What's your self-isolation set-up at the moment?
Sorry. Can’t exactly tell you that. It’s a weird time for all of us and mine got a twist-extra-eclectic on top of that...
Since last August I’m a year off with my wife and kids traveling the world and the seven seas. After driving our pleasuredome on four wheels “Skipper” from The Netherlands to Morocco, we travelled onwards to Turkey, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Taiwan, USA and Latin America. In doing so we managed to dodge the virus for a long time until we finally got stuck in quarantine on a lush hill in a Colombian rainforest.
Traveling our lovely blue floating dot, we were ready for all kinds of adventures. Actually, we expected the unexpected. But chillin’ in a hammock while checking pandemic charts on my mobile was not part of the possible options.
We really didn’t want to go home and were intending to sit it out while dancing on Islands in the stream.
Until we got a call from the Dutch Embassy in which they strongly recommended us to take the last emergency flight. Colombia can get an intense place if people are out of work for a long time…
Guided by men with mask in white suits we flew home. Well, sort of. As our house is still rented out, we fall back on our rock & rolling pleasuredome Skipper again. Completing circles in multiple ways.
But, since all campsites are closed, we have no choice but to go underground. So we are currently under the radar in a Children of Men kind of setting, somewhere in a Dutch forrest.
It's lockdown; aside from your family, which four people, past or present, would you most like to be quarantined with?
For me, often music is the answer. And I pretty much eat everything (although no Eurohouse please).
In no particular order: I’d love to have Prince part of the company. High ranking on my all time favorite artists. Yes, you can argue his slick work, which isn’t always my cup of tea either as I’m more of a heavy metal thunder guy. But we all know that he can give some filthy raw stuff just as easy and as a drummer I’d love to jam with him. Oh, and physically he’s not taking too much space. Finally, he he’s a guy full of surprises and as such seems to be able to play a mean pingpong. So bring it on!
Next, Adam Yauch, to some better know as MCA from The Beastie Boys. A creative intriguing guy, I feel I have a lot in common with: We could skate, make music, listen to music and shoot some nice videos. Although he’s not the best bass player in the world, he does bring in a lot of other skills. Oh yeah, and he was a buddhist. This will balance the Jehova attitude of Prince. I could highly recommend the awesome Beastie Boys biography by his fellow band members, which I took as called Pizza for a long time. I’m pretty sure he’s in for ping pong too.
To spice it up, I’d love to hang out with the legendary George Carlin. A next level comedian who’s jokes go beyond the observatory. He always put in a philosophic tone of voice. I guess if you like the insights of the book Homo Sapiens to be told in a funny way, George is your man. I do think he will break a pingpong bat or two...
And last but not least: The Dude. The Dudeness. El Duderino. I’m a perfectionist, which director isn’t, and yearly watching The Big Lebowski always puts things in perspective. He calms me down and makes me less hard on myself. Even now, while we are in the middle of a shitstorm, I often ask myself: What would The Dude do.
In case The Dude isn’t available because he’s after a rug or something, I’d have a replacement which comes close for exact the same reasons: Bill Murray. He takes life easy, lighthearted and definitely seems fun to be with: Maybe he never played pingpong, but I’m sure he’s up for it!
We need entertainment, what's your favourite short film?
I’ve learned that in advertising one shouldn’t underestimate the importance of advertising within advertising. Yes, obviously as a starting point your work should sell itself, but it never hurts to give your work that extra push.
So here’s my 10min Short film Detector which won Best European Short in 2015. Looking back at this dark comedy again, I still feel that the slow pace in the beginning perfectly ramps up to a disturbingly funny climax.
I recall the mix of laughter and disgust in the movie theatres.
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You've completed Netflix. And Amazon Prime. And Disney+. It's on the hard stuff; board games. What do you pick and why?
You’re asking the right guy here. I play games... a lot. With my wife and kids but definitely also with my compadres. An ideal set-up of a great night is hanging out with a friend, listening to records, having green thumbs and playing some 2 person game.
So I got many games I could recommend but the game me and my wife played a lot during our trip was Take 5. That’s because it has all a good game should have (to my humble opinion). It’s super simple. The gameplay is explained in under 3 minutes, so you can also engage people “who don’t like playing games”. Yet, it’s challenging. You’ll get better, don’t worry.
It has a quick turn-over (one game in under 5 minutes) in which both players get to play every move (no waiting for you opponent). And last but not least... In the beginning you’ll think, “Really, is this all there is to it?” Yes...that’s all.
Wanna play again?
On a serious note, how do you think this situation will impact you individually, and the industry as a whole?
I’m a positive and energetic guy. When the shit hits the fan, I search for solutions, turn my head to where the sun shines and look for… stories to tell, shots to make!
Being a director isn’t only about having a vision and rock-solid preparation, it’s also about being flexible and capable in making (creative) decisions on the spot. That doesn’t change. So I have faith in my skills to keep on doing that. Maybe I make less bucks, but money never has been important to me anyway. And I like to keep it that way. So for now, I’ll definitely keep on doing what I’m doing because it’s what I love to do the most. And hope is where the heart is!
isn’t being different what advertising is all about?
In terms of the industry. Honestly, I’m still floating in this abstract world between a world trip and a pandemic. As such I’m still feeling a little fluffy… so at the moment I can’t enlighten you with an insight of Nostradamus proportions.
But… our industry is a super dynamic environment full of smart, creative, inspiring and pro-active people. I actually enjoy to see the energy of all these new initiatives. We’ll move into a new now with the speed of light. This will be different, yes. But different ain’t a bad thing. Besides, isn’t being different what advertising is all about?