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The making of Death Game

To BIAFF 2009 results | To Full Making Of Index

Werner Van den Bulck was a member of the final judging panel for BIAFF 2008, when - naturally - he did not submit a film. In 2009 he submitted two: Death Game which got 5-Stars and Finding the Holy Grail? which got 3-Stars.  To read about the latter - click here

Discover the poetry in the movie


Still from 'Death Game'.I bought my first film camera when I was 16.

Later I went to the HRITCS, a film school in Brussels, and started working for the BRT, our national television company, as a video- editor. The formats we use were 1 inch-tape, betacam SP followed by betacam sx. Ten years later I became a cameraman. First I worked for 3 years in the production studios and I've been working for the last 12 years as a cameraman for the news and information programmes.

Although my profession is cameraman-editor, I still enjoy very much making amateur movies. The only difference is that I can make amateur movies about subjects that really interest me.

I decided to make an anti-bull-fighting movie

Still from 'Death Game'.So, I read an article about the 3-day festival at Arles in the south of France. Three days of music, dance, good food and drinks and spectacular games around the subject of bull-fighting. This seemed to me a perfect and very "filmic" subject. One thing I like to do very much is recreate the original atmosphere of an event and put it on a screen. At first this was my main purpose.

I never had seen a bull-fight in an arena before, so I started by just watching the first fight of the afternoon without filming it. I was almost sick. The first bull was slaughtered just in front of me, it was disgusting ! It was then that I decided to make my production an anti-bull-fighting movie.

I filmed four fights and left before the last bull of the afternoon arrived. I had seen enough !

Thank God that the other kinds of bull-fighting in the streets of Arles were less aggressive than the ones in the arena.


Still from 'Death Game'.I film with a Panasonic DVX100 with a Leica dicomar lens on it.

I edit on an Apple computer with Avid media composer, a rather old edit program but it's very stable and allows me to do everything I want.

I hate using effects and will only use them when there is a very good reason.

What I enjoy the most, next to the editing itself, is making the soundtrack of a movie. When I edit, working let's say one week on the images, I edit at least two weeks on the soundtrack. I think that this is one of the strong qualities of "Death game", the support of the image by music and sounds.

Therefore I personally find this my best movie as a whole.

Only, I get reactions from people that differ from very good, excellent movie and disgusting subject, why did you film it ?

Please, try to see past the violence and discover the poetry in the movie !

- Werner Van den Bulck

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