Driving a Supercar at the Green Hell

Driving a Supercar at the Green Hell

Now that Audi invited me to drive a lap in a true Audi R8 on the Nürburgring, (that’s right, the “Grüne Hölle”!) I have a confession to make. I might be editor at sportauto but I do video, not the driving. Looking at my history of car ownership I might not be the right person to handle this R8 “challenge”. The fastest car I owned was a Peugeot 405 from 1994. If you look up “slow” In a dictionary, there is a picture of that car with it. I’m not sure of the top speed it had but i wasn’t brave enough to go near it anyway.

It’s a beautiful day at the Nürburgring and I’m thrilled to see the line up of brightly colored Audi R8 ready to hit the track. Excited I get into a yellow one. When it’s time to go, I get seriously confused. My old 405 had about 5 buttons in total but at least 4 didn’t do anything noticeable. The working button was on the radio, which is essential when driving slow. But this R8 had a scary amount of buttons, and most of them located on the steering wheel.

Pushing “start” seems to make sense and when I push it I get the expected result. Behind me I hear a gentle V10 grumble sound. The super nice electronic dashboard tells me to go into driving mode, which is a good suggestion. But it doesn’t say how. After shifting several handles and pushing more buttons the car starts moving. Backwards. Brake! I study and push more buttons and frown. A little throttle and suddenly I go forward, smooth as butter. A little dial on the steering wheel turns up volume of a 1920’s jazz band, so the radio works. It seems a perfect sound track for the Grüne Hölle… If you don’t speak German, it means green hell.

That hell doesn’t look scary at first. It’s a beautiful day and I enjoy the ride in this car that has at least 6 times the horsepower and over double the cylinders of my now demolished 405. With reasonable but safe speed I take a few corners. Then I see a long stretch down, continuing uphill. Behind it I suspect there is a corner but it’s invisible. It’s clear view, not too curvy, the right moment to push the throttle! And so I push it way down.

The engine roars, my passenger shouts. The R8 shoots ahead like a bullet, a sensation I never had before. Track stewerds wave flags, in the corner of my eye I see the camping people getting their BBQ’s ready for the upcoming 24 hours race. No time to watch as the end of the stretch is approaching fast. The faster we go, the narrower the track seems to be. I’m too scared to check the speedometer but don’t want to be a chicken and keep pushing the pedal down. The blind corner is now approaching alarmingly fast. This car doesn’t slow down at all uphill, it simply goes faster and faster. Race fans have written things on the tarmac but with this speed it’s all a blur. I’m now running out of road that I can actually see. I know the invisible corner is somewhere behind there and I very quickly need to brake. Brake hard. My passenger shouts again.

A happy grin on my face. A more wry grin on my passenger’s face.
It feels good that I didn’t lose control with my perfect driving capabilities! Or was it the million of electronic driver aids and the four-wheel drive this car has. Or the alarm bell in my head that told me not to overdo it..

The Audi R8 is a really wonderful car to drive. I never thought I’d enjoy it so much. And it’s super easy too (once you found the ‘drive’ setting on the gear lever.). Today the green hell was a wonderful green play garden for me. Perfect weather, and a perfect car. The Audi is born in Germany and clearly feels much at home here. And it certainly made me feel welcome too.

 

Shooting an Aston Martin, and a dog!

Shooting an Aston Martin, and a dog!

Filming cars, I’m used to that. But this morning I’m a bit nervous as we’re dealing with two “Legends” at one day. A legendary brand and a legendary challenge.

The legendary brand is known for their long heritage. When you think England, a drive through the fresh green fields, a gentle but pleasing, non-aggressive noise from the engine, swinging sixties, a tweed hat and, well, James Bond, you think of Aston Martin.

This morning no Bond car however. I would have loved to shoot the classic DB5 used in Goldfinger, but the DB11 V12 is extremely pleasing to the eye as well. When it arrives at the filming location, appearing from around the corner, I’m certainly not the only one turning my head. At this hour the street is quiet but the few passers-by all admire our light-blue Aston Martin.
In any other setting you would probably call its color baby-blue, but it looks stunning on the Aston and certainly doesn’t give it a kiddy look. On the contrary. I get the feeling the body lines are nicely enhanced by the color, it is different but doesn’t get ‘ordinary’. Eye-catching in a subtle way. The interior is stunning as well. Every stitch between the cream-colored and darker blue leather parts is impeccable.

And the car matches extremely well with Charles, our second very British legend of today.

Charles, our Beagle.

Charles, our Beagle.

Charles is a full-blooded Beagle, who arrives by taxi accompanied by his Boss, who needs to leave for work straight away. That leaves us with a crew of just five people and a dog to tame.
The legend of shooting with animals is that they are very difficult to film. Prepare for endless re-takes, triple the planned shooting time, have plenty pet food available, and DON’T excite the dog. But of course it’s exciting. To us, but even more to a dog, this is all very exciting. Please… Charles…, be nice to us.

We’ve prepared everything. A quiet and nice location with a crossing. A completely metal-free leash for Charles so it can’t scratch our precious Aston Martin. The weather is also splendid.

Charles loves to jump. He’s the relaxed kind of dog in ordinary life but it’s early in the day and there are so many new smells to sniff! Let’s jump and sniff the car, let’s check the drivers smell! I hold my breath for the most important and fun shot of the video, where Charles is being “walked” by the Aston Martin. Audience is kept at distance, we can only block the traffic for a minute or two. The Aston Martin gently roars, I press “Record” and shout “Go!”.
With natural British grace Charles performs perfectly. We do three takes just to be on the safe side. The pace of the second is best and ends up in the fun New Year video.

The only regret about this British dog-car Legend Shoot is that the Aston Martin doesn’t go faster than a staggering 4 km/h. For this video, it’s all that we need. Although it performs well, this is obviously not what the Aston Martin is built for. We’re only pushing limits in dog control, while it should have been the Aston Martin.

In just over an hour the shoot is finished. After the ‘wrap’ we return Charles home and finally let him sprint at his own top speed. But not aside our pretty Aston Martin, but next to a Mobike.

The storyboard

Urbanisation in China; happiness is seen everywhere

Urbanisation in China; Happiness is seen everywhere

 

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* Full version now available online!

A Journey of Wonder in Shanghai
In China urbanisation is at full pace. New neighborhoods and cities emerge faster than ever before. The inhabitants, often coming from small villages or demolished areas in the city centres, find a new social context in the new cities. The apartments are better than what they were used to, but do they feel at home there? Do the new cities meet their inhabitants’ expectations?

The ‘new rich’ can afford to buy a house in a new themed suburb. But the city centres of Thames Town or Holland Village look empty. These areas seem to be used mainly by frantic newlyweds searching the perfect surrounding for their wedding pictures.

Urbanisation In China: Happiness Is Seen Everywhere provides a background and context for the Chinese urbanisation and specifically lets the inhabitants speak. It is not a romantic picture of pretty old houses and alleys, but shows real situations and open often surprising views in modern China.

  • A jury of film critics and architects have awarded the film as “Best Documentary” at “The International Istanbul Architecture And Urbanism Film Festival” 2011. (title translated as Çin’de KentleÅŸme: Mutluluk Her Yerde). The prize consists of a statue and a cash prize of € 4000.
  • Screened on film festivals in (a.o.) Shanghai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Seoul and the Netherlands.
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  • Released on DVD, published by Architectura & Natura
  • Camera, production, editing
  • DVD and Full-HD MP4
  • Supported by the Netherlands Architecture Fund
  • In cooperation with Urban Language
  • Extra on the DVD: 16 MM Mao Man

Urbanisation in China; happiness is seen everywhere (DVD cover)

News items:

  • November 2012: Urbanisation in China is translated into Korean in order to be screened on the Seoul International Architecture Film Festival, Nov.8th / 14th 2012.
  • September 2012: Urbanisation in China will be screened on saturday 22 september 2012 in Frankfurt on the China in Motion Festival . I will do a Q&A after the screening.
  • October 2011:Urbanisation in China” has been selected by a jury of film critics, directors and architects as best documentary at the Istanbul International Architecture and Urban Film Festival.
  • The screening of “Urbanisation in China” will be the final act of the Chinese Triptych exhibition @ Casla architecture institute, Almere. June 15, 8 pm. Free admission. See the website for details. 
  • The film has been screened at the MiNi Film Festival in Shanghai (April 23 & 24, Dutch Design Workspace). Interviews and articles in Time Out Shanghai, Global Times, Smart Shanghai and Creative Hunt.
    Thanks to all people who came to this great mini festival, the cinema room was just overcrowded. Special thanks to the people asking smart questions at the Q&A!
  • The DVD is “Book” of the month April at ArchiNed.
  • Screening in CASLA architecture centre (almere) during exhibition Chinees Drieluik: De alledaagse, Netwerk en Groene Newtown. From april 8 – june 20.
  • Radio interview CRTV about the film. Available as podcast.
  • Presentation of the DVD in Architectura & Natura, Amsterdam (3-3-2011). The DVD is for sale now!
  • A preview of the documentary was shown at the presentation of the book “Shanghai New Towns” (Harry den Hartog)(nov 30, 2010).

 

english / chinese – ISBN 978-94-614001-5-4
60 minutes + extra’s. RRP 12,50 euro
extra on the DVD: 16 MM Mao Man (short doc)

Send an email for more information (contact details on the right)

Adidas China | Mads Football Challenges

Adidas China | Mads Football Challenges

Mads Football Challenges is a sports video concept completely tailored for Chinese kids (6-14 year). This series is developed by D-FILM and produced for Adidas China.

Created to let kids go out and practise by removing any barrier. Easy to access anywhere. Challenges can be performed in a nearby space. No particular tools needed except a ball.

Basic and clear, no frills, straightforward style. A serious yet fun approach.

Be inspired and discover your talent.

Released during World Cup Football 2014. The series has several 100000’s of hits already!

Episode 2, Turning


  • Perfecte connection with social media campaigns
  • Broadest audience.
  • Subtle but clear branding, create brand sympathy
  • Release during World Cup Football 2014

Episode 5, Passing

 

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Power Station of Art, Shanghai | One Minute Series | Veter Strikken

Power Station of Art, Shanghai | One Minute series | Veter Strikken met één hand

One Minute “Veter Strikken” (made with weerhandig.nl) is included in the series “How To”, curated by Hans Aarsman. On exhibition in Museum De Pont, Tilburg. (until august 24, 2014).

A special edition will be held at Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China, opening june 11 2014. Here the film will be part of the “How To” and “Best Of” series. howto_uitnodiging

The One Minutes is an international platform for very short video works. Since 1999 more than 10,000 one-minute films have been produced by makers from 120 countries. How To, the exhibition conceived by Hans Aarsman, deals with convenient tips. It is a compilation of short films that teach us something within one minute. What do you do, for instance, if you have to tie your shoes and have only one hand free? By way of The One Minutes, Aarsman had a message sent to artists, asking them whether they would be interested in making short films with such convenient tips as the subject matter. Some of these are now on view in De Pont’s project space.

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powerstation of art

D-FILM | Showreels Corporate films and Documentaries

D-FILM Showreels Corporate films and Documentaries

Corporate films:


Please find more examples and full films on the corporate films page.

Documentaries:


Please find more examples and full films on the documentaries page.

 

Japanese Knitting

Japanese Knitting

For something completely different… Unrelated to filming, but aesthetically very pleasing, a collection of 1930’s Japanese Knitting patterns. Taken from magazines I found on a rainy Kyoto flea market. Get in touch for details (or high resolution versions).

Please scroll down to see more.

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