Oslo, Text and Photo by Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews
When you are born and raised in a spectacular Northern-Norwegian landscape, you definitely know what beauty and perfection is all about. Between high, snowy mountains in the winter, sandy beaches and seagulls in the summer, you will find your way to embrace the esthetics and art around you.
In the middle of these landscapes, film director Stig Svendsen grew up in the late 70s and early 80s in Brøstadbotn in Troms County. Growing up in what you might call ‘the middle of nowhere’ has its advantages when it comes to creating your own entertainment trough creative thinking. After two years attending The Kubert School, Mr. Svendsen moved back to Norway to attend The Film and TV Academy in Oslo. So far in his career, he has directed a number of short films in Norway, and the full-length movie ‘The Radio Pirates’ (2007).
In an exclusive interview with ThorNews, Mr. Svendsen tells that in his youth he was very fascinated by American films. Especially the sci-fi and thriller genres appealed to him, something that is shown in his latest production ‘Elevator’. It all began when he by coincidence met screenwriter and producer Marc Rosenberg at a film festival in Italy in 2008. After talking for a couple of hours, the planning and production of ‘Elevator’ began. This was Mr. Svendsen’s entry to the American movie business.
-Well, it’s not that simple, a humble and friendly Mr. Svendsen says to ThorNews. ‘It’s a typical catch-22 situation getting an agent and a management that provides you with the best projects, investors and actors; you need one of them to get to the other. Luckily, because the film already was fully financed, the access to actors and locations made it easier to complete the movie.
Together, Mr. Svendsen and Mr. Rosenberg did the casting themselves to get the perfect actors for the characters.
– There wasn’t much shooting time, so we needed experienced actors. When big names like John Getz, Joey Slotnick and Shirley Knight agreed to participate, the rest of the cast just fell into our hands. I am extremely pleased with all the actors – both their individual performance in front of camera and also their beliefs in the project, says the film director with a smile.
Most of the actors from ‘Elevator’ are well-known names in the American movie business.
The film is categorized as an ‘ultra-low budget’ film which means that the total costs do not exceed $500.000, which shows Mr. Svendsens ability to create quality art from nearly nothing.
‘Elevator’ has received good reviews back in Norway. Next stop is The Omaha Film Festival in March, and then The Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival in April. The BIFFF is dedicated to the sci-fi, fantasy, horror and thriller genre. It is obvious that the determined director is very pleased with the reception of his film.
Now, Mr. Svendsen is planning a new film project along with ‘Elevator-partner’ Marc Rosenberg. It’s the film-noir inspired sci-fi movie ‘Are You Prepared?’. Mr. Svendsen keeps the cards close to his chest, but tells ThorNews that the production of ‘Are you Prepared?’ is ready to start as soon as everything practical is in place. He is also working on a Norwegian movie project with an historical foundation; the Kings Bay accident at Svalbard in 1962 – which the following year resulted in the reassignment of the Norwegian Prime minister.
-I find the Kings Bay project very fascinating, both because it has an historical interest and because the public information does not comply with what actually happened. I smell conspiracy…’ The film director is looking at the ceiling and we can sense that he is already directing the story.
-We are wondering, Mr. Svendsen,what are your ambitions for the future? Do you have some dreams you hope to realize?
-I would love to direct ‘The Dark Knight’, but unfortunately that’s too late. Another dream is to produce the Norwegian cartoon ‘Engineer Knut Berg’s Adventures’ where the story circulates around the establishment of NASA and the space race in the 1950s. It’s just a fascinating story with both humor and conspiracies.
ThorNews believe that Mr. Svendsen has a future in Hollywood. We are prepared!
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