The two first met when Oyelowo was in Brussels shooting “Les Miserables” and needed a studio to record a voiceover narration for Penguin Books’ “Spot the Dog.” Oyelowo recorded at Baert’s studio. “Between takes, we talked about the film and his producing work,” Baert says. “I told him my big ambition was music and film music in particular, and we kept in touch,”
When they connected again soon after, Oyelowo mentioned he was eying “The Water Man,” a coming-of-age movie with throwbacks to ’80s family adventure films in which Gunner, a young boy, goes in search of the mythical “water man,” rumored to have healing powers.
As soon as Baert heard about it, he started putting ideas together and presented them to Oyelowo before he had even started shooting.