Frieda was an exceptional woman that played a key role in the Dutch resistance during the second world war. She forged documents to help people escape capture by the Nazis and was one of the masterminds behind the destruction of the “Amsterdam's Bevolkingsregister”, where original information about jewish citizens was kept by the Germans.
She escaped capture and execution by dressing up as a man. After the war started a new life in the USA where she became the first female conductor of a professional orchestra.
What did I work on?
Some of the story in the video is read from Frieda's biography by Toni Boumans. I made an animation to accompany the part that talks about her and Willem Arondéus forging documents. For this I used reference fotos that I received from the Noord-Hollands Arcief.
The second scene I worked on is told by Frieda herself in an old interview. It tells the part where she dressed up as a man and confidently asked a barber for a mens haircut.
Additionally I also worked on the intro and some illustrated elements throughout the video.
Process & Reference
To stay true to real life people and objects I used Reference photos provided by the Noord-Hollands Archief. They have an impressive collection of objects and documents related to the second world war and the resistance, including documents relating to this specific story.
There are not a whole lot of photo's of Frieda Belinfante and Willem Arondeus from that time period. But I tried to match the faces in this style as good as possible.
In the left upper picture you see sewing thread coils that where used to create convincing looking government stamps.
Process & Reference
A wonderful (and honestly badass) photo of Frieda dressed up as a man to escape capture by the Germans. She mentions in one interview that even her own mother did not recognize her in the streets.
Frieda was openly lesbian and even after the war continued to wear mens clothing as she felt it fitted her way better. She was challenging gender norms in a complicated time!
For this project I made heavy use of the Joysticks 'n Sliders plug-in. It makes moving around faces and syncing up lips so much easier!