Rain isn’t so bad. No, really. I could tell you stories that would make you love every single drop of clammy, chilling wetness you ever felt.
But for now, let’s keep things nice, dry and simple. Let’s talk about stories. Stories help us identify with ourselves and with the other. Telling them helps us make connections.
I believe good advertising should do just that: connect by means of an authentic story. It’s the only thing media-savvy & advertising-wary consumers of the 21st century will pay attention to.
In the near future, advertising will be focused on authenticity. On showing both the courage to open up and tell an authentic story, and the courage to open up and listen to a consumer’s story.
(Which is a brilliant development, by the way.)
THINGS I MADE AND LESSONS I LEARNED:
How to work with big dreams on micro budgets
KEEPING TRACK: MY FIRST SHORT
A moody short fiction film about inevitability and love lost. I made this instead of an internship while studying for my MA at Utrecht University. I even took the film to Tribeca. Funny story.
How to direct big shot actors & a crew of twenty – aged 22 – in the worst November storm of the decade.
Making a film with little knowledge & no budget is really educational. And lots of fun.
A DUTCH SCI-FI. WHY NOT?
I wanted to make something extra-curricular while studying at the Dutch Filmacademy. This is an enigmatic science-fiction film about growing up and becoming curious if there’s more to life.
Sci-fi is cool. But people that help you build an entire set, employ robotics and design visuals effects are way cooler.
Duncan Jones released Moon within a year. Having 25,000 times our budget didn’t mean you had to steal our story, Duncan.
HONING MY COMMERCIAL SKILLS
THIS. IS. SPARTAAA!
While writing columns and outlining my first book (2009), Sparta (the bike brand, not the ancient city, nor the football club) asked me to make a moodfilm about their e-bike. We pitched and made “Bert Haanstra in the 21st century”, directed by yours truly. (together with wonderful ad agency True Ideas)
The power of sound. I am still impressed with how good this edit works on the rhythm of real factory noises.
Making creative work for commercial clients is pretty cool. I should do more of that.
A FREEBIE FOR AD LAND
A webcam game + TVC I concepted (2010) to show that I could direct as well as think out commercial concepts. “Korting Kijken” gives discounts as long as you keep your eyes glued to a screen.
Making a freebie concept into a TVC isn’t the best way to get your foot in the door with ad agencies. But putting a man on fire sure is cool.
“Man, I really dig this advertising stuff. I’ll finish my book and then really dive into that.”
WRITING A NOVEL & MAKING AN AWARDWINNING APP
TWO PRINT EDITIONS…
A novel about a 19-year old musician that tries to break through in the music bizz the year his father dies.
How to write a book, how to work with editors. And how to deal with thousands of groupies.
How to get a coverphoto from the great Anton Corbijn. You need a little help from friends to get it there, but once it’s there, and the jokes land, it’s up to the master. (Still grateful.)
ONE REVOLUTIONARY BOOKAPP
An award winning iPad app that takes digital reading to the next level. (See details of the app in my portfolio)
*Golden Spinaward – best innovation*
*Eurobest Shortlist – best mobile*
*Best literary app*
Now I know a thing or two about how to direct, write and work with stories in various types of media.The digital realm is an amazing toolbox.
It feels good to win awards. It feels better to know people read your book. And partners in crime Buutvrij for life and Codedazur deserve lots of credit for this one, too.
PUBLISHING TWEETS – INTO A BOOK.
A €1400 book. And 139 other copies.
Atlas butterflies, a diary made up of about a thousand of my tweets. Because some of those were too good to be that ephemeral. It could be digital popart. Read more about it here.
Teaching myself how to work with Indesign really is doable. Next time, I should probably do that before designing a book layout.
Art director Jarr Geerligs is (apart from lots of other things) really very good with scissors, playdoh and an old atlas. A fantastic cover, indeed. (And those that actually bought the books filled with tweets are truly the best of friends.)
MY NEXT DREAM PROJECT
TRAQUE: DIGITAL STORYTELLING
Thing slooowly making:
Future cars will be equipped with operating systems aggregating data. A treasure trove, also for writers.
How to get a storytelling startup off the ground. We have this mockup, the first story and a previz. Babysteps!
ALSO BUSY WITH/DONE/TRIED/FAILED/SUCCEEDED AT...
// Won the best poem competition in High School // Wrote “Red Light love” in my freshman year: basically Pretty Woman in the Red Light District. Shelved it. It served its purpose. // Applied my first film to Tribeca, failed to get in. Still went. Had a blast. // Wrote a letter to my prime minister after the downing of MH17. Letter made it to The New York Times // Have been named one of the most influential men on Twitter in Holland by Geenstijl. Twice. // Now producing a podcast series on digital culture for Mindshakes // Wrote columns and pieces for Vice, ELLE, Glamour, LINDA and other magazines // Made a three hour night time radio broadcast for Radio 1 // Wrote weekly columns for Radio 1 // Gave schooling to migrant’s kids on how to make a film. Tough kids. //Left the Dutch Filmacademy after eighteen months. Was making too much money with my own little company // Was interviewed for this podcast by fellow writer Niels ‘t Hooft // Broke my finger while surfing in San Diego. There was a beach guard in a red bathing suit. // Taught writing classes to prizewinners of writing contest Writenow!// Wrote a piece on a Privacy Conference that made it to Vice UK, The Telegraph and RTL Z // Was president of the sailing committee of my fraternity for two years. Still don’t know my lifeline from my lubber’s line. // Here’s a piece I wrote after the Hebdo attacks. Freedom of speech is crucial. // Used to write regularly on this blog, then this blog. Now I like Medium. // Made a political campaign for the Pirate Party. We missed out 212 votes for a seat in the Amsterdam municipality // performed as a writer & public speaker at about 80 different spots //I work as a public speaker. Here’s me in Toomler. (Dutch) // Made this entire blog all by myself. // Hope to go exploring the arctic waters some day. // Read all of this? I love you.
STILL HERE? COOL! THESE ARE MY IDOLS, TEACHERS AND INSPIRATORS: