Interview with Nobilis Bellator


Today we share with you part 5 in the ‘ interviews’ series. By Constant Hoogenbosch and Nobilis Bellator.

If you are a filmmaker and want to participate in an interview for, please contact We like to hear from you!

What is it that appeals to you about the short film?

It suits perfectly all of my needs as an artist. It allows me to express myself in a way that is manageable in terms of resources and time. Additionally I share with you the idea conveyed by your slogan, because for me also “Short Does Matter”.

What qualities do you believe make a good short film?

People nowadays are always on the run, but if you catch their attention early on in the first few seconds, you might just keep them for the whole 4 to 7 minutes. The key is how to catch their attention and I don’t think there is one single way to do that. You can use effects, spectacular images or out of this world music, there are so many different people out there with different buttons you can push to get their attention. The main quality in my opinion is your film needs to speak to your audience in a way that will make them want to listen till the end.

To what extent is making short films a stepping stone to making feature films?

It may be the case for some filmmakers that have that ambition and if that’s the case I believe “The Short Film”  is a great experience gathering process. Not every beginner filmmaker has the budgets and the resources to start their first films with full feature length projects, so it seems quite logical to start with short films. But some of us are quite happy and fulfilled with what “the short film” offers us and have no ambition to get into the longer feature film. But if a guy like Ron Fricke calls me and asks me to carry his gear around for a feature film, I might accept…hahaha.

What is the most challenging aspect of making short films?

Haha, to me keeping it short is always a challenge. Just as limiting myself to writing 140 character tweets! Being short is not easy…;-)

Do you have a preference to a certain genre?

I love to watch funny, witty and shorts with unexpected endings. As a genre that’s what I prefer watching, but what I do is so remote to that. As a filmmaker who wants to use as much as possible the Time-lapse Photography technique, I tend to favor the documentary, travel, nature type short films. But recently I have experimented with poetry and I really love putting poetry in motion using my technique. It adds a new dimension to my work and I think I’m addicted now.

Time lapse plays a prominent role in your film – why do you to use this technique?

I discovered Time Lapse Photography in 2012 and realized that my many years of experience as a passionate amateur photographer could suddenly catapult me into film-making, something I always wanted to do but never dared. Shooting with DSLR cameras allows us to generate images in such a high resolution that the end result is a very high quality video or film that can compete with otherwise very expensive film gear. Time-lapse also allows us to capture moments in Time and in Nature that otherwise are not perceived by our eyes or conventional film-making gear. That long exposure you can do with a DSLR is what you need to capture those night skies full of stars or those shadow dances projected by the sun or the moon.

What do you like most when making a short film – writing the script – directing – camera?

Ha, your question is suggestive of three options to choose from, and as much as I love shooting and being outdoors, often spending entire nights under the stars, the part where and when it all comes together is in the editing. This is when I get to deal with challenges for sure, but also when I get big smiles on my face. Smiles from joy of watching the film take shape and seeing scenes that looked great in my mind or when shooting them but that sometimes only reveal their true beauty when cut and placed where they belong on the timeline.

Do you work with a script – where do you get the inspiration from?

When working for commissioned projects it’s very difficult to not have to stay within a given script. But with most of my work which is artistic in nature, I have a vague idea as to what I want to do and I start shooting. And I shoot and shoot some more and ideas start taking shape and inspiration leads my shoots and brings more ideas. Then if the film calls for narration, the spoken word becomes my script. I cut and edit to the narration and not just to the music like many films that are based on Time-lapse sequences with only music.

Do you leave room for improvisation?

With the exception of one short commercial film I made where the script was absolutely not negotiable,  in all my other commissioned projects I was lucky to be able to get lots of, if not total creative freedom. So improvisation was omnipresent in those films. As for my other artistic work, well improvisation is the main ingredient.

Did you receive funding for your project?

None of my artistic projects were funded.

How did you go about assembling a film crew and actors?

Some of the work I have been involved in the past with actors or film crew has been on a volunteer, collaborative basis. A few artists that each have something to contribute agreed to collaborate whether they were writers, voice-over artists, music composers, comedians we decide to work on a given project and we ran with it. Most of my work as a Time-lapse Photographer though is produced mainly by one person, me.

What did you use to edit the film?

The final edit is always done using Adobe Premiere Pro, but there are many other applications that need to play their role in my workflow and do their magic to edit the photographs used to build the video sequences that will end up in the Timeline. Adobe provides me with most of the tools, but I also use third party software that specializes in supporting Time-lapse Photography.

What camera did you shoot on?

I am a Canon shooter, and have three cameras. I work with my old faithful 40D, and two others, one 5DMKII and one  5DMKIII

Could you name one or two filmmakers that you consider great influences?

Of course, in fact there are several but let’s stick to two of them. Geoff Tompkinson was one of the first I discovered back in 2012. His work is awesome and very impressive. The other is Patryk Kizny. My first encounter with Patryk’s work also in 2012 was his film The Chapel. It marked the path for me on many projects I did and plan on doing. His finished product is always top notch, but when I read about his work and the reasons why he did it, that’s what caught my attention. Using film and photography to capture locations, architecture and the changing world with the intent of immortalizing monuments, buildings and other earthly constructions that are without exception doomed to decay is something that inspired me in the selection of themes or locations that I wanted to film.

What are you working on next? Do you already have a new project in mind?

I have several projects lined up for this summer indeed. But I also have ongoing in my mind a very special project. I spent six weeks shooting in Montreal in 2012. I came back with more than 270 Time-lapse Sequences that take up more than 2TB of Disc Space and I have been too busy since I came back from that trip to edit them and build a project with it. One day maybe soon, something will gel and the magic will happen.

What advice would you give to other short filmmakers?

In film-making as in life, you can only go as far as you try to go. Let your imagination take you there.
Thank you!

If you are a filmmaker and want to participate in an interview for, please contact We like to hear from you!


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