Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Public transport, public insult

I'm not the one to complain very easily, but I've totally had it with the GVB, the public transport company in Amsterdam. Why? Because their employees are a bunch of ignorant cunts. Every day I take the tram from my house to the central station, where I take the boat. And on numerous occasions their drivers didn't stop, closed the doors too early when the tram in not even full, refuse to open the door or take long coffee breaks before they continue their shift.

Today I was at the Westermarkt and one of the trams drove past without stopping, leaving all the waiting people in the cold. In an impulse I decided to run to the Dam, where the next stop was to have a little talk with the driver. After almost crashing into numerous tourists along the way, I arrived totally out of breath at the tram stop. And the driver opened. So I asked him why in the hell he drove through, while there were clearly people waiting. He answered that he did stop. I replied that he didn't cause I was standing there and that I ran to the next stop to ask for an explanation. He simply answered that at least I catched the tram now and that was that. I was too exhausted to start shouting at him so I gave up and retreated to one of the passenger seats.

Should I give up? Should I just accept the fact that their personnel gives shit for service? If I write a letter to the GVB, it will only trigger their PR-machine to justify the behaviour of their horrible employees. They're so bad that they're an insult to the clients. I sincerely think of hacking their chipcard because a service like this is not worth the shitload of money I pay for the public transport now.

Friday, February 18, 2011


My former country of residence Belgium finally broke a world record. Since yesterday they have the doubtful honour to be the country that has been unable to form a government for the longest time. With 249 days they broke the record of Iraq. The chosen political parties just can't seem to agree on each other.

I guess it's difficult to find somebody with whom you're able to work with. This last half a year, when I was looking for a new art-director, this became very clear. I've had a lot of interesting conversations with good creatives. But somehow it was difficult to make a decision. A junior creative can usually find a lot of people willing to start at a good agency. And the agencies are often willing to give it a chance. But as a senior, the stakes are higher. You have to deal with a lot of agency politics in order to justify your new (and often expensive) teampartner.

So these last few months I've been thinking. An excellent art-director was already walking around in the agency: my former teampartner Luiz Risi (click on his name to see his portfolio). From our work, experience, awards and international mindset we are a perfect match. Futhermore, his art-direction is so good that he turns any idea into gold. After a few talks we decided to work together again. The consequence of this is that I will be taken off this wonderful project for IKEA. So now we're going to work on different and new clients again. Well, it's just like with stopping alcohol for a month: sometimes it's good to get out of your comfort zone and do something completely different.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Good movies and bad cappuccino

I was never a big fan of Brussels. Once I lived there for 2,5 months and the best thing about that city (besides Duval Guillaume) is that there's a train going directly to Amsterdam. And now I'm here for a weekend. And I'm completely sober because of my non-alcohol month. Seems like a perfect combination for self-torture.

But so far I've pretty much managed to enjoy myself. Yes I'm still annoyed by the dirty streets, the filthy beggars that are on them and the incredibly stupid people who drive by and make sure everybody hears their stupid music; but if you know where to go in Brussels, you'll find little islands of cool spots scattered throughout the city.

Yesterday I went to the Cinema Nova, which is one of the best cult-cinema's I know. There I've seen a very corny but amusing German science-fiction classic called Im Staub der Sterne, which was part of the off-screen film festival. During the day I went to a lot of bookstores, and I tried to find a place with a good cappuccino. But I've given up on the latter. Even in bars that look like expert coffee bars, they still think a cappuccino is a coffee with whipped cream. But that's okay. I don't let a minor inconvenience like that spoil my good mood anymore.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Casefilm Nickelodeon Slime your Class

The casefilm for my first project at Lemz: Slime your Class

At Lemz there's a strict PR-policy, which means you have to justify every piece of work that you want to put online or in magazines. They don't want to be in the media with separate pieces of work, no matter how good they are. Casefilms that explain the entire cross media campaign however, are accepted. I've had some difficulties with this policy, because if you don't praise single ads, you don't motivate people to perfectionize every single part of a campaign. On the other hand, you do maintain a single minded message about what the agency stands for.

So now, almost a year after my employment at Lemz, I can finally show my first project. It's a ludicrous cross media campaign that I've made for Nickelodeon. When I applied for a job here, I told everybody that I'd already be satisfied if at the end of year I'd have two casefilms. Well, this is one of them, the other one (for IKEA) is coming soon.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

February: alcohol free month

Sometimes it's interesting to give yourself a good challenge. So this month I've decided to stop drinking alcohol for a month. I drink quite a lot in the weekend during parties and I enjoy it. I'm going to do it because it's interesting to see how life is without it for a while. And of course to give my body a little rest.

So Monday was my last day of drinking. I went to the cinema at the Nieuwe Anita and drank lots of wine. And now, for the entire month of February I'm not going to touch alcohol. I did these alcohol free months before and I even stopped smoking for a month. And judging by previous experiences I'm up for a boring, but at least a hangover free month.