Today's post is another framing film and this time we have an interview with Filip Tegstedt from Jamtfilm!
Make sure to check out his current project, after reading the interview, you can find all about it here!
Ferenc Igali: Hey, thank you for agreeing to an interview, it's brilliant to have you with us. Our series targets the process behind filmmaking as well as filmmakers and their independent journeys.
You have said in a Tweet recently that, “If you keep a closed mind and confuse what a film is supposed to be with what you think or want it to be, obviously you won't like it.”
Filip Tegstedt: Yeah, my new philosophy going back about a year or so is that there are no "bad" movies. Sure there will always be movies you don't like or that don't appeal to you because you're not the intendend audience, and while no movies are for everyone, every movie is loved by someone. I think it's important to keep an open mind about what you're watching and try to enjoy it for what it is and not hate it for what it's not supposed to be anyway.
A lot of my favorite films like Office Space, The Big Lebowski or American Beauty, I hated on first watch. It wasn't until revisiting them on a different day that I appreciated them.
FI: How did you form your production company?
FT: It was just me, and I was working on putting together my first feature film, MARIANNE. When I couldn't recieve funding, I decided to start a production company and fund, produce and market as well as write and direct. A lot of hats, but it worked out.
FI: As you are a Swedish production company, do you exclusively film in Sweden, or have any of your projects taken you further afield?
FT: So far I've only filmed in Sweden because this is where I live and I don't really have any money, but I'm trying to make films for a global market. If I'm able to in the future, I'd love to shoot abroad.
FI: In light of that, how have you used the internet/social media to your advantage when sharing films? For example, we have seen on your Marianne Movie website (link) that your audience can rent your film.
FT: I'm mostly on Twitter (@Jamtfilm @MarianneMovie @FilipTegstedt) and Facebook ( http://facebook.com/MarianneMovie ) but recently I've also started looking into Instagram (MarianneMovie) and I've also got a making of MARIANNE blog on tumblr ( http://mariannemovie.tumblr.com )
FI: What was the inspiration for Marianne and how did you produce this film?
FT: This is kind of a tricky question because it requires a long answer, but in short a lot of it's inspired by the place I grew up in and Swedish folklore. You'll find a lot more information on the extensive tumblr blog.
FI: As a production company, how do you produce independent films? Can you please tell us a bit more about the production company's side?
FT: A few years ago, it used to be the problem was distribution. Now it's a lot easier to self distribute via VOD, but now the problem is marketing. These past 3-4 years there's been huge tsunami like rise in how many films are produced each year, like probably three times as many films produced this year compared to 3-4 years ago, and it's still rising. There's never been this many films produced ever, because the technology is so cheap now.
At the same time, piracy is still rampant, so selling a film is pretty much impossible.
As far as producing though, it's never been easier. It's just getting people to find your film among the ten thousand other films produced that year that's difficult.
FI: How do you go about finding funding? Since crowdsourcing through websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, has become ever popular, has this changed the way that you fund the films you produce?
FT: Not really, because when I started pre-production on MARIANNE in 2009, Kickstarter was just starting out, and DSLR filming was brand new too. If I was to start another feature now, maybe I'd use Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, but I don't have anything like that planned at the moment.
FI: What is the typical equipment/cameras/lights that you use for your films? What sort of set up do you work with?
FT: It really depends on the project. With MARIANNE, I wanted a naturalistic almost documentary feel with a lot of hand held, a lot of steadicam, and natural lighting because MARIANNE is very much a kitchen sink realist horror film.
With our ABCs of Death 2 contest entry M IS FOR METALHEAD, we were trying to go for more of a retro/80's feel with lighting and cinematography, although we were limited to using what we had on our budget, which was a camp fire and some strong flash lights. On other projects, like a music video we did for the Swedish rock band LIZETTE &, called "Golden Shower" that I was DP on and Johan Bergqvist (the film AMBER) directed, we used more of a classic set up. Most of the stuff Johan and I have done together have been shot on DSLR (Canon 7D) but if we'll find the budget for it, we'd love to work on REDs and Alexas.
FI: Do you own equipment or rent?
FI: Talk us through how you source actors to be in your films. Do you have favourite thespians, who you go back to time and again? Who stars in your latest film?
FT: Dylan M. Johansson has been in everything I've directed since a web series I made in 2007, but there's no "rule" for me. It depends on the project.
FI: Why horror? Has this always been something you’ve been interested in and are you going to explore other avenues?
FT: It's easier to sell than melodrama or arthouse films. It's got a niche audience. I'm hoping to do other things though. Actually, I've only made two horror projects, MARIANNE and M IS FOR METALHEAD. I think I've done more mocumenatary stuff, with my web series and a few shorts, than horror.
Like with anything else, it just depends on the project, I'd love to do straight drama too, or scifi.
FI: You are currently in a competition called the ABC’s of death, tell us more about the short film that you have entered, M is for Metalhead and where the inspiration for it came from.
FT: It was an idea that's been floating around in my head for a few years. What if Jason, Freddy and Michael Myers went to a summer camp and told an urban legend around a camp fire about a "final girl" who's out for revenge on all slasher killers.
When I brainstormed our ABCs of Death thing with Johan Bergqvist, who was DP on Metalhead, the idea came up and we went with it. We talked about other ideas, but that one was easy to make and we didn't have any money.
FI: As we ask everyone we interview; what film would you have worked on, if you had been given the opportunity? Can be any film in production or already made!
FT: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. I was working at that production company as a production assistant on a television documentary series when that was in pre-production, and tried desperately to get hired for that production when the series ended, but didn't.
FI: Could you name your top 5 favourite, producers/production companies, if you have any, please?
FT: Probably, (in no particular order), Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg, Gale Anne Hurd, George Lucas.
I was born in the late 70's, and it seems anything these people touch as a producer is worth watching.
FI :And finally, what’s next?
FT: I've no idea. I have a lot of feature film ideas and some short film ideas.
Whatever I start on, it'll probably involve writing, worrying about what can be financed.
Me and Johan Bergqvist have talked a lot about writing something together though, so at least that'll be fun.
We're also trying to get his newly re-edited feature debut AMBER (original title "Jag Är Min Egen"), which is a Swedish crime drama, out in distribution.
We just want to say a big thanks to Filip for the interview and we wish him the best of luck with his current project!
But You Didn't Hear it From Us,
Mr & Misses