'The New Rijksmuseum' Director Talks Epic-Length Documentary

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Filmmaker Magazine talks to director Oeke Hoogendijk about her four-part documentary The New Rijksmuseum, which is about the inordinately difficult and harrowing process of renovating the famous Amsterdam art museum.

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She explains, "What happened is we were filming and I knew the main characters and I knew the events I wanted to follow over the years but I knew that the editing process would be the place to see if my idea was working. That’s why during filming, even just after one year, I started to work with my editor to see what I had and whether I was going in the right direction or not. Sometimes the editing was done to see whether it was effective and what I wanted and if it was good enough. Normally the renovation would have taken four years. My plan was to make one documentary. The project was supposed to be finished in 2008 but because it took five more years, I had to make a decision to press on and be involved for five more years to finish the film. I couldn’t stop in the middle of the project. That’s why we decided to tell four parts in the end. We had discussions with the commissioning editor and we had to tell him we couldn’t make one film, that we had to tell it in parts."

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