SUNSHINE ROYALE MOTEL
Time elapsing is only noticeable when observing motion. It is what makes us register the ticking of the clock. But the interesting thing about time is that it only exists in the past and in the future. This very moment, the here and now, is so elusive that it can only be seen when there is no motion at all. In a photograph we capture the existence of this present moment by freezing time. However, when we add subtle motion to a frozen moment, time can be extended within this vacuum and seems to last forever.
You are in an unknown city, staying in a run-down motel taking a shower. As you close the tap and turn to use the scruffy towel to dry yourself, you walk back into the room you just entered for the very first time. This is your sanctuary now, your home. Yesterday it belonged to someone else. And tomorrow, after you’ve checked out, it will do so once more. Welcome to Sunshine Royale Motel. One room, a new story every day.
This series of living photographs, or cinemagraph are a mix between photo and video. Just like in a regular still frame, in a cinemagraph, time is frozen. Yet subtle moving elements bring the frame to life. Individually they will playback in an endless loop, creating the illusion of never-ending motion. The partially frozen parts, combined with the recurring movements give the images a strange and hypnotic effect.
This art project was shot in a small film set build inside an old warehouse. Together with his friend and director Michel Mölder, Johan worked for almost two years on constructing the stage for Sunshine Royale Motel. From testing five different colors on the bathroom tiles to vintage American wall outlets, it were the smallest details that ultimately tied the room together.
In Chemnitz, Germany, they found the perfect location that suited as a backdrop. Visible through the window and open door of the set, the outside had to match the interior. Dictated by the time of day and perspective in the final shot on set, they matched the exterior of a 50’s theme motel to fit with the inside of the room.
Unique for this project was the decision to shoot the complete series on a single wide-angle lens. This way we were able to really get up close and personal for the tight shots, while still retaining much of the room in the background. In addition, the wide angle view emphasized in the total shot the desolation of the characters; not only in relation to the room around them, but also to an inner wasteland we feel in them, but do not yet fully see.
Director of Photography
Daan Thieme, Lichtmacht
Head Hair & Make-up
Hair & Make-up:
Madelon Prinsen & Sisley Angenois
Andrea vd Kolk & Nicole Kroes
Casting & Production
Cameleon Productions B.V.
Robert Jan Glas
Michel Mölder & Johan Dijkstra
Erik de Vogel
Gerrie van der Klei
Puck Pomelien Busser