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Oldtopia (trailer)

6 okt 2015 14:04

VPRO

OLDTOPIA What life lessons are hidden behind the geraniums? Everyone gets older, but no one wants to be old. We associate old age with loneliness, decline, and not mattering any longer. And that’s a confrontation we’d all rather avoid. In our society, elders are placed in homes where their stories are rarely heard. Documentary makers Nicholaas Veul (30) and Tim den Besten (27) still have their entire life ahead of them, but they do wonder what their future holds in store for them. That’s why they take a peek into the unavoidable: they decide to live in a home for the elderly for one month to get in touch with the elders of today. Eye in eye with another generation, the two young men research what it’s really like to be old while reflecting on their own lives. What can they learn from the elders of today? And what new insights can they gain into their own lives when they’re confronted with the finality of it all? How do they want to age, and how do they definitely not want to grow old? What is truly important in life? In this social experiment, the two worlds of the young and the old collide and we get to know our elders through the eyes of the younger generation. How do they want to reflect on the life they’ve lived when they’re older? And what wise lessons are hidden behind the geraniums? CREATORS The documentary makers, Nicholaas and Tim, are two friends with a remarkable chemistry. They’re personalities are opposites: one is impulsive and an extrovert, the other is more philosophical. They dare to speak the truth about one another and never hide their opinions, simply because they just know each other that well. This is crucial for the series, because they’re not supposed to be two presentors; they’re supposed to be able to freely communicate with one another to discuss the growth their going through in the home. One Month Why one month? The most important aspect of the series is that the creators build a bond of trust with the inhabitants of the home. Because we want the elders to be able to speak openly and freely, it’s important that they feel comfortable around the creators and we show them that they take it all very seriously. They really want to get to know them and don’t choose the easy way out by walking in and leaving at the end of the day. STYLE Continuing on the above, it’s crucial that the creators film everything (including themselves) and that there is no camera crew in the home that could interfere with the intimacy and personable atmosphere. Because it stays so small and intimate, the inhabitants ‘forget’ that there’s a camera at a certain point, and talk even more freely than before. The camera is easy to use and sounds is caught through the usage of transmitters and a directional microphone to ensure there is no need for a sound engineer. There are loose, moving camera images without the style getting sloppy. The content is what counts. The creators do get an intensive camera course if they aren’t familiar with the equipment. TONE OF VOICE The creators have conversations with the inhabitants, rather than just interviewing them. That way, there’s a mutual respect when listening to each other while also showcasing the creators’ vulnerability. This subsequently leads to personal connections that result in special conversations. Of course some of the conversations are scheduled and prepared ahead of time, but the creators still have to be open to spontaneous moments that might or might not happen. The creators are sympathetic and interested, but also dare to be challenging and critical. As long as the inhabitants are treated respectfully, it actually works rather well to occasionally provoke the elders with humor and wit. The creators need to, in this case, have an intelligent sense of humor. THEMES The episodes are thematically constructed. In each episode, a different theme is central. These themes are subjects the creators are personally struggling with. These themes are a guideline for the conversations with the elderly

OLDTOPIA What life lessons are hidden behind the geraniums? Everyone gets older, but no one wants to be old. We associate old age with loneliness, decline, and not mattering any longer. And that’s a confrontation we’d all rather avoid. In our society, elders are placed in homes where their stories are rarely heard. Documentary makers Nicholaas Veul (30) and Tim den Besten (27) still have their entire life ahead of them, but they do wonder what their future holds in store for them. That’s why they take a peek into the unavoidable: they decide to live in a home for the elderly for one month to get in touch with the elders of today. Eye in eye with another generation, the two young men research what it’s really like to be old while reflecting on their own lives. What can they learn from the elders of today? And what new insights can they gain into their own lives when they’re confronted with the finality of it all? How do they want to age, and how do they definitely not want to grow old? What is truly important in life? In this social experiment, the two worlds of the young and the old collide and we get to know our elders through the eyes of the younger generation. How do they want to reflect on the life they’ve lived when they’re older? And what wise lessons are hidden behind the geraniums? CREATORS The documentary makers, Nicholaas and Tim, are two friends with a remarkable chemistry. They’re personalities are opposites: one is impulsive and an extrovert, the other is more philosophical. They dare to speak the truth about one another and never hide their opinions, simply because they just know each other that well. This is crucial for the series, because they’re not supposed to be two presentors; they’re supposed to be able to freely communicate with one another to discuss the growth their going through in the home. One Month Why one month? The most important aspect of the series is that the creators build a bond of trust with the inhabitants of the home. Because we want the elders to be able to speak openly and freely, it’s important that they feel comfortable around the creators and we show them that they take it all very seriously. They really want to get to know them and don’t choose the easy way out by walking in and leaving at the end of the day. STYLE Continuing on the above, it’s crucial that the creators film everything (including themselves) and that there is no camera crew in the home that could interfere with the intimacy and personable atmosphere. Because it stays so small and intimate, the inhabitants ‘forget’ that there’s a camera at a certain point, and talk even more freely than before. The camera is easy to use and sounds is caught through the usage of transmitters and a directional microphone to ensure there is no need for a sound engineer. There are loose, moving camera images without the style getting sloppy. The content is what counts. The creators do get an intensive camera course if they aren’t familiar with the equipment. TONE OF VOICE The creators have conversations with the inhabitants, rather than just interviewing them. That way, there’s a mutual respect when listening to each other while also showcasing the creators’ vulnerability. This subsequently leads to personal connections that result in special conversations. Of course some of the conversations are scheduled and prepared ahead of time, but the creators still have to be open to spontaneous moments that might or might not happen. The creators are sympathetic and interested, but also dare to be challenging and critical. As long as the inhabitants are treated respectfully, it actually works rather well to occasionally provoke the elders with humor and wit. The creators need to, in this case, have an intelligent sense of humor. THEMES The episodes are thematically constructed. In each episode, a different theme is central. These themes are subjects the creators are personally struggling with. These themes are a guideline for the conversations with the elderly