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Categories: Interviews

Andreas Pasvantis was born in Amsterdam and studied “Media & Culture” at the University of Amsterdam. There he quickly realised that he preferred to create movies instead of reading and writing about them. A logical next step was the New York Film Academy (Digital Filmmaking), followed by another hands-on film school in Amsterdam, the SAE Institute. After his studies he had the privilege to assist Johan Kramer in his wide range of film work. “100% Halal” is an Amsterdam-based Film Production and Photography Agency and they represent Andreas Pasvantis ( www.100procenthalal.nl)

Andreas

December is Andreas’ short film set during the Holiday period and has been nominated for numerous awards worldwide.

What was your inspiration for the short? What is the film about?

Jan-Willem de Man and Frenkel Schonfeld came up with the idea of December. They are two friends of mine who work at an advertising agency in Amsterdam called JWT (http://janwillemfrenkel.com/). We thought the film could be a fresh and different take on the many, many sweet and cheesy feel-good Christmas films out there. A film that offers the viewer a look into the ‘dark side’ of the seasonal celebrations. Part of the concept was to shoot all POV, a technique you see more being used but never front a trees point of view.

tree POV 2

 

Why did you decide to have it set over the Christmas period?

Around the time we made the film the production company that represented me that time changed its name, so that was a good excuse to make this film as an international Christmas ‘card’ to send to everybody.

What were the highlights and difficulties of production?

It was a low budget, guerrilla kind of production. That meant shooting everything in one day, which was kind of a challenge because we had a lot of scenes and shots. Fortunately we had our main character – Nori-San Van Leyen – who rocked all day with grip, lights, transportation and fresh guacamole and Mexican Coffee Beans. That really saved our shoot. Also because of the POV concept we didn’t have to worry about shooting all scenes with multiple angles as you do with a ‘normal’ decoupage.

Did it receive any awards or recognition?

It received numerous nominations worldwide, was aired on TV in 12 countries and won a lot of prizes including the Dutch Online Film Festival. Also we passed one million views on Youtube and Vimeo combined.

What did you learn from this project in particular?

I learned that a good idea is the very core of a good film. Budget, production limitations are less important when it’s a good idea.

tree POV 1

What did you shoot on? (Plus other technical trivia)

We shot in the Canon 1D with only 2 wide still photography lenses.

Was there a particular look you had in mind when shooting? Did this look carry through into the post-production?

Except for the grading we made all the cuts and glitches and effects in the edit. Ken Rosenberg edited the film in just 2 days in New York while I was in Amsterdam. So that was a lot of Skype and not much sleep.

What are you currently working on?

I am in the post-production for a new bank commercial in The Netherlands. Between my work as a director, I am working on my photography which inspires my filmmaking and vice versa www.andreaspasvantis.com

Finally, what’s your favourite Christmas-themed film?

Favourite Christamas film are actually two films: Elf and Bad Santa.

Christabel Samuel is a writer, director and editor. Having graduated from University College London with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Film Studies she is now a self-taught filmmaker, writer and perpetual learner. She won funding in 2011 for Lust in Translation and has gone on to judge at the London Film Festival, been appointed Head of Film for The Book Magazine and is currently editor-in-chief for The Spread.

Posted on Dec 4, 2013

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