De Ondergang van de van Imhoff (Documentary Series)

Documentary Series: The Doom of the Van Imhoff
Client: Episode One
Directors: Foeke de Koe & Kees Schaap

The three part documentary series De ondergang van de Van Imhoff (The doom of the Van Imhoff) tries to uncover the horrible history of the Dutch ship Van Imhoff. The Van Imhoff was lost at sea after being attacked by Japanese warplanes in 1942. At the time of the attack the ship was transporting German civilians who were taken prisoner because of the war. After the ship was hit the Dutch crew saved themselves but left the prisoners to fend for themselves. Of the 477 Germans on board only 65 survived.

When a Dutch filmmaker in 965 made a film about this dark page in modern Dutch history, the government intervened. The film was never aired, and has since been lost and the filmmaker was fired from his job. In 2017 documentary-makers Foeke de Koe en Kees Schaap set out to find out what happened in 1942, and why it was so important for the Dutch government in 1965 to keep these events hidden from the public.

They approached VFX studio Planet X to find a way to bring the horrific events of this disaster to the screen. Together with the directors, VFX supervisor Dennis Kleyn and director of photography Dennis Wielaert, Joscha worked out a series of storyboards that depicted all the required sequences that needed to be reenacted and /or digitally recreated.  

In this video VFX supervisor Dennis Kleyn explains how they went about recreating a ship that has been lost since 1942. It also highlights the importance of the storyboards. [Dutch]