Something Finally Happens: behind the scenes
Like almost all of my other films, the idea for the film started with a situation that interested me. In this case a confrontation between an elderly person and a teenager. The inspiration for this came from multiple YouTube videos where young skaters are confronted by older people. Specifically this video where an older woman confronts a couple of teenagers are skateboarding in an apartment complex, which she's the manager of. The woman asks them nicely to leave but they ignore her, so she grabs one of the guys’ skateboard and tries to leave the place. The kids surround her, giving her no place to go. The kids then ask her to give back the board on the promise that they will leave if she does so. But having to committed to giving them an ultimatum, she can’t just give them what they want as she would sort of lose her authority over them. When she’s not looking, one of the kids yanks the board out of her grip and they all start running. As she’s chasing them, another one of the kids bump in to her, making her fall to the ground. The last thing we se of her is when the cameraman looks back at her quickly as she’s lying on the ground, not moving. The cameraman lets out a half-hearted ”Sorry!” as they all run from there - nervously laughing.
ANGRY WOMAN vs SKATERS (YouTube)
I think what interested me in this particular situation is how I can identify with both these types of people. The old, grumpy, stubborn woman and the young, obnoxious, rebellious skaters. They both just really want to enjoy themselves but can’t because of the other. So the idea for the film started with this scene, a fight between two people from different generations. This is usually how I start of when writing the scripts for my films. I mostly don’t have the whole film ready in my head from the start. I just start off with a key scene where I sort of build the rest of the film around it. It is quite exciting, because even I’m not sure where it will end up.
Another short clip that inspired me was this one. An old man smoking weed for the first time. I just love his ”I’m an old and retired so who cares if i smoke up” attitude. I feel like he is also being a rebell in some way, as he’s definitely going against what’s considered ”proper” for someone in his age. I’d consider him a even bigger rebell than those skating teenagers actually. That got me interested in making a film about someone like that. I wanted to put a person like that on an adventure.
Grandpa smokes weed for the first time in his life (YouTube)
So this is how my main character developed, a lonely, bored, old fart, suffering from lumbago with nothing to lose. A lot of people I think misinterpret the joint for me being pro drugs which is not the case at all. My thought was that I needed something that the characters were unaware of, but connected them somehow. My thought was that the reason the old man picked up the joint was because he had gone so far and didn’t really care anymore, so why not? You know the feeling when the situation really can’t get any worse, so why not just turn off your mind, relax and float downstream? I wanted to make a film about the idea that something good can derive from something bad. So the joint was merely just one of those gusts of wind which lead our main character on his road to happiness, as was when his back cracked or when he decided to get up that night and confront the teenagers. When people see the film they assume I’m this major stoner. In fact I am a teetotaller which surprises some. To interpret that the film in some ways is promoting drug usage is simply reading in to it too far - or not far enough depending on how you look at it. But often I just laugh it off and think to myself: wait until you see my next film as it will be a clear focus on anti drug usage and a reason to why I don’t do them.
For the longest time I thought I would become a comic artist. I took these evening classes with some friends after school where we had a blast. Some of my fondest memories are from the time I spent in that little classroom. I really liked drawing and writing the scripts. I just didn’t find myself in that whole process and it wasn’t until I was introduced to filmmaking that I realised where my heart was really at. In high school I took an animation class where i fell in love with the art of animation. So now I made both live action and animation films. Though keeping them very separated. The live action films were usually serious dramas and the animations were whacky comedies. After a while I sort of got tired of doing this though. I felt like I wanted to make serious films, but be imaginative and use colours! I wanted to make light hearted animations, but be taken seriously.
Something Finally Happens was in many ways a milestone for me. I had been taking a break from animation just working on short live action films for an entire year. As I got back to it I realised how much I had been missing it. It was also my first financed film which was big to me. I also had the chance to travel to South Korea with it for an animation festival. There, I met other animators which meant a lot to me since I’ve never really met a lot of animators here in Sweden. I knew that I wanted to continue doing animation. With live action film I’ve had a hard time finding my voice. It had just been a continuing search for who I am but without finding anything. With animation it’s like I don’t have to think about it, everything sort of comes naturally to me without having to think too much about it. So it came to a point where people and myself included would ask me: “So, are you going to be an animator director or live action director?”. This question had been gnawing inside me. For a long time I thought that I had to make a decision.
Finally, I realised that it was an impossible choice for me. I wanted to do both, I wanted to mix them. Ever since that moment, I’ve been working on animation/filmed combos. Lately I’ve sort of went away from fiction though and gotten more interested in doing documentaries. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time, but it wasn’t until this year that I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to do something personal, to talk about myself and my real thoughts. So what I can say is that I’m working on a documentary/animation about me and my sister, our lives and childhood growing up together. We are going to try to get a premiere here in Sweden in 2018, so watch out for it. It is called “Across the Andes” and you can follow the progress on both Facebook as well as Instagram.
"Something Finally Happens" won three awards at Festigious 2016: Best Student Film, Audience Choice - Animation and Honorable Mention - Editing.