Early start

Growing up there was not much choice: you had to become something ‘artistic’. Both parents where visual artists, dad a photographer/designer, mother a sculptor/teacher and writer of the best selling book ‘sculpting in stone’.
Michael Toner




Growing up taking loads of photographs, with or without film in the camera. Using all the available Nikkortmat’s from my dad and my own Mamiya C3, a nice double lens 6×6. One thing was pretty clear: I sucked at taking photographs, preferred drawing 3D labyrinths and building paper robots.


At 15 the Rudolph Steiner school I was at said: go work at an antique restore shop (it’s still there around the corner from my current house, I meet the guy a few times a month). During the week I spend half my time at school and the other half at his shop. Learned two simple lessons: don’t talk about something unless you know what you are talking about, and nobody is waiting for you unless you are capable to do what they need.

On weekends I worked at his shop for money which I spend on comics and 3 times a week on going to the cinema. I watched pretty much everything they put on the big screen and went from playing with sound recording into trying to tell stories with drawings and photographs.

In the cinema, it hit me: This is what I wanted to do! I planned ahead, at 35 I would make my first movie as a director, it would be the first Dutch SciFi and would also never happen.

Not just because it is hard to find people who truly want to collaborate and put themselves in service of the end result, but also because making documentaries and doing report stuff was more fun.

But that was a long time ago and now after 30 years of messing around, I find pretty much all types of films interesting. Tried to teach in the early 90’s but didn’t have the patience or good manners some very polite people seem to have and all this despite being born British… in the Netherlands from a Scottish Irish dad and Dutch-German mother.