Ari Boomsma: ‘People get triggered very quickly’
From TV to the gym: Isn’t that a big step?
“It all happened very gradually. I have been involved in sports all my life and fitness has played a role in every period. When I was 16 years old, I started playing basketball in America and then the sport became more deeply rooted in my life. I worked at KRO in 2014, I I told management: I’m going to open a gym, but I’m doing it with partners so I can continue to show full time. But within six months we already had a waiting list, and since I was gone, more things stagnated at Wondelgem. Also, I became a father for the first time and I wanted to be at home more. I suddenly ran out of time for everything.
Then you went to Net5. Chilled by ads?
“Well, it’s not like that. But I thought: you know what, I’ll go to a commercial broadcaster, where I’ll make less projects for a better salary. I wanted to do some more beautiful things, but after two years it was over. Net5 also took a more business course under John de Moll, so it wasn’t the place for me to work. In fact, I made public shows for Net5.
‘People are very quick to wonder what they might have done or said in another time. It often seems that there is no room for subtlety’.
Don’t you miss television?
“No. I’ve been doing it for twenty years. Most years I did five or six shows. I got to see a lot of the world and do relevant things. I enjoyed it a lot. But above all I didn’t miss the dynamics of Hilversum; running three or four days, fourteen a day. Being busy for the first sixteen hours, competition with other producers and broadcasters… If I’m honest, I miss sticking to a good theme. Making projects that touch or make people think. But making TV doesn’t fit into my life these years.
So you’re not addicted to fame and glory like Henny Huisman?
“No. I’ve been familiar with visibility all my life. First as a minister’s kid in small villages, then as a sportsperson in America, then quietly started doing some things in front of the TV. It took a very long time. When I became a permanent employee at EO, a lot happened. Some things erupted, be it commotions, riots, bans or whatever, but before that everything was very gradual. I think it’s different when you suddenly become famous. Of course there are moments when I think: yes, a lot of self-consciousness. Now if people recognize me on the street – they recognize me. If they recognize it – it’s because of the game; a whole generation doesn’t know I made television. You know, a well-known television title is useful. If I’ve written a new book, I’ll fix it. Ginek He asked to talk about it. Or Men’s Health I wanted to take pictures of my gym during the opening of the new Vondelgym. My vanity has never been in the attention that comes with fame, but as a television producer it’s a vital need. I still don’t like taking pictures with people on the street.
What’s the best project you’ve ever made?
“Out of the closet Or He is a she. The first is about young gays and lesbians coming out of the closet, and the second is about transsexuals. Stories about real life, themes that unleashed a lot. Out of the closet We did six seasons, got Emmy nominations, and I’m very proud of the impact of that program. For the first time, young people tell their parents and friends that they are gay. We were there. Everything revolved in that one moment. Once we followed a religious boy whose parents didn’t want him on TV. We couldn’t run the camera in their house, but we could set up the microphone. We filmed the house, the moon disappearing behind the clouds, and we listened to the parents’ reactions and painful silence. The most amazing TV I’ve ever made.”
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