2019

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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.

2018

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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.