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Marco Grandia / Filmmaker

“Never stop challenging yourself”

When did you first begin to take an interest in capturing things on camera? By the age of 10, I was already obsessed with how things were shot on TV. I remember wondering how they managed to capture overhead shots of the audience on game shows, for instance. It was only later while watching a documentary that I found out they used cranes.

And thus began your fascination with filming? Not entirely. It began via another interest: skateboarding. As a teenager, I used to skateboard all day everyday with friends. And when I was about thirteen, I borrowed a camera and began filming the others, taking inspiration from American skate videos. I learned to experiment with angles and positions, and to build a narrative. For instance, if you shot someone skating off a bridge followed by a shot of him landing next to a shopping centre, it looked as if he’d jumped from the bridge to the shopping centre. That’s how I discovered that you could shape reality, which I found really interesting.

Shape reality? What do you mean? One of the things I love about film is that you can elicit an emotional response simply by altering reality, creating moments that never actually occurred.  With just three shots, ten fragments of music and an editing programme, I can evoke seven different emotions in an audience. I’ve also performed card tricks for the past twenty years, and that, too, is a form of tinkering with reality.

Really? Where did you learn that? One of our neighbours in Ridderkerk was a Chinese guy who had performed card tricks in a circus. He’d occasionally treat me to a show when I got back from school, but wouldn’t tell me how he did it. But when he fell ill, when I was 17, he gave me all of his books and then explained everything.


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