Got myself a boom and a blimp! The blimp works great but the Røde boom is hopeless. Painfully fiddly to open and lock the different extensions and one of them jammed right away. I’m still using it but we are not friends.

For the past couple of years I have worked as a night guard at a nearby tourist camp every spring. Not every night but sometimes. Washing dishes, cleaning and taking care of everything, because as mentioned before, the income from my film work is rarely enough.
I made this video 2013 when the first guests stayed there.

My film from Råne river, about its fish management, premiered in February and I was featured in the local news paper and was interviewed in the radio. I also tried for the first time the ‘film premiere’ function in Youtube and made an event of it on Facebook. The Youtube premiere was screened at the same time in our movie theater. At most I had around 40 persons watching the film at the same time.  Now when I look at it I get the feeling that somehow my gamma and/or color settings were wrong. It looked good before but when I watch it now it doesn’t, so I think I must have changed my computer or external screen settings since then. Did I have the right settings before or do I have the right settings now? Bummer! A screen calibration set is surely going to be my next investment. I really should have done it long ago, I know!

I decided to make the first 100 DVDs of my fishing film with a special dedicated print. I think there’s still 97 left if you’re interested.

NRK, the Norwegian national TV is using tripods from the same manufacturer as I.
We went to Tromsö to see ski jumping live for the first time, mainly to see Noriaki Kasai, but he didn’t qualify for the main competition. Our sad story was mentioned on Eurosport.

One more quick trip to Finnmark in Norway to meet the remaining participants in the film that I hadn’t had the chance to meet earlier. Did some additional shooting too. Photo on the left: Repparfjord close to Hammerfest, photo on the right: Norwegian US$ 15 breakfast.

I shot and edited a local revue. A 25 year anniversary performance. Here I’m struggling to get the levels right with 11 layers of sound. I use Davinci Resolve for editing but I couldn’t get the sound editing to work. It was very frustrating so I paid for Reaper to get the job done. It was recommended on a FB-group as a fantastic software but it was so complicated for me to do even the simplest task that I needed to have a chat with the developer. I tried to read the instructions provided with it but it was very technically written with little or no thought of making it easily accessible to a complete beginner like me. It was overwhelming to say the least!
I have now figured out how to use Davinci to do it. My computing power is not enough to run it smoothly and it has its ways of showing it but I have now learned how to deal with it.

I was working a couple of times with my Russian colleague in Boden, Tamara Soushko, with her documentary about a Russian musician working in Arjeplog. I was mainly helping with the sound but did sometimes a little bit of filming too. Premiere is planned to be in May 2020.

Making a DCP of ‘Voices from Finnmark’. It takes time…
First I need to save the whole file as an image sequence. Then convert it to JPEG2000. Then convert it to MXF, and finally make the DCP. My film was 2,5 hours so I needed a lot of storage space and time. One of the steps mentioned above took over 24 hours to complete!
I’m using Open DCP. Free and easy to use and tutorials can be found on the Internet.
DCP=Digital Cinema Package. Files for digital cinema.

Our community house. It received ‘cinema of the year’ award in 2018 by the chain we belong to (Folkets Hus och Parker). It is the smallest digital cinema in Sweden and here I can test my home made DCP-files on a big screen. My summer job was to paint this one wall but the top part was too high for me.

My Macbook Pro 2011 turned completely useless and I needed it to finish ‘Voices from Finnmark’. Apple service repair told me they didn’t find anything wrong with the machine (!) and it was a vintage model so they didn’t have any spare parts. Okay…
Thank God for Youtube! “Take out the motherboard and bake it in the oven at 170 C for a few minutes”…?  First I thought it must be a joke but everybody seemed to recommend the procedure so finally I bought everything needed and went for it. And it worked wonders! There was something wrong with the graphics card and this took care of it. Apple service, up yours!

After seven years of work it was time for the premiere screening of ‘Voices from Finnmark’. It happened at the Nordkapp Film Festival in Honningsvåg in Finnmark, as far north as you can get on mainland Europe. Well, maybe a few km short but pretty close! As usually I wasn’t in the movie theater to watch it, and I always come to think about the Mel Brooks movie ‘The Producers‘ when I sit in a café or somewhere waiting for the film to finish. What happened next wasn’t exactly as in the Mel Brooks’ film but close enough. I got questions and comments, and afterwards some of the audience came to me, shook my hand and thanked me for making the film. “Finally somebody made a film like this about Finnmark!”. It made me feel pretty good, and on top of that the organizers told me that they had decided to help me with my transportation costs!

Next week was a second screening of ‘Voices from Finnmark’, this time in Kirkenes close to the Russian border. They showed all the films twice: once in Kirkenes in Norway and then in Nikel on the Russian side of the border. I was supposed to go to there too but because of silly mistakes with the paperwork I couldn’t get a visa.
I overheard an older couple in the audience talk after the film. The husband telling her wife that now he finally understood her wife’s background.
Konstnärsnämden, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee, actually granted me some money to attend this festival!

A few days later it was time for a third festival screening, this time in Luleå. On the way back from Kirkenes, driving through northernmost Finland, I saw an amazing display of northern lights!
At the Q&A after the screening In Luleå I heard something I wasn’t prepared for: “this film didn’t feel too long at all!” It was Ingvar loco Nordin who surprised me with his comment. Usually it’s the opposite, people think that maybe it is a little too long. And sure, 2, 5 hours is longer than the average film but it’s nothing extremely unusual. Saving Private Ryan, Apocalypse now, The Irishman and others are about the same length. The difference is that my documentary doesn’t have any quest or story that is easy to follow. You can’t guess how far in the film we might be or how close to the end. It just goes on. But if people think it’s fun to watch so called Slow TV for hours where nothing much happens, how hard can it be to watch a documentary? In our cinema we showed a few years ago an award winning documentary that was nothing but beautiful images from around the world without any plot to follow and it was over 2 hours long. I’m not alone with this one.

And I just have to mention this: along with Ingvar loco Nordin came a woman who had acted in The House of Orphans!

Below is the trailer for ‘Voices from Finnmark’ and in May 2020 I will upload the full documentary on Youtube.

I continued working with Gunnarsbyn-TV (my local TV-channel) and made 9 episodes this year too, same as the year before. This year’s English interview is with an Argentinian world cyclist. Now, at the end of 2019, I have a grand total of 52 episodes in the archive. In the beginning (2015) I was getting thousands of views every time but now it only occasionally gets near, or past, one thousand and the average is somewhere around 300 views two days after posting it.

If you would like to support me you can visit my Patreon page and here’s a link to my playlist on Youtube with all my English (or with English subtitles) documentaries on Youtube.


Whoa! Two years past since my last post… How did that happen!

Okay, so to I didn’t make it to the film festival in Prague in early 2018. The invitation meant only that I could submit my film without having to pay a fee. That was a huge disappointment.

Working on a (potential) car commercial that two years later (2020) is maybe dead or a work in progress. I’m not sure.

In the spring of 2018, when Filmpool Nord (the regional financier) had an investor meeting, I made an appointment with the boss for a cultural TV program on the national TV and tried to sell my idea about a poet and sound artist living in a small village close to ours. She wasn’t all that excited and had doubts if it would be interesting enough for a whole hour so we decided that I’ll make the film and then she’ll have a look at it. I’m a lousy sales person so this was to be expected but when she sees the finished film I’m sure she will feel differently about it. Ingvar loco Nordin is the name of the artist and in the photo above he is discussing with a poet from Eritrea, Tsegay Mehari, who’s book he is translating into Swedish. Not an easy task when he doesn’t know Tigrinya and the English translation was less than good but the Eritrean coffee ceremony that we were treated to was excellent!
Here’s a short thing I made the day before my meeting with the person from SVT.


Just some fun!

My documentary ‘The Last Generation?‘ from 2014 didn’t directly bring me any real money but owing to it I got in contact with a researcher at Uppsala University which have resulted in some paid jobs too. This was one of them. Filming reindeer herding far out in the Luleå archipelago.

I continued working with my local TV-channel, Gunnarsbyn-TV, and 2018 I made 9 episodes.
The left side photo is from a concert with Northern Indians in our village and I got the first TV interview with them. The photo on the right is from a ski competition called Råneälvdalsloppet.
Almost every year there’s at least one episode of Gunnarsbyn-TV where I make the interview in English. 2018 we had a Philippine artist staying in our village and this is her story. Nina Garibay in Gunnarsbyn. (I don’t understand why I can’t get the video to show up on the page…?).

At a spring fare, with dart and air-gun competitions and more, the winners had many great prizes to choose from. Maybe an empty VHS tape?

I visited Ingvar loco Nordin at his hideout in the south of Sweden, in Nyköping, and continued shooting material for the coming documentary. At the same time, in the same city, our daughter’s team took part in the Swedish Cheerleading championships and I filmed the competition for her. Later I took the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki and visited the National Museum’s photo archive to see if I could find something interesting to use in my film about Finnmark. And yes, my car broke down (brakes failed) during the trip and my insurance paid for two hotel nights in a small town called Katrineholm while it was fixed.

Katrineholm: a place for life and lust according to the town slogan.

Most of the time my video work is not enough to pay the bills so I need to find other ways to get food on the table. This summer I worked in the forest counting trees for one of the big logging companies around here. If I don’t think about the mosquitoes and gnats it was a pretty good job.

Ingvar loco Nordin horseback riding for the last time. Next time when he came down the road the horse threw him off and he broke his back. He went to surgery almost immediately and being an outdoor person enjoying physical activities the future looked grim but he refused to give up and started to train almost immediately when he returned from the hospital. In the beginning walking short distances between the house and the porch but one year later he was again bicycling and skiing long distances just like before. Amazingly quick recovery from a complicated back surgery! What an Iron Man and inspiration!

2017 I finally got myself a decent tripod, headphones and a wireless mic. 2018 I invested in a light and a Zoom F8 field recorder. Great buys all of them! How did I ever manage without them!

A film about the fishing management of Råne river was going to be made 2017 and offers were accepted. Compared with the winning offer mine was very poorly written, I agree. So when I lost the bidding I decided to make my own film anyway and spent lots of time the following year (2018) with my main character along the river during the fishing season. The company with the winning offer presented their film this year and I was surprised by the fact that it delivered so little of what their offer was based on and what it was supposed to be. Considering the size of the budget I felt a little bitter about it and rightly so. I should be more of a businessman than filmmaker and I would be doing well!

There was another film, of another river, that was planned to be made, and I wrote a brilliant offer with lots of pages and got two known profiles to give it even more weight but nobody from the project ever got back to me about it. Not a word. Much later when I pushed them to give me an answer I learned that the board members had changed, they didn’t get any funding and my offer would have been too expensive anyway…

The last big round trip around Finnmark connected to the documentary. I succeeded in meeting most of the people that I interviewed to give them the opportunity to see their part in the film before the final cut. Top left: the strangest toilet I’ve ever been in.

One more trip to Finnmark to get the last interviews: two reindeer herders, one of them also a member of the Saami parliament in Karasjok. When I started this documentary six years earlier all my camera gear fit into my pockets but now I need a car!

Nothing to do with filming but two big things that happened 2018, both cat related.
I finally bought a 1997 Jaguar and our long time family member passed away.

Faces from 2018. From top left to bottom right: midsummer festivities, shooting in Norway, running 10 km under 43 minutes, stressed out from video work.

If you would like to support me you can visit my Patreon page and here’s a link to my playlist on Youtube with all my English (or with English subtitles) documentaries on Youtube.

2017 in short

The geisha documentary was supposed to be finished this year, in the spring, and when that didn’t happen, in July. But no… I didn’t get all the material and couldn’t start editing.
Long story very short; I was sitting in Kyoto wasting my time, personal relations got a little sour for other reasons not mentioned here, and now it also seems like I won’t get paid what I was promised. “You’ll get the money as soon as…”, “I sent the money…”, “It’s on its way…”, “You should have it soon…”. And soon 3 months have past… I did everything more or less for free because I looked at it as helping a friend, so it wasn’t even that much money, but when you don’t have anything, still it would have made a big difference.

So, I missed a lot of time that I should have spent on my Finnmark documentary instead. It’s almost done editing, and the biggest thing missing now is animations here and there, and that’s going to take some time because I decided to do them by myself. I just can’t afford to pay for it. Impossible.
I’m going to Japan for two months and when I get back in January I’ll start drawing. I need to get an animation software, probably TVPaint, and a drawing tablet like the Wacom Intuos Pro.

I run an Indigogo campaign in the spring to get me a new video camera and received about $ 2000, mostly from friends and relatives. I finally decided to get the Sony X70, which came to my surprise with the 4K upgrade for free.

I did some paid work for Uppsala university early autumn, when I followed two researchers from the university to Finland and interviewed people about the Talvivaara mining project near Sotkamo. This could turn into a bigger project if we get financing for it.
Anyway, it was interesting and shocking to hear all the testimonies about how the mining project had been run. Many parallels to similar kinds of projects in Sweden.

My documentary, The Last Generation?, was invited to the first Saami film festival in Luleå. It was fun to watch movies for 3 days and to meet and talk with others in the business. It has also been invited to a documentary film festival i Prague next spring, One World, the worlds biggest film festival focusing on human rights. Looking forward to visit Prague and spend 10 days watching films!

At the Swedish Film Awards

One of my documentaries, The Last Generation?, was invited to the Swedish film awards in January, and of course we would go. Our daughter would have killed me otherwise! The biggest concern was what to wear. My wife has a good collection of kimonos to choose from, but I needed to buy myself a suit. And our daughter of course couldn’t wear anything old.

We booked a big room in a fancy hotel right by the building called Circus, where the ceremony and party were held. We walked on the red carpet with all kinds of famous people everywhere, something that was completely lost on me because I don’t recognize anybody, but our daughter was very excited and said it was the best weekend she ever had! She pointed out all the famous artists and youtubers for me and got pictures taken together with her idols.

It was a peculiar feeling walking slowly on the red carpet facing a row of photographers and TV-cameras. I’m not used to that kind of attention but it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. Surprisingly enough, I was actually quite comfortable with it. The sweet buns in the picture are a seasonal treat I baked at home, this year with the film awards logo.

I knew that my film wasn’t nominated, so the awards ceremony wasn’t very exciting to me, and the party afterwards was pretty boring too. So much people that it was difficult to walk, and no familiar faces. Except the organizer of Ammarnäs dokumentärfilmfestival where my film was screened 2014. He remembered me.
Next time, when my film gets nominated, it’s going to be a lot more fun 🙂

The Wheels are slowly Turning My Way

The Last Generation? won second diploma at Murmansk film festival in November, and in January I presented it at Stockholm Film Institute’s spring presentation. Shared the stage with Swedish celebrity actors and directors, I did. In March 6th it will be available for movie theaters and I have already got one booking! The local radio station interviewed me and Henrik (the main character) about the film. Henrik was interviewed over a phone while I was sitting in the studio.

Last autumn I started my own local TV-channel. Sort of. I created a FB-page called Gunnarsbyn TV, and every now and then I post a video clip. It has over 200 likes, which I translate into regular viewers, and I get between a couple hundred and couple thousand views every time I post something. It’s fun to make these short videos and get feed back the same day I shoot them. Very different compared to my usual work with my longer documentaries that sometimes take years to complete. And if I in the future succeed to get a big number of regular viewers, it will be a good place to display my documentaries too. This TV-station caught the interest of local media and I was interviewed by both the big local news paper, and the (national) local radio station!

The other day, when I was shooting episode 10 for Gunnarsbyn TV, it was around -25 c, and I handled the camera without gloves. I got frost bites on my fingers and I’m afraid some of my finger nails are going to fall off. If nothing worse.

A documentary film maker, making a film for the Swedish national television, liked what she’s seen of my work, and wanted to buy some of it. Maybe even have some sort of cooperation in the future.

I’m going to show two of my documentaries at the county exhibition center later in the spring, and I’ll be there to answer questions after the shows.

All in all, it’s not a bad start this year, and to all things above I can also add some paid company work.

#1 at Youtube again

We are supposed to get personalized search results so it may be a little different for all of us, but I have checked it with different computers and connections so this could be fairly accurate.

My first #1 at Youtube was for the search term “Japan”. After two years, it has now dropped a couple of places but it’s still on the first page.

My second #1 is for the search term “flugfiske” (flyfishing in Swedish). A co-production with Fredrik Broman and Tomas Jönsson.

So, do I benefit anything from being #1 for these search terms? It pays for my organic orange juice every morning.


Back to Russia?

I have been down to Göteborg and Borås to do some research for a coming documentary of a more personal kind. It’s still in the early stages of planning and a lot of things can change, so I have to say maybe. Maybe it’s going to be about me and my dad’s family. How their lives looked in Soviet Union back in the 40’s and 50’s before they managed to move back to Finland. My dad and her sister were born i Pechora but they soon moved to Syktyvkar where they stayed until 1957.

It’s going to be a lot of detective work involved in this project, to try to find people and places after almost 60 years.

Youtube and copyright claims

Every time you upload something to Youtube that includes any kind of music, you get a copyright claim. Doesn’t matter if it’s royalty free music you paid for or something you made yourself. The claim is always linked to the music of the copyright holder and it’s always something completely different from what you have uploaded, of course. It’s some kind of annoying, automatic thing Youtube is doing every time.

If you’re a Youtube partner and plan to make money from advertising, then it might be a good idea to wait for a month before sharing your video. That’s about how long it’ll take for Google to accept your complaint and let you start monetizing your clip.

This is how absurd it can get. “…cat had copied part of a song called Focus belonging to EMI“.

Zoo Palast 1979

I bought a used book at the local Pentecostal Church flea market about a year ago and found this old movie ticket from Berlin inside it. I used it as a book mark. Exactly as the previous owner of the book, I suppose. Then I started to think about it. What movie had he or she seen? Was it something important because it was saved and used as a book mark? Maybe somebody young traveling around Europe looking for adventures and the meaning of life. Did the person experience something life changing in Zoo Palast March 30, 1979?

The book that the movie ticket came with, was popular with the young generation of that time. It’s a ll about drinking, sex and trying to find your place in life. Jack by Ulf Lundell.

I’m very curious about what movie it was. Apocalypse now? Alien? Stalker?
I mailed the new owners of Zoo Palast but they didn’t have any information about the movies shown before they bought the place.


Spanner in the works

The WordPress theme that I chose first, that was supposed to work with mobile phones too, didn’t work with my daughters iPhone when I checked. It didn’t show any links to the pages. So, brand new look today!

Today I got my first comments! All SPAM. They are so fast, spammers. Guess that problem won’t go away.
“It is appropriate time to make some plans for the long run and it is time how to increase volume of semen be happy.”