Monday, January 16, 2017


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There is no words really to say how grateful I am with a great director as is Nick Jongerius. His first feature film up to now, "The Windmill Massacre" filmed in Netherland it's a great movie, everyone who likes bloody, gruesome films are more than invited to watch this film, very well directed and acted and has a remarkable cinematography too. Nick is a director with former works, but none of them it was like this film and he gave me the opportunity to talk with him, and surely I wanted ask him more things, and i know he would be disposed to answer them, but with these is ok by now, i hope you really could enjoy this informative and educational interview.

The Windmill Massacre storyline: "Jennifer is an Australian girl on the run from her past who washes up in Amsterdam. In a desperate attempt to stay one step ahead of the authorities, she joins a coach-load of tourists embarking on a tour of Holland's world famous windmills. When the bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere, she and the other tourists are forced to seek shelter in a disused shed beside a sinister windmill where, legend has it, a Devil-worshiping miller once ground the bones of locals instead of grain. As members of the group start to disappear, Jennifer learns that they all have something in common - a shared secret that seems to mark them all for doom".

Buy it: AMAZON

EFF: When did born the passion to make films? That moment you felt that films would be your Life

NJ: After seeing Mad Max - Road Warrior. I think I saw that film over a 100 times. I still can watch it and be in the story in minutes. The story is perfect, the execution in set pieces and camera work is beautiful. Mel Gibson is great. And the costume design is just insane!

EFFI've read you lived near to a mill, right? That influenced in you to make this film?

NJ: I was born on a street called the Saw Windmill HH Street, which was near an old creepy windmill. Where I live now there are a lot of windmills too. They kind of creep me out, because they stand tall in the field and have no windows. If a swinging blade hits you, you will likely die. I really liked the idea of this thing that creeps me to be the arena for my feature debut.

EFF: The script was developed by you, Chris W Mitchell and Suzy Quid, that's right? How was the process to builds up the story?

NJ: Chris Mitchell (screenwriter) and I really love the old Amicus movies and Agatha Christie. These stories in which strangers get stuck with one another and once the shit hits they realize they have something in common. In that sense this film is definitely a throwback to these old movies. I like characters who are outspoken and differ from each other. It gives tension in a group and the horror elements change the dynamics constantly. The film is also an homage to old Grimm Fairytales. I really like horror films with lots of fantasy elements in them. For me realistic horror is hard to watch (and to make). I like the work of Guillermo del Toro or Tim Burton where you know the horror is contained in this unrealistic but interesting world.

EFF: Something interesting I read was that you inspired in a Grimm fairytale, "The Girl, The Devil and The Windmill". Were you thinking on that a long time ago?

NJ: After I chose this arena, I shot the proof of concept with the idea in mind of a real flesh and blood miller killer, but once it was finished I found out that this wasn't what I was looking for in a feature film. I like horror stories with fantasy elements in them. Grimm fairytales, also some of the hammer horror films like Bride of Frankenstein and I'm really inspired by the work of Guillermo Del Torro. It’s not everybody’s coup of tea I guess, but I like there to be some distance between horror and reality. Fairytales give you that freedom that you don’t necessarily have when you are working on a film based an realism. That became the visual and dramatic angle of the film.

EFF: Glancing your filmography, we see you made two short films before to make "The Windmill Massacre", why didn't go on with any of those short films?

NJ: Mmmm good question. I really like the idea of RedRoom for a feature film, but you know in this film landscape as a first time director you have to have a concept that stands out. That gives you the advance over other aspiring filmmakers. The concept of a windmill combined with tourists was the key for investors to listen. RedRoom, although very intriguing to me, still is to investors a ghost story like any others. Perhaps now that I made Windmill they will be convinced I could pull it off. I would love to make a film about it.

ShortFilm: "RedRoom"

EFF: How was the casting procces? You know, because you had a well known actor as Noah Taylor... How was that experience?

NJ: We were very fortunate to work with Daniel Hubbard. He was the casting director for Paul Greengrass on Jason Bourne and Green Zone. He also loves horror and knew us through my producing partner Daniel Koefoed. Working with him opened up a broad range of amazing actors. I first had my eye on Charlotte Beaumont. I saw her in Broadchurch and I thought she was both fantastic and perfect for the role. This was purely based on my gut feeling because we cast her without an audition. She was the first to sign on. The rest of the cast came together through regular castings. Tanroh Ishida's audition was absolutely fabulous; he was exactly how I imagined Takashi. Fiona Hampton really surprised me during her audition. I was looking mostly at ex models for the part, but Fiona's performance was so on the money that I chose her. Ben Batt came in with so much charisma. He doesn’t have a big part but his presence is amazing. Noah Taylor signed on about a week before shooting. I was getting really nervous if we were able to cast the role and when Noah was interested I flew to London to meet him. I was excited because he has such a track record and this was my feature debut, but he was so gracious and supported the film and myself a hundred percent. It was a delight working with him, as it was with all the cast.

EFF: Do you see horror as you favorite genre for to make films or wants to dive to others genres too?

NJ: I'm working on a TV-series based on a huge crime wave in Amsterdam in the early 80's. It is meant for TV but it could also become a feature film as well, but then it would probably be in Dutch. I'm also working on a film based on a true story about a Dutch Muslim girl who had to fight for her freedom from her family and father. A truly gripping story and one I'm very emotionally invested in.

EFF: Let me tell you this. Your short films were about Supernatural terror, kind of, your Tv experience were about drama types, and your first feature film althoug was horror, it was more kind of slasher? pretty multifunctional ah?

NJ: Hahaha….. Well I guess you are right. I like film. I have a soft spot for horror but I guess I’m open to anything…. Although I don’t see myself doing a romcom.

EFF: besides the grimm tale and your experience with mills, perhaps any film or films inspired you to make this film?

NJ: Weirdly enough I looked at old films like Night of the Hunter and Psycho. I like shadows and images with high contrast. Se7en was also a big reference as was Sleepy Hollow and Game of Thrones.

EFF: Let me tell you I really liked the movie, a script with the exactly amount of information to understand it, a really good cinematography. How was the path to create a cinematography so correct, you and Bart Beekman know each other from another film right?

NJ: Thank you so much. Really appreciate it. Bart and I go way back. We studied at the Dutch film academy together in the same graduation year. I loved his work then and also worked with him on the two features I produced prior to The Windmill: Dead End (a Dutch horror film) and Frankenstein's Army. When The Windmill came in to play there was no one else who I toughed of. Not only does he like the same things I like in terms of style and look & feel, but he is also a good friend. He did so much extra work on this film. I'm going to regret this probably, but if you are a director or producer and want to hire a really great DP, you should think of him.

Film Produced by Nick Jongerius

EFF:  This film has as you said it, fantasy and mystic naunces, just as grimm tales, this film it also has a moral... well two. "Can't get away from your sins" and "sooner or  later you will pay for you sins" that is pretty much the miller work, right?

NJ: I think the miller is just a servant in this story. A servant to the Devil or Hell. But you are right like so many fairytales this is also a morality tale. The morality also serves the story and the genre in  a sense. We actually shot a different ending for the film where Jennifer would go in the mill herself, sacrificing herself to save the boy. When editing I felt that this was breaking the genre rules so we changed it and Jennifer is dragged into hell. I like the brutality of that and perhaps Jennifer didn’t deserve to die, considering the that fact she probably had a good reason for her sin. On the other hand, she showed no remorse and when she had the chance, she [showed that] would kill her father again and again. It is a Catch-22. As a character, she developed and learned to face her problems instead of running from them. On the other hand, she could have dealt with her problems with her father differently. But she didn’t and it got her little brother killed in the process.

EFF: What is your perception about the reception of the film, do you think it was good, it got the interpretation you wanted to claim, it opened you doors on new markets?

NJ: I’m baffled by the response the film got thus far. It has been amazing. I knew that this film is something you either hate or love and that is good. Mediocre would mean it will be forgotten very soon, but with this response and the strong concept I think this film has the ability to last longer. We are working on a new film a SCIFI thriller called THE ABDUCTEE  and with the response of THE WINDMILL this project got momentum and we have concrete interest from sales agents and distributors. We hope to shoot autumn next year.

EFF:  You're from Netherland, this film was shooted in Netherland. Do you have in mind go to America and throw out with the luck and makes something there?

NJ: Obviously I would love that. I think the genre’s I like to work in have a more solid base in US (or UK for that matter). In The Netherlands it is hard to make genre films especially with a genre like THE WINDMILL. But I have to say that a lot of films (also US) are shot in Europe because of tax incentive reasons so maybe I can stay here and make international genre films at the same time. We will see how it goes. One thing I learned you just never know what will come in your path.

EFF:  This was your Opera prima, but you had experiences before to it. But, what advices you would give to new filmmakers, whose try to shoot out their first film?

NJ: Be fearless. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Surround yourself with the best cast and crew as possible. And listen to feedback and suggestions, but make your own decision based on what your inner voice tells you.

EFF: Would you Describe to me in four adjectives your film?

NJ: Weird, Supernatural, Red, Bloody

EFF: If someday, a producer gives you the opportunity to direct a horror remake, what would you choose and why?

NJ: I think it would be Scanners. I love this film and I think, with the age we are living in now, there are an interesting new ways to approach the original concept. But that said I’m not a big fan of remakes because most of them to me feel if it is just for sake of remaking, and making money. I’ll only consider it if there is an interesting new angle to tell with a story.

EFF: Are you horror fan? what director like you and films?

NJ: All the work of Brian de Palma in the eighties really inspired me. To me (at that time) he was just the best storyteller there lived.

EFF: Briefly, tell us how is horror films in Netherland ¿is it easy? People like it, I mean local horror films

NJ: Like I said earlier genre films in The Netherlands are not appreciated that much especially horror. Once every few years there is a low budget horror film being made, but they don’t have to ability to grow to their full potential because distributors don’t believe in them. Nobody really talks about horror; it’s kind of a taboe almost. That’s why we made FRANKENSTEINS ARMY and THE WINDMILL English spoken so we knew we could sell them abroad. 

EFF: I guess you learned a lot of things in this film, but tell me at least two things you really had to learn.

NJ: - Be open and always try to communicate and not dictate. Telling people what to do or not do is very tricky and not constructive. You hired the best people you can find around you so if they have an opinion really listen to that and then make a decision.  

- Especially during the editing process filmmaking can be hard because you are also very tired and vulnerable and strong feedback from sales agents and producers can be hard to take. Try to stay positive and trust that you know the film the best. With knowing that it is best to try as much out as you can during editing. Feedback can be hard, people with feedback come from their own positions but you as the director have to manage that the best you can and try to stay true to your inner voice. Don’t talk to much during editing and just try stuff out and see if it works and in the end just go with your gut instinct. You have to find the balance.

 EFF: What scene was your favorite and why? and what scene you think it could be better and why?

NJ: I think in every scene there is a thing I could have done better. I’m a perfectionist and doubt and question myself constantly. Very tiresome sometimes...

The doctor kill I'm very proud of. Like I said all of the kills were very hard to do but when I saw the shot of the scythe appearing in front of Noah I was like... OMG this is so cool and better then I expected. When we added the music and sound effects to that scene, I got goose bumps. It was awesome.

EFF: What techniques, cameras, lenses, and software did you use in your film, everything you could tell me?

NJ: For camera we used Arri Alexa XT with prime lenses. We had a standard grip package every day and used a crane and panther dolly on occasional days. We were able to get sponsored by a heli company so that gave us the opportunity to shoot aerial shots of dikes and Dutch landscapes. We used about 2 or 3 hugh self made top lights on aerial platforms with separate gennies to light the night scenes to create a night atmosphere where you feel there is a moonlit night situation and without the nightlight feeling to artificial.

Nick Jongerius'Twitter | Facebook | Imdb WebPage

*Success in everything you do from now and forward Nick, and thank you again for your time*


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