House Shorts

Mark Hendrikx

Soho House Berlin

After working in advertising for many years, Mark decided that a change was necessary and enrolled to study Film & Media as a mature student. After graduating with a bachelors’ with a distinction in screenwriting, he moved to Berlin, Germany to write and direct films and adverts. He is still actively writing scripts and directing short films and adverts and is aiming to make his first feature film very soon.

Maurice Galway of Dingle International Film Festival, said of Mark’s House Short treatment:

‘A wonderful pitch, giving a glimpse at the joys of life, its costs and a nod to true love, all in a humorous and touching set up. Perfectly suited to Soho Berlin’s restaurant’.

Mark, tell us a little about yourself…

I guess I have always been a film person. There was one stage in my life where I had watched every film (under 15 certificate because of my age at the time) in the local video store. But I never thought I had it in me to make films. That was until I was working in advertising (10 years later) and I was at a shoot for an advert being made by our agency. I realised the Director had missed out a very important camera angle and when I suggested it to him he was so pleased that someone had said something. I then found out my passion for standing behind the camera and developing and telling a story is what I do best. So I quit my menial job in advertising and studied film for 4 years. Since then I have been on many a shoot – partly financed myself, some financed by others. And thus far I am over the moon with what I have made.

So far I have been referred to as a nit picker and a perfectionist, but these descriptives are not negative. In fact, I take them as major compliments. If something is being filmed, I want the audience to be moved with what I make. So if it requires 3 hours’ sleep over a period of a month, then so be it. But the biggest thing I have learnt since becoming a director is that I must be able to offer the Director of Photography his watermark, the makeup department more space so they work less under stress, the assistant director more guidance for getting the crew on point and, of course for myself, the preparation for massive curve-balls being thrown my direction in pre production.

What’s your short film about and where did you get the inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from a few different sources. A word or event is, for me, the biggest muse I could have to tell a story in my own words. I am expecting my first baby on the same date as this project’s deadline. Co-incidence? Possibly. Fate? Perhaps. But meeting my wife at my brother’s wedding was the most important event of my life and to be able to tell a story of how I could envisage our lives together through someone else’s eyes is a wonderful opportunity. Are some things that I have told in the story based on true events? Maybe.

Which scene are you most looking forward to filming/which scene will be the hardest to film?

The scene I am looking most forward to shooting is near to the end. The imagery of two older people who are still together, still in love and happy is something almost everyone can relate to. The hardest scene to shoot would be both the opening shot and the shot following because of the time constraints put on the project, it being 2 minutes long, could make or break the film.

What would it mean to you to win House Shorts 2012?

I hate to use the expression ‘it would mean the world to me’ because it is over used. But winning would really mean the world to me. I have two feature projects I want to make which are both stories that would move audiences across the globe. The opportunity for me to be able to be mentored by the jury would be immense to get these projects made. I am a film maker, after all, but front and foremost, I would love to be considered as a wonderful story teller, someone where people look forward to the next project I have lined up. That, and being able to provide for my (at the moment) unborn baby through the means I love so much (film) would also be the most rewarding thing I can do.

Photos by: Heike Rössing

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