Thursday, October 21, 2010

In the meantime in Belgium...

Tonight in Brussels there's a lions night, during which they honour all the Cannes Lion winners of Belgium. One of the bronze ones is mine. It's my very first one. But instead of being on a stage with spotlights and a big audience, I'm at home. It's not because I want to. It's because Brussels is not exactly next door and I couldn't find a place to sleep at the last moment. And I'm not the type of person who spends a hell lot of money a hotel just to go to an award show. So I leave the honour of getting the award to my former creative directors (and they deserve the statue as much as I do, so why not).

Instead, I got a day off tomorrow as a compensation for the shooting on Sunday. I probably going to spend half of my day off lying in bed because this weekend it's Amsterdam Dance Event. So tonight I'll be in a club dancing on goa-trance or some other underground music. I'm still not sure if I should have gone to Belgium and paid an expensive hotel instead, but as long as I enjoy myself I don't really mind.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


When Gert-Jan Kuijvenhoven, Roel Pijnacker and Wietse Vonk left Belgium to go back to Holland, I thought the 'exodus' of talented Dutch creatives to Belgium has reversed. But soon another talented young team is going to that little country south from the Netherlands. Gijs Sluijters and Joris Tol are going to work at Famous Brussels.

I think any young creative team should at least work abroad once. To work abroad, even if it's as close as Belgium, forces you to think in such a different way that you can only get better. After all00, you're considered more unique when you work abroad and when you come back you're more unique because you've worked abroad. And all the Dutch creatives I know who worked in Belgium (myself included) somehow came back with a better porfolio and more awards than ever. Gijs and Joris are full of great ideas and the plan to go to Belgium is probably one of their best ones.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Welcome in Hamburg

It's funny how a city that's so far from my city of birth can actually feel like home. On Thursday I went to Hamburg by plane and I arrived at around 23.00. I searched for the apartment of my good friend Salvatore, which is in the colorful neighborhood of St. Pauli. I was in a street near Jung von Matt, one of the most famous agencies in Germany. It's a neighborhood where every wall seems to be full of posters. A district full of little restaurants, second hand stores and smoky pubs. I couldn't find Salvatore's apartment at first, but to kill the time a bit, I talked to a beggar with a big grey beard and drank an Astra in a chinese place. As soon as I figured out that the phone number of my Italian friend needed a landcode in front of it, Salvatore himself walked in, lured by the sound of my voice and looking to see if I was near.

I can't imagine any other city where I'd feel so comfortable to walk the streets while being slightly lost. Of course, this is the city that I lived for more than a year. Where my Miami Ad School adventure first started. That weekend I visited my old school again, where the headmaster Niklas made some time in his busy schedule to have a talk. I also met Rhea Hanges again, a former Miami Ad School student who moved from New York to work in Hamburg. And I met tons of new people, amongst them Anne Mauro and Glenn, who made the wise decision to study at the Miami Ad School.

What's great about Hamburg is that the city rocks so hard that every weekend looks like a festival. This weekend wasn't an exception. We stayed until late in loud, underground punk clubs and the next day I took the train -still with a slight hangover- back to Amsterdam. Advertising, Astra, Salvatore, Miami Ad School, JvM, parties; this weekend was like all the memories of Hamburg in a nutshell.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Go go go!

How ironic. Sometimes you make an ad especially to win awards and then it doesn't win anything. And sometimes you make something because you believe in it or just for the heck of making something cool, and then it wins awards. The animation 'Go South Africa' is a clear case of that. Before I even knew I'd go to Holland, the director Robbert-Jan Vos asked me to help him writing the script and I decided to help him out. Because it was a fun project. Because I can't stand a script full of spelling mistakes. Because I got caught in Robbert-Jan's contagious enthusiasm.

No matter why I decided to participate, in the end I was happy to have a beautiful animation movie in my portfolio. Especially one with such an appealing message. But now the short movie is nominated for two film festivals that I never knew existed. First nomination is for the Holland Animation Film Festival and the other one is for the Viral Video Award 2010. At first I thought the last one was some bogus award invented by a geeky blogger, but it's actually part of the International Short Film Festival Berlin. And it will be shown on a big screen. Sometimes doing something you believe in is enough to get the ball rolling.