Life is Long online premiere by Adriaan Hogervorst

So here is the big news: Life is Long will have its online premiere at Film Shortage. We are very much excited. The release date will be announced at a later time.

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Marco Lucà of Film Shortage describes the storytelling in Life is Long as unusual, which I love. This probably has to do with the fact that we recorded the film as live theatre and used uncut takes for all the scenes as well as live soundtracks, rendering camera and composition secondary.

The aim of this film was to catch a collective sentiment, rather than a fixed sequence of preconceived narrative elements. It was never about technique or cinematic spectacle.

Nothing ever goes as planned when making a film and a lot turns out different than you expect, but I am really happy to see that traces of theatre are definitely in this film.  And even more so that people appreciate that as something meaningful and different.

As always, thanks for sticking around and keep in touch for more news.

 

Life is Long update #6 - distribution & vacay by Adriaan Hogervorst

So let's try to do a recap of the last few weeks. A lot has happened.

 Current mood: just got awesome news and about to embark on vacay

Current mood: just got awesome news and about to embark on vacay

Life is Finished

We finished Life is Long on the last day of June and then July 1st we fell nose first into the rather large, very uncertain world of getting this film out there. Wherever there might be.

Getting it out there

Getting the film out there means sending it to festivals and all kinds of online outlets, but also thinking long and hard about which people I want to reach and how I want to reach them.

Offline <3 Online <3 Offline

In the recent years, a lot has changed in the distribution of indie films. I could write entire essays about that and about how I determine my release strategies, and I will if you'd ask me too, but I'll be brief right now: online and offline distribution channels are no longer in each other's way, but rather helping each other flourish.

Offline

As far as offline distribution is concerned, I'm still awaiting festival submissions. Theoretically, you could spend years sending your film in to festivals. Among my submissions are festivals where I'm certain our short film would be a perfect fit and then there are some where you just decide to take the leap and see what happens. Across the board, chances of getting in are slim, but I don't worry about that. Life is Long, right?

Online: big news!

Besides, we just got amazing news regarding our online premiere. I can't really say anything just yet as we're still figuring out the scheduling of things, but stay in touch because we are thrilled and can't wait to tell you more. I also like the idea of exploring non-traditional distribution channels online. If any of you have a favourite travel website or coming home is hard blog, or a magazine that's all about the middle ground between theatre and film, I'd love to hear your two cents.

Vacay

So this whole distribution thing involves a lot of brain racking. I'm obviously very emotionally involved but at the same time trying to be objective and matter of factly about it all, taking a bit of distance. It's a weird state to be in and I was all the more thrilled when we heard the news about our online premiere. Really makes it all worth it.

For now though, it's time for a much needed vacation. Time to leave the country and relive our film all over again.

Thanks everyone for checking in. I hope you summer well.

Life is Finished by Adriaan Hogervorst

Sometimes the things you can't believe are easiest to say, but this time that's not the case. Still, here it is: 

Life is Long is finished.


Life is Long

Years ago something sparked in my imagination. One year ago (almost to the day) I decided to go out and make a film about it. After months of working out the scenario, I started pre production in January. From that moment on, things started to go a lot faster as I gathered a brilliant team around me. The first crew member to join me was Bas Zemering. He acted not only as our 1st AD, but he also did the casting with me. I remember how awesome it felt when I rode my bike back home at night and I was no longer doing this alone. Soon after, Floris van Bodegraven hopped on board to make sure production would be nothing but smooth sailing. And surprisingly, it was just about as smooth as it gets.

Then, together with our lead actress (who is also my stunning wife) Marije de Jong, we started the auditions and rehearsals. I remember how Mo walked in the room during his first audition and how we all knew that he was the one. A lot of fun auditions followed for the supporting cast.

 It was during rehearsals that I started to feel how my idea was transforming into the embodiment of many different personalities.

One of the things I will not forget soon is how I learned more than ever to trust my instincts. I had a very clear artistic vision for this story from the very start and it became clear that things started to crumble whenever I lost sight of it. I am very grateful to have worked with a crew that nudged me in the right direction when needed and that really got my intentions. In particular, Giuseppe Valenza and Joris van Gulik come to mind. Thank you.

 Post production was a weird and wonderful time where at times I felt super calm while being completely out of control. We were lucky enough to have Jan Maarten de Wit grade our film (I suspect he might be a sorcerer in his leisure time). Denisa Uherova and Reinder van der Put took care of the sound mix, after which Reinder and I took on sound design. Sound design is a whole other mind boggling story, but for now I can just say we had a lot of fun and I'm really happy how it turned out. It was great to be able to rely on other people's expertise and knowhow.

 So for those who are wondering what the next steps are after finishing the film, I am setting up a little newsletter to share news when it comes. There are different routes possible for the film, and we're still figuring out what's the best one.

Thanks for sticking with us. We hope to be able to share more along the lines of images (a trailer?) soon.

All the best,

Adriaan

Life is Long update #5 by Adriaan Hogervorst

Maybe it's the heat, or maybe it's because most of the post production process is out of my hands, but these days I can't help but doze off and reflect on the whole experience that took Life is Long from the first idea to what it's becoming right now.

What I love the most is that we really ended up telling a different story on screen than I did with the script. I always hoped this would happen (here's proof) and my romantic heart is infinitely happy that it did.

It means that the production weekend was not merely the registration of an already finished idea. Instead, it was a significant part of the process and as such it added value in a way that's directly reflected in the final product. This film could only be made by this particular cast and crew. Everyone involved really left their mark on it.

That is the most amazing thing to me. Thank you all.

Photography by Harold van de Kamp / Kade104.

Photography by Harold van de Kamp / Kade104.

Picture lock & other news by Adriaan Hogervorst

I DECLARE PICTURE LOCK!

Life is Long has left the cutting room and is now headed to our sound department. Though this is pretty huge news, it kind of crept up on me. In the final stages of editing, the changes just got fewer and fewer and smaller and smaller until at some point you start to realize that you're watching the final cut. It just kind of happened. It also helped that we were on the right track really quickly. But OK, that's enough about Life is Long for this post, because we are quite busy with some other projects.

Read all about it below!

 Photo by Harold van de Kamp / Kade104.

Photo by Harold van de Kamp / Kade104.

We are also doing color correction for two documentaries which will both be premiering at the CampusDoc International Film Festival: Verslaafd aan God and Non Stop. The festival takes place at Louis Hartlooper Complex in Utrecht at June 16th & 17th. Directors Desi van Driel and Maxime Vernooij are in fact still running a crowd funding campaign for Non Stop. You can read about it here if you're interested.

First off, we edited a pretty cool pitch for Dirk Vis and Selby Gildemacher who have been selected for the Sandberg@Mediapark programme. They are pitching a new TV show right now. It's a really cool interactive idea that connects TV with life around you. So let's keep our fingers crossed for Dirk and Selby!

Life is Long update #4 by Adriaan Hogervorst

A couple of weeks have passed and a lot has happened. Post production is a fun state to be in. We're switching back and forth between standing knee deep in the story telling action and then getting some distance from it all. Maintaining a healthy balance is key, and luckily we've had some help to get our minds off of things when needed. 

  Why did we bother with the camera anyway? - Picture by Harold van de Kamp / Kade104.

Why did we bother with the camera anyway? - Picture by Harold van de Kamp / Kade104.

One welcome distraction was this past weekend's Leiden International Short Film Experience. Fun fact: our costume supervisor Yara was one of the curators for the festival. We saw a particularly beautiful film called Fast Alles by Lisa Gertsch. If you have the chance to catch it somewhere, I don't think you'll regret it.

Something else that has kept our ideas fresh are a couple of interesting freelance jobs. Working on the post production of other projects is a good way to keep track of the bigger picture.

In terms of our progress, we had a meeting with our colorist last week, which was very exciting. Going through the film together offered a glimpse of where we're headed and it's hard not to want more right there and then.

Another thing that will really give this film a shove towards the finish line is sound. I hope to write a bit more about that in a next update. In the mean time, we're really, really close to declaring picture lock (you are allowed to freak out and so are we).


As a final note about these past days, we were very much shocked by the incredibly tragic news of Scott Hutchinson's passing. He's someone who has been a great inspiration to me personally in the broadest sense. Specifically, his work shows how you don't need fancy words to say something meaningful. There are many different tiny ways how the Frightened Rabbit and Owl John records have left their mark on me and on Life is Long. Thanks Scott.

Keep yourself warm.

- Adriaan

Life is Long interview: Yara Yuri Safadi by Adriaan Hogervorst

 Left: Yara Yuri Safadi. Picture by Sophie van Bergen.

Left: Yara Yuri Safadi. Picture by Sophie van Bergen.

As we're in the post production phase for Life is Long, we will keep updating you on the process  with journal entries and interviews. Up today is an interview with our costume supervisor Yara.

Can you start by introducing yourself?

My name is Yara Yuri Safadi. I come from Lebanon and I moved to the Netherlands less than a year ago. I am the costume supervisor for this short film.

I'm crazy about all sorts of art, especially film. I wish I can travel the whole globe, and finish in outer space. Costumes in film bring out the funkiness in me. I also rely a lot on my sense of observation and analysis, to see how people act everyday, how they dress everyday, what elements they like to keep closer to them. I believe that identities are recreated in society. Stereotypes might sometimes be true, but I would hate to reduce a character in any film I work on to a simple stereotype. Because humans are so special, they continue to amaze me everyday, sometimes in a bad way, but sometimes in a really good way.

Can you share some thoughts about the theme of the story?

I think that the story and theme of the film can be easily understood by a big number of people, especially young people who feel like they don't fit into their entourage and community. It could be also a quest that happens when you are in the midst of your coming of age. You can be lost about who you are and what you want to become, and society could already have those answers for you and expect you to be up to the standard. Escaping, traveling, looking, exploring is definitely something that I did when I was younger. It helped shape who I am, or actually who I aspire to be.

Finally, how do you relate to the young woman we get to know in the film?

I completely relate to the character of the young woman played by Marije de Jong. I too have been alienated from my community, because after you travel you come back changed. Your point of view on life, love, happiness all change, and sometimes that can make you not fit in.

Life is Long: it's a wrap! by Adriaan Hogervorst

 Life is Long production day 1. Picture by Sophie van Bergen.

Life is Long production day 1. Picture by Sophie van Bergen.

I feel it's time for another update. A bit of a personal one this time.

Wrapping Life is Long a week ago made me feel a lot of things. During the shoot days we were very much confronted with the choices I had made in pre production, both artistically and production wise. Going through the scenes one by one, it became clear once more that it all comes down to this one idea it all started with. As good a job as everyone on set has done, all we have in the end is the story. This makes post production as daunting as it is exciting.

As I'm posting this, I just returned from a short break. Being somewhere else for a couple of days gave me a good look at a lot of things, also beyond the scope of this project. I really feel I'm in the right headspace right now to take this project to the next phase. This means locking the picture, then sending it over to our sound design team and finally having it colored.

Exciting times! So stay tuned as we'll continue posting updates on here. Up next: an interview with Yara, our costume supervisor.

For now, I'd like to thank all of you who have expressed an interest in this project. I can't wait to show you more.

- Adriaan.

New project: Daniel de Bruin by Adriaan Hogervorst

Subliminar films

We were commissioned to make cinematic content for the new website for Daniel de Bruin. He is an incredibly talented visual artist and craftsman. You might know him for his analog 3D printer that went insanely viral a while ago. Don't know him yet? Be sure to check out his work.

Our aim for this project was to display Daniels artistic process, as well as his unique approach to his craft. It's amazing how he combines his artistic vision with prestine skill and expertise. Watching him work and documenting his process was quite special indeed. Watch our work here.

Life is Long interview: Joan Jongejan-Sanders by Adriaan Hogervorst

So this is the first in a series of interviews with the cast & crew for Life is Long. We kick off with Joan.

Can you start by introducing yourself?

My name is Joan Jongejan-Sanders. I was born in Perth, Australia to Dutch immigrant parents. As new Australians they were keen to integrate so I did not learn to speak Dutch until I moved to the Netherlands. Having possession of a dual nationality simplified my move by supporting my motive to get in touch with my roots, to live and work there. However, contrary to my original plans, my stay eventuated into making the Netherlands my permanent home.

Life is Long film

So tell us a bit about your role in this project?

I was cast for Life is Long as a bilingual step-mother searching to re-invent herself after the departure of her daughter and the break up of her latest relationship. As full time mother I can relate to this role. When the kids left home, it hit me harder than I expected. Overwhelmed by a sense of uselessness I began by soul searching, over-asserting myself, becoming too aware of time and age, distracting myself with singing lessons and taking a yoga lesson. Finally picking up on an old hobby gradually led to a vague sense of balance.

How do you relate to the young woman we get to know in the film?

In relation to the the role of the young woman, I find I can sympathise with her. I was brought up by a step-mother, and I left home at 17. Looking for work I travelled to Darwin in the Northern Territory two years after Cyclone Tracey completely destroyed the city. Due to lack of accommodation my first dwelling was a tent in Tent City. This was located on the waterfront. I can remember so well the chaos caused every evening meal time by the “Malaria Eradication Program”. Huge trucks full of pesticide would drive down the adjacent road and spray the area at 6.00 p.m.

While in Darwin I found all sorts of odd jobs from working on a prawn fishing boat to making french fries in a small backyard factory. To get to the french fries factory I would take a short cut through the bush. Often I would have to walk through small herds of feral buffalo not sure if they were aggressive or not, while at the same time trying not to think about the snakes in the grass.

Finally I got myself a “proper” job. I got placed for a secure position in a government office. Though very grateful for this new opportunity I threw it overboard when I got accepted for and completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Darwin community College. This was followed by my trip to Europe.

Finally, can you give us a little teaser about your character?

My character in the film is coming to terms with yet another broken relationship. Her relationship with her step-daughter is also in need of repair but mum is too busy sorting herself out. She does care about her daughter though, at least she thinks she does.

Life is Long update #3 by Adriaan Hogervorst

Life is Long film

So a lot has happened in the ever expanding world of our short film since we last wrote an update. We've had our rehearsals with the main cast and boy was it fun. It's so great to get to know each other and the story so much better just by playing around with it. There's nothing more thrilling than to see our cast really owning a scene. This script really isn't mine anymore.

Below you see our gaffer Joris, costume supervisor Yara and set dresser Jip. They had a meeting this weekend to work out the visual style of the film and it's amazing how much they were on the same page right from the get go. I can't wait to see how our production design is going to develop.

Oh and bonus tip: stay on the lookout for interviews with our cast & crew right here on this blog!

Life is Long film

Life is Long: update #2 by Adriaan Hogervorst

Last weekend saw our last round of auditions. We are very pleased to be able to say that the entire cast is now in place. It feels great to know who are going to be on the set making this thing as real as it gets. We also had a meeting with our costume supervisor this week which was quite exciting. It's amazing how the smallest details in the choice of accessoires or apparel can give away so much about character and story development. Along the same lines is the set department, which is up next as we're meeting our set dresser this week as well.

One of the most astonishing things about this project is to see how all the different crew and cast members make this thing all their own. This story might have come from me, but it's no longer just mine and I'm happy it isn't. Because the people we get to work with have such bright minds and it's their input that takes this whole thing to a level I could have never imagined.

This weekend we're doing rehearsals. We're pumped.

Life is Long film

Life is Long: update #1 by Adriaan Hogervorst

This past weekend we had our first round of auditions for Life is Long. It was quite special to see the first glimpses of this idea we've been walking around with for so long finally coming to life. This thing keeps getting bigger and bigger as we progress through these stages, surrounding ourselves with crew & cast.

It's funny. Even though we still have an incredible amount of work to do before we'll see all these names roll down the screen, we don't seem to mind at all. This collaborative process is way too valuable to ever be skipped. Now off to next weekend for more auditions.

Pictured below are Adriaan & our very handsome 1st AD Bas Zemering. Winter calls for radiator hanging sometimes.

Subliminar films

On set for Seventeen by Adriaan Hogervorst

Subliminar films

Last weekend we were on set for Seventeen, the music video for the upcoming Frank Valenza single. The shoot took place in Kytopia, or 'de oude Tivoli'. Walking around that old, empty place was a bit alienating. I was used to being there amid a crowd, either trying to cover for my lack of talent for dancing or feeling all the feels in front of the stage with the Charlie Finks and Kurt Viles of this world beating the old heart strings.

Shooting a music video here made it feel more like a playground than anything else, not unlike the old gym where we shot Worn (which was kind of the point to begin with). I guess that's what makes these projects so much fun. We all seem to turn into little kids when we're doing these shoots. Pictured here is Frank himself of course.

2014, Vienna by Adriaan Hogervorst

One of those nights that must have somehow inspired me in writing this short film.

It started with me happy alone in Burggarten listening to Suuns. It proceeded with five young people joining me who were driving around Europe in a four seat car with no money. After playing music and exchanging gifts, we made our way downtown. In the que for the toilet at MiccyD's, we met a beautiful group of locals who took us on a journey that finally brought us to this little fashion boutique Karl Michael. This shop used to be a candy store, so within minutes we were all kneedeep in colourful sweets and trying on handmade clothing.

Tl;dr #lifeislong

Life is Long film