Patrick Hoelck has been around – and before we go much further – get your mind out of the gutter.
Hoelck is the type of photographer that brands love for two reasons – his photography is beautiful, and his relationship with talent is indisputable. He started early at age 16 in NYC as a music video director, but it was only later in life in his mid-30’s he worked his way into photography and film on a full-time basis. A connector from the get-go, Hoelck has always been a people person – and it shows throughout his career, and in his personality – he just loves people.

Liv Tyler. Courtesy of Patrick Hoelck.

Jon Hamm. Courtesy of Patrick Hoelck.

He loves to listen, engage, and ultimately because of that – creates something beautiful, time and again. He’s worked with everyone – Dita Von Teese, Clint Eastwood, Jon Hamm, Kat Von D, just to name a few, and worked with outlets ranging from Vanity Fair to Sephora.

Diane Kruger. Courtesy of Patrick Hoelck.

His latest series, aptly entitle “An Interview” is a series of filmic tête-à-têtes with people like Norman Reedus from AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” the eccentric and whip smart actress, Parker Posey, and Star Trek’s Zachary Quinto, among others.

Zachary Quinto. Courtesy of Patrick Hoelck.

We spoke with Hoelck about how he sees the world – not through rose colored glasses – but through his perfectly clear lenses – to get that perfect shot.

DESTINATION LUXURY: How did you select your subjects?
HOELCK: Interest. I really admire all the subjects. I like their work and the way they have been maneuvering in the new show business model.
DLX: Why not do something longer – why short format?
HOELCK: I feel like my only agreement with the new generation is the lack of time. I feel like if we stay in gist and trim the fat, we’ll get a deeper perspective into a person in a short period of time. We don’t advertise in the middle, so that alone is giving us as much as a 30 minute piece. A friend I ran into the other day pulled me aside and said, “Hey that show is great! I watch it when I’m in the waiting room and at the dentist.” I guess that’s my time slot.
DLX: Talk about the importance of inter-cutting the behind the scenes of the shoot with the interview itself.
HOELCK: I wanted to make a seamless transition from the shoot to the conversation. When I am watching Charlie Rose, I get bored no matter how great talent is. My eyes wonder off, and I keep my ears on the interview.

Norman Reedus. Courtesy of Patrick Hoelck.

DLX:  You’re a man behind the camera – does it make you uncomfortable when your subjects ask you personal questions?
HOELCK: VERY. The main reason for doing this show is to break away from my comfort zone. There is a moment in the Norman episode where Lana Del Ray’s sister, Chuck, pops by to help out. Chuck is great, but when we’re sitting down on a window ledge I told her how freaked out I was. When the edit was put together, I realized that the editor put that in and that I was on a mic. It was a very sincere and uncomfortable moment. What’s really amazing is how Diane and Parker would see this and guide me. They would be like, ‘you were going to ask this question, you’re fine honey, you’re doing great, just look at me and ask again you’re doing great…’ so kind. Norman did it also where he would feed me a question when I was spinning out and aware of the crew and cameras. It’s funny, Dylan, who has been amazing exec producing and directing would just look at the monitor and I would look to him and be like, ‘Is it good? How is it?’ and he would shrug with an unsure face… for me, it was a big deal not being behind the camera.
DLX: You say to Norman (Reedus) at one point in your piece, ‘How do you keep inspired when you’re doing 700 things?’ Can you answer that too?
HOELCK: I fell like I’m awful with idle time; there is always something I want to try. Once I got into meditation and cut down on all the chatter my mind was selling, I found it easy to move between projects. Also, a while back I was hanging with dear friend of mine who’s a revered filmmaker, and I realized that he is one of the most successful filmmakers to walk the earth. He is also one of my most successful friends, but sadness covered me thinking that maybe, this sucks for him, he’s almost trapped in his greatness. It might sound weird, but it was a moment that changed me for life. I remember the postpartum depression when I finished my first movie, and the morning I woke and decided I need to write a novel.
DLX: Why do you start all the interviews in coffee shops? What is the appeal, and the reasoning?

HOELCK: It seems like an element to begin with. In my life, I have always met over food or coffee. The places in the show are important memories for me or talent. Parker took me to a place where all the new york theater and film actors would hang. With Norman, we ate in china town at a dive I have been going to since the 90’s.

DLX: Talk about the stylistic approach – what did you shoot on for the video portion?

PATRICK HOELCK: We used Alexa and red large format cameras. We had 2 running at all times. Learning a lot from filmmaking, we would map out who was shooting what so when we started moving quickly the camera was always ready. I got to use vintage anamorphic lenses that Stanley Kubrick made for the old film Barry Lyndon. I have been using these lenses whenever they are available, they have so much magic and soul.

Patrick Hoelck

Parker Posey. Courtesy of Patrick Hoelck.

DLX:It seems like everyone you interviewed are at peace with their lives, and have accumulated their wisdom with age. Do feel that is true?
HOELCK: I do, they seem to be very present and aware. I was looking at Parker (Posey) kind of flashing back to all the work she’s done, all the moments I was in my own life watching her work, I must have watched House of Yes 20 times. Also, coming into the Peter Sarsgaard interview worried he would be kind of boring or actor-y, and walking away wanting to be better friends and stay in touch with him.
DLX: Who’s next on the list for you?
HOELCK: We’re just meeting up and discussing Season 2 now. I never think of names before we’re going, it’s heartbreaking to secure people and have them fall out due to schedules. I learned on my first movie to wait when casting. I do know we will expand the show getting into tech, music, and writers. There are so many great episodes I can see in my mind… I can’t wait to actually shoot them!
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