If you’re living in Belgium, you’ve probably already heard of Thomas Vanderveken. Thomas is a passionate Belgian presenter, actor and piano player. Considering he has worked as a presenter for several shows with TinkerList such as ‘1 jaar gratis‘, ‘M/V van het jaar‘ and ‘and& Festival’ and as he’s a good friend of our CEO Erik, we were curious about what his job exactly looks like.
Always try to stay in touch with the moment, the ‘now’. How does your guest respond, the audience, the crew? What do you feel yourself? Don’t do anything that you don’t believe in yourself. And learn about television production: what the cameraman does, the editor, the director,… It’ll make you better.Thomas Vanderveken
How is your day and what do you have planned?
It’s going fine! Today, I’m planning on catching up on administration and emails, but that will be hard with two young children ready to destroy anything around them in the house.
Could you describe what you do professionally?
I’m a television maker. I think out programs, execute them and present them.
Are (& how) the rising Corona numbers impacting your work?
Not really. Audiovisual media are often saved from that impact. Sometimes we have to work without an audience, which is a bummer.
Your occupations are quite diverse, how do you make sure you give each passion enough attention?
The advantage of my job is that I love it. I really do. So you invest the necessary time, even at the expense of sleep, food or social contact.
Would you still do acting roles?
I don’t really think I’m a good actor to be honest. But if someone can convince me that I’m the right person for the role, I might doubt to take it. Because I think it’s a lot of fun regardless.
Where and when can we watch you play the piano?
Almost never in real life, because I have little kids ;-). But on Youtube I play a pianoconcerto somewhere with an orchestra, truly a dream that came true!
What’s your favourite production you worked on? Why?
That has to be “Thomas Speel het hard”. I’ve always dreamt of a program around classical music, that could appeal to a larger audience. For this program, I learned to play the pianoconcerto ‘van Grieg’ in one year. It was a violation for my private life, but at the same time one of the most transforming challenges of my life.
What do you love most about presenting?
That depends on the program. Sometimes the audience, sometimes the social or societal impact, sometimes the intellectual challenge. There is one thread tho: interviewing always takes place in the ‘now’. There is preparation work of course, but you have to let that go. I’m at my best when I’m well prepared, and able to let that go as soon we start.
What tips do you have for starting presenters?
Always try to stay in touch with the moment, the ‘now’. How does your guest respond, the audience, the crew? What do you feel yourself? Don’t do anything that you don’t believe in yourself. And learn about television production: what the cameraman does, the editor, the director,… It’ll make you better.
What, in your opinion, kicked off your career?
Has networking enabled success and projects/jobs? What other ways?
I don’t know a forced way of networking. However, I’m a natural extravert and I have a lot of trust in other people. That makes it easier for me to talk to people and to talk about my desires and wishes.
What are you working on at the moment?
Two new television programs for Canvas. It’ll be an interesting spring, because we have to make a lot of important decisions.
How does that involve TinkerList?
TinkerList is a handy program for a lot of different TV-purposes. Sometimes to prepare a scenario for an EFP, but also to do last minute changes to presentation texts eg at a quiz.
How does TinkerList facilitate your work?
With quizzes, you can adapt the texts last minute eg changing the order of the questions. You can simultaneously work on the same project in different parts of the production. And you don’t need to print millions of cuecards.
What bad(/challenging) experiences do you have with TinkerList?
I’m waiting for the update where the presenter can make last minute changes on his or her tablet.
How and to whom would you recommend TinkerList?
I’m sure all tv-professionals could benefit from TinkerList. But also people that want to (let someone) host an event.