The Peace Maker of the Film Industry

By Tashanea Whitlow 02-22-15

Miki Emmrich is rarely seen and that’s exactly how he likes it. You Google the Unit Production Manager’s name and you can’t find a single photo of him. He prefers being behind the scenes, so you can imagine how thrilled WEBN was when he agreed to be interviewed.

Emmrich tells WEBN in Los Angeles, “I like being behind the scenes and this is my very first interview in-front of the camera.”

The Unit Production manager for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”  is vigilant behind the scenes and he knows how to keep the peace on set. He’s been doing it for quite some time now. Emmrich says to WEBN, the most perplexing thing about working in the film industry is bringing a director’s vision to life.

“So you have to fix the reality into making it what the director wants and sometimes that’s challenging.”

Even in the harshest of condition, Emmrich maintains a level head. He tells WEBN, while filming “The Grand Budapest Hotel” in Germany, the weather was brutally cold, one of the coldest on record. To help keep morale high, he made sure to make everyone happy by smiling, which he does often. It’s that attention to detail that led him to the film industry.

“I like to organize and try to make difficult things happen, this is the movie business. It’s a big challenge always…the first week you get in and say ‘I can’t make it and its too difficult this time or how could this always happen? At the end, it always works out and that’s a big satisfaction, especially in those films like “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

His job has perks as well. The Grand Budapest hotel is nominated for an unprecedented 9 Oscars, including Best Motion Picture of the Year, against front-runners like “Boyhood,” “American Sniper,” “Selma,” and more. Emmrich is excited, regardless of the competition. WEBN asks Emmrich, does he remember where he was when he found out the movie was nominated for 9 Oscars and he draws a blank. After several intense seconds, He excitedly tells WEBN in Los Angeles, he was budgeting a film in Germany when he received the news.

“They {producers} came into the room and they said, ‘Have you heard the news?’ And everyone was excited. It was actually nice, because I was exactly there when I started.”

Emmrich has worked on over 30 films, including “The Hunger Games,” “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters,” “Cloud Atlas,” “The Three Musketeers,” “V for Vendetta”and “The Bourne Supremacy,” just to name a few. This was his first time working with Wes Anderson, the eccentric director, who is known for his quirky directorial style. Anderson’s movies, capture a certain abstract and illustrated style that translates in all his movies, such as, “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Moonrise Kingdom” and countless others.

“There are few directors, I think in the world, where you can say, you’re getting into a tunnel. You don’t know how your going to get out, but once your out, you’ll say it was one of the best experiences you’ll ever have.”

Emmrich is skipping out on attending the Oscars, but has high hopes “The Grand Budapest Hotel” will win one of the nine Oscar nominations.