Living success stories "The countryside is just 500 metres from the office door. The fresh air around here really helps to clear your head and switch off." Northwind Visuals
The fact that Rhine-Neckar has “Hollywood potential” has long been recognised by Oliver Hoffmann and Oliver Geibel from the movie studio Northwind Visuals. With their creative image films and product videos, they have injected a fresh breeze into the region’s film scene since 2011, living up to their company’s name.
The two Olivers met in 2011 at a film competition run by the bank Sparkasse. Geibel, then a film student, came first, while business administration student Hoffmann was in second place. In the same year, O. Hoffmann founded the film production company Northwind Visuals. One year later, Oliver Geibel was hired after completing his studies.
“Starting out independently takes a great deal of courage, but the Rhine-Neckar region is economically strong for start-up companies, with a lot of well-known firms and excellent networking opportunities. You get more for your money here, too”, says Hoffmann.
Northwind Visuals now has four permanent employees and a broad network of freelancers. The young team’s working philosophy centres on having fun with film-making. “With our promotional films, we want to break away from the mainstream, we want to stir emotions and create high-quality, convincing content.” Some well-known companies from Rhine-Neckar, such as SAP and Renolit, or institutions such as Heidelberg University, would agree.
Hoffmann and Geibel believe that the short commuting distances and efficient networks are among the region’s main advantages. “It just makes our work more relaxed and pleasant.” Northwind has already brought a breath of fresh air to large national companies like DHL. However, as the two men explain with a smirk, it was a great honour for them that one of their commercial clips for a lubricant was shown among theatrical trailers for the 2015 box office hit “Fifty Shades of Grey” across Germany.
Between shooting, the two managing directors and friends get on their bikes or skates and work off some energy by powering along the region’s well-established network of cycle paths. “The countryside is just 500 metres from the office door. The fresh air around here really helps to clear your head and switch off.” While Hoffman has his permanent home in Wiesbaden, Geibel has now decided to move back from Darmstadt to the Rhine-Neckar region. However the Palatinate is the pair’s adoptive homeland and they are more than happy to bring their friends from Hesse to enjoy the Rhine-Neckar experience. The annual wine festivals around Kallstadt and the Frankenthal Straw Hat Festival are well-established weekend destinations that convey a sense of the local zest for life.
“It’s easy to identify with the culture in Rhine-Neckar. The people are always open and in a good mood. The wine festivals here are something really special. You feel at home right away.” They regard the Rhine-Neckar region as one of Germany’s best-kept secrets, where there’s something new to discover around every corner - with or without a camera.