Digital Transvaal

Since I stumbled on the Digital Urban website, two weeks ago, I wanted to make an “Urban” movie myself. So last week, after my workday, I did a cycling tour through the Transvaal district of The Hague, the city where I live, to make my first movie. The reason why I chose Transvaal is because a lot of beautiful old houses of the 1920-1930’s are pulled down or will be pulled down soon and new houses will be built. Just a plan of social engineering: the city council wants to redistribute ethnic minorities more uniformly across the city – I doubt if the plan will succeed.
There is also a little bit of compassion in the choice: my father lived here in his youth and I can remember the visits to my grandma who lived in the “Kritzingerstraat” when I was a kid. The houses there are now uninhabited, waiting to be destroyed (but with beautiful graffiti paintings on the walls – you can see them at the end of the film.

Okay, so I took my camera at the “Vaillantplein” and let it run, while I was simply cycling through the main street, shooting as much as I could of the neighborhood, the traffic and the houses.

At home I loaded everything in Windows Movie maker, perhaps not a very great program, but good enough for what I wanted to produce (which, after all, is not a great movie either – but just an exercise). Then I chose some apt music from my mp3 collection, like Ekseptions “De fietser” (The Cyclist), Alexander Curly’s “Aggesus” (a song about Turks in The Netherlands), and Wim Sonnevelds “Het Dorp” for the more sentimental part. (There is also some improvised music of my own: the high buzzing sound you hear is me, humming a happy tune 🙂 Perhaps you’ll think I’m a male soprano, but that’s because the movie runs at double speed 🙂 ).

The result is a loosely compiled movie, I don’t expect it to become a classic, just made for the fun of making it and to release the creative energy I had after reading the tutorials on the Digital urban website.


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