Holy crap, I’m on YouTube.

It’s alive!!

Finally I have gotten to the point where I will breath life into my YouTube account, by uploading some of my short films from previous years. This week is YouTube Premiere Week of my one man company Retriever Film’s YouTube channel. Today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow I’m uploading films. One short a day.

First off: HOPP from 2005 (English festival title: Leap). The film has English subtitles. The technical quality is so-so; it was shot on a Panasonic MiniDV camera and the movie file has been converted more than once throughout the years. But what the hell.

It’s a close-to-no-budget black comedy about suicide. Nothing less. Cast is Øystein Martinsen, Hege Aga Edelsteen, Arne Skog & Kristine Henriksen. The screenplay is written by Per Vaage, DP is Martin J. Edelsteen, edited by Terje André Nymark, sound design by Are Stifjell, and music by Arnar Vågen & Syvert Holbek Feed from Norwegian rock band Jake Ziah.

HOPP made it quite well on the film festival circuit being a no-budget film. Actually, it was the first film I directed that made it to an international film festival. After a 6-month film festival drought following screenings at Tromsø International Film Festival and Minimalen Short Film Festival, I went ahead and submitted the film to several festivals outside Norway. I got lucky. The first competition screening was at Interfilm in Berlin on November 1st 2005. I wasn’t able to be present, but I later learned that HOPP was the opening film of the whole festival. Shortly after, it was in competition at Mannheim-Heidelberg. I mean, this was a big moment in my career. After that, The Norwegian Film Institute (NFI) got interested in this film and in me as director.

Since then, HOPP travelled to other festivals and won a couple of awards, and the NFI has represented most of my short films ever since.

HOPP was produced by Paraplyen, an idealistic film production entity that existed in Tromsø 2002-2006. It was like an alliance of film workers — consisting of directors, editors, DPs, actors, composers, stunt coordiators, etc. I can’t express how big an influence my time at Paraplyen has had on me, it really meant a lot for me — and, I’m sure, for a lot of other film professionals today who were a part of Paraplyen during that period.

HOPP was shot on location in Tromsø, Sommarøya and Kvaløya in Norway during three long days (and one night) in August 2004. We had almost no cash budget, just pure idealism and rabid enthusiasm. And humongous ambitions. Those were the days…

So, check it out. There’s more to come the next couple of days as well.