Starring Schiphol Airport Amsterdam


Have you seen the trailer for the new movie The Goldfinch? It features big names like Ansel Elgort and Nicole Kidman, but there’s also a cameo role for our airport. That’s not such a surprise, because of course Schiphol is a wonderful location for films and photographs, and very photogenic, even if we do say so ourselves. But there’s a lot that goes into shooting a movie or television programme at a location like Schiphol.

From ‘Hillywood’ to Bollywood
Danielle Timmer is Schiphol’s location manager for Photography & Film, and she takes care of all matters connected with film shoots. Every year, she approves around 200 requests. These vary from feature films like Gooische Vrouwen, Alles is Familie (‘Everything is Family’) and the Bollywood film The Ring to TV programmes like Grenzeloos Verliefd (‘Love without Borders’), De wereld rond met 80-jarigen (‘Around the World with 80-year-olds’) and Penoza, to TV commercials by Essent and photo shoots for the companies that are based at Schiphol. 

The show must go on at Schiphol
Of course, it’s fantastic that so many people want to film or take photographs at Schiphol, but not all requests can be accepted. Danielle assesses whether Schiphol is really suitable as a location. Is it clear that the story actually involves Schiphol, for instance, and will the visual material give a realistic image? (You’re unlikely to see a science fiction film set at Schiphol.) And the airport also needs to continue operating as normal at all times. We’ll never close off a part of the airport for a film crew, for example. Filming should never disrupt our travellers, retailers or staff.

Everything is planned right down to the last detail
After a filming request is approved, Danielle makes an overview of everything that will be needed and a scenario plan with all the details. This explains where and when the footage will be filmed, who will be required for each scene, which parking exemptions need to be applied for and all the other practical details. And Danielle also makes sure that everyone in and around the filming location is informed. This includes the people who work at Schiphol, like the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, Schiphol staff, retailers and airline employees, all of whom need to know exactly what is going on.

Lights, camera, action
Once every detail has been taken care of, you might think the filming would take care of itself. But make no mistake, for a scene lasting just a few minutes, as in The Goldfinch, filming can take up to four hours. And an 8-episode series, like Hello Goodbye, requires around 30 filming days.

Coming soon to Schiphol?

There’s a chance you might just bump into the cast and crew of Soof 3, starring Lies Visschedijk, very soon – or you could catch a glimpse of the new Jumbo commercial: shooting for both projects is slated for November 2019. And then in December, Robert ten Brink will be at the airport again for the traditional All You Need Is Love Christmas special with its famous dancing flight attendants.