They balance me out quite well. My father was a professional photographer throughout the ’80s so he’s been terrific at pushing me artistically. My mother reminds me frequently that filmmaking is still a business and to find that balance between commerce and art. I love them both.