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The Story Behind That Picture: "A Life With Leica"

By: Thorsten Overgaard, August 6, 2014 (Updated May 20, 2019)


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Northpass Media and I talked almost a year ago about an idea they had to do a documentary about my photography and life, and finally in May 2014 we met in Rome and spent some days filming it. Two years later the short documentary has reached almost 200,000 views online.

A Life With Leica set in Rome
On the set in Rome. Producer and director Reid H Bangert left with the local Rome fixer, light grip and second camera operator Zach Dierks. RED Scarlet and RED Epic cameras, ARRI daylight lamps, Sennheiser 416 shotgun microphone with Sound Devices 702 recorder. Photo: Thorsten Overgaard.


The project became larger than just one documentary as Northpass Media now plan to do a series on Leica photographers. So more documentaries will come in the future, and likely one or more longer documentaries that can be downloaded.

The documentary is a short and sweet atmosphere movie made in beautiful Rome about photography at large, following Thorsten von Overgaard.

For me it was nice for a change to just show up when and where they directed. And when I left Rome I also left the rest of the editing to them. So the documentary is as new and fresh to me as it is to you!


  "A Life With Leica! What started as a simple expose crafted on a photographer we loved has transformed into something much larger than we could have expected."  
  - Northpass Media  


  Reid H Bangert
  Reid H Bangert

Reid H Bangert is an American Producer and Director born and raised in Southeast Iowa and educated in Midcoast Maine. Through his studies in journalism and film he has centered his craft on Documentary, Lifestyle and Narrative Filmmaking on both an independent and commercial level.  Reid believes in a life lived through experiences and not by expectations.  In essence, he holds strong value in a constant exploration of his surrounding environments and the people in them as well as sharing and telling their stories. 

“I’ve always found immense satisfaction by sharing stories with friends and strangers, it is real and tangible, that old school way of communicating, the foundation of what relationships are built on and how they are maintained.  I’m incredibly fortunate to have a career where I not only have the opportunity to create stories and play make believe, but to share important aspects of life and humanity with a larger audience.”

It is through these experiences where Reid garners his inspiration. Whether it is meeting fellow riders on a cross-country motorcycle trip, catching up with old friends by a campfire, or discovering new music, these experiences create what Reid calls: “Moments, or bits of surrealistic euphoria … That, in my opinion, is where kernels of ideas come from.”


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Thorsten Von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator.


Thorsten von Overgaard on set of A Life With Leica in Rome
On set in Rome, waiting for the cameras to roll. A great deal of the sound was recorded here with two RED Scarlet and Epic cameras and Sennheiser 416 shotgun microphone with Sound Devices 702 recorder. Photo by: Reid H Bangert, Rome May 2014.


Zach Dierks and Reid H Bangert
Reid H. Bangert, the light grip and second camera operator Zach Dierks in Rome. Photo: Thorsten Overgaard.


Zach Dierks and Reid H Bangert
Zach Dierks and Reid H Bangert filming A Life With Leica in Rome. Photo by Thorsten Overgaard.



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Mr. Flavio
When in Rome in May I photographed three men talking by a cafe. One of them, Flavio, came over to me and asked, and then invited us all to come see his apartment inside the courtyard. He wanted to show how painters and artists used to live in the high-ceiling spaces with large windows before this area of Rome became one of the most expensive. I learned later that this is a very sought-after location for movie crews and location scouts, hence the people who live there are very protective and it is almost impossible to get in. I did some portraits of him, as well as this one. The space was purely his working space. A large apartment with lots of books, and he put on some classic music on the cassette deck(!) to create a nice atmosphere. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.



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Zach Dierks and Reid H Bangert
Final shooting day of A Life With Leica in Rome. 34° C in the shadow called for a little rest.


Free showings in real theatres:

The event is over:
Los Angeles Premiere
Sunday August 10, 2014
West Hollywood 2:00 - 4:00 PM
  The event is over:
New York Premiere
Tuesday September 2, 2014
at BH Photo NY Superstore 4:00 - 6:00 PM
The event is over:
Hong Kong Premiere
November 20 at 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Schmidt Marketing
13/f Chinachem Exchange Square
1 Hoi Wan St., Quarry Bay, Hong Kong
  This event is over:
Jakarta Premiere
November 25 at 7:00 - 9:00 PM
function room, 1st floor,
Kota BNI, Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav.1
Jakarta 10220, Indonesia



Creative // Northpass Media
Executive Producer // Kurt Bangert
Director // Reid H Bangert
Cinematographers // Zach Dierks & Reid H Bangert
Editor // Jon Quigg
Production Coordinator // Luca Fortunato Asquini
Gaffer // Luca Martis
Locations // Luca Fortunato Asquini
Title Design and Motion // Jon Quigg
Color Grade // Taylre Jones
Composer // Dan Billen
Music Consultant // Dan Billen
Driver // Marco Taglioni



"A Life With Leica"


Reviews and articles on "A Life With Leica"

Street ShootR: "Thorsten Overgaard Featured In First 'A Life With Leica' Video"
Inspiration. Vision. Mastery. Street Photography Review: "Featured Video: A Life with Leica"
PetaPixel: "A Life With Leica: An Inspirational Look at One Photographer’s Photographic Philosophy"
Gear Patrol: "Thorsten von Overgaard Smokes Cigarettes, Drinks Coffee, Takes Photographs"
Photography Tips TV: "A Life With Leica"
Tristan Jud: "Thorsten von Overgaard. A Life With Leica"
ISO 1200: "A Life With Leica: The philosophy behind Danish photographer Thorsten von Overgaard"
Chi Wulff: "For the Creatives: A Life with Leica – Danish Photographer Thorsten von Overgaard in Rome"
Greenduck: "A Life With Leica"
Twisted LifeStyle: "A Life With Leica featuring Thorsten von Overgaard"
The Travel Photographer: "A Life With Leica | Thorsten von Overgaard"
Miguel Paez: "Una vida con Leica / A life with Leica"
SLR Lounge: "LIFE WITH LEICA: An Inspirational Short Film about a Pro Photographers Philosophy"
PhotoXels: "A Life With Leica: Featuring Thorsten von Overgaard"



Thorsten Overgaard







A Life With Leica set in Rome

Original soundtrack from "A Life With Leica" by Sam Billen.


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Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish born multiple award-winning AP photographer, known for his writings about photography and Leica cameras. He travels to more than 25 countries a year, photographing and teaching workshops which cater to Leica enthusiasts. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

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