SYNOPSIS: When a man dies in a traffic accident and gets into a conversation with God, he gets an answer to the biggest question of life. Based on a short story by Andy Weir. Website portfolio: Instagram: DIRECTORS STATEMENT Seven years ago I read the short story “The Egg” by writer Andy Weir somewhere on the internet. I have no idea where, but it caught my eye. Four years ago I decided to really do something with it. I arranged the rights and immediately started. That also took three years because I wrote a lot of (completely different) scripts, put the idea back in the drawer, took it out again, tried something, threw it away, etc., etc. The story kept coming back to me, until i finaly found the right tone for it with the help of voice over actor Johnny Bang Reilly. After raising all the money to finance the $74K budget film, myself and the director of photography traveled to three different continents and shot over a five month period in total. With only just the two of us, we were operating simultanelously as DP, DIRECTOR, LIGHT, FOCUS, FIRST AD, PROD ASSISTANT and more.. It was an incredible journey across the world. From the forests of Belgium and the desert of Namibia to the jungle of Thailand to the totally destroyed city of Mosul in Iraq where bloody bomb vests and other human remains where still lying in between the rubble that ISIS had left behind. We were there. Almost one year later the film is finally premiering and screening online in a world that seems to be even more divided than ever. That’s why I hope this film can evoke even the slightest positive feeling and love for ourselves and also everyone around us. SHORT Q&A What inspired you to adapt the short story? What was the process like? The original short story from Andy Weir, called The Egg, was one of those stories that went really viral when it was released back in the day. I remember reading it online for the first time and it gave me goosebumps. It was inspiring in a way that made me feel connected to everyone. It was a feeling that I always had about the world, so I connected to it personally. The film features snapshots of places and people all over the world. Did you shoot all of that, or was it stock footage? No, we shot everything. That was one thing I maintained from the start – I didn’t want a single shot that we hadn’t done ourselves. It was very important to me as a filmmaker to be able to clearly say that there was no stock material, no random shots all put together. Every shot that’s in there was thought-out and specifically recorded for each moment in the film. We shot in Namibia, Thailand, Iraq, the Netherlands and Belgium. Aside from our main character, played by Issaka Sawadogo (Night of kings): the rest of the cast were all non-actors. For example, when we went to Namibia for our first shooting period, we went to this tribe named the Himba tribe, right in the middle of nowhere. It’s really beautiful there. Our way of shooting was to capture everything authentically, finding things that were actually there. There was nothing that was faked, or created especially for the film – apart from the forest shoot in Belgium with the car crash. We wanted everything authentic and beautiful. It made me realise that, by travelling all over in such a short period of time and meeting all these different people, that we’re really all the same. The connectedness that we explore in the film is really what I felt on the trip back. I think, in real life, if you meet all these different people from around the world with different faiths and beliefs, we’re all the same in essence. It was really beautiful to experience and I’m also really happy we were able to shoot the film back before the Coronavirus pandemic, because I don’t think we could have made the film otherwise. FESTIVALS Flickerfest international filmfestival 2020 Busan International Short Film Festival 2020 Landshut international short film festival 2020 Schnit Worldwide short film festival 2020 Bolton International Film Festival 2020 Religion today International Film Festival 2020 Shortcutz Amsterdam 2020 (Nomiation best film of the year) CREDITS Sales: Interfilm Sales Berlin: Stock: Filmsupply Based on the short story “The Egg” by Andy Weir Actors: Issaka Sawadogo, Johnny Bang Reilly Writer/Director: Ben Brand Production: Studio Ruba Cinematography: Maxime Desmet Producer: Maarten van der Ven Line producer: Moniek Sterk Art & Costume: Madeleine Homan Editing: Patrick Schonewille Post production: Filmmore Colorist: Judy Steenman Sound design & Mix: Mark Glynne Foly Artist: Tom Bijnen Music: Jesper Ankarfeldt Casting: Groen casting / Susanne Groen Visual fx supervisor: Stefan Beekhuizen & Jesse Hovestreijdt Titel design: Gideon Schaaps Di producer: Fleur Stikkelorum Commisioning editor ntr: Marina Blok