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WAITING FOR P.O BOX
Bassam Chekhes directed, shot and edited 'Waiting for P.O Box' (Falastein, Sandouk Al Intezar Lil Burtuqal) himself, in Jordan where the film takes place. It's a surreal story dealing with bureaucracy and disconnect. After the rough version was selected for the prestigious Short Film Palm d'Or competition in Cannes we worked hard to finish the film for theatrical release in time for the festival.
SHOCK HEAD SOUL
"In 1903 Daniel Paul Schreber published the most celebrated autobiography of madness 'from the inside' ever written. Shock Head Soul interleaves documentary interviews, fictional re-construction and CGI animation to portray his story.
Running as a recurrent motif through the film is an imaginary Writing Down Machine inspired by both the delusory writing down systems envisioned by Schreber and also the Hansen Writing Ball. This early visionary design for a typewriter is famous because Nietzsche used such a machine to compose reflections on the relationship between writing and technology."
(excerpts from www.shockheadsoul.com)
Review in 'Variety'
I first talked to Simon Pummell about the project in september 2008 and started working on animation tests and designs for the 'writing down machine' soon after. The project evolved in a rare way - the animation tests inspired adjustments to the script to take advantage of the new ideas about the narrative possibilities of the animation.
In colourgrading it was challenging to bring together images that were very different stylistically . But in general it was a pleasure working with the material that Reinier van Brummelen shot - and we managed to create a very diverse but coherent and powerful look for the film.
The film was selected for the prestigious 'Orizzonti' competition at the Venice Filmfestival 2011, and went on to screen at the BFI in London, CP:DOX in Copenhagen and the IFFR in Rotterdam.
THE SPUTNIK EFFECT
STEREOSCOPIC GALLERY INSTALLATION
The installation 'The Sputnik Effect' shares its depictions of a fictional Writing Down Machine with Simon Pummell's feature film 'Shock Head Soul'.
Parallel to our work on the feature film Simon Pummell developed the concept of an anaglyph stereoscopic (to be viewed through red-green coloured glasses) featuring animated writing down machines that we developed for the film.
The first of the three 'rooms' of the installation premiered in march 2011 in M KHA. The premiere of the three room installation in TENT coincided with the Dutch premiere of Shock Head Soul during the IFFR in 2012.
For Active Studios I colourgraded this short promo for Radio Veronica. The grade emphasizes the blue colour that represents the Veronica brand. Most of the work was actually cleaning up the ceiling and background: painting out a lot of small reflections and rigging to get closer to the clean and graphic look that was wanted.
Lotus ensues almost silently several anonymous lives during one afternoon, that night and the following morning in our busy and hectic society, after which a moving palette of both grievous and humorous stories about loneliness come into being.
In these modern times, we have numerous ways to connect with each other through social media, but to really reach one another is less easy. In search for happiness, the characters in LOTUS attempt to break through the social connection barriers.
Lotus was the first feature film that I colourgraded - in my own studio, supported by the excellent people at Filmmore Amsterdam (I thank Ben and Remco for this opportunity). Together with cinematographer Micha Douwes we worked hard to make the film feel like one continuous storyline unfolding in 36 hours.
When the film was shot in fall 2011 the Arri Alexa digital camera was very new. Most of the scenes were shot in available light, sometimes with nothing more than a streetlight in the night.
I'M NEVER AFRAID
Mack, a 8 year old streetwise boy, who wants to win all the time, lives on borrowed time. With his mirrored heart he has to perform on the motorcrosstrack while death watches him from all corners. He finds inspiration with his grandfather who has passed away and support from his sister who lives in constant fear of going into anaphylactic shock and die. A short, sometimes quirky and funny, youth documentary about the strength to win and facing ones fears.
Director Willem Baptist chose to shoot on 16mm film to achieve the soft feel of the childrens television he grew up on. In colourgrading we chose to keep the gentle palette to give the film a slightly nostalgic and romantic look, juxtaposed against the sometimes harsh reality of Mack's life.
Chairs Missing is an ambient film that shows the last days of a swimming pool, just before its destruction. The film unfolds in sequential patterns, creating a distance from a dramatic event, not showing the confrontation between people who meet, but returning to the place of action right after the event. Its regular visitors are isolated in a series of inscrutable encounters. The silence in the almost empty building is distinct from the local meeting place the swimming pool once was. Here "absence" is a significant indicator. If it is true that a building after 40 years has gained a soul, the film intends to show this 'soul'.
After losing his point of gravity, Frank's social life literally falls apart. Frank is facing a highly unfortunate situation. His centre of gravity is slipping away, and soon his social life will fall apart. Over time, the symptoms develop into something unimaginable. Doctors are stumped by this remarkable disease. There's only one other case in the whole world.
Writer and director Jasper Wessels did most of the postproduction work himself, but towards the end of the project I created a sequence of the lead character throwing himself off a building, and I was the colorist.
BORN AND RAISED
Elsa and Bo are eagerly expecting their first baby. While Elsa gets the baby's room ready, Bo composes a special musical piece for the occasion.
Originally meant to be a spec commercial, the improvised one-day shoot resulted in enough material to create a (really) short film. This was the first project that I graded on my new Assimilate Scratch colourgrading system.
Eleven year old Donnie has conflicts with the boyfriend of his mother. Meanwhile he strugles at his swimminglessons. Is Donnie going to find comfort with his mother or stand on his own feet? A short story about growing up in an emotional vacuum.
In her most charming voice Lilian Sijbesma asked if I could help her out on her graduation film. Without any budget left the film needed to be colourgraded. I spent a day with her and and the cinematographer grading the film, about a young girl that needs to let go of her mother after she's passed away.
'Marijn' did very well in festivals, winning some awards on local festivals and even being selected for the 'Court Metrage' at Cannes.
ROTTERDAM EUROPEAN YOUTH CAPITAL
As part of the campaign around Rotterdam European Youth Capital, CCCP Rotterdam produced a couple of TV commercials. The slogan 'Step into Your World' is literally visualized by transforming the palette into the greyscale + turquoise colourscheme of the campaign.
To separate the props from the rest of the image I had to resort to old-fashioned rotoscoping: manually masking out the elements so they could be treated separately.