What I've Learned


Esmée van Loon
Fri 1 Mar

2017: 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.

Ma’MaQueen trailer

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.