Before Action! On set of Guido Coppis' new film Before Bedtime.
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Before Action!

On set of Guido Coppis' new film Before Bedtime.

Anna Demianenko was a fly on the wall during the shooting of Guido Coppis' newest film project Before Bedtime. Here she shares a glimpse of the familiar and friendly atmosphere she experienced on set.


08 december 2019

Awake with the crowing rooster

It is 6:30, break of dawn. With a crowing rooster in the background Yorn Heijnen, the executive producer, steps on set of Guido Coppis’ newest film Before Bedtime, produced by Talent United and supported by CineSud.

The moment he enters the set he is surrounded by silence, calmness and easiness. Sammy Wisnewski and Daniel Luyck are prepping with no rush, while Evita Feltsadas, the costume designer, is ironing the clothes on the table. ‘I don’t design them, I just bought them.'. She gives a wide smile. ‘The film is classical Guido: dark and pushing the limits. When I saw the test footage they took – it’s great, it’s terrible, but I loved it’.

Like a family

Just past her, Yorn is quickly running towards the entrance: ‘I have brought you a director’s chair!’, he shouts happily and welcomes Guido Coppis, the director, on set. Guido laughs and goes to take some coffee – a table just at the entrance where all the crew gets together like a family to have a drink just like before a celebratory dinner. ‘I have never filmed with a big crew and I would not want to work with a big crew, either. I know a lot of people here and it is an important part of it. It is like a small family.’. Guido takes a sip of coffee and is already in the process of preparation. ‘The crew call is at 8:00 and we start shooting at 8:30. I am very excited, I didn’t sleep last night’.

Last preparations

Guido sets off on his journey to talk to every head of the production. ‘Which trousers are for him?’, Guido asks Evita. ‘I have these ones and those ones’. Guido chooses the pants which fit best and passes Nils Hanssen who has just put the last chair on the table, finishing the set – the bar of the community center is magically transformed into the interrogation room.

‘This film, compared to my previous films, is a much harder subject and much more extreme. My previous films were more internal and this one is more external, especially how violence and abuse are shown – so it is quite a challenge’.

It is almost 7:10, the first actor comes soon. Yorn rushes through the room, informing Sammy and Daniel: ‘We must be all set’.

The story

Kiki van Aubel is the first one to arrive: ‘It is the first day after summer, it is a good day to start the season’. She plays the part of an interrogation officer and is already sitting on the chair to have her make-up done. ‘I think it is a story that you don’t want to think about and which you don’t want to be real. What I like about the way Guido Coppis has written the script is that he doesn’t fill in what you are supposed to feel as a viewer. You get to be alert and hopefully on the edge of the seat all the time’.

Bert Hana, who plays one of the leading characters, is already at the make-up: ‘Guido approached me himself. I made a little casting movie for him and he told me about the story. I loved it and here I am. It is a really nice story. It is different from what I have done before, so it is nice to be in it. In a minute we will have a rehearsal of the first scene. We already rehearsed it before but now we are going to do it on set’.

Heroes at work

It is 8:00. The gaffer Vitalijus Kiselius is starting to block the windows, while Vladas Naudzius is setting up the camera. They both originally come from Lithuania and have worked together on many projects. ‘I decided to take up this project because of the director Guido Coppis, of course. He is special, there is no doubt about it. That’s why I am participating. His story is strong and straightforward, I like it’ – says Vladas. Douglas Robson, best boy, is about to help Vitalijus: ‘I am gonna get my utility belt, turn into a superhero and help set up the lights’.

‘We are almost there.’, informs Martijn de Graaf, the 1st AD, at 8:30, while sitting at the table on set as a stand-in to check the scene to be lightened. ‘We are a bit late but this is usually what happens. In five minutes, a rehearsal with actors and then small adjustments, and we’re are ready to roll’. While last adjustments are being made and Ivo Bemelmans connects microphones to actors, Martijn and Guido discuss some adjustments for the second shooting day. ‘Guido, tomorrow we have one scene in the garden. What do we do if it’s pouring with rain?' - ‘It fits the scene, it’s just one shot, I am flexible. Just take care of the continuity.' - ‘I am gonna think about it’.

Martijn stands up from the set and goes to the director’s screen. ‘The camera goes live! There we go. Quiet on set! Roll camera, roll sound! Mark it! …and action!’

Over de auteur: Anna Demianenko

Since 2017 Anna Demianenko works as a Talent and Program Manager for CineSud. Next to her work at CineSud she is also a director and producer of fiction as well as documentary projects.

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