YouTube mayhem – part 3

Day 3 out of 3.

Ladies and germs, I present to you my short film, the one and only — SØPLA (aka THE GARBAGE) from 2009.

Another black comedy I give to you today. A simple and brutal story of a garbage man who gets in trouble when collecting garbage outside some stinky rich couple’s villa.

Shot on the RED at Lysaker and in central Oslo in early April 2008, I believe this was one of the first ever fiction films to be shot on the RED format in Norway. (Please prove me wrong!) That was in fact a fortune for this production. Having a cash budget of only 75.000 NOK, granted from the North Norwegian Film Centre (I didn’t apply for more than that) — I asked the newly established RED-rental company Dfilm AS and Norsk Filmstudio (now Storyline Studios) to invest in the film by lending us all of the camera and light equipment free of charge, in order for them to test this new camera/format and its workflow. And they did. So, a cheers and big thanks to them.

The main character is played by Joachim Rafaelsen, the other actors are Håkon Ramstad, Kim Sørensen and Hege Aga Edelsteen. Director of Photography was Trond Tønder, the man who shot my first short film back i 2000. Sound editing is by Rune Baggerud, and my production manager was Isak Eymundsson — I could never have made this film without him. The song in the film is performed by Belgian indie rock band dEUS. I edited it and produced it through Retriever Film.

We shot this film during one weekend. I’m sort of proud of that. It’s the low-budget way. Most of the crew are good friends of mine, like Martin J. Edelsteen (1st ass’t camera on this film), John-Erling H. Fredriksen (gaffer), and Signe Gerda Landfald (set dresser). We didn’t get paid doing this film. Even the actors are good friends of mine, and they agreed to do it almost unpaid. I paid the rest of the crew though, the one’s I didn’t know so well from before. But all gave discounts. And we had Espen Zubi doing grip, and Tyrone C. Wiggins on stunts. Brilliant craftsmen and nice dudes.

SØPLA was sold to CANAL+ France and to Norwegian TV2, and it’s been in competition at a few international film festivals — like Brest, Circuito Off (Venice), and Interfilm. The NFI handles festivals and French company Premium Films is international sales agent.

I did this film in between other projects. I had already got funding for a much bigger project, PARAT in January 2008, but I had to wait almost five months for the snow to disappear up north before I could start shooting that one. So, I made SØPLA, which is a project full of creative surplus and this easiness. The short shooting, the small budget, the tiny production offices (at Retriever Film/ Film HQ; now they are a bit bigger), and the perfect mix of hired professionals & close friends within cast and crew — gave this production a very strong indie-feel. And that feel fitted well with the tone and look I wanted for the film. Very inspired by Aki Kaurismäki and Jim Jarmusch, this one. It’s wide shots, it’s kinda slow, it’s deadpan, it’s dark-humored.

I really hope you enjoy it.

(PS. Watch out tomorrow….)