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"Mobil" is about to shoot

Posted on by Truls Krane Meby

My latest short, Mobil, is four days away from shooting. Parts of the team had a week of preparations last week, on location in Lofoten, and will soon return after having had a few days off for Easter.

 

Our lead will be played by the talented Jawad Kad, in his first film role. 

I spent much of the prep rehearsing with him, and it was really wonderful to see him discover things about his own acting throughout the week. We'd rehearse and film and discuss, and it was clear that, though he'd never acted before, he had a real talent for it, and found it easy to get comfortable in front of the camera, and to tap into his own emotions and bring them to the character.

I ended up testing out the blocking of some important scenes, that called for a bit of choreography, and for seing exactly which shots we needed in a very editing-based sequence. I Seeing the results got me so excited that I ended up shooting and blocking all the rehearsals that followed in the way I'd pictured them. Soon I had an edit that was beginning to look more and more like the film I'd imagined, and as we kept plowing away at the scenes, I ended up with a cut of almost the whole film from start to finish. Which feels both great and bizzare. 

(watch out for that yellow)

(watch out for that yellow)

It's helpful for all of the crew to now see in a much clearer way how some of the more abstract parts will look, and it's relieving for me to see that the construction of it works. There are quite a few stylistic changes towards the end of the film, and I'd worried a little that I was overdoing it, but now I see that it'll work out very nicely. On the other hand, it's really strange to have this alternate universe version of the entire thing, and I have a scary feeling that we've already done the film. I'll have to work against being too strict on set now, and not just trying to do exactly what we did in the draft, which'll just make things mechanical. To keep exploring. So, while I've never felt this well-prepared, I'll now have to throw some obstacles in my way, so that it doesn't become stale.

Then again, as far as obstacles go, I've written a film for northern Norway that is scripted to take place over 1.5 very sunny hours, that will be shot over four days, which is a pretty fucking stupid thing to do for a location that often has four seasons in a day. Don't be surprised if somebody remarks in the beginning of the film that "the weather is so crazy up here". 

"World Wide Woven Bodies" premieres online

Posted on by Truls Krane Meby

Finally, after a couple of years of festivals, tons of great reminiscing about the strange early days of the internet with so many interesting people, and a few beautiful awards, World Wide Woven Bodies is finally ready to come home, to the web.

We've already been honored by being featured on NoBudge, Short of the Week, and Vimeo Staff Picks. 

With World Wide Woven Bodies, I wanted to be back in the 90s, right there at the arrival of the internet, to once again feel how it was when that new frontier opened up, to give a sense of some of the new complications that arose as a part of it. I wanted to show how the internet always has been intimately connected to our intimate parts, given its free-flowing uncensored nature and the relative ease of covering the tracks of one’s hidden passions. As the internet gets more and more incorporated into our lives, and probably, eventually, our flesh, this connection will grow all the more. This can be considered an origin story of this connection.

 

My short "Everybody Is Present" is now online

Posted on by Truls Krane Meby

My 2014 short "Everybody Is Present" is now online for viewing. It's the result of a mostly unscripted shoot, and what little script there was certainly isn't left in the film. Pretty much every line in the film as it is now, was improvised by the actors. 

We shot a great deal of footage of the main sequence in the film, that I knew would be the focal point of the short, but we also shot a ton of other scenes I thought we'd need, but which ended up being discarded in favor of focusing only on this one situation. 

That situation alone carried all the implications I wanted to explore, about closeness and technology, that despite the physical boundaries that separate you from the people you communicate with online, there can be intense moments of connection. 

 

Horace, Pete, and Time

Posted on by Truls Krane Meby

One of the strongest things I felt watching Louis CK's fantastic show Horace & Pete was the intensity of time passing. Time making itself brutally felt in a variety of ways: slow-moving, or moving all too fast, showing itself welded to the core of the characters and showing itself through the overall structure.

In some of the main characters and most of the supporting characters, in true sitcom style, time seems to stand still. These are mostly static characters, mostly changeless. The sitcom cuteness of characters never changing (because we don’t really want them to) is exchanged here with characters who are brutally and self-destructedly stuck in their ways. A habit, even destructive ones, still gives a comfort because you recognize it as part of yourself, as they rhythmically mark otherwise chaotic time and give a known structure to days. The loss of a habit can be extremely frightening, and these characters hang on to theirs with clenched fists. Horace & Pete might be the world’s first sit-trag(edy). “Return next week to see your favorite characters still stuck in their ruin!”

Until, suddenly, they’re not.

At least twice the show catches you completely off-guard with a brutal ellipsis, as an extremely important dramatic event happens between episodes. These events are referred to only indirectly for the first few minutes, leaving the viewer feeling as if she’s missed something, not being primed for the new extremity of the situation, feeling as if the rug has been pulled under her. Suddenly things are different. There’s no emotional gradient, no gradual getting used to things, just an implicit order to get used to it.

But the show is also extremely generous with time. Just as much at it is about what and how time takes away, it is a show that fights against time by affording focus on characters, letting them speak and explain themselves. The monologue here becomes a way of generously offering time to a person. Horace & Pete tells us to slow down and listen to this person that is speaking. That could mean listening uninterrupted to a monologue for seven minutes, or the following conversation for forty-five minutes, but that is the least the characters deserve. This show is a goddamned good listener. One of the most striking moments of all the episodes comes when somebody we’ve never met before is shrugged off by a central character, and who then proceeds to demand her and our focus and time, and deliver an incredibly heartfelt monologue, explaining himself and his motives.

One the flip side of this we have Uncle Pete, who explains himself quite a lot, but who just seems more and more bizarre the more he talks. Time is built into the fabric of his being, but not our time. He is utterly anachronistic, and his ossified views are not just relics from a time that has mostly past, but they also have an extreme strangeness and surreality to them, that seems like a metaphorical way of saying that we are forever cut off from the past. A representative of the previous generation, his alien behavior often feels more as if he’d been beamed in from hundreds of years back.

In the background lies time on a bigger scale: the handing down of the pub through the generations of Horaces and Petes, and tradition threatened by gentrification. Though Horace and Pete cling to the traditions of their pub, there’s a sense of an impending doom just outside the doors, made all the more ominous by us never actually seeing the outside, but only getting an indirect image of it through the “authenticity”-seeking hipsters who come in and wonder at the quaintness of the place. Destruction-through-gentrification is an immediate threat, that is brought up and fought against throughout the show, but it also hints at the greater threat that lies at the core of the it: that though this place might survive a little longer, nothing, in the long run, will. 

In the meantime it might be comforting to give your time to somebody's stories.

Details: "The Marriage of Maria Braun": Machine Gun Jackhammer

Posted on by Truls Krane Meby

When one of the main themes of “The Marriage of Maria Braun” is how the German Economic Miracle propelled the country forward economically but simultaneously hurried it away from a proper coming to terms with the war, then having the incessant construction noises outside sound like machine gun fire is a pretty intense metaphor.

Details: "Inherent Vice": PARANOID

Posted on by Truls Krane Meby

Everybody’s going for a coked-out drive, and when Denis asks what Dr. Blatnoyd is putting underneath the seat, Blatnoyd tries to keep to keep him calm by saying something like “pay no attention to that bag, I don’t want to make everybody **PARANOID**”, spitting (!) out the word in a way that reveals how the word was on his mind but halfway through the sentence he completely forgot what the word was there for and the sentence achieves the exact opposite effect of what he intended.