BEHIND THE SCENES
Falskur Fugl (Ferox)
Feature Film, Iceland
Director: Thormar Jonsson
Production: New Work Productions
Shot on ALEXA
Thoromar said, "Come to Iceland, let’s make a film together." "But we don't have any money!" I replied. "Well, we'll figure it out once you are here." So off I went and we actually managed to raise 43.000€ from family, friends, and our own bank accounts.
We wanted to make a film adaptation of Mikael Torfason’s bestselling debut novel Falskur Fugl. Admittedly, we were not the first ones to come up with the idea — many had tried adapting the book for the screen, and they all gave up. The story is as captivating as it is violent. With no money to spend on SFX, we decided to hint at brutality rather than to show it. When I watch the film now, I still think that leaving most of the violence out was a great idea. What happens in your own imagination can be way more frightening than what you see on the screen.
As one of the executive producers I knew all too well how limited our budget was, but there was one thing I insisted we must have: the ARRI Alexa with a set of old Zeiss High Speed lenses. My entire lighting equipment could fit into the trunk of an old Mini-Cooper: it contained one Kinoflow, two IKEA China balls with 100 watt bulbs on dimmers, one 2K Blonde with gels for night exteriors, and three flags. The trick was to make use of practicals and existing lights as much as possible.
I found Thoromar’s way of working quite unusual, but also immensely stimulating. He insisted on breaking down the scenes directly on the set, with no scripted plan. I had never worked like that and had to learn fast how to tune into that work mode. I would watch the rehearsals and only then start figuring out how to shoot the scenes.
What really moved me — besides the privilege of working with some of Iceland's best actors — was the amazing energy on the set and our team’s dedication. I still remember seeing so many smiling faces — under the circumstances we faced during this no-budget project, that was something truly inspiring.