Posted by: admin in: Cinema
When and how did you decide to make films?
By the age of 30, I had already tried several occupations and then I got the idea to apply for film directing studies at the Institute of Industrial Arts. I was admitted, so here I am. Ever since childhood I’ve been a film freak, I’d sneak into the cinema at least 2-3 times a week.
This is your first feature film for cinema. Why did you want to do one?Â Were you
tired of TV?
A cinema film has been my goal since my studying time. The popularity of the “Raid” TV series made it possible. And yes, I was tired of the television work.
What are the positive and negative aspects when you’re a director in Finland?
There’s only a small population of Finnish-speaking people in the world, which means that Finnish films don’t usually have big cinema attendance figures. The resources are very limited and the competition is hard.Â It seems that filmmaking is not valued as Art – the state support to opera is five times bigger than that of film art! We have great actors and actresses, authors – and locations where no one has shot a film before, the nature is constantly around and near.Â And best of all, the public has found the Finnish film again!Â There’s none of that unhealthy Hollywood glamour in the Finnish films.
How did you have the idea to make this film?
I worked with the other scriptwriter, Harri NykÃ¤nen. We created and developed ideas together â€“ I had sometimes wild visionary ideas and Harri, a former crime reporter, dragged me down to reality. It was very fruitful both ways. The story of “Raid” is based on a real criminal act which took place in Estonia.
How did you choose the actors?
I usually go to theaters, view the work of my colleagues and try to keep up with the development in the field, get to know the newcomers etc. There are certain actors and actresses I trust, and most of the time I work with them. Some 80% of the cast in “Raid” have worked with me previously, and many of them are my friends.Â I always use professional actors and actresses in my films.
During the making of the film “Raid”, was there a moment/stage that you preferred?
The most difficult but rewarding locations were the two islands: The Porkkala lighthouse island in the open sea, with the stunning scenery and atmosphere. Inside the lighthouse, we had some really tight spaces to squeeze the camera into but I think the pictures we got were really good. The other island was the fortress in Kuivasaari, with the biggest still functioning museum artillery in Europe. One of these guns is actually fired in the film.
To mention a few others, the Saana mountain and the KilpisjÃ¤rvi lake in Lapland were great, too. The first shooting day at the Harmaja island pilot station and an appointment with an enormous icebreaker out at the open sea was quite imposing!
Certain directors say that the “cutting stage” is really intense and rewarding, but can be as well really difficult. Do you share the opinion?
A film is finally born in the cutting room:Â you can destroy even a good film or turn a modest one into a success. The cutting phase of this film was difficult but the process gave me satisfaction. I am grateful to Kauko Lindfors, the editor, who had the strength to survive my perfectionism â€“ I guess he’s some kind of a perfectionist himself.
In your opinion, what is the Finnish movie industry situation nowadays?
There’s not much money in the field but the public is showing ever growing interest in the Finnish films and they go to the cinemas to see them. I’m glad that Aki KaurismÃ¤ki got into the top directors’ group of the world with his latest film The Man Without a Past.
What are the three Finnish films that someone should absolutely see?
Mikko Niskanen: Kahdeksan surmanluotia, (Eight Deadly Shots) Edwin Laine: Tuntematon sotilas (The Unknown Soldier),Â Aki KaurismÃ¤ki: Mies vailla menneisyyttÃ¤ (The Man Without a Past).
What are your current and future projects?
Right now I’m on vacation, shovel snow in the yard, make house repairs, do some sports â€“ and start writing a new manuscript when the ideas pop into my mind. In the autumn, I will direct a TV film based on the script by Jari Tervo.