Tanja Ploner

Production Design Assistant, Script & Continuity

How did you get into film? What particularly attracted you to become part of this industry?

Since I was a little girl, watching in awe the entire „Behind the Scenes“ material of „The Lord of the Rings“ trilogy over and over again, it was clear to me: I want to make films. What I admire about the industry is how many experts in their field come together and give their best to work towards a common goal. Not to mention the motivation. I know few other fields where people are so willingly giving their all, in rain and snow, in sunshine and at night, indoors and outdoors, with only a few hours of sleep and a lot of caffeine in their blood, just to get that last shot in the can.

What distinguishes Tirol as a film region for you?

I think what is obviously striking is the beautiful nature. Tirol has more to offer than just beautiful mountains, but many people and filmmakers may not (yet) be aware of that. We also have our historic old towns, modern buildings, and some interesting stories to tell. Not to mention the most motivated and nicest crew members I know.

We are curious: Tell us your favourite location in Tirol!

It’s hard to limit myself to just one location. The place and the images that have stayed with me the most were during the filming of the short film „Mind Sweeper,“ where we shot in January in Gaistal in Leutasch. We had a three-day (overnight) night shoot, and it had been snowing all day, but just as we arrived at the location, the cloud cover cleared, and there was a beautiful pink-orange sunset in the midst of the snowy mountains.

Mind Sweeper Still_ © Gabriel Greuter

And now: The stage is yours! Please introduce yourselves and your field of activity.

It was clear to me very early on that I wanted to make films. What I didn’t know was what role I wanted to play in it. Therefore, I made it my mission to gain experience in as many areas as possible during my education to slowly find my passion. I decided (reluctantly) to leave Tirol and study in St. Pölten. At the University of Applied Sciences St. Pölten, I completed my bachelor’s degree in Media Technology and then my master’s degree in Digital Media Production. During this time, I was able to work on various projects both in the university context and outside. My first „major“ project was my bachelor’s thesis film, „Wiedersehen.“ I wrote the short drama set in World War II, where „on the outermost edge of a battlefield somewhere in Austria, two soldiers meet.“ In addition to the screenplay, I also served as a production designer and, in freezing temperatures, snowfall, and darkness, while nailing shoes and blowing dirt, discovered my enthusiasm for the Art Department.

wiedersehen_bts © Viktoria Blahna

In addition to some music videos, TV contributions, and assistance on other short films, I was also heading towards the documentary field, for example, as a director for „Fighting For A Living,“ a documentary about stunt performers in Austria. As mentioned earlier, we shot the short drama „Mind Sweeper“ in January, in Tirol, in the mountains, at night, and in the snow. As the screenwriter of the short film, I still feel sorry that the crew had to freeze because of me, but the result is something to be proud of. And to be fair, as a production designer and script & continuity, I was also shivering on set. In the spring of 2022, I decided to embark on a new project and initiated the project „Women’s Business“ as a producer and production manager. The goal: to implement film projects with an all-female* team and to learn from and with each other. Meanwhile, over 60 women* are involved, and two short films, „Women’s Business“ and „A Few Hundred Million,“ as well as the pilot episode of the mini-series „It’s my Fucking Story,“ have been created.

Women’s Business Crew © Michelle Heiduk

As you can see, I have definitely achieved my goal of gaining experience in various departments. My enthusiasm lies primarily in the Art Department because I can work very creatively and must find spontaneous solutions, following the motto „it ain’t stupid if it works.“ On the other hand, my organizational talent also helps me in this regard. Interestingly, these are also the two most important qualities for the production department, and the enthusiasm for puzzles, spot-the-difference games, and Rubik’s cubes can be easily transferred to continuity. The formerly partially hated hiking tours have now given way to various location scouting trips and visits that I have come to appreciate and love. And thanks to a climate ticket, the whole of Austria, including Tirol again, is now a possible film location. And that makes me very happy. So, as you can see, my younger self would be very proud because I am now „making films.“


Tanja Ploner
Arzler Straße 48b
6020 Innsbruck
Mob.: +436603725825
Mail.: t.ploner33@gmail.c

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