Erik started sketching some of the scenes from his screenplay, exploring the fantastic, medieval world of Hieronymus. The first small steps in designing the movie, but a giant step for a director who’s dying to get this show on the road!


This is what some call a ‘spit painting’. A 45 minute sketch, featuring the St. John cathedral, the city fire and one of Bosch’s beautiful bird-monsters.


About Jiek

jiekweishut002So who is the head honcho of this outfit? The man with the medieval hat of course! Here’s a short interview with our producer, Jiek Weishut:

Q: What did you think of Erik’s pitch?
A: Well, he pretty much had me at ‘Hieronymus’, ‘animation’ and ‘movie’. Bosch’s work is ideally suited for animation. Generally it is quite difficult to sell a European animated feature based on an original screenplay. But Bosch already has a huge group of fans around the world who are longing to see his bizarre world come to life on the big screen – including Erik and I. Erik has been an admirer of Bosch’ work since he was a kid. He understands Bosch and he understands animation. Erik’s endless amount of enthusiasm is contagious. Thanks to his pitch I now have the Bosch fever.

Q: Hieronymus is a Dutch story but a very un-Dutch project. Why is it so special?
A: It’s a big project for a small country. The Dutch animation industry has been growing in recent years. Several feature films have been produced or are in development. There are lots of fantastic animation professionals who can’t wait to work on a feature film like Hieronymus. But out international co-production partners will also be doing a big chunk of the work making this an international story with a distinct Dutch flavor.

Q: What kind of movie is Hieronymus and what is your target audience?
A: It’s an exciting journey through the the Middle Ages, an adventurous, coming of age story filled with the bizarre monsters Bosch created. Humor, action and most important, heart. Hieronymus’ world appeals to pretty much all ages, so the movie will too. Just don’t bring your very youngest; as any Hieronymus fan would expect, there will be some scary moments. We pay tribute to the original art, the few facts known about Bosch’ life, and the time and places he lived in. It’s definitely not an art house film and it’s not a biography. Hieronymus is an original story; intriguing, bold and exciting, just like Bosch’ work. The response up until now has been amazing. It’s clear that Hieronymus has a great international appeal.

Q: Tell us about your company, The Drawing Room.
A: Since 2008 we’ve been creating animation, illustration and retail/graphic design at The Drawing Room. We are essentially a dynamic team of accomplished freelancers managed by a team of producers and project managers. Whether a client is looking for a complete production team or a single creative freelance professional, we can provide it. Next to commercial work we produce short animated films. We did a short film with Erik called Pecker. Super by Johan Klungel was the Dutch Oscar entry for 2014. Thing’s You’d Better Not Mix Up by Director Joost Lieuwma is online here.

Q: In what production stage is the project at the moment?
A: We’re finishing up the script as we speak and moving on to the animatic soon. In the meantime we’re searching for ways to realize this massive project. We receive encouraging words from our fans daily, so our motivation is as high as ever. You can become a Facebook fan too!

Leaf through Hieronymus

There’s a new book out and it looks amazing! This is what I call a must have:

Featuring brand new photography of recently restored paintings, this exhaustive book by Taschen, published in view of the upcoming 500th anniversary of Bosch’s death, covers the artist’s complete works. Discover Bosch’s pictorial inventions in splendid reproductions with copious details and a huge fold-out spread, over 110 cm (43 in.) long, of The Garden of Earthly Delights. Art historian and acknowledged Bosch expert Stefan Fischer examines just what it was about Bosch and his painting that proved so immensely influential.

About Erik

erikvanschaaik‘Hallo’ is hello in Dutch, something Jerome Bosch must have said to his wife Aleid after a days work at the workshop, followed by ‘schat, ik ben thuis’ or ‘honey, I’m home’.  You are reading blog number 1 about the making of the animated feature film Hieronymus. We plan to post on a reasonably frequent basis, which means every once in a while.

We can’t show much visuals yet, because we are still in pre-production. There’s a fantastic screenplay, a lot of sketches and of course the art of the master himself. These paintings serve as a basis for the fantastic medieval universe that we are about to create. For now we’d like to present a short interview with the writer and director of this project, Erik van Schaaik:

Q: Why do you want to make a movie about Bosch? Why not Van Gogh or Rembrandt?
A: Obviously because Bosch is a one of a kind artist! The first ‘heavy metal artist’. There’s nobody like Bosch. It’s a mystery why nobody ever attempted to make a movie about him. (I’m glad they didn’t, and get to do it myself!) Bosch’s world is just excellent animation-material. Also the period in which he lived appeals to the imagination: the middle ages, witch hunt, the plague, city fires, crusades, Columbus discovering the world is actually round, Vlad Tepes playing Dracula over in Transylvania. Turbulent times, I tell you.

Q: Not much is known about Bosch. How did you create the story for the movie?
A: I started with a lot of research and a lot of staring at the paintings. I’ve been doing that since I was a little boy, so I kinda feel at home in these paintings. Then I wrote tons of stuff that was no good. And finally I asked myself: What if my Jerome Bosch is a fifteen year old boy, living in these turbulent times, and he’s having all these horrible nightmares. Then somehow the nightmare creatures escape from his head and all hell breaks loose. Jerome has to set things right, and in doing so he becomes the famous painter we know today. A coming of age story that explains how he actually got away painting all these bizarre devils without ending up at the stake.

Q: Are all characters in the movie based on the paintings?
A: Almost every character is an actual historical figure or based on a character in the paintings. The same goes for the locations. You can actually visit some of the spectacular locations that are featured in this movie, like the great St. John cathedral of Den Bosch, and the river De Diese, that goes underneath the city.

Q: You finished the screenplay. What’s next?
A: I’m assisting producer Jiek Weishut with production work and I’m drawing a lot, just to create a reference of the movies universe. In the meantime I am guiding the development of technique and style, and assembling a team of artists that are going to create the moving storyboards. Finally, after some two year of writing, we get to actually see stuff. Very exciting!