` In conversation with Jessica Benzing and Claas Ortmann, Board members of DRCT - Directory

In conversation with Jessica Benzing and Claas Ortmann, Board members of DRCT

DRCT – Directors Association for Commercials & Branded Content in Germany – was born out of a collective yearning for change, respect, and fairness in the pitching process. Conceived during the challenges of the pandemic, the initiative addresses industry-wide issues such as uncompensated labor, lack of transparency and fairness. For the past 2 years DRCT evolved into a powerful force for advocacy and unity. Through our interview with Board members: Jessica Benzing and Claas Ortmann, we dive into the impactful journey of its Pitch Reform, and the vision that promises to redefine creative collaboration in the film industry.

Agnieszka Celej: What sparked the creation of DRCT? What was the inspiration behind starting the association?

Jessica Benzing: The concept of DRCT emerged during the pandemic, a time when many of us directors found ourselves without work, feeling increasingly frustrated. This led to conversations among us, revealing a shared spectrum of challenges that extended beyond the immediate crisis. Issues like uncompensated labor, a lack of transparency, and a general absence of appreciation and fairness in the industry. It was an eye-opener for us, as we realized it’s also kind of weird that we never talked. Yes, we pitch against each other but we are colleagues as well. The pandemic underscored the potential strength and support we could find in unity and collaboration. 

We also found out that the Producers Alliance in Germany were facing similar concerns for quite a while so we reached out and started talking as well.

Claas Ortmann: Early on, we recognized the need for DRCT to be more than a transient response to immediate issues. We envisioned a permanent entity to represent directors’ interests effectively in the marketplace, offering a balanced counterweight to other industry associations. DRCT is poised for a substantial, long-term impact, with much more to come.

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