15th ÉCU Film Festival | 2020 
"I was looking through my previous sketchbook and found this project, I wrote a poem about the girl and the idea was born."
Sarah Pannakoek
 Lost Eye 
Student Film
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Wanda is riding her horse when suddenly, his eye gets stolen and a great adventure starts.

Hi Sarah thank you for talking to TNC, how are you handling the lockdown?

I am doing fine, I am healthy and I can still work from home, so that’s all good. Of course it is a disappointment that a lot of film festivals are cancelled or postponed, it was something I was really looking forward to. I understand the reasons and it is more important that people are safe, so it is going to be fine.

As a filmmaker is this experience providing you with some creative motivations? 

I felt more stuck than inspired to be honest, I was very worried for the more vulnerable people around me. When I am relaxed and happy I feel more creative than when I’m anxious. Maybe in a while the creative motivation will come back.

Your film Lost Eye has been selected for the 2020 ÉCU Film Festival in Paris, what has it meant to you to be part of this unique film festival for independent filmmakers?

It is an honour to be selected and a pity that it will all be a little different than usual this year. I have made ‘Lost Eye’ by myself and I think it is very special that the jury of ÉCU Film Festival still feels that it is worth showing, even though it is not a big production.
Can you tell me a little bit about The Lost Eye, what was the inspiration behind this music video?

I was looking for an idea for my graduation film for the Master Institute of Visual Cultures at AKV St. Joost in ‘S Hertogenbosch. As a side project I was making a series of illustrations about a girl and black and white creatures. I was looking through my previous sketchbook and found this project, I wrote a poem about the girl and the idea was born. 

How important is the collaboration when working on a project like this? 

I made Lost Eye almost completely on my own, I created the visuals, wrote the story and made the music myself. I did ask a friend to play the violin part of the song, she did great and I am very thankful for her help. Lost Eye is a graduation film, which means I wasn’t on my own while making it. I worked in the same room as my classmates throughout the summer. This was very inspiring and helpful, they all made wonderful pieces and some of them gave me some very valuable feedback, it was great and very important to me. 

You wrote and sung the songs in Lost Eye as well as the animation, did you have any apprehensions about taking on all these roles?

Because it was a school project and I had to finish the film at the end of the summer, I only had six weeks to create all the animations. This speeded up the process in decision making quite a bit.  Sometimes I just went for the easiest choice and that was, just sing it yourself! I didn’t have real apprehensions about it. It does make it more scary to watch the film with an audience.

What was the experience like working with violin player Emma Postema?

Emma is a dear friend of mine, we went to the same art school and played in a band together. It was great that she made time to help me out with the soundtrack. She always has good input and plays the violin like a pro.

What was the most challenging aspect of bringing this Lost Eye to life?

The short amount of time, I had to work so hard in those six weeks! There is almost no time for mistakes when you are tied to such a schedule.

Looking back do you think there is anything you would have done differently?

When I’m working on a film I’m learning so much, the level of animation at the end of the production is much higher than the level at the beginning. This makes it hard to be satisfied when I’m finally finished. If I would make the film right now, it would be a different film, but this doesn’t matter. It is bound to the circumstances and the phase I was in. 

Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?

I did buy my first film camera when I was around 11 years old, I used it to make short films with friends. During my teens I was obsessed with films, I watched many classics and tried to use it in my own projects. It was something I just loved to do, but it wasn’t my only passion, I also loved drawing, painting and making music.

"Make some challenges for yourself, so you can learn from it and prove that you can be innovative."

What has been the best piece of advice you have been given when you started out?

Don’t be scared to talk to the professionals in the field, show your work to the people you admire and ask for feedback. Filmmakers/Artists are also just people, who (most of the time) gladly help you out. 

Do you have any tips or advice to offer filmmakers about to make their own debut film?

Make a film that you love to make, it is your chance to make something personal. If you can find a theme that is also important to other people that is a big win, but stay close to your own vision. I believe there is something special in a personal touch. Make some challenges for yourself, so you can learn from it and prove that you can be innovative. 

What are you currently working on?

Right now I am working on the leader of a new animation festival in the Netherlands, it will be filled with some playful but strange animations. 

And finally, what do you hope people will take away from The Lost Eye?

I hope people will look at my film and have a great experience, I hope they will enjoy the visuals and will be taken away by the strange adventure.

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