Robbert Becker is the executive producer of Dutch Angle Production Services, offering film and production support to international companies shooting in The Netherlands and Europe. His well-known projects include the famous American live-reality show The Amazing Race. With this project and numerous others, Robbert travelled large parts of the world, in particular Africa.
On this continent, Robbert got in touch with Flying Doctors – this time not the series, but the NGO ‘by and for Africans’. In a time in which the rank and file of NGO’s is thinning out, Robbert helps Flying Doctors by taking part in a Six Days Cycling Challenge in Uganda, Africa. Co-organized by Emolife, the cycling challenge is a so-called peer-to-peer activity that directly involves donors. Inspired by The Amazing Race, Robbert decided to perform his own race during this 600KM journey through Uganda’s beautiful nature. Everyone who partakes does not only adhere to a rigorous training schedule but also promises to raise a minimum of € 5,000 of funds for Flying Doctors.
How does participating in a cycle challenge help you with work as a producer?
Participating in an international cycle tour in Uganda demands a lot of work. Think about he preparation, which takes a couple of months. We cycle roughly 100KM per day and that for six days in a row. Perhaps, if you’re merely in good shape, you’ll manage one day. But to recover enough in one night to do the same trick the day after – that needs extra attentive prepping. Certainly in the beginning, I spent more time with preparations than I was able to work as a producer. All the time I invest in this project, however, simultaneously helps my company, as we will make many shoots in Uganda. Preparing these shootings is part of the job.
What was a big learning for your company last year?
I started my career in marketing at a classic advertising agency. Over the years you develop a portfolio of customers. Together with my production skills you arrive at the perfect triangle of customer, advertisement and production. In between I worked abroad for many years. At one point it became attractive again to approach the Dutch market. Times had changed and were ripe for a new concept.
Instead of approaching advertising agencies first, customers often directly approach producers or even buy-in creatives themselves. Advertisement consultants saw their profits disappear of course, so they started working for themselves. Freelancing became the norm. To such an extent that no one really knew how to put a team of freelancers together, as the know-how failed what skills you need for a certain project. Dutch Angle Production Services offers a new approach, back to the full-service offerings which offers clarity whilst stimulating creative freelancers to work together in a team again.
What does B.’s environment mean for your production agency?
B. offers a fantastic open atmosphere that is very welcoming to both people who work here and guests or clients who come visit for a day. B.’s organization proves itself to be flexible. Whether it concerns scaling-up to a bigger office or more flex desks or facilitating international projects: everything is possible at B.. In case I need a graphic designer, my instinct says: why not find one at B.?
How do you ensure your personal growth?
With every new production, I carefully scrutinise old assumptions I have about how to produce a great shoot. I think it is very important to always remain curious and open minded. I might know a lot about producing, yet I do not know everything yet. That is not a shame – on the contrary, it offers room for adventures! The biggest danger in the producing sector is the assumption you know how to film a scene. But from your comfort zone, you won’t shoot amazing shots. That demands more awareness about details and how today is different from all you’ve seen and experienced before.
What advice would you give your younger self?
What I admire in young people are the dreams they have. Even more admirable is the drive to actually realize those dreams. That’s what I wish to arouse in my own children. When you speak to colleagues or friends, you often hear that the job they have now is the result of a mere ‘rolling in’ by chance. How beautiful would it be if we could raise a generation of which the majority says “they had a dream…”
On the 22nd of June, Robbert will fly to Uganda, for the Six Days Cycling Challenge. And he is still raising money for Flying Doctors. All the money they raise goes directly to the fund of Amref Flying Doctors, the participants pay for the trip and equipment themselves. Wish to support Amref Flying Doctors?