Meet Your Makers: Spætt Film

For this week’s edition of Meet Your Makers, The List stopped by the Spætt Film office to talk to director Magnus Skatvold and CEO/Co-Producer Håvard Gosse about their recent hit film: Trondheimsreisen. They premiered the documentary during Kosmorama International Film Festival this past March and received great acclaim.

For those that missed it during Kosmorama, or those wanting to see it a second time, the film is still currently in theatres.

Peep the trailer:How did you first become interested in film?

Magnus:

For me, it very much so has been a lifelong passion. I’ve been a film-buff since my childhood and I have kind of known from the time

Photo courtesy of Spætt FIlm

I was 10 or 11 that at some point I was going to work with film; either has an actor or director. I was just fascinated with the world of film.

– Any movie in particular?

I think Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 was one of the first films I saw in the cinema, probably a little too young to see it, but that was just such a profound experience for me.

 

Håvard:

I like to tell a fun story which is when I was born my parents were out at the cinema; watching To Menn for En Baby. I wanted to get out and spoil this horrible film for them…I don’t know if they’ve ever watched it again.

Photo courtesy of Spætt Film

Then my plan was to be an engineer, but I always borrowed my dad’s camera to film little clips. Then I studied math, chemistry, and physics at university and got some extra points for that which got me into my dream course: the film course at NTNU. So thanks to me trying to be an engineer I got into the film class and its grown from there!

 

 

 

Where did the project of Trondheimsreisen come from?

Magnus:

This project had been in development for about a year before we got attached to it. Trondheim Cinema and the producer were in talks about putting to use some the many kilometers of films stock they had stored. And that began the process of what it should be used for, whether a documentary or something else.

We got approached to take a look at the material and got involved in the process. Then we started with interviews, for research and for something we could use in the film. So we started with interesting storytellers in Trondheim, not necessarily famous people, but ones that had personal and historical stories to tell.

Håvard:

We are really happy that Dag Hoel came to us with this project. As we said he had been developing something with Trondheim Kino, but then he needed a storyteller to come on board. Dag Hoel is one of the all-timers here in Trondheim; he’s been producing for many, many years. He knows me from previous work we have done together and of course, Magnus was on his radar as well for being one of the young, new directors from the region that has a lot of experience. So it was well timed that he came to Magnus for the director position.

Magnus:

The dynamic between the producer and myself was very good for the project. We had different views on materials and experience and two voices to tell the story. This resulted in, mainly, positive discussions on the what the story is and could be – which is so broad as we are telling the story of Trondheim over the course of 100 years.

How long did it take to complete the film?

Magnus:

We were contacted about the film about two years ago. The process started there, and while it hasn’t been full time, I’ve spent several hours a week, every week on it for the past two years. It was a lot of different processes, one being getting a hold of all the material and looking through it – which takes hours and hours. You also have to think about it and let it sink in and start to build a story in your head.

There is also the process of editing it all together that started very early on. Within the first month, I started editing together little scenes and trying to get a hold of the style I wanted to use.

Choosing the footage was quite intuitive in a sense. I had done a couple of interviews that were very open, just sitting down with people for an hour or two talking about their lives with no clear agenda. I just wanted to get as much openness as possible, and people ended up using me almost like a therapist. They were talking about things they hadn’t thought about in 10-20 years; people were opening up and crying. I think there is something that happens when people speak to someone half their age or younger starts asking about their lives. How was it being in love during this time or that? What was it like experiencing the war? That gave me a lot to work with.

How was the process compared to your previous work?

Magnus:

This project is very special because we had to find a way of doing it, almost inventing a new way of thinking. The story we were telling isn’t linear where you have a script and just need to follow that. All the materials we had, from the footage, the interviews, and even the sound design was influencing each other. It was after the interviews that I really knew what to look for in the material and footage we had, but also it worked the other way and the material gave me ideas about what to ask people during the interviews.

Håvard:

The only mainframe we really had to guide the process of creating the film was that it started with this shot from 1906 and the ending using footage from the 1980’s. Most people would have organized the film to have it all in chronological order, but Magnus managed to find some kind of fluctuating way to tell the story that still makes it feel like it is going from one point to another. Which is a much more interesting film, I think.

Magnus:

It was a challenge because it needed some structure. The film is chronological in a way that it starts one way and ends more modern in some parts, but it takes some liberties in jumping between decades in ways we felt it was necessary to tell the story. We see the timeline as not only chronological but where do you place something like being a student at NTNU into a specific time period? We wanted to tell things like that, like being a student, as some broader. That we could mix clips from the 1940’s or 60’s or 80’s and that things are very much the same, but also has its differences.

How long did it take to look through all that footage?

Magnus:

Our material came from a lot of sources, from the national library, Studentersammfundet, NRK, and even regular people sending us film from their own collections.

That footage isn’t the same type of quality like some of the stuff from NRK, but having those private moments from real Trondheimer’s became the soul of the film.

Håvard:

We bought a machine to digitize the film ourselves but quickly found out that it wasn’t enough. We could use it to watch through the film but had to send it to a specialist to digitalize it. But its great as now all the footage is being sent to the National Library to be stored and is great for documenting our history.

How was the premiere?

Håvard:

It was awesome for us. I was sitting next to two musicians that have a song in the film and overheard them talking about how they were touched by the film along with everyone else. Everyone was talking about their own experiences in the city, and that was great to hear.

We had people coming up and telling us that they were never going to leave Trondheim again!

Magnus:

It was an overwhelming experience. I’d seen the film 10-20 times already, but it really came alive seeing it with a large audience. It was definitely a high point in my professional life – presenting it with Liv Ullmann of all people and getting such positive feedback from the audience. I had people coming up to me that I didn’t know to thank me for making the film.

We knew of course that this would be popular amongst the older generations of people in Trondheim, but it has shown itself to be more of a cross-generational film and bringing people together.

What’s next?

Magnus:

After Trondheimsreisen it was very good to go back to doing more short-term projects. Also working with the documentary ‘Blue Code of Silence’ [A documentary film about the story of the infamous NYPD officer Bob Leuci] and hopefully we will get some more answers on that in the coming months.

Håvard:

We [Spætt Films] have a short film that is being made with Vegard [Dahle] as director. He made the film ‘Eye’ last year, which won the 72-hour competition at the Jinzhen International Short Film Festival in China last year. We are making a behind-the-scenes movie on that as well. We also have a few feature films that are in development.

Keep an eye out for much more from Spætt films in the future. With some exciting documentaries, fiction films, and entertaining commercials currently in the works. Check out some more of their past, current, and future projects here!

Also stay tuned to TheList.no for a few film suggestions from these two!

Warm Drinks for Cold Weather

Warm Drinks for Cold Weather

Not everyone wants to have a hot coffee beverage, and plain cocoa can get boring. Here are two alternatives that you can make with a few extra ingredients that can excite your taste buds, enchant your guests and give you something new to add to your holiday traditions. As well as a few tips from our friends at Jacobsen og Svart on how to brew a fantastic cup of coffee.

Photo: Jennifer Wold

Cinnamon Orange Cocoa – All things considered, these three flavours all go well together in different combinations. Together they are heavenly. This simple cocoa will amaze not only your nose but your taste buds too.

3 dl heavy cream

4 dl milk

3 tbs sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

50 g dark chocolate, chopped

zest of 1 orange

Heat the cream to a simmer, add chocolate and orange zest. Whisk until chocolate dissolves. Whisk in cinnamon and sugar, allow to dissolve. Slowly pour in milk and whisk until entire mixture is warm. Serve this with a dash of cinnamon and some shaved chocolate on the top.

Vanilla and Ginger Warm Apple Cider – Cider is very refreshing with its crisp fall apples. This takes that to a whole new level to warm even the coldest of fingers and noses.

1 litre apple cider (apple juice will work)

1 vanilla bean split and seeds scraped

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

small cinnamon stick (a ½ tsp of ground cinnamon)

Heat the apple cider to a good simmer then reduce heat. Add the vanilla bean, ginger and cinnamon and heat for 15 minutes, giving it a good stir every few minutes. Strain the mixture to remove the ginger, cinnamon and vanilla bean pod. Serve immediately with a slice of apple, or store in a carafe to enjoy while out and about.

A perfect Coffee?

Any coffee, no matter how good the bean is, can become a bad cup of coffee. The coffee experts at Jacobsen og Svart want to help you make the most of your Christmas coffee.

Photo: Jennifer Wold

Kokekaffe (Kettle Coffee):
60g course ground coffee, as coarse as you can get it.

1 litre water, measured in a measuring cup

Boil your water in the kettle and remove from the heat. Once taken from the heat, pour in your grounds and give it a good stir. Never boil the grounds. Now, leave it for 8-10 minutes. Here is the magic tip: take the lid off and hit the edge of the kettle with a spoon and then be patient, the grounds will break and sink to the bottom, leaving you clear coffee to pour off into your cup.

Photo: Jennifer Wold

Filter Coffee:

60 g finer ground coffee, about the size of coffee crystals (not the fine ones)

1 litre of water, measured in a measuring cup

Start by rinsing your filter to remove the bitter taste that filters often give. Then measure your water for boiling, in a clean kettle. Pour in the water slowly to give it enough time to seep through the grounds.

One of the things to look for is that your grounds are damp, but not a soggy mess when it is done brewing.

Written by Jennifer Wold, this article originally appeared in Issue #19 of The List; read more here!

Skiing and Such

I think I read somewhere online that Norway did pretty well at the Winter Olympics (or just The Olympics as Norwegians call it). Cross-country skiing is part of Norwegian way of life, they’re born with skis on their feet, blah, blah, blah.

Watching all the action might have given you the boost you needed to get out there and glide on some snow, which we have a lot of currently. Here is a quick rundown on how to get out skiing like a local.

Photo: Anders Kallerud

WHERE TO GO

Trondheim, like a lot of places in Norway, is surrounded by areas to go skiing; take a look at this map that shows some of the options.

Bymarka, Granåsen, and Strindmarka are the usual destinations for city-dwellers and recommended by them as well. These stops are close by and easily accessed via bus. Though double check the schedule to make sure you have time to enjoy your day.

Photo: Anders Kallerud

To get out to Bymarka just hop on Bus 10 to Skistua and, bob’s your uncle, you’re there.

For Granåsen, also home of our beautiful ski jump, Bus 19 to Sandemoen is what you want, hop off at Granåsen VM-Anlegget.

And Strindmarka: Bus 5 or 66 up to Dragvoll will have you skiing in no time at all.

Bymarka is recommended to new skiers as it is the easiest (the flattest) track, but it has some breathtaking natural views. On the other hand, Strindamarka and especially Granåsen have plenty of ups and downs, then some more ups and downs making them better suited to those with some experience or great will, to challenge themselves. Granåsen is extra cool because of the stadium and lights along the rack, which can give you feel of competitive ski racing.

Photo: Wil Lee-Wright Photography

WHERE TO RENT GEAR

If you’re interested in playing in the snow, but don’t own the equipment, two options come immediately to mind.

The first is to get in touch with Trondheim Skiklubb and renting everything you need and picking it up at the conveniently located Skistua.

Trondheim Kommune also has several locations that loan out sporting equipment; from skis to canoes and backpacks.

WHAT TO BRING

The List recommends bringing snacks; no matter what activity you are doing, but skiing in particular. For the authentic experience pack a Kvikklunsj, and orange or clementine, and some hot chocolate or coffee.

For clothing: pack light, but warm. Especially this week as it is supposed to pretty darn cold.

Bring some friends, bring a date, your dog, your kids, or take a few laps around the track solo. Skiing can be enjoyed by everyone and in many different ways.

Photo: Sondre Hovda Dahlskaas

Skiing is not the easiest hobby to pick up; it requires a type of balance and movements that are not found in everyday life. So a smile and good sense of humour are also good things to pack along with you.

Let it Burn – Lee Scratch Perry at Brukbar/Blæst

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What song were you singing when you got home last night? That’s what we want to know. Blood blood blood, blood and fire… that’s what I’m saying. Hear me now!

“Shut up!” screams my wife. “It’s a Monday night!”

Great privilege to witness and shoot the mighty Lee Scratch Perry at Brukbar/Blæst last night. Probably the busiest we have ever seen the club, and let’s not forget … it was a Monday night.

The legendary Jamaican producer and pioneer, accompanied by longterm associate The Mad Professor, pulverised the crowd with his dub and reggae machine. There was a wait for the 80-year old upsetter to take the stage, and you have to forgive us non-believers for suspecting that he might never arrive, whilst Mad Prof laid down the remixes (or should I say RIMIXes?!).

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But then a suitcase appeared, a bunch of bananas, a glass of champagne and the lights went up. So did the lighters, on several occasions, but not in a Michael Jackson sort of way. And then Perry, adorned with mirrors, shaman-like bangles and red beard dye, took to the stage.

It was a visceral and eccentric performance, and there is nothing like an old dude strutting his stuff and having the time of his life. It gives you hope, pure unadulterated hedonistic hope, hope of a life lived to the full and happy future. Perry had plenty to say too – mostly about how cigarettes give you cancer. Though that was about the extent of the family-friendly content. I’m pretty sure everyone shared a favourite moment during the concert, but I aint gonna write about that now. Let’s just say it was an “I was there when..” sort of thing.

Lee Scratch Perry is the creative effort which helped unleash Bob Marley on an unsuspecting world. A humble songwriter for the likes of Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and King Tubby, who has remained committed to experimenting with the musical form. In the 70s he started the infamous Black Art studios and collaborations with many of the greats followed – Max Romeo, The Congoes, the Abyssians , Delroy Wilson, The Heptones and even the Clash.

Perry later burnt down the Black Art Studios in ’84. Having witnessed last night I’d say it’s likely that many buildings he enters suffer similar fates. Blood blood blood, blood and fire… mercy lord!

Haile Selassie.

(all photos by Wil Lee-Wright)

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