2008 Rutger Hauer FilmFactory Masterclass
January 21-31, 2008
Introduction - On the set, looking for chance.
This is what the the Rutger Hauer Filmfactory Masterclass is about: for ten days Rutger Hauer is sharing his artistic experience with young and ambitious filmmakers.
Rutger: ‘Obviously there is a tight production schedule and a neat script, but mainly this is the art of looking for chance. That’s when something really happens’.
|Mon., Jan. 21
This year the Masterclass has a comfortable office: a 15.5 meter long, black trailer soberly decorated on the back with a big curly red Aids ribbon. I have been owning it for the last twenty-five years and it is the nicest thing I have ever built with my own hands. Kept together by 10,000 Philips crosshead screws. You could hardly find them on the market, but the result is nice: a kitchen, complete with a dinner table, a mini bathroom and a small space to relax. The only problem is the parking. Where do you park such a huge vehicle?
The first weblog starts of course with who would yet could not take part in this years Masterclass. I was hoping that the strike in Hollywood would have been of some help, but it’s just the other way around: everyone is busier than ever. And it’s great, to be busy. Practically everyone I had contacted would have been glad to work with me on this, but unfortunately they did not have enough time because of the screenwriters strike. My wish-list was extensive. People like Robert Rodriguez, Ridley Scott and Paul Verhoeven. But the people who are coming, such as John Putch, Anton Corbijn, Derek de Lint and Thom Hoffman, to name a few, will turn this year into a party. And of course the participants.
Twenty-one foreign promising filmmakers and nine Dutch. Soon they will arrive and all stay in a cosy boat hotel. This evening we will say little and see a lot; amongst other things, also the documentary of last year’s Masterclass. For the next few days I want them to work like crazy. To think little and act immediately – there! – shoot! Contemplating too long, gets more complicated. I want loose treatment. I trust intuition. It makes you come up with really surprising things. That's the first excersize and the art. In my fantasy, I let the moorings go for a little sail. It’s nice to relax under the Rotterdam bridges before we start our engines and look for the power. Not an early night today...of course.
|Mon., Jan. 21
On a rainy and windy Monday afternoon thirty filmmakers from all around the world gathered together on a boat in Rotterdam. This rocky boat will be the home of this international group for the next ten days. The second edition of the Rutger Hauer Filmfactory 2008 has begun.
The first day was about getting to know each other. Some have met before, others met for the first time. The atmosphere was great. While having a drink at the bar the first interaction between the new ’students’ got off the ground. After a light meal in the dining room it was time for the official opening.
The crew got introduced and then Rutger Hauer did the talking. He told the participants in a few words what his vision on filmmaking is. That you have to trust your instinct. That it’s weird that Hollywood has become such a glossy world. That it’s time to go back to the core. No more time for egos, you have to make a beautiful film as a team.
Then the making-of documentary of FilmFactory 2007 was shown. The whole room was immediately in full concentration. A profound silence filled the room. The filmmakers got a glimpse of the joy, stress and results of last year's participants. An advantage? Maybe, but most of them realized that only the experience counts. No one knows what to expect and there are a lot of surprises ahead.
|Tue., Jan. 22
An old jazz musician is playing some tunes on a modern piano in the corner of the café, while I am having my dinner- potato croquettes with a Schnitzel and some salad. What started as relaxing background music is rapidly transforming into a fierce jazz medley. This world is insane!
This morning I woke up at six. I planned to finish my daily workout and email check before breakfast started at 7:45 a.m. The participants started the day easygoing. For inspiration we’ve watched some short films which I had taken with me, and explained them their first assignment: ´make a short film clip of 60 seconds´. NBC’s Channel 13 (also available in Holland) has put together a little budget for this first task. Sure that it will evolve into something useful. I praise the participants for their guts. It is an opportunity to connect with the world. This is not an easy task though; they have to catch the viewers´ attention within 60 seconds. Decorating a small house is always more difficult than decorating a big one. Driven by enthusiasm the participants started with their work: putting together a narrative, a setting and trying to arrange the needed props.
I´ve temporarily resided in a bar called 'Verhip'. There I went through the last scripts, made an arrangement for the different actors who are playing parts in the short films and then I had an interview for the Masterclass 'making of'. The location for this interview was absolutely beautiful: a raw and industrial construction shed. The lighting equipment the director used to illuminate my face was so bright that I probably looked white and pale as a corpse and all my sixty-four wrinkles showed.
On the Hotel Boat I went through the last agreements with a representative of NBC. The man brought me a Scottish Whiskey, isn’t that nice? Together we enjoyed a little glass. Afterwards I called my wife, now I am dining. The participants are already on the set. I explained to them that the power of talent emerges from energy. If they can set their energy free then good things will happen. Later on I will have a look on the set as well, to see how the participants operate. Again an early night is not an option. The program is very tough, just like my Schnitzel….
|Tue., Jan. 22
Morning - Day 1
After a good night's sleep and an early but diverse breakfast, the participants went to the Masterclass room for the first time. In this well decorated room all the masterclasses and lectures will take place. After a short introduction of the program by Rutger and John Putch, there was time for some questions and answers. The main question Rutger had for the participants: “Why are you here?”
Pippa Hinchley (UK): “To have a whole bunch of Masterclasses and walk away with another piece of work. And of course to meet a lot of very interesting people”.
Stefano Moro (IT): “I have gained a lot of experience in the past years. But every once in a while I want to put that all aside to learn more. That’s what I hope to find here”.
There was also a small discussion about the way films are made. The reason this Masterclass exists is the disbelief of Rutger in current filmmaking. Especially the Hollywood style. It should not be about money, timelines or full of hot air egos. Intuition is the key word. Let your senses guide you. Rutger: “When you’re suffering while making a film, it’s just for a short moment in history. But if you create something beautiful it’s going to be a part of history. That’s what these days are about. I’m burning into your soul. You’ll never forget this Masterclass. But only when you’re open to it. Because if there is a judge it’s you”.
He closed the discussion with some wise words: ”Don’t think you deserve an audience. You have to find one. People don’t want you to be a filmmaker, you do”.
|Tue., Jan. 22
Afternoon - Day 1
After a short break Marcel Swagers and Dan Aldridge of NBC Universal joined. They presented the briefing for the one-minute-shorts, the first assignment for the group. After some chaotic moments and some technical failures, things started to get clear. Each team got his own genre: Crime, Thriller, Action, Mystery, Suspense. But because there are six teams one group got the bonus genre: a rock ‘n roll stunt short. All films get shot in one day and have to be edited tomorrow. What a hell of a job.
You could feel creative pressure building up during the briefing. Together with the actors (such as Ruben van der Meer, Horace Cohen, Esmee de la Bretonniere and Mark Ram) the group was dismissed for lunch. The main theme is freedom. Feel free to improvise. Use whatever you can. Get arrested but don’t forget to make a documentary of it. Leave your location and create something beautiful. It’s amazing to see how Rutger spreads his knowledge, creativity and passion over the group.
In spite of the heavy hours coming, up every one seemed quite relaxed. During lunch the first ideas crossed the table. Around three o’clock the first groups seemed to have their script ready. But during the dinner the stress was building up. High speed conversations, skittish eyes and laptops ruled the tables. Scripts got rewritten every five minutes. A hell of an evening was in front of everyone.
|Tue., Jan. 22
Evening - Day 1
At about half past six everyone moved from the boat to the location. The first real action of the week took place at the impressive Van Nelle Factory. In the small and hectic crew room all sorts of things happened at the same time. Make-up, dressing up, eating pizza, smoking cigarettes and stressing out.
Right from the start there was a discussion between two teams about overlapping sets. But a quick talk between the producers sorted things out. Because of the tight schedule everyone was working their ass off. No time to lose.
There was this green lighted hangar with just one car and a lovely couple. A mechanic whose attention was drawn by a mysterious sound outside his garage. An aggressive chase on foot. The dusty and noisy machine-room where a guy wanders around in panic. A bright but narrow corridor in a basement with too many doors to choose. And a person hiding behind pipes while an electrician covered in blood walks slowly down the stairs.
There must have been some magic in the air because the-hell-of-an-evening wasn’t that bad after all. All teams managed to finish all or at least enough shots at eleven o’clock. Of course there were some bumps in the road, some discussion and the desire for more time. But hey, isn’t that what makes filmmaking, and this project in particular, so special?
|Wed., Jan. 23
Morning - Day 2
This is the day the editors must show their skills. They have only eight hours to edit the material shot last night. At five o’clock the screening is due then we’ll know if it all worked out. The rest of the day is filled with three Masterclasses by Richard van Oosterhout (d.o.p.), Anton Corbijn and Ben Zuydwijk (art direction).
After a short introduction by Simon Palser, Richard van Oosterhout entered the Masterclassroom. Before he became a director of photography he spent many years on film sets as an assistant. In his words the best education he could have wished for. Richard, “You shouldn’t start too early on your own. It’s a very complex job and it’s important to learn a lot of aspects of it”.
In his opinion the film becomes alive on the set. That’s why intuition is so important. You have to be aware of the 'here and now'. And it’s very important that you know why you make the film, why you want to tell this story.
Everyone was quite astonished at the minimal preparation he takes before shooting a film. He reads a script once and then lets his senses guide him. Of course you need a lot of experience to do that. The more experience he gains the closer he gets to his big challenge: shooting a film without even reading the script upfront.
|Wed., Jan. 23
Afternoon - Day 2
The second Masterclass was by Anton Corbijn and the classroom was filled like a can of sardines. The opening sentence: “Any questions so far?”.
Guided by different pieces of his own work the class got a little peek in the way this genius works. He states that perfection is overrated. Anton Corbijn: “Just ask yourself: what is perfection? I discovered in my work that imperfection is my perfection”.
A lot of questions were asked by the participants. Rutger, who sat next to Corbijn, constantly pushed the filmmakers to use the answers for their own one-minute-shorts. Corbijn: “Don’t hold back, don’t be shy and dare to play. Create things by listening closely to the story”.
ART DIRECTION BY BEN ZUYDWIJK
Last but not least there was the Art Direction Masterclass by Ben Zuydwijk. This Dutch art director explained the influence and importance of his craft for a film. Besides film, Ben was also responsible for the decoration of the Masterclassroom.
The script is always the base. Then by listening carefully to the director you have to convert his thoughts and vision into an actual film set. By showing different film parts like ‘Seven’, ‘Songs from the Second Floor’ and ‘Amélie’, Ben was able to show the participants the role of an art director in that film. It’s responsible for the whole atmosphere the film has.
|Wed., Jan. 23
Evening - Day 2
Five o’clock sharp. The deadline for the editors of all six teams. Under the supervision of Rutger and John Putch the one-minute shorts were presented to the other groups. The results were amazing. Remember, just a little more than 24 hours ago no one even had a script. It’s unbelievable what’s possible in such a short time. All teams shared the same feeling that there was too little time to edit. There were some problems with music, rendering and changing the format.
After the shorts, there was a discussion and some tips about the editing choices each team made, the different shots and the use of their location. The teams were asked how it was to work with each other, because they had never met before. It must have been weird working under these circumstances with people you hardly know. But it was a great way to really get to know each other. And the sum of all team members created these shorts.
“It was great to do this high-speed writing for a change. We got from idea almost directly to storyboard”.
“What we found on the set was so good”.
“If we had more time, I think we would have done the same thing but in a slower pace”.
Rutger’s main conclusion: “I think you did very well, maybe excellent. An average 8 to 9 at least”.
Marcel Swagers and Dan Aldridge from NBC Universal were also very pleased with the outcome of their assignment. Now let's hope the clips will appear on '13th Street' theme channel all over Europe and maybe even further.
After diner everybody had to rush into their party outfit. To settle down at the opening of The Rotterdam International Film Festival. Everyone arrived just in time to watch the opening film and to enjoy a drink at the after-party. Hopefully not forgetting the words of the Master: “Tonight you might meet the one person you need to meet in your life”.
|Thu., Jan. 24
Morning - Day 3
The morning began with a Masterclass Editing by Molly Stensgaard. Although it was early the class was full of people listening carefully to her very interesting story.
She began with the work she did with Lars von Trier and how she got involved in DOGMA 95. Fresh out of film-school she was very open minded and together with Von Trier they had the urge to create a new style of filming. It began with the Danish TV series ‘The Kingdom’.
“You can break all the rules you want to. But you have to make an agreement with your audience. So start breaking the rules from the beginning otherwise you’ll lose them”.
Molly told a lot about her learning process as an editor. About the choices you must make and the use of time cuts. That you selecte the bits and pieces of the material that you like but always must look at quality, the meaning of the scene and the whole context. That you shouldn’t forget the ability of your audience to pick up emotions real quick.
“It should never come to a hard confrontation between the editor and the director. Of course there can be discussion but you have to trust on each other's skills”. The class was so focused on her lecture, you could hear a needle drop. Amazing.
|Thu., Jan. 24
Afternoon - Day 3
Find the look, feel, tone and language of your movie:
Editor Molly Stensgaard ('Dancer in the Dark', 'Dogville') and Marten Rabarts, artistic director of the Binger Filmlab, coached each FilmFactory team through an inspiring Creative Team session, just before the final drafts of their scripts were to be written.
Every team member had 5 minutes to present a wide array of samples including artwork, film, photos and music to convey their associations with the story they were about to shoot.
Spotlighted were Le Corbusier, Caravaggio, Rothko, Michael Mann, Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick, Dante, Nabokov, La Traviata, The Killers, sea songs, murderers, plastic lilies, Impressionism, Modernism and more.
Molly Stensgaard, "Find out what kind of story we have! What is the main focus? What do you want people to realize? How do we get them into this universe? What clues do we give the audience? Analyze it, discuss it. Be specific!".
Through this process every team member was to influence the story and turn the written word into image. Gaps between interpretations were to be closed to have everyone on the same page before shooting, because as Molly Stensgaard said, "Intuition is powerful but you have to go along with the same vision".
|Thu., Jan. 24
Evening - Day 3
Dress it down!
In the comfortable lounge of a gently rocking riverboat, with a pink sunset sky over the river Maas, relaxed groups of filmmakers discuss their allocated shooting location with art department coaches Ben Zuydwijk en Rosie Stapel.
One team's historic home is furnished with a lavish mix of antiques and corridors lined with deer heads and old paintings.
The couple in their script however is young and has been together for under a year.
How will the team, together with the art department coaches, make this a believable place of residence for them?
Solution: "Dress it down to make it more modern, add gadgets like a flat screen, welter weights and a mountain bike,
add a yuppie kind of car and make believe the house is in an apartment building".
Lists of necessary props are drawn up including a chicken, a rope, a sowing needle, two beers, a leather bag with a zipper and washable blood.
Questions emerge; "What kind of rope can we use to tie the actor up, that won't hurt him?", "Will fake blood damage the grey stone floor?'', "Can we use washable blood on the costume?", "Do we need the yuppie car if we also have the flatscreen?".
Costumes are discussed with styling coaches Erik Bosman and Karin van der Leeuw.
"The woman's style is like in the 'Desperate Housewives' tv series. Maybe she should wear a pencil skirt?".
"No fancy brand underpants for him, no Calvin Klein, just ordinary white ones".
As it is still undecided whether it is one woman's birthday, both a regular and a festive costume will be prepared.
When all details have been agreed upon the Art department and Styling coaches rush off to organize costume fittings, props and their transportation.
|Fri., Jan. 25
Morning - Day 4
We are approaching the end of the first week and today the lecture is: 'Making an anti-Hollywood movie'. Or, ‘Less professional, more fun’ by John Putch...
At the age of 45 John decided to change as a filmmaker. He had just shot ‘The Poseidon Adventure’, a big budget mini-series. He lost all control of his work when handing in the master tapes and realized something. As a filmmaker you’re an artist, you must make art. Impossible in the Hollywood atmosphere.
He borrowed elements of the DOGMA style and created his own guidelines. Now he was able to make a film for less than $39,996.10. By showing parts of backstage material of his film ‘Mojave Phone Booth’ he guides the audience through his process.
John Putch: “When making a very low budget film like this you have to make sure you trust your team. Everyone must help with all the aspects. In this way it becomes a film of the group and you will have the time of your life”.
The presentation brought up a lot of discussion between all filmmakers. They all had their own opinion and vision about this way of filming.
Oh my God, we’re upside down…
|Fri., Jan. 25
Afternoon - Day 4
This afternoon the writers had time to polish their script together with their coach. In the meanwhile the other team members could visit the location and start pre-production.
It became very hectic at the production office. People running around, heavy discussions and a lot of coffee, paper prints and candy. All with the constant background music of various ring-tones. The Factory was up and running like a mad man.
The atmosphere stayed really great. Teams were helping each other out and the FilmFactory crew did their best to support everyone. There wasn’t a real sense of competition but the team members provoked other teams by exaggeration.
“Everything is going better than planned. We’ll probably have time to shoot two shorts!”.
|Sat., Jan. 26
Morning - Day 5
The first half of this year’s FilmFactory is already over. Time flies when you’re having fun and making films of course. Today was all about the Masterclass Acting/Directing by Rutger himself and John Putch. But during the evaluation upfront the crew of the FilmFactory had a surprise/challenge for the six teams.
Team one: No lights on set.
Team two: Instead of a female and a male as actors they have three male actors.
Team three: No sound recording on set.
Team four: An extra actor.
Team five: They lost their location, their set is outside.
Team six: They can only use one lamp, one flashlight and candles to light their set.
You never know what to expect and you know nothing for sure here. How will the teams adapt to their handicap? We’ll know by Thursday.
As a warming up this morning Rutger randomly threw a ball to actors in the group. Catch it and do something with it! As an actor you need to play with what you get.
Among the actors today were Thom Hoffman, Derek de Lint, Sylvia Hoeks and Mohammed Azaay.
Rutger: “It’s not about results; it’s all about the trip”.
|Sat., Jan. 26
Afternoon - Day 5
Today’s Masterclass wasn’t in the lecture room. The art department volunteers built a special set just for today. It added a lot to the Masterclass, because the directors had their first script-reading with their actors. The scene was recorded by the D.O.P. and simultaneously shown to the audience (participants and actors) on a big screen next to the set. Everyone was very concentrated knowing this is dead-serious now.
During the reading Rutger encouraged the directors to speak out, listen to their actors and follow their intuition. After each session the audience could give feedback. A whole lot of tips and tricks crossed the room:
* A director must know the material from the inside out, so they can react to every situation.
* Beginning filmmakers: You must realize actors are professionals. Let them do their job and let them feed your story.
* Hire other actors for the first reading and let your real actors look at it. Your actors will get in the right mood.
* Always choose a part with a lot of text.
* Be aware of the impact of your directions. It can drive the movie forward or pull the movie back.
After four teams did their reading a small talk about auditions started between the actors. Mainly about their insecurities, actor vs. director and how to behave during an audition.
John Putch: "Keep your protection up so you don't get hurt by someone who is uncaring. They may miss the point".
Rutger: “I know it’s hard but it is something you chose for when becoming an actor. Just stay close to yourself and try to find out what the director really wants. To avoid endless waiting make an agreement with yourself: I’ll wait for 40 minutes. Then leave; don’t let them treat you like dirt”.
After lunch the last two teams had their reading. It was amazing to see the difference between all the directors. They all had their own way to approach their actors and they learned a lot from each other. Rutger Hauer John Putch were firm but honest teachers, just the way it should be.
John: "Warm is good when you're with actors. You're friends".
Everyone had dinner at the boat and afterwards they went to their set for the first rehearsals. Hopefully all the pieces will fall into place. The shoot begins tomorrow...
|Sun., Jan. 27
Shoot part 1 - Day 6
'The theme for the Rutger Hauer FilmFactory shorts this year is ‘Songs of Love and Hate’. These 2 days of shooting the teams will watch for ‘those moments, watch for what’s real’.
In a desolate, dimly lit and dusty basement underneath the Masterclass rooms, Rumanian actor Daniel Popa’s rendition of a song reduces several crewmembers to tears. This shows how deeply involved everybody is.
In Schiedam, a mansion filled with eclectic art and curiosities provides a stunning backdrop. Director John Dryden carefully crafts each detail of his actors’ performance. Avi Fennema (make-up) has sculptured a mutilated face during the night. Coach José van Doorn hopes that the freedom during the Masterclass will encourage filmmakers to explore more than they normally do.
|Sun., Jan. 27
Shoot part 2 - Day 6
An apartment in the Photo Museum hosts several film-world's gems. During a beautiful performance by actors Derek de Lint and Darren Boyd, Dutch production legend and coach Jos van der Linden assists crew. Fernando Tallo (screenwriter) says the challenge of having 3 actors instead of the originally planned actor and actress has made the story better, ‘at first it was quite traditional’. Editor Talia Stone will stay on set today as ‘we have many stars already’, quoting John Putch’s lecture about having more fun during filmmaking.
Nicolette Kay, screenwriter, sits with her laptop in the New York Hotel. “It is too nerve-wracking to stay on set”. Even so Nicolette is very happy; ‘Marietta (von Hauswolff von Baumgarten, script coach) was brilliant, and the people here are amazing!’. Outside, her team prepares for another take on the dock. Actor Thom Hoffman sees their short film as “the opening scene of a beautiful long film I would like to do with (co-star) Monic Hendrix’. Monic also headlines in the popular new feature ‘Unfinished Sky’ in the Rotterdam Film Festival.
All 6 teams received a special Maori blessing from Rutger’s friend Arty which is customary on every filmset in New Zealand. The crew members were all very impressed.
Tomorrow more about the other two locations, the Montevideo apartment and the Harbor Museum.
|Mon., Jan. 28
Shoot part 1 - Day 7
After a short night sleep every team went back to their location. The editors got into their little editing rooms, they had an appointment with a lot of footage.
Meanwhile in the Montevideo apartment tower, producer Vivian Arber Moore and actress Sarita Marchesi hide out in a spare room as angry voices bellow through the hallway. Gitta Kruisbrink (coach production), and John Putch (coach directing) observe the scene with actors Saskia Rinsma en Ronald Top. ‘It’s a great pleasure to see the teams in action’, says John Putch.
At the Rotterdam Harbor Museum, despite frightening tales of broken bones and drownings, cameraman Bart van Broekhoven will shoot from a 24 meter height on an old steel boat. Inside the engine room the stairs glisten with oil. Roaming coach Richard van Oosterhout (camera) says that in a way ‘really they should all fail’ because it would mean the teams have dared to leave the beaten trail.
Actor Thom Hoffman was surprised, “It was real beautiful to see how a team can become so strong within a real short period. The way they work together is great”.
|Mon., Jan. 28
Shoot part 2 - Day 7
(Monday, Januari 28th 2008)
Towards the end of the day the mood of the different teams changed a bit. One team had a lot of fun, even when their dolly packed with four people crashed. Laughter filled the basement. Director Bert de Vries describes the situation as: “Atomic!”.
In another team, the production manager couldn't keep herself together and started jelling at people. Luckily the producer, Tobias Brand, stayed calm and told something about his experience, “It’s really nice to have one of the coaches looking over your shoulder, I haven’t had that experience before. I am gaining a lot of experience and it brings me to another level. I would sign up for part two!”.
Rutger visited different sets to give the participants a positive boost and brighten things up. He is amazed, ”I never dreamed it would be possible to have such pleasure generates everybody!”.
Around seven o’clock most teams finished their shoot. One team kept on going 'till eleven because they had a lot of night scenes. At dinner, director Stefano Moro puts the last two days into words, “Like a duck in the pond: on the surface everything is calm, underneath those little feet are going crazy”.
The editors kept on going in their hot rooms. Some very happy, others having trouble to work with an unknown editing program. At the bar on the boat it was time to let go of all the tension. There were drinks and songs deep into the night.
|Tue., Jan. 29
Morning - Day 8
After the little party yesterday it wasn’t easy to get up today. But there was a very good reason to get yourself together: the Masterclass Scenario by Paul Ruven.
It really felt like going to school this time. Teacher Paul had a whiteboard to make notes and draw the way a story is built. A couple of years ago he noticed he was missing something in his work as a scriptwriter, so he went to Hollywood to find out the secret behind a successful script. The magic touch that makes the difference between a good and a bad screenplay.
In Hollywood he noticed that all the successful writers closed ranks, because they didn’t want to support the competition. It’s a tough world out there. But after a long time he got enough information to put the script mystery together.
To write a successful screenplay you have to follow a certain formula. With the energy of a raging bull he explained the audience how to build their story and the scheme you must follow. That you've got to have a vision. Because when you know that, you can quite easily fill in the rest. If you follow the guideline.
Paul was unstoppable. He kept on explaining by examples of movies and he had an answer to every question asked. After two and a half hours, time really ran out. Too bad, this could go on all day.
|Tue., Jan. 29
Afternoon - Day 8
After the lecture of this morning, there wasn’t anything on the program except for the D.O.P.’s. They had the chance to play around with the brand new RED camera system. After an explanation by Edwin Verstegen they got lots of time to look at the possibilities of this first step into the future of cameras. And of course to ask a lot of technical and practical questions.
The playground got extended to the second studio of the Schiecentrale. Stunt team Action Pact was there to do some stunts and the D.O.P. had the chance to work with an Extreme crane. This amazing machine was able to follow every move from almost every angle. Great stuff to play with! The stunt team also explained how to shoot a fight scene, “It’s really important you know what’s going to happen. If you choose the wrong angle all your shots are useless, because you can see the fight is fake”.
The editors were still working very hard. But things started to get shape and the first rough edits got finished. The night is still young and there’s still a lot of work to do. Only one day left and then they have to hand in their final draft.
Team two describes their day:
“We had an unusual day, the producer (Rhea) was having her legs checked by a doctor, when she had gone to the hospital with chest complaints. The editor (Talia) got amnesia. The director (Doris) is happy with her art but is not so happy with the stock markets! The writer (Fernando) is not on strike, but quite the contrary; he is thinking of a new piece – and finally the D.O.P. (Sandra) is learning how to use a camera (given it’s a new kind!)''.
|Wed., Jan. 30
Today the shorts must be finished, so tension is rising again. The producers are really busy finishing everything. The film poster for example. The editors and some directors got back in the editing rooms. Some other team members finally had some time for themselves.
In the afternoon there was a panel discussion about marketing. Moderated by Ido Abram, four experts shared their view on film marketing: San Fu Maltha, Frans van Gestel, Claudia Landsberger and Fiona Mitchel.
Some important quotes:
“What do you want other people to know about the movie and when, that’s the question”.
“You have to be aware of the international arena. Know the different Film Festivals and understand which ones are useful to your film”.
“Timing is everything in all aspects. First release date, day and even time of screening on the festival, press screening, etc. You have to think about it all carefully”.
“The script is critical for a sales agent, only go to a sales agency with a full script”.
“When applying for funds, it’s bad to shoot as many bullets as you can, hoping one will hit. No one will take you seriously”.
“As soon as the name of your film is out in the open, people start making their own image of it”.
It became very clear how important marketing is for a film. You have to start with it almost before shooting your film.
In the evening there was a wrap party on the boat. While cruising over the river everybody had a real great time singing, dancing and having a drink all night long. Even the crew of the boat started to dance: normally they only have 65+ guests, so it must have been great to have such a vital group on board!
|Thu., Jan. 31
So here it is. The final day of the Rutger Hauer Filmfactory 2008. It’s a stormy day in Rotterdam. The wind blew people literally off their feet. But also inside the factory it was a heavy day. With heavy heads of the long night before, there was a lot of work to do. All films had their sound edit and some final adjustments.
In the afternoon there was a final debate about distribution. Led by Marten Rabarts from the Binger Filmlab, Mirjam Wertheim and Sara Höhner had a discussion about the role of sales agency’s and distributors.
Sara Höhner: “It’s a taste related business and a lot of people are involved before you reach the highest level. So stand out and create a buzz that reaches the right people”.
Mirjam Wertheim: “As a producer you have to be tough. Producing a movie is going to war”.
The role of this sector is a bit underestimated. But it consists of committed people who invest a lot and take a lot of risks.
Towards dinner all teams handed in their final draft and they received their film posters. Everything was ready for the big premiere.
|Thu., Jan. 31
Premiere Shorts - The End
Blow the horns, ring the bells and beat the drums. The premiere of Rutger Hauer’s Filmfactory 2008 was finally there. The theater was packed with all participants, actors, family, coaches, volunteers, crew, press, v.i.p.s and of course the Master himself: Rutger Hauer.
After a short introduction by Simon Palsen and a word about the future of the Filmfactory by Harry de Bruijn (InHolland), the screening of the shorts started.
Each team had a short and funny video introduction of their film. The titles of the shorts were (in order of appearance):
Team 4: 'Ties that Bind'
Team 1: 'Roasted Chicken'
Team 2: 'Wounds'
Team 3: 'The Other Side'
Team 5: 'A Short Message'
Team 6: 'Spark of Life'
To close the evening and the masterclass, Rutger gave an impressive speech.
Some bits and pieces of it:
“Last year was a dress rehearsal for everyone. This year it was exactly what I was hoping for. We built a new house in Rotterdam: real but fragile”.
“The filmmakers rolled out the red carpet of their minds. Now they are ready to kick some fabulous asses!”.
“It was rough, everybody suffered. Big deal. Send me a text message. Get over it!”.
He ended with a fun and beautiful poem. And that was it, the Factory closed the doors. But it produced a lot of friendship, knowledge and - last but not least - 12 beautiful films.
Click here for Rutger's Complete Speech
2007 Rutger Hauer Film Factory - Rutger's Notes
2009 Rutger Hauer Film Factory - Description