Andre (52) Writer/Director/Producer ‘When I considered my participation in the sessions of Rik Vermeulen I doubted strongly. First, because I have little faith in generic methods to strengthen a creative process. You will not easily find me in a scripting process. In addition, I was wary that Rik’s approach, based on body-oriented therapy, would become too much a form of group therapy. But the curiosity and confidence in Rik’s open mind won me over.

Now, after five sessions, I am glad that I have overcome my scepticism. Gradually I become more aware of my personality in relation to my project. We sometimes work actively and focused, but often looser and more general. Every session something comes along that gives me a clearer view of an obstacle. I recognized how my strength is my weakness and vice versa, and I discovered a relationship in myself that plays a role in all my projects.

In terms of approach, the sessions sometimes act close to a form of therapy. But because Rik always manages to bring the component / process into relation to the projects we want to work on, we are together in a major creative process. Because we all work on our own project and these projects and our roles are very different, it is also instructive and fun to experience exercises in which another person is central.

The result so far is obvious to me, but difficult to name. With the project that I took to Rik – that book that I never finish – it became very clear to me where the obstacle is. This actually changed my whole attitude towards the subject. At the same time – as a sort of by-product – I have also found pieces of answers about a script I am working on: which elements I definitely need to work out in the film and which are less important to me.

Looking through my eyelashes, I see how this way of working can lead to a strengthening of the idiosyncrasy of creatives. I think that is the greatest added value compared to other forms of work, in which a form of uniformity in work or thought processes arises. Because as a maker you see more clearly who you are, you can distinguish yourself better from your project and thereby also connect more strongly with it’.

Project Reimagined. Pilot Year Training. March – December 2018

Parisa (42) Writer/Director ‘My projects always arise from a personal experience that I try to translate into images. The biggest challenge in the development phase is finding the right distance between me as a maker and my project. The probability that after a long process an enforced distance is created, is therefore great.

When I started the sessions of Waking up to Imagination, it became clear to me quite quickly that Rik’s methods in approach to my project appealed to me very much. The group dynamic adds to the breaking open of fixed patterns in thinking and developing. A flexible investigative movement towards a question concerning the project creates an organic form to arrive at an opening in which you can see possibilities. This is in contrast to the usual structures of “question and answer”. Often after the session there is a perspective shift for me that causes all kinds of things.

Through Waking up to Imagination sessions a positive space has developed between me as a maker and my project (characters). In this space I see above all how I can use my personal gaze and experience to let the story, the characters and the structures arise and unfold.

I see these sessions on the one hand as a voyage of discovery in my own development as a person and maker and on the other as an enrichment and deepening of my projects’.

Project Reimagined. Pilot Year Training. March – December 2018

Anca (42) Writer/Director ‘The workshops under Rik’s guidance are one of the most intense and meaningful journeys I’ve experienced in my life so far. Both on a personal level and certainly also on a creative and professional level. The workshops that I attend together with a small, highly creative group are a wake-up call and meeting with whom I am in the deepest and have always known and wanted to be somewhere.

When you enter the space where Rik welcomes you with open heart, eyes, mind you literally release a better version of yourself – your real version of who you really are (or in any event, you dare to communicate that better with yourself). Everything he does and applies (methodologies, therapeutic insights, variety of forms and instruments) strongly help you to view, understand, answer your own questions, your own project, yourself from many perspectives.

You learn to embody your questions and project and also those of others. You learn to approach versatile (both physically and emotionally) and that is of unbelievably great significance – and in doing so you learn to focus on the core, the essence (which is the essence for you – and you learn to name and define that for yourself) ) to be transparent and visible, tangible.

All this purifies and sharpens your creative process. You put something real down. Something authentic. Something powerful. You dare. And that which you put down has a great chance of being what it is meant to be – it comes from your heart (after it has conquered and filled your whole body and mind and head) and perhaps it can also touch the heart of others.

Your question, your project becomes clearer because what you really want has also become clearer. And how you report to the world around you has also become clearer. And that creates space and air.

It is also very important that Rik does not present himself as the all-knowing know-it-all during and around these workshops. He is just as unknowing and curious and sometimes scared or surprised or happy to be able to experience all of this as we do, the participants. He knows very well what he does, is very professional and also empathetic, warm, very human and approachable and his expression and approach radiate peace, strength and confidence. We are in a safe environment and the journey of discovery is very exciting, adventurous and all the more beautiful’.

Project Reimagined. Pilot Year Training. March – December 2018

Nathalie (49) Writer/Director ‘I feel as if this ‘loosening up’ of something in me will ultimately ensure that I will dare to manipulate the material of this film (and all future films and other projects) in a natural, fair way, and that is what I look for, and that is where my film journey was stranded. I feel that I was no longer honest with regard to cinematography. Of course, this is all directly related to life in general, especially when you consider that cinema since I was very small was the only way to express myself. In addition, the interference of my father in my film work plays an important role. Both in terms of the subjects or levels that I have held, as well as in the steps I have taken in my film career so far, he always played the leading role. So if that changes and I recognize my own cinematographic powers,  something very different should arise. I would very much like to be happy and quiet when thinking in film, and manipulate image and sound and dare to put my  full potential into it – without fear.

‘Thanks again for opening up the channels – I feel that this is exactly what I have been waiting for for years and that it will help me to get closer to myself and therefore to the world (read: the audience)’.