There is no better way to get one’s bearings in a city than by cycling around it. Recently two Rotterdam residents have taken this truism and expanded upon it in order to tackle some of the more glaring social questions posed by Early 21st Century Metropolitan Living. And now they intend to make a film, perhaps providing some answers.
Sven Prince, a social geographer, and Jorrit Spoelstra, a film editor, previously both worked as bike messengers in the “Manhattan on the Meuse” and became fascinated at the way in which their internal picture of the city was gradually altered by eventually coming to know every nook and cranny of the place.
They postulate that the bicycle can play a hugely important role in connecting individuals with their physical surroundings, and reconnecting them with other individuals.
To this end, they are making a documentary film named “Genre de Vie”. With it they plan to assess the sociological and cultural impact of bicycling lifestyles in the global context of urban cycling’s rediscovery by the millions worldwide who now choose two human-powered wheels as their primary mode of transport in the city.
Brooks frequently has a sympathetic ear for the occasional well thought out independent project in this general direction, so we are happy to be involved in assisting Sven and Jorrit on their journey of discovery.
They are still some way short of the necessary funding for completion of “Genre de Vie”, however, and with State funding ever more elusive, they have initiated a so-called “Crowdfunding” drive, whereby members of the public who find the project worthy of support can donate something towards defraying the final cost, and in return, receive not only recognition, but perhaps even a full day of bike messenger services from the producers themselves.
(That particular offer could form the basis of a separate documentary, or even a new Dutch “reality” television series, depending on the creativity of the donor.)
Using Social Media to attract investment, or private donations to help make a film is relatively unknown territory in the Netherlands and “Genre de Vie” (still only in pre-production, remember) has thus attracted some attention from the Dutch national press who will be following their project.
Sven and Jorrit are committed, in return for financial assistance, to keeping donors abreast of how their work is coming along. If readers are interested in learning more, we can direct them to their site, which also has a link to their donor page, run by Voordekunst, the Dutch version of Kickstarter.