fresh faces

It’s time again for a new fresh face, a series about creators to watch together with platform KONKAV. This time we want to high light the work and thoughts of director and animator Olga van den Brandt.

Olga is an animator based in Amsterdam who focuses on directing and screenwriting. She graduated Cum Laude from AKV | StJoost in 2015, and has been working in the animation business ever since. She has directed and animated a beautiful short film called ‘Lineage’, which has been screened at many festivals. Nowadays she makes both independent and commissioned films.
We asked her thoughts about the following quotes:

“Art must be life – it must belong to everybody” – Marina Abramović

This depends. Yes, art must be available to everyone, but a work of art does not have to be for everyone. I’m already worried at the idea that I should write a film with the whole world as a target group. That is of course impossible.

Films are much more effective, and much better, if they have something specific to tell to a specific group of people.

And that does not mean, in my eyes, to make a short film for the festival audience. If a film only works with other filmmakers, I think a film is not successful. Then we are just patting each other on the back.

Only when a film can appeal to people outside the industry, make them laugh, get emotional, or even get them to take action, you did well as a filmmaker.

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize. ”- Robert Hughes

I don’t know a single filmmaker or artist without doubts, and that’s a good thing. Of course you have doubts, art is not objective, it is not a calculation that can be solved or is either right or wrong. What one person believes to be totally amazing, the next person thinks is hideous.

That’s why it’s so important to be aware of your own taste, what do you like? What kind of films do you want to make? Otherwise you will be overwhelmed by the opinions of others and you will be swept away.

I’m a huge perfectionist. There is no movie that I’ve created that I was immediately satisfied with. Sometimes I would rather not publish anything, because nothing feels good enough.

But although everyone is in doubt, the trick is not to let it paralyze you. I see that as a big difference between successful and less successful filmmakers. Do you allow your doubts to freeze you, or can you use them to develop a critical eye and move forward?

“But having a really good understanding of history, literature, psychology, sciences – is very, very important to actually being able to make movies.” – George Lucas

This certainly applies to me. I like to watch and make layered films about people. I find it fascinating to see life through someone else’s eyes, why does someone make certain decisions? I look for a reason behind everything and would prefer to break open someone’s head to read his mind.

Fortunately that is not necessary, because I have read books all my life. And every book is a new perspective on life and a new insight into someone’s brain that you can learn from.

By reading you learn to understand the world, and if you do not understand the world, you make bad films, a film becomes a one-sided, one-dimensional cliché. Because let’s not forget what influence we have as a filmmaker. We take our audience into a new world and show it through our eyes. Then you better know what you are talking about.