Yes, I have managed to land my first feature film. This past summer, I spent several months directing a nice little indy horror-comedy. Starring, amongst others, Arielle Mandelberg, Mark Haptonstall and Sarah Rose Butler (see above). Not a whole lot more I can say, but it involves both a Hollywood and a Star-Trek legend… Stay tuned.
This summer we will be shooting a new short film in the desert near Tucson, Arizona. Written by Tom S. Honey and directed by myself, it is going to be a funny, action packed and enticing little short about a fresh faced, hero Mexican bounty hunter called “El Mapache”. (What does Mapache mean? Check here!)
If you live in or near Tucson, and you think you can help us out, please contact me! We are still looking for parts of the cast and crew, as well as some locations. So any help would be greatly appreciated. Even if you don’t live in Tucson and you want to help out. Let me know!
I’m planning to shoot my final thesis film “Cosmonaut” in the spring of 2013. Tom S. Honey and myself are currently working hard on the script for this 60’s comedy about a Russian cosmonaut crash landing in the United States. But I recently had the opportunity to direct a little tryout, or preview if you will. The Hopper and Rockwell scene involves two CIA agents that are assigned to track down the Russian fugitive. We finished shooting it last week, and it will soon appear here on the inter-web. In the mean time, here are some stills to enjoy. Hopper & Rockwell starring Grafton Doyle and Jim Brewer.
Deevid Wijnands wrote part three in a series of articles about me. Published in the Dutch newspaper AD. Dutch version after the English translation.
Life as a filmmaker
Bazelmans, from the Apollo theatre to Hollywood
Delft – Guerilla warriors on Treasure Island, a career as a rabbi and turtle racing. These are the themes of Delft-born film director Thijs Bazelmans (26). His life revolves around making movies. “I wake up with it and go to sleep with it. And I’ll dream about it too.” – by Deevid Wijnands
Nostalgic but a little estranged, he walks through the city where he was born. Living in San Francisco, and studying at the Academy of Art University, he is back home temporarily to celebrate the holidays. “You could find me here all the time” he says, as he points to the former Apollo Movie theatre. “The silver screen drags you into an different world. That’s what makes it interesting for me.”
Last year, Bazelmans started to make a name for himself with the short film De Lucha Boys. The film, shot in Delft, was screened at twelve national and international film festivals. The Chciago United festival awarded it as best student short. For the young director, the award was the icing on the cake, but he didn’t need it to confirm his chosen career path. He grins, “I decided on that a while ago”.
Fantasy and creation have kept him occupied since his youth. Laughing: “I read Tolkien’s the Hobbit twelve times.” The books were a good inspiration for his other passion: drawing. “I went to drawing classes twice a week. I loved it. I did sports because I had to, I drew because I wanted to.” Creating his own world was what attracted him most to drawing. So he went to art schools in Den Bosh and Utrecht to become an illustrator. He got his degree, but knew already that a career as an illustrator was not for him. “I’m good at seeing the big picture and want to work with people. Sitting alone behind a desk for days on end, bitching about a little line here or there, doesn’t do it for me.
Instead, he makes films. Classes like animation and motion graphic design showed him the possibilities of the moving image. Working with film crews during his internships at dNA and Amsterdam based production company 100% Halal, fulfilled his social working needs. In between, he got invited to attend a single semester at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2003. Seven years later he returned there to pursue his dream; a career as a Hollywood director. “Making films is magical. It’s a very effective way of telling a story. And when done well, you can play on the emotions of your audience and drag them into your vision, your world.”
Currently, Bazelmans is pursuing a masters degree while working on a number of projects, among which his first feature length movie about turtle racing. “They are all real phenomena, but a little extra-ordinary. I like to tell remarkable, fantastical stories within existing reality. Right now I’m in a position to experiment with that, and that’s awesome.”
We just finished most of the shooting for a new short film: Finish Him! A comedy set in 1993 where Mark is enjoying his summer as the Champion Mortal Kombat II player at the local Pizza Shop. Until he gets his ass kicked by a girl…. It was written by Tom S. Honey and directed by yours truly. Inder Mann shot some amazing pictures, Sarah Robinson (Kosher) will be editing everything together and Roel Slootman (De Lucha Boys) will be scoring and sound designing this cute little neon colored short.
All we have left to do is a little bit of green screen work to bring the world of Mark (Max Desantis) and Louie (Kyle McIntosh) to life, only to have it torn down again by the lovely Gladys (Lia Joelle). “Awh Snap!, Kiss of death!”