Kiki — a Production Diary

Our main exterior location at Unstad, the home of our protagonist surfer. (Photo from my iPhone)

I had a great time in Lofoten earlier this month — more precisely at a surfing spot near a village called Unstad, lighting a short film for my friend Torkel Riise Svenson. The film is about a surfer who is forced to move away from the beach by the local authorities because they want to make way for German tourists, but of course, he’s not going to make it that easy for them.

Surfers? In Northern Norway? You've got to be kidding me... (Photo from my iPhone)

Lofoten is an amazing place, with tall mountains diving straight down into the sea — beautiful scenery, and Unstad seems to be a great place to surf (there were 5-10 surfers in the water at almost any time of the day, you don’t see that a lot in Northern Norway). Unfortunately, it is also very exposed to stormy weather, located with a clear view of the Norwegian Sea.

We experienced the power of nature on our first main unit shooting day, when heavy winds almost wiped out the entire set. A sofa flew 50 meters, and our accountant lost his glasses permanently (you know the location is nice when the accountant shows up on set). Alas, we had to move indoors for two days, shooting the interiors of the camping wagon on greenscreen in a large soccer hall. We were a bit bummed at first, but this move gave us an opportunity to light the interiors even more precisely according to the mood we were looking for.

Our indoor location after the storm hit us. (Photo by Ivar Waage Johansen)

Exterior location in somewhat improved weather. (Photo by Ivar Waage Johansen)

Another one of our pleasant exterior days, in amazing surroundings. (Photo by Ivar Waage Johansen)

Shooting interiors of the local municipality. (Photo from my iPhone)

Productions like these really help tighten the (already strong) bond between the young filmmakers of Northern Norway and the film industry of Northern Sweden, represented by Stefan Hencz who supplied most of the equipment and the Swedish grip from Luleå. Stefan was the one who taught me mostly everything I knew about lighting before I moved to Oslo, and he has showed great commitment towards getting the film industry in the north up and running. I had an excellent pair of local sparks, Benjamin Mosli and Ivar Waage Johansen, who really made the job a pleasant experience, and surely will go on to make great things (Benjamin is starting school in Denmark this fall, wave out Benjy!).

Eventually the weather calmed down, and we were able to crawl out of our little cave to shoot some great exteriors on the beach and in the village, as well as the local municipality where the sinister head of tourism held office. What happens with Kiki and his camping wagon will most likely be revealed at the 2011 Tromsø International Film Festival.

Kiki is a Read Head Production, directed by Eilif Bremer Landsend.

View of Unstad from above. (Photo from my iPhone)