WELCOME TO THE FUTURE
Director Stuart Acker Holt’s short film ‘Welcome To The Future’ sits apart in the After Movie genre. Part documentary, part scripted fiction the films takes an unconventional approach to depicting the music festival experience. The focus is the real-life dilemma, personal highs and lows experienced by the four protagonists, pulling the viewer along a tale of their journey to the music, to each other and ultimately - joy.
The film offers a departure from the in-your-face, high octane approach of most films in the genre. Welcome To The Future goes back to basics, weaving a story about a doctor, a waiter, a post-man and a girl on the cusp of great adventure, that any music lover can identify with. As Holt says;
“It’s all about context. That moment where the universe aligns and it all comes together on the dance floor can be a formative experience that stays with you for a life-time. But it only has meaning because of how you get there. There are lots of films designed to show the high emotion climax, the beautiful people, slow motion hands. But often there is only surface connection with the characters on the screen. It’s our vulnerabilities and insecurities that make the moment significant. In this film I wanted to the viewer to care about the characters so much that we don’t even need to see the climax to understand and feel what is happening to them.”
For the concept to work, authenticity was key. Originally the script sketched the structure, dialogue and broad characters. But it was enough to cast the protagonists and gave them enough room to collaborate in the honing of the script. Holt wanted to work with real people and use their own genuine back stories. After a lengthy scouting phase he ended up with an excellent cast of four.
“Once I had the cast we got in the studio at Nachtlab in Amsterdam and recorded a series of interviews. This is where I really got to know them; where they came from, their hopes, fears and ambitions, their cultural heritage, how they structure their lives and so on. It was fascinating in itself and led to me really being able to fill out the script and give it shape. It also gave us a number of soundbites that made the final cut, indeed the closing words of the film came from this interview session. This unscripted free flow definitely lends the film the feeling it has.”
A similar approach was taken with the music with an original score written by Welcome To The Future founder and Quazar front man, Gert van Veen. It was his ambition to write music in advance for the climactic scene in the film and that this should be the music we see people dancing to. “When I give the mp3 stick to DJ Anonym in the film.” Says van Veen, “that is real life. On that mp3 stick was the music I wrote, that he took to the festival and played for the crowd and for the film.”
“It’s funny, “ Says Holt. “But I’ll never forget the moment DJ Anonym gave me the cue when he was about to drop the track with the crew all lined up ready to capture it. At that moment the sun shone through the clouds and it came through the mottled leaves and hit the stage smoke – Anonym dropped the track like I’d never heard before - in its own context of other music- and everyone just went wild, genuinely wild. You couldn’t make it up, despite preparing for it for many months.”
The film was commissioned by ID&T’s Carina Kornfeind and filmed on location in London, Amsterdam and The Welcome To The Future festival in Het Twiske, NL. It is the third collaboration between production company CRUMB.FILM.