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Ties that bind - Poster Web.jpg

A man, his lover and an unexpected return of his fiance leads this improvisation driven short story towards tragical consequences.

10 minutes, 4K, colour, The Film Factory, 2008.





Sarah wants to surprise her lover Aaron by waiting for him in his apartment and tiding herself up in bed for a long sex night. Unexpectedly Aaron’s girlfriend Claire, on her anticipated return from a business trip, had the same idea in surprising Aaron. When she enters the bedroom, she finds Sarah half naked tied in bed. Claire is shocked. Sarah tries to free herself and flee, but a furious Claire is soon on top of her. The two women struggle and Sarah end up killed. Claire, now, with Sarah’s body in the bedroom, has to face the consequences.

Aaron comes back expecting to meet Sarah, but sees Claire, instead, waiting for him. He does’t know what happened to Sarah and tires to send her a message warning her not to come home. Claire tries to investigate on him and at the same time to hide her murder. Both of them hide a terrible truth. The tension rises and eventually explodes, when Aaron finally manages to send Sarah a message and her mobile phone rings in the bedroom. Claire and Aaron have a fight and an accident is fatal for him.



This short film was shot as part of the director’s master class at the Rutger Hauer’s Film Factory in Rotterdam at the end of January 2008. Attending the master class and being able to shoot the short film together with other young people was one of my best experience in life and not only on the professional level.

Working with Rutger is also something a filmmaker always dreams of. All the participants were divided into 6 classes, covering all the major roles in filmmaking, therefore in each class there was a writer, a director, a DoP, a producer and an editor. This small crew also had a small number of assistants from the local professionals and as many restrictions you can think of as part of the exercise.

Shooting with the brand new Sony PMW-EX1 in full HDV 720/25p, was about the only luxury we could put our hands on. One location, 2 fixed actors only, limited lighting equipment, 2 days of shooting, were the rules. Too nice to be true, so at the last day of pre-production, Rutger thought of something special: let’s give each crew a handicap, such as: only available light, change of the location, no sync sound, dcc, otherwise it’s too easy. We got to work with an extra actress, so we had to insert another role in the script.

No big deal as the script was really our main problem, but the actress was a big pain. But that’s life; you have to work with what you have. I must say, though, despite everything else, I never had so much fun and enjoyed so much during the shooting.

With the two main actors (Ronald and Saskia) I had an amazing understanding and chemistry from the beginning. I let them improvise and build the main scene from just the key elements of the script. I remember walking to the set the morning of the first shooting day with no script to shoot, only a situation we needed to follow and bring something in the can. By the early afternoon, when we were finally ready to roll camera, after working intensely with the actors, real magic came from their performances. I think you cannot ask more from your crew and your actors. Amazing. The story and all the rest were and remain a directing exercise.

The version you are able to see on-line is just a smaller version of the entire film. Beautifully cut by Paul Tekenbroek, is the only version we could do in just 3 days of post-production. I am planing to edit a director’s cut as soon as possible. Also my cinematographer friend Maurits Obbema will have the DoP’s cut of the film. Let’s see. It’s going to be fun.



To watch the full movie, please visit this Vimeo link

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