That Afternoon

The making of ‘That Afternoon’ (Die Middag) was one of the most memorable things in my career. To tell this intimate and important story, director Nafiss Nia and I came up with a whole new approach. We wanted to be poetic, but not overdramatize. We wanted to be close to the characters, but not follow them in every move. And above all, we wanted to tell a story about hope, despair, about being watched, being seen, being boxed in. We decided that we wanted the frames to speak for themselves and after deciding on the camera angle and frame we didn’t want to interfere anymore, to let the immediacy of the scene work for itself. That’s why we decided to shoot almost the whole film with 5 Sony A7s III camera’s with autofocus lenses. For every scene we set up the camera’s in their different angles and than shot the whole scene in one go. No panning, tilting, zooming or dollying, and embracing the little imperfectionsthat arised. Despite the technical difficulties we had to overcome it was one of the most liberating experiences I had as a Dop. Working with small camera’s, finding unusual angles that nevertheless supported the story, creating light that worked for 5 different angles totally changed my view of what we can do as filmmakers. And most importantly, being able to let our beautiful talent play out a scene in one go was the best. That made the film what it is now and I’m very proud to have been a part of this one. Thanks for everyone involved, especially my brother Gijs, who produced this beauty, my longtime friend and gaffer Eugene Sprik, all the help from camera supplier Camalot, my 1st AC Julia Cerejo and the extremely talented colorist Erik van den Heuvel at De Grot for standing by me on this adventure.

Director: Nafiss Nia

Producer: Halal Amsterdam

Shot on 5 Sony A7s III Camera’s

Official selection for IFFR 20232019