For my bachelor thesis, I had the choice to present my research in any way I thought relevant. I picked the form of a short video, the kind which can be found on YouTube, to present it. It would therefore be spoken in English, the universal language of the internet, in order to reach out to as many people as possible.
As for my theme, it came naturally. Architecture has always been a part of my life, and I thought it was too bad people didn’t seem to realise how emotional it could be. In my opinion, architecture is a medium just as emotional as music, and should be used as such more often in films. So I showed examples of science-fiction films (one of my favourite genres) that did just that.
The last project I did at the Netherlands Film Academy was this photograph. We had to make a picture inspired by a text (could be a song, a poem, a few lines from a novel or theatre piece, or even a newspaper clip). I chose a specific scene from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, in which Juliet, distraught after the exile of Romeo and her coming marriage to Paris, goes to Friar Laurence for help. She is ready to die, but he offers her hope in the form of a vial containing poison. The contrast of those strong emotions was what I wanted to show.
I took more inspiration in the Pre Raphaelites movement for the form. They had a way to show the emotions of the characters in their painting in a beautiful and tragic light, while rendering the textures and colors with immense precision, which I find mesmerising. The clothes and setting are obviously not historically accurate for the quattrocento (when Romeo and Juliet should take place). I did this the same way as the Pre Raphaelites, as they took loose inspiration from legends and stories, and put a story in a beautiful setting.
The beautiful set location in this case is the Apotheek Museum in Maaseik, which I highly recommend visiting. The actress playing Juliet is Louise Verdoot, a long-standing friend of mine, who’s also a talented graphic artist. And Friar Laurence was played by René Martin-Prevel. It was presented during the Keep An Eye Film Academy Festival 2019 in Amsterdam.
In my third year at the Film Academy, I made an Avatar mask for myself as a part of an exercise for school. I got a mold of my face and then went on to sculpt the desired mask over it. Once the mask was made (out of rubber) I got to decorate it. I added a wig (with feathers and braids in it), eyes (made of halved and painted skippy ball) and eyelashes. Then I went on to get photographed in it wearing a necklace and body paint. I finally asked my friend Anouk Regensburg to add the background in Photoshop.
In my third year at the Film Academy, I was the Production Designer for one film: “Van Binnenuit” (meaning From the Inside Out). It was an interesting experiment, as we tried to visualise angst as a concept. The result was not completely satisfactory but it allowed me to better get acquainted with the cameraman who would shoot my graduation film, David Koster. As this film is the propriety of the Netherlands Film Academy, I can only show these stills.
In my second year at the Film Academy, I was an assistant for this sci-fi, zombie film shot on location. I helped with the costumes, with the set dressing and I experimented with the make-up (think big tears, zombie bites and a lot of blood).
In my second year at the Film Academy, I made a tragic-comedy called “Rouwclown”. It was inspired by a suprising existing fenomenon: clowns coming to funerals. I was, with my co-student Henk Pol, the Production Designer for this film. We looked together for the perfect location and all the props and clothings. The director and cameraman were the same ones with whom I made my third year film.
“My Pleasure” is the first film I made outside of school, in 2016, as a part of the 48 Hours Film Project, which takes place annually in numerous cities around the globe. We did this one for the Amsterdam competition and were lucky enough to get loads of prices, amongst which Best Film. This lead to it being sent to the Filmapalooza (World’s Finale, with all the best films from each cities taking part) in Seattle. From there, as it was selected amongst the 12 best films worldwide (and again won Best Cinematography), it got sent to Cannes Film Festival 2017. I was lucky enough to go to Cannes in 2017 and to meet a lot of people there.