* 5.00 – I woke up this morning at 4 am to take the early bus to Brussels South Airport. My airplane takes off at 7.15 am. I arrive in Treviso at 8.45. Then I take the bus to Venice at 9.00.
* 10.00 – I arrive in Venice. I meet my good old friend from Barcelona Eva Serrats, together we take the Mostra taxi boat to Lido where I’m dropped off right in front of the hotel. My room is not ready so we hire bikes and go to the Venice Cinema Palace to get our accreditations. There’s some HOT AND HEAVY WEATHER on the LIDO de VENEZIA. It’s calm at the MOSTRA
* 13.30 – I go back to the hotel to occupy my room and take a shower. Béatrice arrives from Paris.
* 15.00 – I have a 20′ phone call from Montreal for an interview (Welcome Home has also it’s premiere this Sunday on the Montreal Film Fest). The friendly journalist talks more then I do. He tells some interesting adventures he had in the past, staying in Brussels.
* 16.00 – Béatrice and I go for a light lunch and then meet with Eva at the Mostra. Eva tells us about the disastrous Spanish crisis and the effects on cultural life and life in general… Together we walk to the beach, followed by a visit to the amazing Excelsior hotel where the glitter of the Mostra is being concentrated.
* 19.00 – We go to see our first movie : “Paradise: Faith” by Ulrich Seidl in the Sala Perla. My god, this is cinema. I’ve seen Seidl’s “Import, Export” before, this is even better!

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Some of you already knew as the news is out since more then a week, my first feature film Welcome Home has been selected at the 2012 Mostra of Venice in the International Critic’s Week. It will compete with seven other films for the best first feature. On top of that we are selected for the First Films World Competition of the 2012 Montreal Film Festival. Both festivals really wanted the movie so they’ve arranged this beautiful double world premiere. On the 1st of September the film is shown in Venice, Europe, on the 2nd the Americas will be able to see the movie in Montréal, Canada !

This is really a superb recognition for work that needed several years to be realized, thanks to the help of very talented people. These last two years I also had to show a lot of patience as the post-production of the film moved on slowly, with every bit of participation bringing the film to a higher level.

Here’s the picture that is slowly starting to become the movie’s icon.

And check out the trailer on the website (under construction) 🙂

or Welcome Home on Facebook
Greetings from a happy film director !

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workshopping !

I’m working 3 weeks at iMAL. Two weeks to refresh my knowledge of PureData (Pd), an open source visual programming language we use for the new version of my latest installation DarkMatr. This week, together with Jack and Nicolas, we’re artists in residence in iMAL to further develop the installation. Jack and Nico just passed the morning finding solutions to install the heavy graphical card on our Ubuntu computer. Shit happens when you work open source. They say once it works, it’s stable 😉 Luckily Jack and Nico do the programming so I just have to discuss artistic and other production matters.

Last week Jack gave a Pd workshop for the iMAL summer courses and next week Nicolas is the tutor for a workshop around Gem, a plug in for Pd that enables you to create 3D visuals and objects in real time. I follow both so I’ll be more aware of Pd’s incredible capabilities but I think I will never become a code developer. Because to keep up, you have to work everyday with it.

This version of DarkMatr will be very different from the first version. We’ll be working with an interaction screen of between 4 and 6 meters. In front of this screen you will be able, as an audience, to interact with a humanized internet search robot. It will feel like you’re having a ‘poetic’ ‘knowledge’ dialogue with a virtual robot, in total immersion with textual data coming from the net. Here’s a picture of the graphical environment Jack is developing.

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I have been seriously neglecting my blog / site. We’re nearing the end of June and so much things have happened ! ‘Welcome Home’ is finally finished (waiting for the website to go online). My first feature is being send for the moment to festivals in Europe, hoping that some intelligent scout or jury thinks it is a beautiful work and worth to be shown. Anywayzz, I’m happy with it and I know some people think it is a really good movie. So, every little prayer for a selection in a festival is welcome. That’s the only way the film will have it’s life, I guess, for the moment…

In the meantime, I started back up my other project DarkMatr. I left it aside for more then 2 years, being busy with films, research in narratology and bringing up babies… DarkMatr v2 is being developed with other people then the gang of developpers I worked with before. Jack Boyer ( and Nicolas Montgermont (chdh) are both super specialized in web data and in using PureData to manipulate it. These two are the new DarkMatr gang, smaller but more precise and thus more flexible. And after a series of weeks of collaboration it’s clear, being a smaller crew makes it easier to be creative and understand each other.

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2012 …

Long time no write … We’re two months into 2012 and I haven’t updated my blog since a while. Here’s some info on Welcome Home. Nope, the movie isn’t finished yet, ha ha. Benoit, Julie and I do have actually finished the mixing some weeks ago. This Friday Benoit will downmix all the final versions : one for the DCP (that’s the digital movie theater version), one for the Blu-ray, one for the DVD @ 25fps, 2 for television (in SD & HD) and even more for I can’t remember which versions… In the meantime we’re at STEMPEL working on the color grading and the credits of the movie with Lou Brenta. He’s the brother of Julie who did the sound editing of Welcome Home and won a César (the french Oscars) last weekend for her sound edit on Exercice de l’état (The Minister in english). Can you imagine the super people I  have worked with ?
This color grading is the final touch on my movie. La cerise sur le gateau. We’re working with a program called Da Vinci. It’s amazing what that digital machine can do in a sec. We’re even re-arranging some make up and lightning problems. Woah! Digital cinema is an even bigger lie then old skool film, but we like it :)!

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Mixing Welcome Home !

Photo 18

Since last week Benoit Biral and I have started the mixing of Welcome Home. I never thought I’d experience the film in such a nice way at this stage. In fact, even if it isn’t color graded yet, it is superb to see it on the big screen, with a 5.1 sound cinema surround sound. Yes, Welcome Home BLASTS ! How Benoit treats the sound brings in a lot of air and volume, it all comes together in a way, it brings us inside the movie, with the characters, much more than before.

In fact, these days happened what I hoped for. The movie became cinema !

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post prod sound

We’re October 2011 and yes ! I feel the end of this long period of editing !

This summer 2 fantastic guys, Alexander and Renaud, have been working on the sound of my movie Welcome Home. In September they unfortunately had to leave the project, starting other (paid) jobs. Then something fantastic happened, my producer, Tomas Leyers (Minds Meet), brought me in contact with sound editor Julie Brenta. I sent her a dvd of the montage and a week later I received a text on my phone saying she was very touched by the project and wanted to help me finish it. Julie is a sound editor with a lot of experience. She worked on projects of directors I appreciate a lot. Yes, I’m proud and lucky she wants to help us finish the film.

Since September and October Julie has given all her free time to the project and for the moment we’re close to the end of the sound edit. We still need another day of foley (bruitage) to finish and then we start 2 weeks of mixing with another very skillful sound engineer Benoit Biral ! Finally, all this wouldn’t be have been possible with the technical help of sound studio ‘Alea Jacta’ (just up my street !) and the young production company ‘Stempel’ a little further away in Brussels, who lend us a editing suite for 2 weeks.

We’ll finally have that movie by the end of the year !

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A press article on Welcome Home …

… before the film is even finished!

I quite liked this interview with Geoffrey Macnab. He clearly understood and appreciated the movie. His article also gives a clear description of the plot and the reasons why I made it. I couldn’t have done it better!

Here’s the link:

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News on Welcome Home

This summer, 2 sound editors, Alexander Davidson and Renauld Guillemin, work on the sound of my film Welcome Home. They do this during their free time, in between other (less low budget) projects and their holidays. I’m still searching for a third man or woman sound editor to finalize the sound (foley and post sync) before it is mixed, I hope, in September or October. After that we will have to work on the color grading. Will we see the finished movie before the end of the year ? Hm hm ..

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a good year

Still busy with my feature film, let’s say 2/3 of it’s visual editing is done but we’re struggeling with that other 1/3. Even if our test public is impressed, the first part of the movie gives mixed feelings. With my loyal editor David we decided to take more time to work on it. In fact, I’m conviced that it is possible to evoke here an as good feeling then the rest of the film. We’ll see…

Here’s one of the latest pictures of “Welcome Home”.

This should give you l’eau à la bouche !

Further on I discovered by accident that I will receive a new funding to continue to develop my installation ‘DarkMatr’. The news was on the site of the supporting organization (Vlaamse Gemeenschap) before I received an official letter with the good news.. Amazing !

Together with the funding I receive for my personal artistic research in 2011 and 2012 (by the Brussels VGC) it makes things finally a little bit comfortable (you can’t always live the life of a non profit media artist ¨>). Plus, I will have to proof the public money is worth investing it !

Thus, a lot of work for a young dad…

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