When I think back to when I shot my first paid gig, I remember being excited like a child. I had butterflies in my tummy - and I must say, I still get them and they're always there when I prepare, develop or film a story. With a beating heart and a fancy camcorder, I travelled from one village to the other in Zeeland, in south of the Netherlands. It was a promotional shoot, giving insight into the harvesting of wheat. I grew up in this area and the images and sounds of the harvest had become dear to me. For me, the ultimate summer evening feeling still contains sounds of farming machines and images of wind carrying away dust from the dry land - all of this against a pink/orange haze of the late and long evening. When I was asked to capture these moments and tell the story of the farmers, I was more than excited. And at the same time, I was extremely nervous. I was put to the test. The images I treasured in my heart, I now had to capture. I felt the pressure of wanting to translate the atmosphere that had become so dear to me, without having much experience in filmmaking.
Then the magic happened.
As I climbed a dusty ladder to get a shot of the massive storage warehouse, the grain dust created a gorgeous light fall from numerous skylights. I remember falling silent for a bit, then frantically grabbing my camera to catch this magical view - as if the sun would set that very instance and leave me in the dark.
It was a successful shoot – at least, considering it was my first ‘official’ one - of course with too many hours of footage. I had already fallen in love with filmmaking, but that summer I made the commitment to tell stories through film.
It was The Magic of Light that did it, and the challenge of capturing it. So I could pass it on to the people who weren't there to witness it.
Nelleke is the Chief Executive of Noort Filmworks. She is a film director with almost 10 years experience, and she studied filmmaking in Amsterdam and Los Angeles. Aside from being a history nerd, she loves being outdoors and spending time with family.