Directing Lab 2021

After a two-year absence, Imagine returned as a partner of the European Genre Forum in 2021 to host a full length Directing Lab. Once again, the EGF had to start off online rather than in springtime Amsterdam. As one of the selected projects had to withdraw at the last moment, we kicked off the lab with seven teams presenting their projects in a pre-recorded short film.

Script development is the main aspect of the Directing Lab and over the course of the three days, half the time of every morning and afternoon session went into one-on-one meetings with script consultants Simona Nobile and Chris Mitchell, and project exchange sessions where the teams discussed the projects between them.

The other half of the time was taken up by presentations and talks. Amsterdam based VFX studio Planet X talked about planning VFX as part of the development process, and Romke Faber laid out ideas about world building. The German team of writer Thomas Friedrich and producer Verena Gräfe-Höft presented a case study about the gestation of Michael Venus’s film Sleep (Schlaf), which was also part of the Imagine selection and was viewed online by the teams the night before.

On the last day. Irish producer Brendan McCarthy delivered an inspired talk about the producer’s role in the creative process, before the teams settled down and watched After the Pandemic, a panel conversation about the genre industry post-covid.

After three intense days, the Director’s lab wrapped with an online get together where teams gave the feedback and Stjepan Hundic offered a peak into the Producing Lab. That, we hope, will take place in Zagreb – in the real world.

Chris Oosterom