Friday, April 2, 2010

The Beauty of the Netherlands

Today we filmed the beautiful gardens of the Keukenhof. From famous Dutch tulips to stargaze lilies, flowers colored the entire area.

There was even a flowerbed of tulips that formed the shape of a giant tulip! The sound of running water from the fountains and streams added to the ambience of this magnificent place.

A Dutch organ wagon also added to the excitement and culture of the Keukenhof. One graduate student, Matt West, even had the amazing opportunity to interview close friends of his family. The last one to meet them was Matt’s grandfather in 1945. The journey to the Keukenhoff was the perfect ending to the trip of a lifetime.

Here are the words of the students who participated in this incredible experience.

Pedro Rivera: “After filming the Ambassador and experiencing The Netherlands, I have a new found appreciation for the camera.”

Kevin Talbot: “I have been truly blessed to take part in such a rare opportunity. I experiencing things many never will and seen new sides to people and for that I am truly thankful. Only in Holland…”

Kenyon Hoag: “Europe was something else. I’m very thankful to have experienced The Netherlands. A lot was learning from this project, and hopefully the experience will carry me on to newer and better opportunities in my life.”

Lauren Ostrofsky: “This trip was incredible. The Netherlands is a beautiful country and being able to travel here to experience it first hand has been a blessing. Experiencing the life of a U.S. Ambassador was a rare opportunity and one that I learned a great deal from. The sights, architecture, culture, and history will always be remembered. I am very grateful to everyone for making this trip possible and to my classmates who also taught me a lot. Thank you!”

Alexandra Frye: This experience has truly changed my life. We’ve all grown and I’ve learned so much from filming and just exploring The Netherlands. I’m very grateful for all of the opportunities that I have had thanks to everyone involved.

Sandy Ng: This documentary class was an experience of a lifetime. I would never have imagined that I would not only meet the American Ambassador, but also get a chance to film her life with fourteen other students. It was amazing!!

Megan Caturan: This class, experience, and country have completely changed me. I’m so thankful for this experience and can’t wait to get back to the United States and tell everyone about my time in The Netherlands.

Shereditthe (Texas) Pashia: I have learned so much with this trip to The Netherlands to film the American Ambassador. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I could not pass up. The hands on experience will definitely help me in the future.

Michele Burch: It has been such an honor and privilege to film this documentary on the life of an American Ambassador. I’ve experienced what the film industry is all about telling a story that is meant to be told. The knowledge and skills that I have obtained from this opportunity will push me ahead in life as I make my dream come true-to finally produce a film of my own.

Matthew West: Many people have traveled to Europe for vacation and to visit sights. However, few have had the opportunity that we were given to visit and film locations such as the Peace Palace, U.S. embassy, and the Ambassador’s residence. Being able to film these places was a privilege and honor. This truly was the trip of a lifetime.

Harrison Davies: My experience with the production of this documentary has been a memorable one to say the least. Working with such great peers and experiencing all the culture, landmarks, and insights The Netherlands has to offer was a meaningful endeavor.

Courtney Novak: This experience has made me grow so much as an individual and has changed the way I see the world. This was an amazing opportunity that I will never forget. I’m excited to start my journey in the film industry. Thank you to the U.S. Ambassador, Fay Hartog-Levin, and everyone else involved in making this trip possible.

Caity Kirschbaum: I can’t believe the week is over; I finally came to terms with the fact that I am actually here. I must say that the idea of being here in the Netherlands, shooting a documentary about the US Ambassador, and the opportunity to film in restricted areas, is overwhelming. It has been a privilege and an honor to film in such a beautiful country.

I will never forget this thrilling, unique, and life changing experience. I appreciate all the hard work that everyone contributed. We have gone thru many “firsts” together and I’m glad that we did.

I would like to truly thank everyone involved with making this concept a reality; you are the reason why we were able to have such an amazing experience.

Astrid, Jim, Martijn, Eva, Professor Luskay, and of course Ambassador Hartog-Levin… I can say on behalf of myself and the rest of the students – THANK YOU!


  1. Neila Smith-DorfmanApril 13, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    I never thought I would find myself having tea with an American ambassador! I must say, Ambassador Levin was very warm, and down-to-earth, 'just like us' ( with a much better wardrobe) The Netherlands is beautiful, and it was amazing to watch the class transform from a bunch of students to a truly professional team of filmmakers. It was awesome! And I got to meet some documentary filmmakers, doing what they love! Very cool!

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