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the LOONIVERSE
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Grijpstra & de Gier
aka The Outsider
Outsider in Amsterdam


Wim Verstappen, 1979

Houwer and Gooijer

The movie was a hit. That's good.
It was the first time I worked for Rob Houwer. That's bad.
I never worked for him again. That's better.
Rob, then the foremost Dutch producer (both director Paul Verhoeven and actor Rutger Hauer hit the big Hollywood time after working for him for a number of productions), was, giving him the benefit of the doubt, a terrible person with the mentality of a 19th century Boss. He kept pestering me because he did not like my work, even going so far that he did not show me several stills after they came back from the lab; this was supposed to keep me on my toes, I have to guess. He was too dumb to realize I was, at least, together enough to remember what I'd been doing. If I had not happened to be so conscientious, he would have ended up with an awful set of stills. So that was pretty dumb, too.

But being a dumb bad character never stopped anybody from making money, and Rob is one of the many living proofs. Later, Frans Rasker and Wim made a sequel of this very successful movie and it flopped. Badly. I didn't have anything to do with it, but that's another story. But the movie has been such a hit, there's still talk about a second sequel. Go figure.

Rob Houwer invited Panorama, a Dutch weekly, on the set ("no offense"); no problem for me either, don't get me wrong. He then included one of their photos in the set, just to show me (I can only guess)—because that shot was emphatically not in the film and thus should not be shown in the stills. But when Panorama published that issue, to my revengeful joy one of my pictures graced its cover. Heh heh. Things went so far that in the invitations for the "it's-a-wrap!" party Rob told us about a rare treat in stock for all of us: we could have a look there at those marvelous slides Katrien Ariëns had made for his preceding production - obviously just to put me down. Not Katrien's fault, understand? I was not the only one to be bugged all the time by this warm, loving, lovable movie producing person by any means; Marc Felperlaan did camera and, wow.

Months later, I got a postcard from Wim. Rob had told him I was a "brilliant" photographer; I had delivered over 40 usable transparencies which was more than he'd ever had before. What a donkey-burrow. Especially since he only paid my modest bill after the movie had been released. If it had flopped, I might still have been waiting for my money. Talking about money, if you wonder why there are so many cigarettes in the stills, Rob had made this li'l deal, see.
This resulted in a fine joke on him, when we were shooting on the beach and an important illustrated weekly was expected to show up there to shoot us plodding away in the sand. One crew member discovered a shop there selling cheap jackets with another cigarette brand name plastered all over it, so we all bought one and put it on for the show. What could Rob do but admit it was a good witz, laughing, as the Dutch say, like a farmer with the toothache?
Here ends my story on Rob Houwer. If you have gathered I don't particularly like him, you've won a cigar or a coco-nut.

The Outsider
(1983) VHS

Rutger Hauer plays a Dutch detective who becomes romantically involved with the widow of a powerful drug dealer.
But the woman has a sordid dark side, as Hauer soon discovers in this exotic actioner.
With Rijk de Gooyer and Willeke Van Ammelrooy. AKA: "Outsider in Amsterdam". 90 min. Dubbed in English.
What bugs me about this is, Rob will make yet more money if you buy that tape. Still, so will I. That's Show Biz!


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Rijk de Gooijer - Rutger Hauer
Willeke van Ammelrooij

Jaap Stobbe
Frederik de Groot
Donald Jones
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Above prints were made on Agfacolor. That, or so cheapskate Houwer figured, was like $0.03 cheaper per print. Actually, it wasn't but he never asked me; he just knew he knew better! Anyway, did I have a time restoring those faded prints to something at least acceptable to the eye. Just to show where it's at, here an untreated copy of one of them, straight from the scanner:



The only thing that remains to be told is that I had booked the return flight with KLM on the night of that same farewell party. About the last time I flew KLM, too; nevermore! But I could after all make it to the party, as all DC10s had been grounded by the USA that day because an engine dropped off an American Airlines plane (caused by maintenance procedures Douglas had warned them about, but that's another story—and a sad one, too). The very next day, Swissair decided the DC10 was good enough for them, and KLM followed suit right away. I was not any less relieved to get out than usual after a stay in the dear Old Country.

joint
"I'll take care of that!
For the lab..."

(courtesy Pieter van de Bunt)



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