Filming on location in Amsterdam with Location Scout Adri Schagen
Adri started working in advertising in the 80s, before switching to the creative industry with Kloosterboer Décor as project leader. Having scouted locations for nearly 20 years, Adri has been building a digital location archive with connections to all sorts of authorities in the Western world.
Tell me about the region that you cover
We cover Holland in a wide circle through western Germany from Hamburg and Dusseldorf towards Luxembourg, Belgium and northern France. We’ve done jobs in Denmark, Cape Town and Shanghai, but the focus and local expertise lies in Holland and Amsterdam of course, which are attracting film crews for great work and entertainment standards.
We offer the standard Holland locations, with mills, tulips and dykes, and the rectangular ‘Peter Mondriaan’-like empty landscapes, but we also specialise in locations that people would not expect to find in Holland. Places like urban skylines with city lofts, Gothic monumental industrial buildings and modern architectural sites, but we also have medieval fishing towns with narrow streets.
A period film like Brush with Faith from Hallmark - where a Vermeer painting travels from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance to the industrial 19th Century and World War II to end up in modern times - can be easily shot in Holland. Holland and the region offers all the mod cons for all filming desires, with flexible crews and professional attitudes.
What locations are most commonly used by film and TV crews?
Recently we dressed a part of an Amsterdam street like the Red Light District so we could film freely, after which we did some shots in the Red Light District itself. That was for an American rap video.
What are the rare, more unusual locations?
Holland has always had good architects and a lot of futuristic architecture has risen up in the last decade.
What has been your most difficult location assignment to date and why?
Sometimes the seemingly simple jobs are the most difficult ones and vice versa. On one project we were looking for an evergreen hedge with a garden flagstones in front; I still haven’t found it, but I found another solution with the same atmosphere, so my client was very happy with the solution.
On Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno feature film we organised a brothel with working rooms in the middle of the Red Light District. We arranged a buyout for the working girls themselves and made it into a Pink Light District.
Are there any particular tips that you would like to share?
Don’t shoot in the Red Light District without local producers because pimps, girls and clients may throw your camera in the canal!
Which are the best airports to use to film in your region and who flies there?
Schiphol Amsterdam is still number one in Europe. It’s only 20 minutes from the city centre of Amsterdam so it’s an easy pickup.
What are the most film-crew-friendly hotels and where is your favourite wrap party venue?
As location scout I will always bring on new ideas for venues. If we get longer pre-production time we may include the hotel in the production and reduce costs that way.
What do you do with your time off and what would you recommend crew and cast do to relax?
Amsterdam is a great place to live and work. Come to Amsterdam to shoot because it’s a very accessible working place combined with very relaxing places on the canals or in the streets. Paradiso, our temple of music, attracts music stars from around the world to its 500-capacity venue and has opened an affiliate five minutes from Central Station. On a nice day we can sail the Amsterdam canals. There’s always something new to see and there’s never a dull moment.
To contact Adri click here.
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