Experience? Such an overrated quality. When a cameraman tries to sell himself to me with the line “I have over twenty years of experience”, my first thought is: “that could very well be twenty years of the wrong experience.” Perhaps it helps if you make apple pies, or build mega container ships, but in film experience is not a great currency, only a comfort for the insecure.

After directing and/or producing some twenty feature films I face the horror of decision making still every day. You do learn that as a director you sit on a pedestal, almost all people around you think that you know what you’re doing, after all you’re the director! But do you really know? Of course not. At best you trust your instincts (and that is not the same as experience).

We just finished the shooting of a new film with the working title LOVE IS THICKER THAN WATER. Many filmmakersfriends ask “How much was the budget? How many shooting days.” No one asks about the deeper layers. It’s a given that the film will have a valuable message, but no use talking about it. Filmmakers don’t care about content. I for many years agreed. Though not anymore. Talking about budget and shooting days is so quickly an apologetic story. “Oh you only had 8 shooting days? Well if the film is total shit, you are forgiven.” These days your film is in competition with everyone and you better not count on any sympathy if it doesn’t look good. The only things that matters are the story, the characters and the theme.

TIP ONE for aspiring filmmakers (but you’re only allowed to read on if you help us with our survey): You need technical tools to make a film. You need to know the power of a camera, the suggestive quality of light, the persuasion of sound. But they are tools. Love them. Crave them. But never put them above your vision. And believe me it is very, very tempting to hide behind the tools, but only your vision will communicate with your audience.

Time for the quid pro quo. We asked the Raindance fans about our title a week ago in a survey. An overwhelming and quite heart-warming response came back with many suggestions. We distilled all those answers and this is the top five. Which one do you like best?

Our film is a modern Romeo and Juliet tale between Vida from a rich London family and Arthur from a working class Welsh background. They love each other, but their families have other ideas. Off beat, quirky, touching and always utterly truthful with Johnny Flynn and Lydia Wilson in the leads, and Juliet Stevenson, Henry Goodman, Jessica Gunning and Matt Barber.

Our current title choices are

  • THICKER THAN WATER
  • VIDA & ARTHUR
  • A PAIR OF STAR CROSS’D LOVERS
  • FISH GET LOST TOO
  • HOPEFULLY, MAYBE
  • PRICK LOVE FOR PRICKING

We have created a survey. Follow the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WJ8PV95

Please send us your opinion. It will really help us. 

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About 

Few filmmakers have directed more features (24) than the cult director Ate de Jong. He has worked in the UK, in Europe and America. His film’s budgets range from micro to multi-millions. He’s worked with some of the world’s top actors as well as talented newcomers.

Ate de Jong studied at the Filmacademy of Amsterdam, and directed 6 feature films in The Netherlands, including A Flight of Rainbirds, Burning Love and Shadow of Victory.

In 1986 he moved to Hollywood with two small suitcases not knowing anyone in the US film industry. His first directing gig was an episode of Miami Vice (starring Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, James Brown and Chris Rock) He subsequently directed two US feature films: Highway to Hell (starring Chad Lowe, Kristy Swanson, Gilbert Gotfried and Ben Stiller) and Drop Dead Fred (starring Rik Mayall, Phoebe Cates, Carrie Fisher, Marsha Mason and Bridget Fonda), which have now become recogniazed cult classics around the world.

Since 1994 Ate has been working out of London. Most notably he directed the European co-production All Men Are Mortal (starring Stephen Rea, Irene Jacob, Chiara Mastroianni and Marianne Saegebrecht) based on the book of Simone de Beauvoir and the sexy thriller Fogbound (starring Luke Perry and Ben Daniels). He produced international pictures Left Luggage (Isabella Rossellini and Maximilian Schell) and The Discovery Of Heaven (Stephen Fry). His films were shown and laurelled at a variety of festivals, such as Cannes, Berlin, Moscou, LA, Seatttle, Chicago, Tokyo, Oporto and he was a sought after member of international panels and film juries.

More recently, Ate has produced and directed several UK features, Deadly Virtues (2013) and Love is Thicker than Water (2016). He is a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and Directors UK. IMDb Ate de Jong