Jan Zenkner // Director, Story & Postproduction
Jan, born in 1988, began to make films early. Although his first experiments with LEGO bricks in his parent’s living room were still clumsy, he learned the craft of making films quickly. Thus, he could realize two features films already during his time in secondary school, which were shown in local cinemas in sold-out screenings.
Jan searched for more practical film experiences right after finishing high school. He completed several internships in Dusseldorf and Cologne, where he met Max Lais and Hanno von Contzen independently from each other. Jan acquired versatile skills in post-production and directing and made himself familiar with all aspects of a film production.
In 2009, Jan started with Max Lais their own film production - Chinzilla Films. Since then, countless productions followed, in which he was responsible for developing concepts, post-production and especially directing.
Jan is a true autodidact, with a keen eye to the realisation and implementation of ideas while designing and conceptualizing, and he introduces calm moments to noisy movies.
Hanno von Contzen // Story, Writer
Hanno, born in 1985, has a great passion for moving images and started with an internship in a smaller film production company in Cologne to turn his hobby into his profession in April 2006. This internship became an apprenticeship, during which he met in Jan Zenkner. In 2010, he was awarded the Chamber of Commerce degree media design and sound. After his job as post-production supervisor in his training company, he founded his own business training company and worked as a freelance writer and filmmaker on several screenplays, short films and music videos.
Together with Jan, Hanno developed the first idea of Alientampon in mid-2012 (with the working title “On the hunt for the magic tampon”), which they pursued further together. During production, he came closer to Jan and Max Lais - the chemistry was right from the very beginning - and joined Chinzilla Films in January 2013. Ever since, he worked at Chinzilla Films full-time in the creation and post-production with enthusiasm and passion.
Hanno is happily married and likes Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives better than A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child.
Max Lais // Camera & Line Producer
Max, born in 1988, started his career immediately after his graduation from secondary school in 2008, as a filmmaker. He learned how to observe, narrate, stage and play with an audience’s expectations in various internships. Max found his bliss while destroying film cameras on action sets and received training as camera assistant in the Cologne film production action concept for the RTL series Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei.
In cooperation with Jan Zenkner, whom he met during an internship in Dusseldorf, Max founded Chinzilla Films in August 2009 and produced the first commercials and music videos in Germany and Europe.
By late 2012, Max had collected experiences on various sets and in diverse productions as camera assistant, material assistant and cameraman in Germany and abroad. Max has worked as a professional cameraman and producer for Chinzilla Films full-time since Hanno von Contzen joined the company in January 2013.
Max lives by the motto learning by doing and uses a direct, hands-on approach.