Wednesday, 31 August 2011

30.08.11 Advertising and Amsterdam

Dmitry Simakov

I am currently sat guarding a make-shift shanty town structure, which is in fact 5k of camera equipment and a pile of soggy cagoules. The scene would seem bizarre to anyone after 8 hours of sleep, let alone 3 even after: chai latte x 2, cappachinno x 2 and a diet coke. I feel somewhat detached from reality let alone from my expectations of advertising.

I am sat on a slither of pavement between Port Hein a hectic cycleway, and behind me, a major motorway, tramline and hi-speed rail link. It seems like the artery of the continent. Images of a quiet bike-riddled, cobbled street are very much abandoned right now.

I was sent out to help film a giant sticker being slowly peeled and stuck to an imposing Dutch high rise. This process is happening at the pace of someone timidly removing a self-applied wax strip whilst crying with pain. We were hoping for a handful of fluffy clouds to flit artfully across the skyscrapers' mirrored surface to delicately represent the arc of time. Instead, we got all four seasons battering our umbrellas, equipment and my ill-advised smart-ish pumps. One minute sun would be searing through my opaque tights and then next minute, the cameraman and I would be cowering under a golf umbrella like two pensioners at the British seaside.

I squelched back to the station like a zombie to catch my return flight. Everyone else seemed hazy from the notorious aromas of the 'Dam, meanwhile I was hazy with exhaustion. Whilst it is far from the polished images of Draper and co in Madison, you couldn't say it was
your average 9-5 office job. Instead, this Tuesday I found myself half asleep eating a limp Subway staring from a a Dutch Electrics Head Quarters, at the interconnected canals that I wandered on my interrail trip last summer, in disbelief at my luck.