WHAT IS NATURE?, 9min., Netherlands
Directed by Tim Visser, Sander van Iersel
When talking about nature, we mostly assume that we talk about the same thing, but is that really the case? An ecologist might have a completely different perspective than an economist. Our perspective on nature very much determines how we interact with our environment. The impact of humans can be seen all around the globe. This film explores perspectives on the question: What is nature? Perhaps, nature is what people make of it. So… what should we make of it
Get to know the filmmakers:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
Answer: In our world, society and nature are not completely separated. In fact, most of the time they intermingle and conflicts can arise because of this. Our relationship with nature, and how we see ourselves in that context is important for the challenges we face today. The problem is though that most people when discussing these challenges focus on what needs solving instead of what we are actually talking about. When asking different people it becomes clear very quickly that when we talk about ‘nature’ we are not actually talking about the same thing. So before we start diving into the many problems we need to solve we first have to have a fundamental understanding of nature and our relationship to it.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you
to make this film?
Answer: It took us roughly 4 months with a couple of gaps as we were also working on other projects. Most of the time went into working together with the scientists and planning the shooting days according to their busy schedules.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Answer: Real nature!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Answer: So the whole concept of the film is that the question is still open ended. That raises a challenge when you have to choose the protagonists and finally edit the film. What quotes are you going to choose? How are you going to give a good representation of this topic within such a short timeframe with only a few experts?
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking
about your film in the feedback video?
Answer: Heartwarming really. It’s such a treat for us to see the reaction of the audience which we normally don’t see. To see them feel and understand the concept we have concocted is really the biggest compliment you can get. BUT, it gets better, some people actually said they would put their thoughts into action and try to make a change because of seeing our film, well that’s really the best.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
Answer: Tim: by accident really, I got rolled into a video internship which I actually didn’t like, but it gave me the basis to later on find my passion to show the beauty of the world around me. By that point I started to create the short videos I would like to see and from then on the rest is history.
Sander: I was always a big wildlife doc fan. I used to watch marathons on these BBC nature doc dvd boxes when I was younger. For me, what those people were making was like ‘god-status’ filmmaking, impossible for the mere mortal. At some point the BBC created this ‘game show’ in which they were looking for ‘the next wildlife filmmaker’ to join their ‘Natural History Unit’. I saw amateurs with passion take the first steps on this show. That’s when it hit me, ‘if they can do it, so can I’ and that made me think, what then would I make?
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Answer: Space Jam / Once upon a time in the west / the prestige / LOTR
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other
festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking
Answer: We make films with which we hope to change perspectives and in that way the world. For us it is really important that the right people in the right place see our films so that change can happen. Film festivals have a big role to invite or connect those key decision makers.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
Answer: FilmFreeway is great. No feedback.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Answer: Sander: Stamppot Andijvie,
Tim: Andijvie Stamppot
11. What is next for you? A new film?
Answer: We are always creating new projects together with our conservation and science partners. Currently we are working on a couple of projects that will hopefully spin out into successful documentaries in the next few years.