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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schepers

Our very first film "Betrayal" is coming to the cinema and Netflix international!

A childhood dream come true, making a real cinema film. In this article you can read how it all started. Our first cinema film has become reality. We started with zero experience. We had never made a cinema film before. We were laughed at by people who didn't believe in us at the time when we talked about our ambitious plans. But now, after 4 years of hard work, our first cinema film is being released by the largest film distributor in the Benelux "Dutch Film Works". Our film is sold internationally and can be seen in Dutch cinemas from April 2023.

“You can only achieve this with passion”

Martin Ruttenberg - Dutch Film Works

What was my role in this film?

My task was to shoot beautiful film images that also enhance the emotion in the film. As a director of photography, I am not only concerned with the camera, but especially with how a scene can best be seen. For example, if you film someone from below, the person appears strong and powerful. When you film that same person from above, that same person suddenly becomes vulnerable. This is one of the movie tricks you can use. This is the emotional value you can add as a cinematographer. You can then combine this by applying the right lighting that also conveys the right feeling. In a dramatic scene I prefer to use hard light. I like to improvise a lot with few resources. This means constantly looking for the best solution at that moment. This ensured that we recorded very beautiful scenes for Betrayal.

Behind the scenes, Betrayal
Behind the scenes of Betrayal

Some thought we were crazy

Our team sometimes talked about our ambitious plans to make a war film. "Wow, that's ambitious!!" Some had little or no confidence that this would be so big. "You're making a war film? Mmmm... Yep... Let's see again first... " Drenthe sobriety! :)

With this video we attracted more attention to our war film.

What started small became bigger and bigger....

Our first intention was to make a war film that would be shown in various cinemas. Of course we dreamed that it would also be released in theaters and on Netflix. But could we as a film crew from Drenthe do something like that? What turned out to be a dream eventually became reality. The national release of our cinema film is April 2023. From then on, the film will be shown in all cinemas throughout the Netherlands. The working title of the film was Treacherous Love, which was changed to Betrayal.

Boundless Betrayal produced in Drenthe

Where it all started

Peter Nillesen, not a full-time actor but working as a manager at an industrial business park. Peter already had a lot of experience with acting. He has acted, among other things, in the film Michiel de Ruijter. But never had a leading role myself. I met Peter during a commercial film assignment. We hired Peter as an actor. An assignment from director Thomas Nauw, owner and founder of CFX Digital. During the conversation, Peter told us about his ambitious plans to make a war film. He told us about the war story he wrote. We were all immediately enthusiastic and wanted to participate in this great challenge.

Action scenes Limitless Betrayal

Our crew had 0 experience making feature films

We took on the challenge together... But where to start? Our crew only consisted of a small number of people. I myself took the position D.O.P (director of photography) Thomas as the director of the film. Maarten Nauw, Thomas' brother, is an artist with 3D animations and special effects, and Wim van der Glas< /u> does the camera work. Wim van der Glas is a fantastic cameraman who has tons of experience. He has been to many places in the world with his camera. But I also have no experience with making feature films. To increase my knowledge as a d.o.p, I have taken a number of online courses about lighting, lens choice and why you create certain compositions to create a certain atmosphere.

Crowdfunding cinema film

ZOD film foundation

As the process progressed, we discovered that we needed much more manpower to make a cinema film. After our plans were announced in an article in the Dagblad van het Noorden, Rob Camies contacted us. Rob is chairman of the ZOD Film Foundation. This was an unknown party for us. Rob was enthusiastic about our plans and offered to help us obtain financing to take the film to the next level.

pre-production Videjow

We received support from all corners

We are very grateful to our donors who believed in us. In addition to many anonymous donors, we also received a lot of support from the Province of Drenthe, Municipality of Emmen, Hardenberg and many others. We also raised a considerable amount through crowdfunding. All this money was mainly spent on costs such as buying clothes, weapons, props, lots of bullets, travel expenses and a lot of catering :). Everyone who helped, I'm talking about crew/actors/production and many others contributed their own expertise free of charge. In total, more than 400 people worked on our film.

RTV Drenthe has beautifulbehind the scenes recordings made of Limitless Betrayal.< /em>

The film was bigger than we expected

It got bigger and bigger. More positions were filled because we simply could not do everything ourselves. We needed our focus while filming. Manon Huizing took care of the production and at the same time she also took care of the catering on set together with Ingrid Bisschop. Bas Schrama was production manager on the set, we promoted Björn Strengers to "Gaffer", Thimo Janse as "Best Boy" and helped with the lighting, but sometimes also did the sound. Tim Elzinga did the clapperboard, but was often also a camera assistant. Danny de Roo did the behind the scenes, but sometimes also did sound together with Daisy Pouw, Tobias Gerrits, Frank van der Pijl and Jildis Meja. Frank Evenhuis was an intern with Wim at the time and also helped with everything on and around the film set. We received help from Tim Bone and Ralf Cordes for all stunts and Special Effects. Said to cause all the explosions and legs getting chopped off. In short, we improvised a lot because we didn't have the big budgets that would allow us to fill every position with a full-time professional. And in the end it doesn't matter who does it, as long as it's done with passion. And that is the only reason that our film has become better and better.

reenactment association
A photo of some members of the re-enactment association.

TheVeenpark Museum in Barger Compscuum was transformed into a film location.

A snowball effect occurred

The script of Betrayal was written smaller than the final film. That's because we received support from all corners. Many war collectors contacted us and offered their services and equipment. The production value of Betrayal is therefore enormous. We have an original tank, many sidecar motorcycles, jeep trucks and a real plane from the Second World War in our film.

Yes, you get goosebumps when you experience all these kinds of things.

Hoogeveen Airport, one of the many filming locations of the film Betrayal.

We received help from Re-enactment associations

We are grateful that they helped us. Various re-enactment groups have helped ensure that Betrayal is a film that is pure. These people know better than anyone what happens in a fight. But they also pay attention to all details such as clothing, attitude and know the complete history of everything. Partly because of them, Betrayal is a war film in which everything had to be right. Every detail was taken into account.

reenactment association
A photo of some members of the re-enactment association.

All movie props are original pieces

We only used original film props. Betrayal is therefore a film that shows reality as much as possible. We have therefore used digital effects as little as possible. All fight scenes in the film are real. There was real shooting (with blanks of course). To do this, we recorded the shooting scenes just across the border in Germany, somewhere in a forest near the town of Laar. We always had special weapons masters on set, including Nico van Gijn. He made sure everything went safely according to the rules. We even have a MG42 machine gun in the movie. We filmed this with three cameras simultaneously. Simply because shooting with this heavy artillery was quite expensive.

The weapons used in Limitless Treason
A small part of the weapons used in our war film.

On to Bad Berka

This was the outing for the film crew of Betrayal. We left Emmen with two vans towards Bad Berka, a small village in Germany. A great challenge awaited us there. The German re-enactment group had made a complete trench for us for a year. All this with just a shovel without an excavator or something like that. Just like they had done before. The location where we filmed used to be an old fuel depot from the Second World War. The current owner has managed to restore this to its former glory.

reenactment association
Our film crew in a real bunker from the Second World War.

Real dialogues with German accent

We have had a lot of support from a large re-enactment group near the German village of Bad Berka. Thanks to their contribution, we have been able to take Betrayal to an even higher level. Real dialogues with the right German accent. Something that is often missing in other war films.

Cinema film film recordings Boundless Betrayal

It looked like a war zone

Everything on the set was just right. The trenches, the clothes and everyone staying in their roles all weekend. It felt like reality, it was like all the pieces of the puzzle were falling together. It is a different war film than a film made in Hollywood with a huge budget.

An article about Borderless Betrayal in the German newspaper.

It's a Wrap

After approximately 4 years and a lot of blood, sweat and tears, the filming is over. But the train rumbled on. Thomas then spent a huge amount of time on the pre-editing together with Nico Westerhof and then film editor Efin de Landmeter.

Film Crew: Betrayal Without Borders
The film crew of Boundless Betrayal in Bad Berka.

We attracted the attention of Dutch Film Works

After a long time, our film was almost ready for the biggest film premiere in the Atlas Theater< /u> from Emmen. But suddenly we were sitting at the table at Dutch Film Works, the largest film distributor in the Benelux . They thought the quality we had achieved was phenomenal. It was truly incredible that we had managed to achieve this with such a small budget. And all made by people from Drenthe. We thought it was very special that we could collaborate with Eric de Groot and Martin Ruttenberg of Dutch Film Works. We are therefore very grateful that Eric and Martin had confidence in us, that we, with our film crew from Drenthe, can create something like this with so few resources.

Dennis Bots and Eric de Groot
A behind the scenes photo of director Dennis Bots together with Eric de Groot during the filming of "Grenzeloos Verraad".

We got help from On Air Media

Our crew was further expanded with the arrival of On Air Media, Anton van de Koppel. Anton and his team mainly focused on the finishing of the film, including editing, grading and sound post-processing.

Dennis Bots and Thomas Nauw.
Dennis Bots and Thomas Closely together on the set of Grenzeloos Verraad.

Dennis Bots, winner of the Golden Calf

Dennis Bots and Robert Schepers - behind the scenes
Director Dennis Bots together with d.o.p. Robert Schepers

Betrayal can be seen in cinemas from April 2023

We look forward to the release of Betrayal. Our boyhood dream has come true, to make a real cinema film. We are therefore very much looking forward to what the future may bring us. We already have a number of follow-up films planned, including a film about Vincent van Gogh, but more about this later. Now let's enjoy our very first cinema film, "Betrayal".

Robert Schepers - owner
Robert Schepers - founder and cinematographer.

This article was written by Robert Schepers. Robert is the cinematographer (Director of Photography) of Grenzeloos Verraad. He is also the founder of, a one-stop video production company that offers a total solution for companies and brands. produces, among other things, corporate films, promotional films and video clips.


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