Exciting times ahead: Together with producer and cameraman Ewoud Bon, I am starting a new film production company: Naked Pictures. Ewoud and I announced this a couple of days ago, at the premiere of our first joint production, the short film Habitat that I wrote and directed, in Filmtheater Kriterion Amsterdam. Naked Pictures will be engaged in the production of feature films, series, short films and documentaries with a focus on creative audacity and thorough script development. Some of our upcoming projects were announced during the premiere of Habitat: a TV series, a documentary and three feature films including a book adaptation.
The last couple of months, many of the projects I work on took big steps forward. Below is a short update on what I have been keeping myself busy with.
Rotterdam, I Love You
It was again a great period for project Rotterdam, I Love You, an urban movement with a feature film at its core, proudly celebrating this city’s creativity, diversity and love. We are now in the process of selecting the eleven directors who will each create one of the eleven stories we will be telling in the feature film – so we’re in a very important and exciting phase of the project. We are talking and reaching out to an exciting shortlist of prominent directors from the UK, Germany, Italy, China, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Mexico, the Netherlands, and many more countries. We will start announcing the first names soon.
31 May: knowledge session Out-of-the-box Film Production
One of the main goals we have with Rotterdam, I Love You is to elevate the Rotterdam film sector in a huge way. We do this in several ways, one of which is organizing cool events with our partners. On 31 May one of these activities is taking place: an interactive in-depth knowledge session about Out-of-the-box Film Production:
You have a plan for a wonderful, special film. But you have no money, a network that is too small, and hardly a track record with the traditional funds. How do you make sure your film gets made anyway? Matt Jaems and Joeri Pruys (Rotterdam, I Love You) talk with multiple guests how to produce ‘out of the box’. With stories from the trenches, tips and lots of room for your questions and input. The session is being co-hosted by 48 Hour Rotterdam. After the session FOCUS 010 hosts a networking borrel.
There are still (free!) tickets left, so if you are a Dutch filmmaker, be sure to reserve a ticket by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interviews for Algemeen Dagblad and RTV Rijnmond
National newspaper Algemeen Dagblad wrote an extensive article on the resurrection of the Rotterdam film sector. I was interviewed on behalf of Rotterdam, I Love You alongside our partners HotelRebel, 48 Hour Film Project Rotterdam, and the Rotterdam Film Commissioner. AD sees our collective efforts to invite filmmakers and big productions to Rotterdam as the driving force behind a newly vitalized film sector. Read an English translation here: http://rotterdamiloveyou.com/team-news/algemeen-dagblad-a-glimmer-of-hope-for-film-city-rotterdam/.
In the wake of such great exposure for Rotterdam, I Love You, I was also interviewed by prominent Rotterdam radio station Radio Rijnmond about the project. We spoke about all the ways we involve the entire city in the process of telling the true stories or Rotterdam to the world. Listen to the (Dutch) interview here: http://www.rijnmond.nl/nieuws/141259/Gezocht-verhalen-over-het-echte-Rotterdam-voor-film.
Habitat: last phase of post-production
A project that was seemingly eternally in gestation is now almost ready for release: the short film Habitat I wrote and directed, and produced together with Ewoud Bon (who was also the film’s Director of Photograpy). The premiere date is almost set and will be announced shortly!
De Blauwe Maagd
The Blue Virgin (De Blauwe Maagd), the short film I wrote, is being pre-produced by a great, ever expanding team of professional and passionate filmmakers. I’m looking forward to the shoot in France this fall. The photo below shows the development of the storyboard. Want to stay updated? Like our Facebook page!
There are many other projects moving forwards as well (including a documentary I am producing and directing). I will probably give you some more details in the next update!
Last year was one hell of a ride. It was the year the international motion picture and urban movement Rotterdam, I Love You was officially launched, and it was also a year full of developments for some of the other film projects I have been steadily working on. But I expect the coming year to be even more eventful: more exciting developments, great projects, and fruitful collaborations. To keep you updated, I will blog regularly about the projects I am working on, starting now.
Rotterdam, I Love You
Obviously, the biggest project I’m working on this year is Rotterdam, I Love You, an urban movement with a feature film at its core, proudly celebrating this city’s creativity, diversity and love. Rotterdam, I Love You is part of Cities of Love, a world-wide organization dedicated to smart and sustainable urban development. The Rotterdam, I Love You movement shows everything that’s cool about Rotterdam through events, film coverage, and other media. The movement consists of a network of institutions, artists, creative entrepreneurs and companies of all shapes and sizes. And at the heart of the movement lies the release of the international feature film Rotterdam, I Love You. The film will consist of ten stories – made by ten directors – and will show the real people and places of Rotterdam, in all their raw beauty, to the entire world.
I am one of the core producers of the movement and film, working together with Matt Jaems (lead producer) and September Film (among many others). The next few months we’ll be focusing on further developing the movement in the city and attracting top talent for the movie. We’ve just put out a Call for Directors and a Call for Screenwriters, so if you are a up-and-coming Rotterdam filmmaker, by all means apply!
This Valentine’s Day, Rotterdammers celebrate their love in a different way. No candy hearts, roses, and pink champagne, but a Tour d’Amour all around the central district and Schieblock, featuring music, theatre, arts, spoken word, and much more. Powered by YETI EN DE STER (YEDS) and Rotterdam, I Love You, and hosted by prominent and inspiring Rotterdammers. Tickets will go on sale 14 January! More info…
The Blue Virgin
The Blue Virgin (De Blauwe Maagd) is a short film I wrote. It will be directed by my good friend Tim Klok, and is being produced by Tim, VandePunt Filmproducties (Carl van de Wetering and Puck Mickers) and me. Just last week, our crowdfunding campaign ended, and I am proud to say we reached 147% of our funding goal! Which means The Blue Virgin has gone into preproduction and will be shot later this year, in the beautiful French village Montbrun-les-Bains. Want to stay updated? Like our Facebook page!
That’s not all for this year though. I have several other projects in different development stages: I am developing a feature film script that will be directed by Tim Klok, I am researching for a documentary that I will be (co-)producing and directing, I have a short film called Habitat in postproduction that will (finally!) be released this year, and there are a couple of commissioned projects on the back burner that will move ahead this year.
So lots of things to keep you updated about. See you next month!
“Het Contract” (“The Contract”), a short thriller I wrote and produced, is finally online! Watch it below, with English subtitles.
Emma, a dissolute young woman with a strong desire to become a mother, has finally found the love of her life to settle down with. When she receives a mysterious postcard her new life is turned upside-down. Her shady past has caught up with her: she has been traced by the company that wants from her what was agreed upon. She’s forced to pay her debt by making an impossible choice.
I want to share a great video with you: an analysis of the cinematography and editing of four scenes in Solaris (Russian title: Solyaris), Andrei Tarkovsky’s famous science fiction film released in 1972.
As a filmmaker, Tarkovsky was fascinated by time: our experience of it, the way time gives meaning to life, and the essential role it plays in filmmaking. Read “Sculpting in Time”, his book about filmmaking, and you begin to understand how his thinking about time shaped his ideas as an artist.
I guess you could call his films slow. Compared to the frantic pacing of today’s sci-fi films, they certainly are. But calling Tarkovsky’s films slow would suggest they are too slow, that his films aren’t properly paced. That is not the case at all. At the heart of Solaris’ success as film art lies its pacing and rhythm. And the video, by video essayist Antonios Papantoniou, gives us an idea why.