Rob van Hattum

Rob van Hattum – A Portrait [2010]

In 2010, I produced a short portrait of Rob van Hattum, film director for Science Programs at Dutch broadcaster VPRO and creative director at NEMO science center in Amsterdam. This Dutch-language project was a part of the courses I was following at St. Joost Art Academy in Den Bosch.

Rob van Hattum has been a hero of mine ever since I first saw his science program Noorderlicht on Dutch television in the early nineties. Noorderlicht was the Dutch equivalent of BBC’s science flagship Horizon, exploring quantumphysics, nanotechnology, exoplanets and much more. The show came to an end near the end of the century and Dutch television no longer had a science show.

After Noorderlicht, Rob went on to direct several installments of Tegenlicht, arguably the most highly acclaimed documentary series on Dutch television. His focus turned to more human stories, like the problem of waste recycling or the conundrum of the explosive housing demand in China. As always, he used science as a base, or a structure to hang the story on.

Near the end of the first decade of the 21st century he had successfully pitched a new science show called Labyrint and was in development of the first season when he graciously allowed me to do a couple of interviews with him, about his work, his fascination with science and his personal motives. I recorded a couple of hours worth of material, all of it fascinating (at least to me), but I had to whittle it down to a 8 minute portrait to meet the assignment’s requirements.

I created an intro for the portrait and I composed a theme tune for the portrait. My thanks go to the VPRO for the gracious courtesy of allowing me to include fragments of Rob’s programs. The language is Dutch. This project was shot on a Panasonic DVX-100b and cut in Adobe’s Premiere.