Celluloid Diaries: On the film set of Next to Her

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

On the film set of Next to Her

film set pictures

Last Saturday was World Cat Day. Is there a better way to celebrate that day than by shooting a short film starring your own cat?

The film in question is the adaptation of my story Next to Her, the tale of an elderly man, Maurice, who visits his dying wife at the hospital. A shared lunch is all they have left, but his wife's thoughts drift off towards the ghost of her cat, Avalon, whose picture sits on the bed stand 'next to her'. As Maurice gets frustrated with his wife's behavior, the fine line between nurturing and torturing is easily crossed.

When the producers of Next to Her asked Vincenzo De Jonghe if he wanted to direct a film for them, he initially said he only wanted to make a film about an elderly couple suffering from dementia. “That's exactly what this script is about,” they said. With such a coincidence, Next to Her couldn't go wrong :-)

What about some behind the scenes pictures of the film set?

Anna-Maria De Schepper played Yvonne. In real life, she's beautiful and energetic, but she was fabulous as a demented lady. She said she found inspiration in the movie The Notebook for her part in Next to Her.

anna-maria de schepper
anna-maria de schepper
on the set of avalon
old lady in wheelchair

Luc de Ruelle headlined as Yvonne's husband, Maurice. He, too, is different from his movie character.

luc de ruelle
luc de ruelle
vlaamse acteurs
belgium actors
old man peeling potatoes

The director and crew at work... 

vincenzo de jonghe
wim mijten
set pictures avalon
film crew
on a movie set
on the film set next to her
vincenzo de jonghe
vincenzo de jonghe
annelies de nil

Next to Her was shot on location in a home for the elderly, Het Heiveld, in Sint-Amandsberg, Belgium. The lady whose room we occupied for the day asked director Vincenzo De Jonghe what the story of Next to Her was about. As he was telling her the plot, she suddenly started to cry. "That's exactly the story of my husband and me," she said.

het heiveld
het heiveld

A few set pieces...

life is a wonderful journey
film set
old record player
props avalon


avalon notes
avalon screenplay
movie monitor
avalon lighting

Next to Her will probably be renamed Avalon (not my idea, I swear) and it will be part of the movie anthology Follow: Love, Life, Ghent. It will premiere at Film Fest Ghent in October 2015.

You can find the story on which the film is based on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon FR, Amazon NL, etc. Of course, you can read Avalon's adventures on other film sets in his memoir.

belgian short film


  1. Wow, that's an experience most of us will never have! Congrats on the movie!

  2. Thats' so much fun and a great experience to have.Nice photos too...

  3. What a wonderful series - you certainly had a great opportunity here! I will have to check out this book.
    I hope you'll come link up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/08/say-yes-to-neigh.html

  4. What a wonderful experience and glimpse into how a movie is made.
    Thanks for sharing on Oh My Heartsie Girls WW this week!!

    Have a beautiful week!
    Karren Haller

  5. That must be so amazing to watch your story come to life like that.
    So sad that woman's life was really like your story.

  6. It's so cool to see the behind the scene of a movie being filmed!

  7. I agree - so neat to see behind the scenes!
    Congratulations. :)

  8. Well done, such a great experience! Thank you for sharing with OMHG Wordless Wednesday Link Party.. Have a great day, co-host Evija @Fromevijawithlove x

  9. OH MY GOODNESS! Vanessa, this is so exciting! I had no idea it was already underway. And the picture of Avalon is relish. So excited! It was a wonderful short story and I can't wait to see the movie adaptation.

  10. That must be amazing to watch your own story come to life first hand. I hope it turns out well, and that they do your story the justice it deserves.

  11. How fun. I love the BTS pics. Congrats!



  12. Cool photo series. With a good story.
    And indeed great acting people.

  13. Looks like it was an amazing experience. Thanks for linking up!

  14. Awww what an amazing project to be involve! You are so lucky to be seeing the whole process!

  15. What a cool experience to be a part of a movie shoot

  16. Omg this is so cool!!!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  17. It should have been a wonderful experience! Thanks for sharing the pictures of the film, it is very interesting to follow the process.

  18. Wow that's...to use a word that's very popular in this comment thread, amazing! I love seeing behind-the-scenes of movies! :D

  19. A great post. I don't think people realise just how much work goes in to making movies!

  20. Wow, I am sure this was a great experience. Also the pictures turned out really cool.

  21. That's amazing! The place they chose looks so peaceful outside too.
    Well, would you say hi to the light guy for me? Haha.

  22. I love these behind the scenes photos. So exciting.

  23. Very nice photos and story! I wanted to make some joke about World Cat Day (since I clean up cat barf every day...it always feels like cat day to me!) but it's hard to after such a nice story! How odd about the location!

  24. How terribly exciting!! I think renaming the film "Avalon" would be a great idea because of the play on words between the cat's name and the Celtic/Arthurian otherworldly meaning of Avalon. I'd love to be able to see this film someday but since that's probably a remote possibility so far away here in Alberta, I'm off to Amazon now to buy a copy of the screenplay.

  25. What a great experience! So much fun! So exciting!!

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