Friedrich Kohle, PhD

Short Bio

A global multi-lingual production expert with management experience and a taste for education.

In spring 2020 I joined the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) as visiting Associate Professor for the duration of one semester. I designed and taught three courses: 1) Video Journalism, 2) Documentary Production and 3) Poetic Documentary Production before returning to the Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUAS) Netherland sat the end of the spring semester.

In 2009 I joined BUAS, to teach Film & TV production. I obtained fill tenure in 2012. I am also an external examiner for Nord University, Norway. At BUAS I developed a special interest in documentary filmmaking and Impact Producing. Productions include ‘A Safe Haven’, a short documentary about refugee children in the Netherlands, and ‘God, Church, Pills & Condoms’, a film exploring teenage pregnancies in the Philippines.

I began my career in the UK where I studied at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design. I obtained my MA in Film & TV production at the Northern Media School, Sheffield Hallam University, and earned my PhD at the University of Edinburgh.

Notable positions include location manager for the Channel 4 UK feature film Prometheus, Head of Productions at the Lux Centre, post-supervisor for Studio Babelsberg in Berlin for Wim Wender’s documentary Soul of a Man and Jackie Chan’s 80 Days Around the World.

As Head of Post-production for Bigfoot Entertainment I set up the only Dolby certified cinema mixing stage in the Philippines. South East Asian Projects include the documentary USS Cooper as well as corporate and feature film productions. As Assistant Director for Production and Post-production I contributed to the set-up NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Singapore campus under Oliver Stone and David Irving.

Selected Achievements – extended bio

Invited Lord David Puttnam to give a speech via Skype to celebrate the 10th anniversary of BUAS, University of Applied Sciences, Breda, Netherlands.

I contributed to the internationalisation of BUAS by recommending media experts and teachers to the school. (i.e. producer Arleen Cuevas, senior lecturer Stephen Paine, documentary filmmaker Koen Suidgeest now work for BUAS. Guest speakers include Oscar winner Greg Curda)

I am course responsible for the flagship TV production programme collaborating with our partner school Bournemouth University, UK. In seven weeks students develop, produce and stream a 30 minute live TV show.

Set up of New York Universities high-profile Tisch Asia Film Programme in Singapore under Oliver Stone. Planned and set up Bigfoot Entertainments Dolby certified post facilities, Cebu, Philippines.

Successful post-production negotiations and strategy implementation on behalf of Studio Babelsberg with Walden Media for ’80 Days around the World’, featuring Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Bronze and Finalist Award at the Houston Film Festival. Official selection for documentaries at International Film Festival Sedona USA, Hanoi International Film Festival Vietnam and Cinemalaya Manila Philippines.

Professional Experience

Since February 2009:

Senior Lecturer, Breda University of Applied Sciences, Breda, Netherlands. (www.buas.nl) Teaching Film & TV production, social media and documentary film. Obtained full tenure in 2012. 

July 2007 – February 2009:

Assistant Director for Production and Post-production, New York University, Singapore under Oliver Stone (www.tisch.nyu.edu/tisch-asia). Building up and providing post- and production support for NYU students and staff. In charge of all production facilities and technical workshops.

December 2005 – July 2007:

Head of Post-production. Relocated from Europe to Cebu to lead Bigfoot Post-Productions. In charge of a team of 35 editors, CGI-artists and trainees. (www.bigfootentertainment.com) Mentor at the IAFT (www.filmschool.ph)

December 2003 – November 2005:

Teacher. Development and implementation of O-level curriculum to German Youth at risk at the German Youth project Casa Enrique in Benissa. Developing the projects website, producing project promotional video. (www.casahenrique.com) Media production for DVD and internet distribution. Website hosting, maintenance and design.

January, 2003 – September, 2003

Post-production Coordinator at Studio Babelsberg (www.studiobabelsberg.com), coordinating international projects such as 80 Days around the World, featuring Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and John Cleese. Promo-production for the studios website.

December, 2001 – September, 2002

Teacher. Media education as part of my social engagement for juvenile delinquents in Spain for Esperanza Juvenil, Altea, Spain. Duties included media training, website development and production of promotional media.

Freelance Work:  June 2001

London Producer. Pre-production and production of German Soap ‘Marienhof’ for Bavaria Studios, managing and coordinating the production team.

November, 2000 – May, 2001

Producer at iBeam Europe, London. Supervised field production team, consisting of Senior Encoder, Network Engineer, 2 AV-technicians, 2 Camera Operators and 4 freelance team members throughout Europe. Produced live and on-demand web-casts, including:

  • the Merrill Lynch Auto show conference in Genève,
  • the State Street Bank conference in Florence,
  • the Credit Suisse and First Boston conferences in Barcelona.

April, 1999 – November, 2000

Head of Production, Lux centre, London. Produced work for new British talent such as James Callis. (Bridget Jones’ Diary) Managed events of established artists such as Blur’s 10th anniversary exhibition and Bjoerk. Management experience for high profile artists such as Turner Award nominees The Wilson Twins, Brian Eno, etc. Developed information architecture for Lux facilities website. Negotiated a £ 125 thousand acquisition with Avid Europe saving the Lux £ 30 thousand in the process. Designed ongoing in-house training program. Managed team of 9 AV-technicians, over 15 freelance camera operators, and sound recordists.

1997 – 1998

Location Manager, Holmes Associates (Channel 4). Organised feature film production requiring 6 meter tall, golden statue of the Greek god Prometheus which was transported across Europe with a crew of 25. Conducted strategic coordination with local government and police. Safely produced a night-shoot at the Dynamo Dresden football stadium requiring unusual and potentially hazardous aerial photography.

1996 – 1997

Floor Manager, The Weather Channel, London. Promoted to Floor Manager 4 month after beginning work as Transmission Controller. Scheduled presenters and studio teams. In charge of maintenance and acquisition of studio equipment. Learned to stay calm under pressure. Successfully lead and motivated a team of 3 transmission controllers and 4 studio operators.

1986-1988

Civilian employee to the US armed forces at their warehouse and maintenance facility. (US Army 89th Maintenance Unit, Böblingen, Germany)

Time out and travel

From 1989 until 1990 I travelled across Europe and the US.

Volunteer work: 1995: 2 month volunteer teacher at the Feltham Young Offenders Institute.

Education

2011-2018

PhD exploring how social media is changing the value chain in documentary production at University of Edinburgh, School of Design.

1995 – 1996

MA in Film and TV production under the supervision of Alan Fountain, former head of Channel 4, at Northern Media School (NMS), Sheffield, UK.

 1992 – 1995

BA(Hons) in Film & Video at Surrey Institute of Art & Design (SIAD), Farnham, UK.

1990 – 1991

Pimlico Arts & Media, Pimlico, London. Vocational video production training, covering basic studio and location production.

1976 – 1985

High School in Germany, Boeblingen. Equivalent to 5 ‘A’-levels in Latin, Arts, Ethics, Physics, English and History. (Reifepruefung)

Other Achievements and Skills

Freelance Lecturer in professional practices at the Surrey Institute, the University of the Philippines, the Kensington and Chelsea Media Project. External examiner for Nord University, Norway. Fluent in German and English, conversational in Dutch and Spanish. Apple Mac, Linux and Windows user, knowledge of Word, Excel. Completed online ’Writing for Impact’ course at udemy.com.

Teaching approach

I am less of a lecturer and more of a coach and who likes to ‘flip the classroom’. I discover new knowledge together with my students in small groups and prefer more contact time with students rather than less. Topics include content development, production, post-production and social media with a special focus on factual programming, documentary film and impact producing.

An example of an information session on social media is here. Students are encouraged to participate before these sessions using online surveys like this one here.