Here’s why we loved 2023: dark creatures, film victories and prepping for new productions!
- 22 december 2023
Wow, another year of Make Way adventures! Of course we faced the occasional bumps again this year, but we guess those make the achievements feel even better, right? And since we’re proud to say that the year was also filled with a lot of victories, let’s take a deep dive into this year and everything major that happened…
Next level productions: shooting LEAF and Witte Wieven
We started 2023 strong with a trip to Spain to shoot short film LEAF. In Spain we endured it all: the drought of the desert, short nights of sleep and extremely remote shooting locations. Fauve once again proved to us she is THE person you want in your production team, because this woman can literally fix anything! The highlight: fixing a pick-up truck on the spot by just entering an establishment and asking random people (in Spanish) if they would like their truck to appear in the film. In just a few hours she managed to get a pick-up truck and we were able to reshoot an entire scene. Awesome! Read more about our LEAF adventure in this behind the scenes article.
Our production highlight this year was shooting Witte Wieven! Everything about this production was intense, but it’s a production we’re extremely proud of. Our inside joke is that our line producer Jennifer had two babies this year: her extremely adorable son (who was born in October, hurray!) and Witte Wieven haha. We had the honour to work with our favourite cast & crew to date: even though we had to face unscheduled (and unwanted!) snow in the prehistoric village and strikingly late midnight shoots in the freezing woods, everyone kept their spirits high and worked harder than ever before.
After shooting Witte Wieven we guided the post-production process, finished the film with the post-production team and enjoyed the endless enthusiasm and passion director Didier Konings showed us while working on this production. Huge shout out to this man, because he did everything in his power to make Witte Wieven into the feature debut of his dreams. And with great success, because we are absolutely in love with this film! Witte Wieven will premiere in our hometown at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2024 and will air on Dutch TV at March 16th next year! It will be a film unlike any other Dutch (horror) film you have ever seen, so be prepared…
Prep prep prep for new productions
By now you all know how short film Shiny New World has taken over the festival world the past two years. In the meantime we have been working very hard on making the feature film a reality in the nearby future, because the story of Barry the ‘demon crime scene cleaner’ is far from over! This year we have been busy with the artistic development of the film (including some bad ass storyboards), we finished the production development (reached the coolest actors while casting roles) and took a deep dive into the estimated budget of the film. Quite some preparations, but already envisioning how the feature film of Shiny New World could be has us (and director Jan van Gorkum) jumping up and down. Now onto the financing stage, so you’ll definitely will hear more about this project next year!
This year the plans for our magical realism drama The Girl with the Green Eyes have grown immensely and we took such great steps! The film-to-be was selected by the European Genre Forum and writer & director Yfke van Berckelaer and our producer Monique visited Tallinn, Amsterdam and Zagreb to take the next steps for this project. They joined interesting masterclasses on producing & promoting films and met the most amazing other film makers with such impressive projects. In addition, The Girl with the Green Eyes made quite some progress in regards of scenario and positioning and to put the cherry on top: the film received funding for its artistic development by the Netherlands Film Fund a few weeks ago! This funding means that we are able to further develop the film, including doing a test shoot and creating brilliant concept art. Next year you will definitely hear more about this exhilarating project.
The financing news didn’t end there, because this year we also received funding for two short films by Film Fund Shorts: next year we’re shooting magical realism short Achter de Deur in co-production with Fabel Film and body horror short FEM(ME) with Next Talent Nina Noël Raaijmakers! SO COOL! You could already read about the captivating (semi-autobiographical) story of Achter de Deur in this news post and you can get a glimpse of the look & feel of FEM(ME) at our Instagram. We’ll keep you updated about these films on our socials next year.
Okay okay, we’re almost done showing off our upcoming projects (we’re just so damn proud!), but today we can also announce that next year we will be working on a 3LAB series in collaboration with NTR! Together with director Nina Noël Raaijmakers and scenarist Bodil Matheeuwsen we submitted Skindeep, a body horror series about dancer Talia and the (physical) hardships she has to endure while fighting for the leading role in an important ballet recital. The project got selected and next year we have the amazing opportunity to further develop the script and shoot an actual pilot for the series. We are so hyped!
Let’s distribute: getting our films out there!
Of course we can’t forget about our existing film treasures! It’s so much fun to work on new films, but it’s very important to keep focussing on the films we actually released to make sure they will be seen by as many people as possible. That’s where our in-house marketeer and distributor Fleur joins the party! This year we were able to release found footage thriller Exhibit #8 for streaming in both The Netherlands and North America (and were even mentioned in a must-watch article in The New York Times). In addition, we received the great news that Exhibit #8 was selected for the ‘Nederlands Film Festival’ and the film got screened at the festival last September!
Meanwhile the humble yet successful festival campaign for The Revelation continued, resulting in an award for Best Thriller at Prague International Film Awards and an award for Best Supporting Actress for Leny Breederveld at Lavenham Film Festival.
And oh, let’s not forget about the insane passion project Aquarel: The Movie by Pim & Joost Kraan! We didn’t produce the film but helped out with the distribution and believe it or not: this wacky post-apocalyptic musical film celebrated its pre-premiere at BUT Underground & Trash Film Festival and its grand premiere at Film By The Sea this year!
And finally…let’s do more!
You would think that shooting films, working on pre-productions and distributing films would be more than enough work, right? Well, we always like to work on some (spontaneous) projects on the side, so this year wasn’t any different. In June we organised the 4th edition of our Genre Hub Event and gathered the most amazing genre film makers/lovers in Amsterdam to share our love for about ‘Creatures in Genre Film‘. We had amazing guest speakers who invited the audience into their world of film creatures and shared new work with us. We’re already looking forward to the 5th edition next year!
And while we’re at it, why not spontaneously squeeze in shooting another short film at the end of the year? Since we love working with Yfke van Berckelaer a lot, it wasn’t exactly hard to decide whether we wanted to shoot one of her short film projects with her this year. In just a few weeks we organised shooting for short film Izzy and in November actually shot the film in two days! We’re not kidding when we say this was one of the fastest productions to realise ever!
Finally, we gave both our Make Way Film and Make Way Video websites an upgrade and look at ‘em now! We love how the websites now fully showcase our productions and radiate the Make Way ambiance.
2023 was another great year to reflect on! Besides our productions and other projects, we also welcomed interns (Megan M. and Djessy, yay!) and graduate students (Rick and Megan S.). We manifested a lot (successfully!), laughed a lot, met a lot of great persons, sometimes asked ourselves why the hell we love producing films, but were more often reminded exactly why we DO LOVE producing films. We can’t wait for 2024 and hope you’ll celebrate another year of Make Way Film with us. Cheers!
(Photos by Lian van Leeuwen (Witte Wieven), Julia Gat (Exhibit #8))