So – how is it to sell a movie? Your movie. You know its weaknesses, you hate all those moments that suck (but you don’t know how to fix them), you are well aware that its idiosyncrasies – but you still deeply believe in it, you believe that perhaps you’ve managed to save this little piece of reality from getting forgotten, unnoticed. But becoming a victim of your own subjectivism and ordinary bias is so instinctive….

So – how it is to sell a science documentary movie which doesn’t fit common formats, the movie which is intentionally old fashioned and slow paced? Let the talking heads talk, someone I respect greatly said. But how to sell a talking head in the YouTube era, when attention span equals ten seconds? Well, it doesn’t come easily.

Visit to IDFA: International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam was quite an experience. Despite the fact that the Pioneers series has been screened, broadcasted, noticed, and even praised locally, breaking the barrier and making it internationally recognizable is a challenge. The more that science sells rather poorly at the Docs for Sale market. But: 1) countless lessons were learned, 2) wonderfully helpful people met, 3) new ideas conceived. And yes – some great deals were made too! More about it – soon, once it’s official. 

Enough whining and boasting – time for a trivial closing observation. While taking pictures of the old Amsterdam, I noticed nothing. Although then, editing them for export, I found myself clueless about the apparent optical distortions of the images. Houses seemed to be dancing. Each wiggled separately, leaning to the right, to the left, hanging over, falling down. One could look for a single vertical and horizontal line in vain.

But this is how it is – due to the moving foundations, laid on a sloughy ground, all the buildings have been acting like living organisms. A short visit to the Rijks Museum proves it wasn’t intended at all, of course, when the Herengracht was designed and erected. Have a look at the View of the Golden Bend in the Herengracht by Gerrit Adriaensz (1671-1672). What perfectly – and boringly – executed a layout!

The question is: what makes movies and buildings truly interesting?