I am Esmée van Loon, a third-year Audiovisual Design student. My graduation profile is Social Practices/Cultural Diversity (but I will also be completing a minor in Cross-Media Journalism at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences).
Underwater photos by Robert Hughan - Goofy Aqua Film
What did you learn during this project?
Making this film was a great learning experience for me. It was the first time we were given two whole quarters to complete a project. I think this made it possible for me to achieve much more since there was enough time for research and in-depth interviews. These are two aspects in which I feel I was really able to grow during that period: research and interviews. Also, my project was quite ambitious for the given time frame, particularly considering the fact that I had almost no budget. So I learned to be very resourceful in the field of production.
What didn’t you expect to learn, but experienced as a bonus?
As part of our classes, we learned interview techniques from Inge Klijn. She taught us how to really listen, and how to anticipate what the interviewee might say next. I found that really interesting and fun to do in the classes. Only later, during the shooting, did I realise how useful this new knowledge really was. I really improved my interviewing skills, particularly in directing the conversation and asking follow-up questions. This knowledge I will certainly be using in future projects.
I was really wondering how I could make my film different than others.
What kept you awake at night? What was the greatest obstacle?
My film was about a drag queen. Of course, this is a subject that had already been approached by many filmmakers before me. So I was really wondering how I could make my film different than others. What I wanted most of all was to be able to talk to Dennis's parents, something I knew would be difficult for them. I was really doubting whether I should carry through with this idea, or just forget about it. Eventually, I knew that this was really going to be the best way to make my film stand out, and so I decided to go ahead with it. Then I started doubting about the best way to approach and lead such a sensitive conversation, which of course is much larger and broader than just my movie. This is something I was really wondering and doubting about, day and night. When the time came, I was very well-prepared, so the interview really went well. In the end, it turned out to be my favourite part of the film, because it's also really the most intimate and emotional moment.
January 26th, IFFR 2018 will put the city of Rotterdam in the spotlights during RTM in LantarenVenster, with new films, classics, documentaries, archive material, poetry, music videos, art, installations and talks – all by people from Rotterdam. Among the films shown during RTM is Ma'MaQueen by Esmée van Loon.