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Bram Crols • Producer

- Cineuropa interviews Belgian producer Bram Crols, one of the participants in the Closing The Gap training course

Bram Crols • Producer

Cineuropa interviews Belgian producer Bram Crols, one of the participants in the Closing The Gap training course.

Please tell us about your company and the projects you have produced?
Associate Directors is an independent production company based in Belgium focusing on (co)-producing creative documentaries for an international audience. The productions concentrate on social relevant issues and cultural in-depth stories. Recent films include Lost Down Memory Lane (n°1 Belgium theatrical box office as a national documentary), Flaxmen (best Belgian documentary), L’amour des moules (selection Berlinale 2013) and the brand new documentary series Poverty Rules!produced with the Flemish prime public channel Eén.

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Before participating in the Closing the Gap programme, did you already have experience in producing?
Yes, indeed. Documentary productions activities headed off in 2007 and since we collaborated with most European public broadcasters and co-producers from the Netherlands, France and UK.

In what ways did Closing the Gap transform your film-producing experience?
Closing the Gap oriented us to embrace the business side of film producing much more side, rather than just being stuck piecing together the creative aspects into facts and figures. Drafting a well-constructed business plan of a documentary feature was eye-opening.

How did your own films benefit from your participation in Closing the Gap?
After falling in love with new projects, these projects now also have to stand a more business kind of analysis, both on the film itself and its potential for financing and distribution, and also within a company strategy. A production lasts easily three years or more, the question Do we want to work on this film for this amount of time? is now also backed by questions such as Can the company handle the production during such a period ? How will the production relate to the other running productions and our overall strategy?, among many others.

What are the most important lessons that you learned during the training programme?
Be creative on the financial side and understand that some people are only creative within financial matters. Content is less important for them, it’s just a nice surplus on their return on investment. Understanding this makes you more professional when approaching these kind of networks.

What stage is your film at now? Do you think it would in the same place if you had not participated in Closing the Gap?
The feature documentary The King of Mont Ventoux, which is the film that was partly developed during Closing the Gap, has entered production and will be released by July 2013. We might have been in the same place without Closing the Gap, but for sure Closing the Gap gave me the mental boost to go for it and some of the tools to get the attention of important potential partners.

Would you recommend the Closing the Gap programme to other producers?
For anyone who takes producing seriously and is open to embrace new ways of thinking, it can be a very inspiring programme.

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