Stop doing it by yourself. Collaborate!

Prospektor comprises Eefje Blankevoort & Arnold van Bruggen and a lot of co-creators we enjoy working with. Some of them have offices at our place on Utrechtsedwarsstraat.

We were still students when we founded Prospektor in 2004. What could be a better idea than setting off into the world armed with a film camera, a notepad, a stills camera and microphone to create your own stories, from start to finish? Well, we soon realised that collaborations with fantastic camera people, editors, composers, photographers, producers and co-creators could make our own projects and the projects we produce so much better. Not only by organising our own critique but also going in search of the best, most enjoyable and most meaningful collaborations. So that is something we now firmly believe in. We have slowly accumulated a considerable network of co-producers. The history we share with some of them goes back years – you can read more about them below.

PROSPEKTOR
Utrechtsedwarsstraat 95
1017 WD / Amsterdam

arnold@prospektor.nl / +31(0)614656351
eefje@prospektor.nl / +31(0)624607966

 
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Arnold van Bruggen
Arnold (1979) grew up on the beautiful island Texel, where after 20 years of living in Amsterdam he moved back to. Arnold is fascinated by how the bigger movements and stories in history affect everyday life. From that background he created stories like the documentaries The Russian War and The Sochi Project. With the The Sochi Project & Hidden Wounds he experimented with new story formats in which film, exhibition, web and Arnold favorite publication format - the book - were combined.

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Eefje Blankevoort
Eefje (1978) studied History at the University of Amsterdam. Between 2002 and 2006 she regularly spent time in Iran where she studied, complied an archive for the International Institute of Social History and worked on her book Stiekem kan hier alles (You can do anything here in secret). Since then, Eefje has developed into an all-rounder in journalism, writing articles and books, as well as creating interactive projects, exhibitions and documentary films. Besides her work as a journalist, Eefje is a committee member of the Mezrab Storytelling Centre, and Grensloos Geluid (Sound without Borders).

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Laura Verduijn, All-rounder,

Laura is the driving force behind Prospektor. Project management, writing proposals, editing, managing mega budgets, organising brainstorms and managing teams: many of our projects owe their success to Laura. She can do everything, on all subjects: from reconciliation in post genocide Rwanda (Love Radio) to Dutch asylum policy (De Asielzoekmachine) – and is not easily scared by the megalomaniacal scope that our projects sometimes have.

 'Synchroon communiceren doe ik bijna niet,' aldus Wouter over zijn werkwijze. Stiekem is deze programmeur en oprichter van start up Slices veel socialer dan zijn uitspraak doet geloven. Samenwerken kan hij ook, zoals bleek bij De Migrant van Anaïs López.

Hannah Hagen, Producer, curator
Hannah graduated in Cultural Studies and has a masters in Film & Photographic Studies. She has worked as a freelance curator for Paradox and Culturele Zondagen (Cultural Sundays) in De Hallen, among others. One day a week, Hannah helps Prospektor with all current projects.

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Thomas Roebers, Cameraman, editor
Thomas is Prospektor’s secret. It was with Thomas that we travelled over half the world; from Japan to São Tomé and went back and forth across the Netherlands countless times. Thomas has been involved as a cameraman and editor in so many of our projects that hardly any summing up of his contribution could do him justice. However, the joint monster project is the exhibition in the Watersnoodmuseum (Flood Museum) on which Thomas spent months working non-stop for Prospektor in order to create a gigantic exhibition in a relatively short time. And let’s not forget the greatest partnership, which was our documentary about etcher Rolf Weijburg, which gave us free rein to travel and use our imagination while experimenting with narrative, animations and camerawork.

  Els van Driel , documentairemaker  'Alles wat hier staat is slechts om een indruk te geven'

Els van Driel, Film maker

Els and Eefje have known each other since their student days at the Kriterion film theatre. Is soon became clear that they shared a great bond in terms of their motives and ideals. They collaborated on ‘De Asielzoekmachine’ (the Asylum Search Engine) and ‘The Deal’ and are currently working on ‘Shadow Game’. Each of them loves in-depth research and they believe the way we handle refugees to be the topic of our times.

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Lara Aerts, writer, researcher
Lara is our longest-standing office mate and we never want to lose her. We have followed her inimitable career closely. She has written miles of copy for women’s and consumer magazines, she had a sex column in Grazia and wrote stories for de Volkskrant, het Parool and het Financieele Dagblad. In addition, she has worked for advertising agencies, an MBO secondary school, an aubergine-growers’ association and an orthopaedic instrument maker. She carries out research and arranges publicity for journalistic productions. Her focus is currently on documentary film: together with office mate Sanne Rovers, she made De Spelende Mens (the playing person), and she has collaborated with Els van Driel on two new documentaries about intersex children and adults. In her spare time, Lara is an assistant to a street doctor and she looks after her two miniature dogs.

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Maartje Duin , Radio producer
Maartje is a dedicated, original and in-depth radio producer. Her work not only involves her investigating relevant social themes, she also searches for them through experimentation, as we can see with her live show ‘Mijn vader de sterrenkijker’ (My father the stargazer). Her projects allow her to reach a wide audience and get people talking to each other. In the next few years we will be collaborating on her podcast series, “‘Meesters en Knechten’“: een zoektocht naar sporen van het slavernijverleden in haar oud-adellijke familie.” (“‘Masters and servants’: a search for traces of the slavery in her former noble family.”) A confrontation with our relationship with the past and power relations in the present day.

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Laura Stek, Radiomaker, schrijver
Laura Stek has a background in journalism and radio-making, however she has been experimenting more and more often with transmedia and film. We learned how to produce radio from Laura. For example, Eefje and Laura worked together on ‘One Night Stiekem’ about a woman called Lies who was determined not to reach the age of 85. As part of the interactive video Hidden Wounds about veterans suffering from PTSD, we made the two-part radio documentary ‘Mannen huilen niet’ (Men don’t cry) about post-traumatic stress disorder through the ages. Conversely, we taught Laura about what transmedia projects are and she collaborated on Imperial Courts (in partnership with Dana Lixenberg), De Migrant and she worked on ‘een luisterend oor’ (a listening ear) with Sanne Rovers. She also made her first film documentary, coached by Eefje: GIOIA.

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Sanne Rovers, Film maker
Sanne is the only other film maker in our office. Arnold and Sanne met during the IDFA documentary workshop and Sanne joined us soon after. We made the children’s series Jong Geleerd Oud Gedaan for VPRO and produced her observational documentary De Spelende Mens (in collaboration with Lara Aerts).

Sanne is a film maker whose films all show that even through minor, at first seemingly trivial events, you can broach more important issues, without the need to be too serious or patronising. It is thus that De Spelende Mens holds a mirror up to the viewer: where is the boundary between what we believe to be ‘normal’ play and what we find weird or even embarrassing?

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Bjorn Warning, musician, sound editor

Sound editing often goes unnoticed. However, it is an essential part of almost all of our projects. Björn makes music, does sound editing and provides us with strange yet appropriate content for our soundtracks. His studio is at the Nieuwe Meer in a former army barracks that has been converted into a large community of artists. There’s no bigger party than going to Warning Studios at the end of a production.

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Wouter Vroege, Programmer, Slices director

‘I almost never communicate synchronously,’ says Wouter about his methodology. Secretly, though, this programmer and founder of a start-up called Slices is much more sociable that his comment would have you believe. He can also collaborate, as is proven by De Migrant by Anaïs López.


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Martijn van Tol, Radio producer, Slices director

Martijn is a radio producer and founder of Scrollytelling, a storytelling tool that has been popping up more and more often on digital news websites. After a three-month sabbatical, which he spent on things such as restoring a Lada Niva, he embarked on a new adventure with Wouter Vroege: Slices.

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Anaïs López, Photographer

Anaïs is the kind of creator that as a producer you dream of. She is a storyteller in heart and soul. She can talk deadly seriously about her encounter with a bird, Mynah, and at the same time she has a great sense of humour. She is quirky and open to collaboration. We are delighted that Anaïs flew in to join us with her beautiful ‘De Migrant’ project.

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Zuhoor Al Qaisi, Researcher, journalist

Zuhoor Al Qaisi studied radio and television at Tikrit University in Iraq, where she worked for several newspapers. In addition, she worked as a volunteer for an NGO, helping Iraqi refugees who were fleeing IS. In 2015 she fled her country because, as a female journalist, she too was in danger. Now that she is in the Netherlands, she has grabbed the opportunity to resume her work as a journalist with both hands. Zuhoor helped with the research for ‘The Deal’ and is now doing the same for ‘Shadow Game’.

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Ton Peters, Cameraman

Nobody can get closer than Ton. There’s no one else who can manage to make themselves so invisible while moving right in front of, next to or behind the protagonist. Whether it’s the 8-year-old Tanans (New) or the religious fanatic Koen (Breng de Joden Thuis/Take the Jews Home). Ton is a dancer and we can recognise his fluent style among thousands. While he is shooting a beautiful, long scene, he also manages to look ahead and follow the action exactly as needed.

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Anoek Steketee, photographer

In her work, Anoek Steketee focuses on the contrast between the individual and life in alienating circumstances. Whether she is covering public life in Iran, amusement parks in difficult areas or a radio soap opera in Rwanda, Anoek Steketee has a gift of depicting reality in poetically and sometimes theatrically through her photography. Eefje met Anoek in Iran, introduced her to Arnold and subsequently they got married. Since then, we have been involved in almost all of Anoek’s projects. During Love Radio Rwanda, Anoek also did some filming and extraordinarily, she managed to retain her own photographic signature style.

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Dirk Jan Visser, photographer

As photography fans, we have a great deal of admiration for Dirk-Jan’s work and his methodology. Not only is he an excellent photographer, he is also a highly motivated and engaged producer who gets his teeth into the subjects he covers. Instead of chasing the ‘ultimate’ shot, he searches for the underlying and often forgotten story behind the people whose portraits he takes, working resolutely and empathically.

De Asielzoekmachine was the first project we worked on – very intensively, by the way – with Dirk-Jan. With a shared passion for and indignation about asylum policy, we spent a year together, researching, debating, filming and editing. Often until the very early hours. When Dirk-Jan asked us with equal enthusiasm to produce The Holy Road, we could of course do nothing but answer with a heartfelt yes.

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Cigdem Yuksel, Journalist & photographer
Our motto is: do it yourself, try everything out, learn as you go. We share this with Cigdem. During her masters in journalism, she discovered that her main passion was for images. She bought a camera and decided to concentrate entirely on photography. This choice was rewarded when, in 2016, she won the Silver Camera award with her series about Syrian child labour in Turkey. Cidem collaborated with Eefje on Shadow Game, the transmedia project about migrant minors making their way to Europe in search of a better life.

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Sara Kolster, Interaction designer, director
As an interactive director and designer, Sara Kolster specialises in digital storytelling. She is a graduate of the Design Academy in Eindhoven and the Sandberg Institute. Eefje and Sara got to know one another when they worked together on Sara’s graduation project: the online documentary series Het Beloofde Land (The Promised Land) about the alternative use of holiday parks (e.g. as a shelter for divorced men or asylum seekers). The interface was based on a bungalow park bookings page. That the interaction, interface and the design need to stem logically from the subject is a recurring element in all of our joint projects, which these days number very many Love Radio, Hidden Wounds, De Asielzoekmachine, Imperial Courts, Shadow Game.

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Rob Hornstra, Photographer

Rob was sent our way by mutual friends and he brought his first photobook Communism and Cowgirls, which has since become a collector’s item, along with him. Arnold was immediately sold on the idea. It resulted in an initial wild trip to Abkhazia. This led to the far-reaching The Sochi Project in which Arnold and Rob spent five years recounting stories from the Caucasus, publishing books and organising expeditions worldwide. Maybe over the next few years we will again be sharing hotel rooms in obscure places, now we have started our next project: a time document about Europe.

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Roald van Oosten, Musician

How do you manage that: we make a short one-minute commercial and after only reading the brief, Roald has composed a music track that perfectly matches the first edit of the short film, complete with all the turns and desired emotions? That is what makes working with the immensely musical Roald so enjoyable. We used his fairy-tale yet always somewhat dark music in Love Radio Rwanda and in numerous other film assignments and productions.

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Kummer & Herrman, Designers

Although Kummer & Herrman is the only company in this list, we see it as a fantastic group of excellent designers. It takes its name from Jeroen and Arthur and besides these two, we have worked with Robin, Simon, Ines, Ilja and Hanneke. We worked with them on projects such as The Sochi Project, Love Radio, De Asielzoekmachine. State of Being and Waternoodmuseum. Their contribution goes beyond concept and design; it also covers the project itself, strategy and marketing campaigns. We are far from being done with them.

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Cecily Layzell, Translator

Although perhaps none of our colleagues works so much in the background as Cecily does, in her case, this seems really unfair. Where necessary, Cecily has, in almost all cases, translated Arnold and Eefje’s texts into English. For instance she is the translator who gave all nine – often acclaimed – The Sochi Project books a consistent use of language and their own voice. She also translated the texts for our exhibitions, even if we don't stick to our deadlines.