ARNO - La Vérité
A tribute to my dearest and loyal friend.
“Nestled in between the harbour, the wild dunes and the hinterlands, Opex is a residential neighbourhood in the east of Ostend. The streets of Opex, also known as the lighthouse district, harbour the very roots of Arno’s identity - they are the place where his parents grew up and where his maternal grandparents ran a folksy, well-loved cafe. They named the cafe ‘Bij (chez) Lulu’, after their firstborn daughter, Arno’s mother. On a good day, you could spot Arno’s grandfather playing cards with his mates or catch his grandmother bursting into song. What used to be a vibrant working-class quarter connected to the harbour of Ostend has now evolved into a quiet neighbourhood. The many fisheries and noisy shipyards have disappeared. The rowdy quays and ship workhouses have made way for luxury apartment buildings and the fishing harbour will soon grow into a luxurious marina.”
Embrasse le passé, il n’existe plus.
Credits & Special thanks to: The Oostende east bank - Performing artists: Maria Kolegova & Loucka Fiagan - The shipowner and crew of the O.51 Stormvogel: Jaël Grymonprez, Bram & Daryl - The N.79 Worrior Nieuwpoort - Couple at sunset: Manon Hintjens & Rody -Leon Spilliaert @ Muzee Oostende - Camera: Danny Willems & Klaas De Buysser - Post-production by Sondr, Wim Derick, Geert De Doncker, Annelies Vaas & Nicolas Duval - Produced & Directed by: Danny Willems
Thirty three years ago Danny Hiele and I filmed and directed the NehNahNeh music video for the legendary band Vaya Con Dios.
The film was shot in Brussels at the Cinquantenaire during the shortest night of the year, June 20,1990.
This one shot video was filmed on 35mm black and white film.
We started to shoot at sunset and finished with take 19 at sunrise.
Take 17 was the one we eventually used in the video.
Over all these years Nah Neh Nah was viewed over 93.358.584 times on YouTube, an extraordinary amount, only fitting for a song this iconic.
I’m proud and glad we did it, we were a fantastic team.
This way I’d like to pay tribute to Dani Klein and all the people who contributed to this memorable clip.
THE SEDAN VAULT - Streetwalkers
Free styling dance with the fabulous performer Kip Johnson. Filmed in the streets of London during a summer day and a night.
Camera, Produced and directed by Danny Willems
ARNO - The Show Of Life
Let’s laugh a little instead. Here, just for you, The Show of Life. Shot in Hotel Terminus in Ostend ten years ago. You brought the idea and I brought the rest. As usual.
You didn’t want to be recognizable in the video - that’s why we thought of the paper bag. Afterwards, we had our asses handed back to us by the record label in Paris. ‘Unidentifiable’, they couldn’t possibly sell that.
They couldn’t laugh about it, but we could. After a lot of moaning I added a final shot with a clear picture of you. We branded it as a commercial concession.
The fantastic performer in the video was Taka Shamoto, the camera was manned by Norman Baert. We started filming around eleven o’clock and were sat outside a bar by four.
We’re the best, better than the rest,
we’re ready for the show, the show of life
Let the monkey die, let the money die.
Produced and Directed by Danny Willems
THE SEDAN VAULT - UFS
This video is a turbulent journey filmed and photographed in Charleroi and Moscow in 2006.
Camera, Produced and Directed by Danny Willems
ARNO - Oostensche Brokke
Voor de Arno tentoonstelling Cinemarno in Oostende hadden was nog een extraatje nodig. Daarvoor bedachten Arno en ik een clip voor de vergeten parel Oostensche Brokke (met een vette knipoog naar Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues).
De clip werd zonder voorbereiding en zonder budget gefilmd op de Oostendse Oosteroever, met mijn toen zestienjarige zoon Storm als assistent.
De adembenemende graffiti muur en de fiere lange Nelle in de verte maakten dit de geschikte locatie. Ter plaatse werden de kartonnen bordjes nog haastig door Arno neergekrabbeld.
Het weer viel mee en in een klein uurtje was het gepiept, zelfs de meeuwen werden er vrolijk van. De gevallen bordjes verzamelen en herschikken tussen de takes door, was nog het meeste werk.
Accordeon: Serge Feys
Oostende 20 mei 2014 © Danny Willems.
PATRICIA KAAS - Avec Ce Soleil
Lighting camera by Lou Berghmans, Produced and Directed by Danny Willems
ARNO - Mourir a Plusieurs
A one shot video filmed in collaboration with the fantastic Les Vedettes Plus Ou Moins Majorettes.
Directed by Danny Willems
ARNO - The Bathroom Singer.
This is the first music video I made. I asked my friend Danny Hiele who was a cameraman to help me with this. We wrote the screenplay together with Arno. We wanted four elements in the film; a canary in a cage, a goldfish in a jar, two fighting showgirls and three crazy musicians. The musicians were Josse de Pauw Jan Decorte and Jean-Louis Sbille. The record company was satisfied and so were we. Danny Hiele and I have been working together as directors for five years. Danny Hiele then moved to LA where he built up a successful career as Director of Photography.
Dirceted by Danny Willems and Danny Hiele and filmed on 16mm film on the stage of the AB in Brussels December 1988.
LES NEGRESSES VERTES - Voila Le Soleil
You can’t celebrate the start of the summer without giving a listen to the breezy Voilà l’été by Les Négresses Vertes. Danny Hiele and I directed the song’s music video at the end of May in 1989. It was our first real assignment in Paris.
Les Négresses Vertes, formed in 1987, are a French music group who are best described as a fusion of world music with some aspects of alternative rock. Their particular musical influences were Algerian ran, Mediterranean and South American music and French café music.
Filming a music video with this band of rascals was, gently put, quite chaotic We recorded the music video in a Paris studio over the course of three days - all analogue on a 33 mm film. Danny and I intended the video to be a nod to “Le voyage dans la lune” (1902) by French film pioneer Georges Méliès.
While Danny was in charge of the camera work and lighting, I managed the actors and the direction of the shoot. The montage and colorgrading came from both of us. The resulting music video is delightfully eighties, but I like to think the exuberance of the song and band holds up pretty well today.
Danny and I, we were the lucky ones. We were paid well to learn to do our jobs. After the release of the music video, our career enjoyed an international boost, and together we made around a dozens music videos, rockumentaries and commercials over the next five years. It was a grand time.
The quality of the film is not what it used to be after 32 years of immobility on a Betacam SP tape. Well...nothing last forever, but maybe this song will!
ARNO - Longsome Zorro
One shot video, filmed on 35mm film and directed by Danny Willems and Danny Hiele in the summer of 1990.