EN / DE / FR / PL / ΕΛ / ES / IT / LT / RO
EN / DE / FR / PL / ΕΛ / ES / IT / LT / RO

About Thomas Merker

Thomas Merker was born and raised in Hamburg in 1958. During his school years he starts with b&w photography. Themes: Landscape, architecture, punk in London, jazz concerts and he shoots his first S-8 short films. He spends the nights in the photo lab of his advanced art course in school.

After graduating from high school, he studies documentary film at the Munich Film Academy (HFF) starting in 1978. His goal remains cinematography, although there is not yet a separate department for it. He collaborates on many student projects, including those of Roland Emmerich. He works as a camera assistant for DOP Helge Weindler (Munich) and Ennio Guarnieri (Rome). In 1984 he realizes his HFF-graduation film, a road movie on Route 66, USA. His films at the HFF were broadcasted by German television.
With director Harald Reinl he supervises an HFF group production and from then on is requested for workshops and student supervision.

From 1982 he shoots one the first German video clips with co-student director Michael Bentele, 1983-1987 as a camera operator for the music video show 'Formel Eins'. There he portrays many international musicians & bands with his SX-70 Polaroid camera and is co-editor of the 'Formel Eins'-book.

In 1985 he photographs the 'Das Go! Project', the first feature film by director Oliver Hirschbiegel. Since then he has been on the road as a picture-creating cinematographer for numerous cinema & TV films, series, short films, commercials and documentaries in over 20 countries.

For the b/w film 'Night' (directed by Maris Pfeiffer), he received the award 'Best Cinematography' in Krakow/Poland in 1989, as well as 'Best Lighting' in Taiwan. In 2000 he is nominated for the German Television Award for the film 'The Soloist' (directed by Carlo Rola) with Iris Berben and Thomas Kretschmann.

Since 1993 he has been a lecturer at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg for the departments of cinematography, production, production design and for the animation institute. He is a member of the colloquium for the entrance examinations as well as the diploma examination board and has been an honorary professor in the Cinematography department since 2017.

Other teaching positions at HfG Karlsruhe, HFF Munich, Bayerische Akademie für Fernsehen (BAF), SAE, Macromedia and Al Jazeera Training Center in Qatar.

Movies as director of photography

2017Eine Szene, viele Wege (WT)
Workshop-ProductionUisenma BorchuHFF Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München [de]Dozent
Dozent Bildgestaltung
Short FilmMarvin SprengelFilmakademie Baden-Württemberg [de]Dozent Bildgestaltung
2015In aller Freundschaft - Die jungen Ärzte
Folgen 22, 23, 24
TV Series, ARD [de]MultipleSaxonia Media Filmproduktionsgesellschaft mbHFolgen 22, 23, 24
2014Comedy - Cleopatra
Dozent Bildgestaltung
Spec CommercialMultipleFilmakademie Baden-Württemberg [de]Dozent Bildgestaltung
2013CinePostproduction & FGV Schmidle - Fongs Kung Fu School (WT)
HFR 96fps - Sony F65 / RED Epic
Corporate FilmJacob DietzCinePostproduction GmbHHFR 96fps - Sony F65 / RED Epic
2011Hand aufs Herz (WT)
DoP Vertretung
TV Series, SAT.1MultipleProducers at Work Film GmbHDoP Vertretung
2011Setergänzungsworkshop (WT)
Dozent Bildgestaltung
Workshop-Productionzuständige/r Regisseur/inFilmakademie Baden-Württemberg [de]Dozent Bildgestaltung
2010Tatort - JagdzeitTV-Movie (Series), ARD [de], BR [de]Peter FratzscherBavaria Fiction GmbH
2010The second execution of Romell Broom
Documentary, WDR [de]Michael VerhoevenSentana Filmproduktion GmbH [de]Teile
2009Klinik am Alex
D.P. Folgen 22 - 27
TV Series, SAT.1MultipleTeamWorx Television & Film GmbH [de]D.P. Folgen 22 - 27
2008Te Deum - Himmel auf Erden (WT)
Documentary (multi-part), 3sat, Bibel TV [de], ZDF [de]Susanne AerneckeProvobis Gesellschaft für Film und Fernsehen mbHHD
2008Klinik am Alex
D.P. Folgen 7 - 21
TV Series, SAT.1MultipleTeamWorx Television & Film GmbH [de]D.P. Folgen 7 - 21
2007Ein Fall für zwei
Folge: 252; Freier Fall
TV Series, ZDF [de]Uli MöllerOdeon TV (merged into Odeon Fiction GmbH)Folge: 252; Freier Fall
2007Deadline - Jede Sekunde zählt
F.10 Notaufnahme / F.11 Schlafende Hunde
TV Series, SAT.1Holger HaaseStudio Hamburg FilmProduktion GmbH [de]F.10 Notaufnahme / F.11 Schlafende Hunde
2006Ein unverbesserlicher DickkopfTV Movie, ARD [de], Degeto [de]Michael FaustEyeworks Germany GmbH | Fiction & Film (Warner Bros. ITVP Deutschland GmbH) [de]
2006Grüß Gott, Herr AnwaltTV Movie, ARD [de], Degeto [de]Walter BannertAnnabelle Film- und Fernsehproduktion GmbH [de]
2006Wieder daheimTV Movie, ARD [de], Degeto [de]Walter BannertAlexander Film- und Fernsehproduktion GmbH [de]
2005Zwei am großen See - Feindliche ÜbernahmeTV-Movie (Series), Degeto [de]Walter BannertAnnabelle Film- und Fernsehproduktion GmbH [de]
2005Zwei am großen See - Große GefühleTV-Movie (Series), Degeto [de]Walter BannertAnnabelle Film- und Fernsehproduktion GmbH [de]
2004Unter weißen Segeln - Odyssee der HerzenTV-Movie (Series), ARD [de], Degeto [de]Erwin KeuschNovafilm [de]

Movies in other capacities

2012Audi - Brand BehaviourIndustrial VideoFabian GrobeKieferworx GmbH (formerly KieferNümann) [de]2nd unit dop RED Epic
2012Audi - Brand BehaviourIndustrial VideoClemens WittkowskiKieferworx GmbH (formerly KieferNümann) [de]2nd unit dop RED Epic
2011Hand aufs Herz (WT)TV Series, SAT.1MultipleProducers at Work Film GmbHcamera operator
2010Pfarrer Braun - Altes Geld, junges BlutTV-Movie (Series), ARD [de]Wolfgang ‘Jo‘ F. HenschelPolyphon Film GmbHaerial camera operator
1993Mute WitnessFeature FilmAnthony WallerComet Film Produktion GmbH [de]2nd unit dop Additional Photography - 35mm
1990Werner - Beinhart!Feature FilmNiki ListConstantin Film [de]camera operator
1987Die KatzeFeature FilmDominik GrafBavaria Film GmbH [de]2nd unit dop 35mm
1986Chost ChaseFeature FilmRoland EmmerichCentropolis Entertainment [us]2nd unit dop 35mm
1980Das Arche Noah PrinzipFeature FilmRoland EmmerichCentropolis Entertainment [us]2nd unit dop SFX & Additional Photography - 35mm

Film awards

2000Der Solist - Kein Weg zurückDeutscher FernsehpreisKameraNominated
1989NachtsKrakowski Festiwal Filmowy [pl]Beste FotografieWinner
1989NachtsFilmfestival Taiwan [tw]Bestes LichtWinner

Basic data

Experience abroadCentral Europe: Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland
North Africa: Egypt
North America: Canada, Mexico, USA
Northern Europe: Denmark
South Africa: South Africa
South America: Chile, Venezuela
South Asia: Sri Lanka
Southern Europe: Canary Islands, Italy, Portugal, Spain
Southeastern Europe: Greece
West Africa: Senegal
West Asia: Israel, Turkey
Western Europe: Belgium, France, Netherlands
Immediate working areaMunich
1st residence (federal state or country)Germany - Bavaria