Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas, fuck the world

A song about not changing the world (in German).

This week I finally took a week off. I haven't had a week off since the end of the IKEA pitch (and I really needed that week) so it's great. No alarm clocks, no obligations and no deadlines. Just a week of sleeping too much, partying too much and doing too few.

It's the week before Christmas. And all of a sudden you hear songs about how we should change the world for the better. And all of a sudden people are giving donations to charity. And family members who can't stand each other during the year all of a sudden come together and restrain themselves from smashing each others head in during the annual family meal.

How lovely it is, when you hear a song that says the total opposite. Because I have nothing to do this week, I looked on YouTube and found this great politically incorrect song from German rappers Icke & Er. It's in German, but the translation of the song is 'I'm not going to save the world'. It's not considered very decent if you don't give a fuck about the world, especially during Christmas. But to make a song about this subject is just hilarious.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Starring: Robin Stam

Me playing in a TV commercial for IKEA

To have acting skills is something valuable for a creative. During presentations it helps you to give the right interpretation of a script, whether it's for a TV- or radiocommercial. And staying nice and polite when a client kills your idea requires acting skills of the highest level (something which I still have to learn). So in a way it's not so strange that a copywriter or art-director ends up in its own commercial.

Some creatives in Holland are known for playing in their own TV-spot: Rodger van Werkhoven, Marc Bennink and Herbert van Hoogdalem have starred in one or more commercials. The creative business in Holland usually considers it a bit arrogant to do this.

But I think that's a load of bollocks. So when I wrote a script about a creative who's shopping in IKEA, I immediately casted myself for the role. You can see the result above. Acting isn't strange to me. When I was a child I played (and sang) in musicals. I even played in an episode of a kids show. But it was interesting to see if I could do a good job when my entire filmcrew is there and the camera is directed towards me. In my humble opinion it worked out very well. I'm not aspiring a new career in acting, but I'm happy to have had this experience.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Radio poverty

When you have a lot of shootings, you're on the road a lot. And the medium radio seems to be perfect for the car. You can listen to it without risking an accident, unless you laugh so hard about the comments of the DJ's that you get a stomach cramp.

From that perspective the commercial breaks in Holland are quite safe. I've never heard more boring commercials than in between a program on the Dutch radio. They just tell what the product, service or special offer is about. Well, unless the message is: 'we give money away for free', it will not sound interesting. They're so boring, it makes me fall asleep.

Whoever makes these boring stuff? Agencies? Then they make easy money for making shit. But what's even worse: who approves these commercials. Are clients really going to pat the expensive agency creatives on their backs for just telling the briefing in 30 seconds? I cannot imagine that.

When I worked in Belgium, radio advertising was considered a chance to make something outstanding. You had to show at least 20 scripts to the creative directors and with a bit of luck one of them will be recorded. And it shows: this year Belgium has 3 radiocommercials on the shortlist for the Eurobest awards and Holland has zero. It's time for Dutch creatives to rediscover a neglected medium.