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February 2016

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Page 18 of 51 17 POST FEBRUARY 2016 DIRECTOR'S CHAIR er, bit by bit." Where did you do the post? "We did it all in Oslo. We did all the ed- iting at our production offices, on Avid, and then we did all the color grading at Storyline Studios. And we also did some of the VFX work with Ghost VFX, who are based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and with Filmgate in Sweden." You shot very quickly, but post must have been quite a long process? "Exactly. It ended up being about a year, including all the editing." The film was edited by Christian Siebenherz, who cut your previous film Escape, and some of your commercials. Was he on the set? How did that relationship work? "Because we've done so many things together, we have a really good relation- ship, and he began cutting as soon as we began shooting, so we had a rough assembly by the end of the shoot. We'd get the dailies and then he'd be back in Oslo editing the scenes. It took a long time to go through all the footage, as I like to keep the cameras rolling and see what the actors might do, and I shoot with two cameras, so even though I work fast, we had a lot of coverage to deal with. It was quite a puzzle pulling it all together as we had a lot of different locations and different characters, with big, loud action scenes and then quiet- er, more intimate scenes. So you have to find the right rhythm and the pacing through the editing. And the editing also can really enhance the emotional impact of a scene." There are obviously a lot of visual effects shots in the film. How many are there? "A few hundred. When you're working with a limited VFX budget you have to be very smart about where you put your resources. Obviously the tsunami is the 'money shot,' and that's where most of the budget went, as if that didn't look totally realistic and believable, then the film doesn't work. And that took months and months to get exactly right. We actually locked some of the exteriors early so they could get started on it. And Gimpville also did the VFX work for the whole avalanche sequence. I know a lot of directors hate dealing with VFX but I like working with them and I love the whole technical side of filmmaking. I'm a bit of a geek, I guess! (laughs)" What was the most difficult VFX sequence/shot to do and why? "Definitely the whole tsunami sequence, as we shot some of the scenes without a green screen, and we also had roto ele- ments and hand-held camera work that had to be tracked exactly right, so that whole sequence was very challenging to do. But I love working with VFX, as they give you so many opportunities as a film- maker to create images you otherwise can only imagine." Can you talk about the importance of music and sound to you as a filmmaker? "They're both hugely important for me, and I worked very closely with sound designer Christian Schaanning, who went to film school in Norway with me, and who did my first movie. He did some work on the Transformers movies, and he has a great ear and some great tricks he uses. For instance, to create the sound of the mountain rock starting to crack, he used some special microphones that can record a very wide spectrum of megahertz, so he'd record the sound of crackers breaking, and when you slow that down, you don't lose that high-end cracking sound that is so scary in the scene, along with the deep bass rumble. We did the mix in Dolby Atmos, which is amazing. We did the final mix at Nordic Film in Copenhagen, and spent about two weeks there." How did the DI process help? "We did that at Storyline Studios, with colorist Cem Ozkilicci, who worked on my last film. He's a really talented colorist and we spent about three weeks and did a lot of work grading as we had location, studio and VFX work to combine. He'd work with lots of keys and windows...I love the DI because there's so much you can add to the overall look." Did the film turn out the way you hoped it would? "It did and I think it's maybe even better than I imagined it. It was an ambitious thing to attempt on a low budget, but I feel we pulled it off." Scandinavian cinema's always been prominent on the world stage, thanks to Ingmar Bergman, Max von Sydow, Susanne Bier and others. What's your take on the Norwegian film industry today? "I think it's pretty healthy. We're making bigger and better movies that appeal to larger audiences, and it's growing steadi- ly. The ideal for me would be to go back and forth between working in Hollywood and making films back home. I'm still based in Oslo, but I spend quite a lot of time in Hollywood, which I love." What's next? "I have a couple of projects I'm developing back home, but I'm also in Hollywood. I'd love to make a big studio movie with a huge budget. Those are the movies I grew up loving, like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lord of the Rings, King Kong, and my idols were people like Steven Spielberg, Jim Cameron, Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson. It's funny — they all started off making little horror movies and that's what I did too, so I feel I really relate to them. They created these amazing worlds and that's what I love best about being a director. I made my first short when I was still at school, in eighth grade, back in 1985, and I still get the same sense of excitement when I start a film." PHOTO: EIRIK EVJEN The feature was shot over 37 days, 15 of which were on-location. The final release features a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.

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