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The making of The Right Way

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The Right Way by Julien Verheyen won a 4-star award at BIAFF 2008

Behind the scenes shooting 'The Right Way'.The Right Way

I am the chairman of "Film and Video Club Pirroen" in Lier which is one of the most attractive old towns in the Flemish part of Belgium. In some way it looks a bit like Bruges. I made that feature film together with the members of my club.

When we wrote the scenario we first chose the title Conflict.

I think I may say that I have some visual imagination. I can see things easily in my mind. So my ideas served as a basis for my film.

Behind the scenes shooting 'The Right Way'.Behind the scenes shooting 'The Right Way'.I had just bought a navigation system for my car. I remember that using this machine for the first time gave me a feeling of fascination. The female voice is very friendly and she does not make any mistakes when showing the way. On the motorway she doesn't say anything, but once you are on a secondary road you can hear her again. For a moment you are a bit surprised. So I thought: imagine that your wife calls you on her mobile phone and that while you are talking to her she can hear the voice of the lady of the navigation system. Of course she may wonder who is sitting next to you in the car.
If you come home a bit later than usual then she may be suspicious and a discussion follows. She doesn't know that you have just bought a navigation system and this causes problems.

Behind the scenes shooting 'The Right Way'.Behind the scenes shooting 'The Right Way'.I wanted to develop these ideas together with the members of my club. Every year we can ask our umbrella organization called CvB - which is similar to the IAC - to arrange for an excellent filmmaker to teach us things or to supervise during practical film work. So we asked for Douglas Boswell1 to help us when making this feature film.

I told him my story: about using a mobile phone, about the voice in the navigation system, about the man who tries to contact his wife without any success. He comes home and sees that his wife has already packed her suitcase in order to leave.

Douglas found it a good idea, but he wanted the husband to be suspicious. So we changed the story a little bit.

Together we developed this new idea and wrote a script. We had already some experience because we had made some one minute movies and we knew that we needed an excellent cast.

As I have friends who are members of a drama club it was easy to find a couple for the film. They seemed to be motivated. The camera work on the interiors could be done in the house of another friend.

Behind the scenes shooting 'The Right Way'.Behind the scenes shooting 'The Right Way'.Everything was filmed by members of Pirroen, my club, and Douglas was the director. Then the cameraman and I myself edited the film. I mean we made two separate films. We compared them and they all agreed that my version was the better one. We chose the title The Right Way. In fact this has two meanings in the film. The navigation lady tells the right way to go and it also means the right way in the relationship of the man and his wife. Afterwards we had to do some accurate post-synchronization (dubbing) work. The film was made a bit shorter and more fluent.

This film was an entry for the local heat of our national competition and it was selected for the regional and national competition.2 The results were very good. The judges said that they enjoyed the humour in the film, the supporting music and the talent of the actors. This also encouraged me to take part in BIAFF for the very first time.

- Julien Verheyen

1 Douglas Boswell may be known to many readers for his early films Nardo (Gold Seal 2001) and My First Shakespeare (International Medallion 2001) made when he was a teenager. He now works regularly as a director for Belgian television and when time permits makes his own movies such as Romance (2004) and works with various amateur clubs. He is still an active member of the Focus Vaartland club at Willebroek.
2 In Belgium films in competition go through a series of heats. Groups of clubs compete to find the best local films, the best of which then go on to regional one and the best of those to the national competition.

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