Tag Archive: promo

I mentioned in an earlier post that I like colors, so I’ve been looking trough my stuff to see if that’s actually true. So here is a couple of stills from some ads I’ve directed, shot by different photographers.

Lydverket 1

The first one (Lydverket) is actually shot by me. It’s a no budget “stand up” done in front of a green screen, shot on a Panasonic HVX200. It took about 30 min to shoot and another 30 to edit. I hade done a previz, so I more or less had the edit ready. I keyed the green screen in FCP which is not very smart if you want a nice smooth key, and I wasn’t planning on using it, but I liked the rough look it gave som I kept it.

Lydverket 2

The background stills are taken by various photographers at various festivals and concerts. My orignal plan was to have the stills in color and the talking head in black and white, but it turned out strange and awkward to look at when I cut from “face with background” to just “face without background”. It sort of became like jumping back and forth between color and B/W which was just annoying. So I experimented with different sepia/color wash solutions and ended up with this blue look with fake lens flare..

Olympics 2008

The next one is an ad for the Summer Olympics 2008 shot by Thomas Løkkeberg. This was the first ad I ever directed and we did it old school and shot on 16mm. I would choose 16mm over any digital format any day, I like the  dust, scratches and burns. It just feels more real. Of course, my big dream is to shoot an ad using 70mm, wich is ridiculous, but I don’t think it’s been done before. If it has, please tell me!

We were going to shoot five kids playing football (no gun involved) on a playing field during a

Mud football.

sunny day, but the weather forecast looked grim so we decided to use it instead of working against it. To make sure it rained all day we hired some FX people with rain machines to cover us in big, cold rain drops, 12 hours at end. It looks awesome, but in reality it’s a pain in the butt. The fake rain is not “warm” like regular rain. It’s icy cold. And there is a lot more of it than during a regular rain shower.

Being my first shoot, I ended up shooting way more than I needed. I had never made anything

I like rain.

as short as an ad before. This one ended up being 40 seconds long and I only used half of the shots we did. You usually never have more than a day or two when shooting an ad, so planning is important. It could very well be the most important thing you do in preproduction. That being said and if time permits it, I would rather come back with more shots than I need. Or end up using.

Continues after break.

We love rain.

The next one has a Blade Runner/C.S.I inspired look and is an ad divided into 6 parts. I co-directed with my colleague Leon and it’s shot by Tor Eigil Scheide. The “story” stretches over 3 different locations, the 2 first ones are the most interesting; “the crime scene” with the film noir, Blade Runner-inspired look and the “crime lab” with the CSI-look. This was an ad for the Norwegian

Big lights pan through the windows creating columns of light in the smokey interior.

finals of Eurovision Song Contest, or Melodi Grand Prix as we call it. Lot’s of colors, lot’s of glam and lot’s of really bad taste. But we had fun making the ads none the less. I’m a huge fan of Ridley Scotts Blade Runner and to get to play with big lights and smoke all day hardly counts as work.

Picking up evidence.

We found a great location in Oslo with a fantastic red and white checkered floor and some big great looking windows. Outside we put up a pair of lights and some guys swinging them back and forth, the effect was pretty amazing in the smoked filled room. It’s pretty dark, but still a lot of colors. Mostly dark, pink, purple, blue, red and silver and gold. The set looked quite different in regular light. Below are some more stills, I may even post the videos later on.

Look out!

Cliché.. P3 Sommer.

Lydverket (DoP Håvard Byrkjeland)

P3 Sommer, another cliché.

Hot water on cold ground makes damp. Nice.


I’ve always liked “Behind the Scenes” documentaries on DVDs, Blue Rays and even VHS back in the days. It was inspirational, and I guess in some ways, they helped me decide what I wanted to work with or towards. Some of the better ones that I like a lot is “Under Pressure” (The Abyss), “Hearts of Darkness” (Apocalypse Now) and “Dangerous Days” (Blade Runner, 4 hours of pure film making joy!). Also shorter featurettes on Unforgiven, Terminator 2, Total Recall, Star Wars and the latest Star Trek movie are good (J.J Abrams uses some easy and excellent old school techniques that show that simplicity still works like a blast!) . If you’re hardcore you may want to check out all 12 hours of LOTRs extended edition extra material. But only if you’re hardcore. Anyway, now I wanna try to go behind my own stuff. It’s “just” ads and promos, but the process is still the same in many ways, only shorter!  

The set four days before shooting

My biggest production so far, in terms of set size, number of people, budget and equipment, is the ad we did ahead of the winter olympics 2010. I had never actually shot in a “built from scratch” studio set before this. All my previous shoots had been on location, and I was looking forward to work in a controlled enviroment for change. Control is perhaps not the right word, “rigid” is more appropriate. Because in studio, nothing happens without you or someone else doing it. No wind, no weather, no natural lighting, no natural moist or density in the air,

Two days before shoot. Halfway there!

no nothing.  NRKbeta wrote a behind the scenes article back when we made the ad, if you read norwegian, have a look.

When shooting on location I almost always come back to the editing room appreciating the small mistakes, chances of luck and unforeseen events that happens through a day. Picture 1, 2 and 3 shows the building of the set over three or four days. It’s not a big set, the hallway is 10 meters long, 2,5 meters wide and there is path that leads to the right for another 2 meters. As inspiration I had the Ice hotel from Dr. Zhivago, and as it turned out, so had my set designer as well, before we even started talking about how

Set. Done.

I wanted it.  

We actually discussed the possibilities of building the set in a giant fridge at one point, because I wanted the realism of warm breath in cold air which is really hard to do well in CG. In the end we decided not to do it. It was to expensive and would not allow much maneuvering space,in addition to the uncomfortable conditions of shooting in a subzero environment. We tried a CG solution later on, but it never felt right to me, so in the end we decided to leave it out.  

A lot of stuff got left out due to time and budget restrictions. I initially wanted drifting snowflakes in the air and 50 cm of powder snow covering the floor, just like in Ridley Scotts, “Legend“! (Legend is perhaps not the best movie in the world, but it is a visual masterpiece when it comes to set design. The whole thing is more or less shot in a studio, which in the end burned down before the shoot was finished. Early Scott-movies are visually stunning, check out The Duelists, Alien, Legend and Blade Runner!)  

We shot the ad using Arri D21 on a MovieBird crane most of the time. Some shots on a dolly. It later turned out that there was a software bug in the Arri or in the workflow between the camera and editing software that messed up the blue channel of the image, which again caused problems when we started keying the green screen footage. It turned out okay in the end, but we spent a lot of time messing around, trying to find a solution to the problem.  

The Arri D21 on a MovieBird.

Where did the other wall go..?

 In addition to being my first studio shoot, it was also my first time working with 3D-elements which requires some extra planning. I’ll continue with that in Part 2 of this “behind the scenes” post, and let us not forget about the snow.. I’ll write something about that as well.