Location recce: SVEN-GUNNAR

I am happy to announce that the rural short horror film SVEN-GUNNAR (IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10515598/?ref_=nm_flmg_wr_2) is in production! Pre-production is mostly done now and the shoot is next week. More details to be announced on the film soon.

And yesterday we did our location recce for the film and so I got to spend the day in beautiful Hälsingland and hang out with Director Darwin Reina and lead actor Jonny Vikeväkorva Johansson (IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm10780320/?ref_=ttfc_fc_wr2) – and to meet the inspiration for the name of the movie in person. Although I don’t fear that the actual production might kill me, the mosquitos might.

The purpose of the trip, was to check the location – to plan which parts of the area to use for which scene and to do a preliminary run through of the blocking, but also while filming (sans lights) to gauge how doable the shoot will be, and to try and pre-empt any production issues that may arise e.g. such as needing antihistamines and the strongest repellent known to man etc 🙂 . But also for running through what you’ve scripted, to try and make it work in a run-through, to see if it has the desired effect.

The countryside was indeed beautiful in the sunny weather, as we passed a large lake and fields full of wild flowers and crops and many forested areas. And the main location is situated on a substantial and attractive period property (from the 1800s) – thanks very much to Jonny’s father-in-law and Mother for the use of their house. It was impressive and more than what we needed. As was the land all around it. We then found a forest location nearby at another relative’s house (where I was rapidly feasted upon by flying vampires) and later viewed some potential vintage cars for the film, and found a picturesque field behind that other property that could be perfect for the film too. It was great and the fact that his parents fed and watered us, let us have the run of the place and also helped us secure other important items was a huge help. Meanwhile Darwin took us through his ideas for the shots and we rehearsed / blocked out a few scenes.

It wasn’t all good. I think I’ve counted around 11 bites – all within a 20 minute stint in the forest. But may have missed a few. Thanks to the shingles, I am now allergic to such bites, whereas I never really was prior to last year. Dammit. But I will come more prepared next time. Top tip: don’t wear shorts and t-shirts just because it’s hot.

I am sure that there will be snags and challenges – especially with casting. But so far, as production has begun, things are looking good for this horror short. And we can’t wait to share more with you asap.

I’m just not looking forward to my next tussle with those mozzies….

Update – the ups and downs – MR CLEAN

[Originally published on 7th November 2018]

Wow. Filmmaking is tiring. You forget this, when you don’t do it for years. I mean real filmmaking, which involves putting a full production together, and building a crew up from the ground, because you’re living somewhere where you don’t know anyone in the industry and have to start from scratch. And you are trying to wear so many hats and perform so many different tasks, and all while doing a day job with urgent aggressive deadline requirements. Kudos to anyone who does this and doesn’t whinge about it and takes it on the chin and gets it done!

Anyway, this time since the last update has been fraught. It’s been a real rollercoaster of ups and downs. Where one minute we have ‘this’ and then we lose ‘that’. Where ‘that’ is back again and ‘this’ is now missing. The twists and turns of real life filmmaking are more exhausting than the plots I can contrive. But that is what pre-production is like…. One minute I want to do a feature film already and the next minute I never want to pick up a camera or plan a shoot, or break the bad news to an unsuccessful auditioning actor again….

Here’s a quick summary of what’s gone on:

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