thehorrorshowtv:

Retro Review: MARIANNE (2011)
A good portion of American indie horror flicks deal with an outside (generally malevolent) force that impacts a person or a family unit. Lately I’m noticing a proclivity in smaller foreign genre flicks to go the other way: how a mundane “everyday” tragedy is the impetus for the terrors at hand. That’s a basic way of saying that the recent Swedish thriller Marianne is a dramatic piece, first and foremost, and a rather quietly engrossing one, too. But what’s most interesting is how the flick turns from domestic tragedy to legitimate horror tale without cutting any corners, tipping its hand, or cheating its audience.
First-time writer/director Filip Tegstedt is not interested in an external “monster” that attacks a family; instead he offers a something  a bit more cerebral and insidious: a creature born of guilt, neglect, and selfishness. A creature that, once unleashed, is virtually impossible to put down. Backed by a fantastic cast and a palpable sense of effective gloom, Marianne follows the story of a neglectful man whose wife has recently died in a car accident. Krister (an excellent Thomas Hedengran) is left with two daughters: one a helpless infant and the other a stubborn bitch of a teenager.
But beyond the grief of losing his wife, his concern for his children, and his general air of unhappiness, Krister has a nasty collection of dark secrets tucked away in his mind — and they’re not the kind of secrets that will fade away quietly.
To say much more would rob Marianne of its quietly confident transformation from tragic drama to effective horror, but it’s this transition that makes the film such a cool little story to discover. Despite some sobering turns and effective jolts, Tegstedt is also able to wring some sedate but amusing moments from his cast. How much you’re able to “buy” the creepy stuff depends directly on how much you can relate to Krister, and we get to know the character through smart, small moments with his daughter, his mother-in-law, and a family friend who, despite his silly nature, may actually have a clue as to what’s going on in our protagonist’s fractured mind.
Without some true sincerity and a dash of insight, a horror film like Marianne could easily turn into a well-intentioned bore. Such is clearly not the case here. Although probably not recommended for the hardcore gorehounds, the creepy, insightful and effectively melancholy Marianne is a quiet little winner.

Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg)

MARIANNE is now streaming at http://www.TheHorrorShow.TV/productdisplay/marianne 

Review originally published by FEARnet. Reprinted by permission.

thehorrorshowtv:

Retro Review: MARIANNE (2011)

A good portion of American indie horror flicks deal with an outside (generally malevolent) force that impacts a person or a family unit. Lately I’m noticing a proclivity in smaller foreign genre flicks to go the other way: how a mundane “everyday” tragedy is the impetus for the terrors at hand. That’s a basic way of saying that the recent Swedish thriller Marianne is a dramatic piece, first and foremost, and a rather quietly engrossing one, too. But what’s most interesting is how the flick turns from domestic tragedy to legitimate horror tale without cutting any corners, tipping its hand, or cheating its audience.

First-time writer/director Filip Tegstedt is not interested in an external “monster” that attacks a family; instead he offers a something  a bit more cerebral and insidious: a creature born of guilt, neglect, and selfishness. A creature that, once unleashed, is virtually impossible to put down. Backed by a fantastic cast and a palpable sense of effective gloom, Marianne follows the story of a neglectful man whose wife has recently died in a car accident. Krister (an excellent Thomas Hedengran) is left with two daughters: one a helpless infant and the other a stubborn bitch of a teenager.

But beyond the grief of losing his wife, his concern for his children, and his general air of unhappiness, Krister has a nasty collection of dark secrets tucked away in his mind — and they’re not the kind of secrets that will fade away quietly.

To say much more would rob Marianne of its quietly confident transformation from tragic drama to effective horror, but it’s this transition that makes the film such a cool little story to discover. Despite some sobering turns and effective jolts, Tegstedt is also able to wring some sedate but amusing moments from his cast. How much you’re able to “buy” the creepy stuff depends directly on how much you can relate to Krister, and we get to know the character through smart, small moments with his daughter, his mother-in-law, and a family friend who, despite his silly nature, may actually have a clue as to what’s going on in our protagonist’s fractured mind.

Without some true sincerity and a dash of insight, a horror film like Marianne could easily turn into a well-intentioned bore. Such is clearly not the case here. Although probably not recommended for the hardcore gorehounds, the creepy, insightful and effectively melancholy Marianne is a quiet little winner.

Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg)

MARIANNE is now streaming at http://www.TheHorrorShow.TV/productdisplay/marianne

Review originally published by FEARnet. Reprinted by permission.

After the shooting was over, I was finally able to hit the wall.
CHAPTER 92: BURNING OUT OR FADING AWAY
One of the main reasons I didn’t want to edit MARIANNE myself was that I knew after having spent a year and a half working every day without break, no way would I be up to the task.
By the time filming ended, I was drained. Physically, emotionally, and mentally. When everything was taken care of and footage was sent over to the editors, I could finally wind down a bit.
That’s when I hit the wall and burned out.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t really time to be a wreck and knowing the deadlines for the festivals were approaching was enough motivation for me to keep going despite lack of energy.
I keep thinking of Granpa, how he in his mid 80’s drove from the lakehouse to the hospital with a shredded arm on pure stubborness and determination.
My memory of the entire post production phase is a bit hazy, but I believe I exhausted myself to the point where I couldn’t get out of bed at least three times in six months. Pigheadedness and tunnel vision on having a finished sold film was what got me back up every time.
This isn’t a very healthy way of doing anything, and I don’t recommend it. When you burn out like that, it’s extremely important to start listening to your body and get lots of rest.
 - Filip Tegstedt


MARIANNE from Jämtfilm AB on Vimeo.
 
Watch MARIANNE At The Official Website Below!
MARIANNE Is Also Available At The Horror Show - UK Only!

After the shooting was over, I was finally able to hit the wall.

CHAPTER 92: BURNING OUT OR FADING AWAY

One of the main reasons I didn’t want to edit MARIANNE myself was that I knew after having spent a year and a half working every day without break, no way would I be up to the task.

By the time filming ended, I was drained. Physically, emotionally, and mentally. When everything was taken care of and footage was sent over to the editors, I could finally wind down a bit.

That’s when I hit the wall and burned out.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t really time to be a wreck and knowing the deadlines for the festivals were approaching was enough motivation for me to keep going despite lack of energy.

I keep thinking of Granpa, how he in his mid 80’s drove from the lakehouse to the hospital with a shredded arm on pure stubborness and determination.

My memory of the entire post production phase is a bit hazy, but I believe I exhausted myself to the point where I couldn’t get out of bed at least three times in six months. Pigheadedness and tunnel vision on having a finished sold film was what got me back up every time.

This isn’t a very healthy way of doing anything, and I don’t recommend it. When you burn out like that, it’s extremely important to start listening to your body and get lots of rest.

 - Filip Tegstedt

MARIANNE from Jämtfilm AB on Vimeo.

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Having written the screenplay and filmed everything I figured, whatever else happens, I have the footage. I can put it together. The hard part’s over.
CHAPTER 91: POST-PRODUCTION BEGINS
Post-production happens in basically five stages.
Editing
Color-Timing / Grading
Sound Editing / Sound Design
Scoring (composing, recording, mixing)
Sound Mixing
The first thing you do is edit the film, which is basically assembling the best bits and pieces together into one flowing movie.
Once that’s done, you lock the edit, and you can’t change it after that.
Then you work on color-timing and grading the image so everything looks the same and you create the “look” of the film, while the sound is edited, mixed and designed, the sound track is composed and recorded so it works in harmony with the editing, and then it’s all mixed and rendered.
It’s a much more complicated process than most people realize, and there are a lot of Points of No Return.
Like the first step - Editing. Once you’re editing the sound, there’s no changing the edit of the video or else your entire film is out of synch, for instance.
When we were finished shooting the scenes on August 3rd, and had everything on hard drives with back-ups and everything, I sent it all down from Östersund to Halmstad where Jonas Samuelsson and Anton Silver had their editing bay.
I was up in Östersund with Stefan Hallgren and Sol Vikström of Happy Minds Studios, who had done the sound recording in July, and were doing the sound editing, design and mixing during Post-Production.
MARIANNE soundtrack composer Mikael Junehag was down in Gothenburg, and Kid Arctica, who wrote several songs for the soundtrack was in Bergen in Norway.
So we were all over the place.
It was early August, and the plan was to have the film completely ready in time for us to apply for Berlin and Gothenburg. Those festivals are in late January / early February, so the application date is a couple of months before that.
It was very ambitious, both trying for those A-list festivals and doing the post production in only a few months, but those festivals also have important film markets so even if I didn’t get into them the markets were important.
The loan I had taken to finance MARIANNE was causing me to leak a lot of money paying a high interest every month, so that was a big ticking clock.
With no job or income, I needed to finish MARIANNE and sell it fast before I ran out of money.
 - Filip Tegstedt


MARIANNE from Jämtfilm AB on Vimeo.
 
Watch MARIANNE At The Official Website Below!
MARIANNE Is Also Available At The Horror Show - UK Only!

Having written the screenplay and filmed everything I figured, whatever else happens, I have the footage. I can put it together. The hard part’s over.

CHAPTER 91: POST-PRODUCTION BEGINS

Post-production happens in basically five stages.

  1. Editing
  2. Color-Timing / Grading
  3. Sound Editing / Sound Design
  4. Scoring (composing, recording, mixing)
  5. Sound Mixing

The first thing you do is edit the film, which is basically assembling the best bits and pieces together into one flowing movie.

Once that’s done, you lock the edit, and you can’t change it after that.

Then you work on color-timing and grading the image so everything looks the same and you create the “look” of the film, while the sound is edited, mixed and designed, the sound track is composed and recorded so it works in harmony with the editing, and then it’s all mixed and rendered.

It’s a much more complicated process than most people realize, and there are a lot of Points of No Return.

Like the first step - Editing. Once you’re editing the sound, there’s no changing the edit of the video or else your entire film is out of synch, for instance.

When we were finished shooting the scenes on August 3rd, and had everything on hard drives with back-ups and everything, I sent it all down from Östersund to Halmstad where Jonas Samuelsson and Anton Silver had their editing bay.

I was up in Östersund with Stefan Hallgren and Sol Vikström of Happy Minds Studios, who had done the sound recording in July, and were doing the sound editing, design and mixing during Post-Production.

MARIANNE soundtrack composer Mikael Junehag was down in Gothenburg, and Kid Arctica, who wrote several songs for the soundtrack was in Bergen in Norway.

So we were all over the place.

It was early August, and the plan was to have the film completely ready in time for us to apply for Berlin and Gothenburg. Those festivals are in late January / early February, so the application date is a couple of months before that.

It was very ambitious, both trying for those A-list festivals and doing the post production in only a few months, but those festivals also have important film markets so even if I didn’t get into them the markets were important.

The loan I had taken to finance MARIANNE was causing me to leak a lot of money paying a high interest every month, so that was a big ticking clock.

With no job or income, I needed to finish MARIANNE and sell it fast before I ran out of money.

 - Filip Tegstedt

MARIANNE from Jämtfilm AB on Vimeo.

 Rate MARIANNE on IMDb!Join MARIANNE on Facebook!Follow us on Twitter!Find us on Vimeo!Find us on YouTube!Ask me something!

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Production Day 26: August 3rd, 2010

CHAPTER 90: THE LAST DAY OF PRODUCTION

On August 3rd, Peter Stormare came to Östersund, and we brought the crew back together for one final day of shooting.

I get asked a lot how I got a star like Peter Stormare (Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Armageddon, Minority Report, Constantine… the list is endless) in MARIANNE.

The answer is pretty simple; I got lucky.

Peter is a great guy, very down to earth, and loves supporting small indies if it’s the right one for him.

I knew he would be in the area that summer because he was shooting another much bigger Swedish production that year called JÄGARNA 2 (False Trail in English) where he played the villain. Sweden is a small country, and that film was shooting further up north, so Östersund is between Stockholm and that town.

He liked the story in MARIANNE a lot, and the subjectmatter, so he agreed to do one day of shooting. We were such a small team that we could assemble on a moment’s notice, and that’s pretty much what we did.

Our sound technicians Stefan Hallgren and Sol Vikström from Happy Minds Studios in Östersund, also worked at the local radio station OneFM, and we used their offices in downtown Östersund to film the therapist sessions all in one day.

The crew was kept to a minimum that day, which was a good thing because sometimes you don’t need 15 people in a room when you film three scenes.

The rest was pretty straight forward. We filmed everything with two cameras and on every take I got a lot of great adlibbing after the scene was done so we just kept rolling. I put together a fun gag reel with the material where Peter Stormare and Thomas Hedengran are just messing around for the DVD, but it’s not subtitled.

I might subtitle it and release it online if there’s a demand for it though.

These therapist scenes ended the Production phase of MARIANNE, and they’ll end the Part 3 of this blog too.

Tomorrow, it’s time for Part 4: Post-Production.

 - Filip Tegstedt

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Production Day 25: July 22nd, 2010
CHAPTER 89: PICK-UPS PART 2
The day after, on July 22nd 2010, we had scheduled for the helicopter ride that would let us shoot the opening credits sequence.
There’s a helicopter company in Östersund called Jämtflyg, that helped us out and gave us a very reasonable price. Director of Photography Johan Malmsten strapped up and, leaning out of the helicopter, filmed the entire sequence which was a 10 minute or so flight one way.
We used the same Canon 7D for this that we shot the rest of the film with, and the same 16-35mm f/2.8L II glass.
I would have gone up with him, but somebody had to drive Krister’s blue car, so I did that.
The helicopter footage for the opening credits and also in the end, makes the film look more expensive, I think.
The problem was we couldn’t get a mounted camera. Doing it handheld like this made the footage extremely shaky, which meant we had to do some serious stabilization of it in post. With the resolution being 1080p, that meant losing detail, because stabilization means you also have to digitally upscale the footage.
If we had shot this on, for instance, a Red One in 4K resolution, it would have been less of an issue.
It looks fine though, mostly thanks to the great job our editors Jonas Samuelsson and Anton Silver did with it in post.
 - Filip Tegstedt


MARIANNE from Jämtfilm AB on Vimeo.
 
Watch MARIANNE At The Official Website Below!
MARIANNE Is Also Available At The Horror Show - UK Only!

Production Day 25: July 22nd, 2010

CHAPTER 89: PICK-UPS PART 2

The day after, on July 22nd 2010, we had scheduled for the helicopter ride that would let us shoot the opening credits sequence.

There’s a helicopter company in Östersund called Jämtflyg, that helped us out and gave us a very reasonable price. Director of Photography Johan Malmsten strapped up and, leaning out of the helicopter, filmed the entire sequence which was a 10 minute or so flight one way.

We used the same Canon 7D for this that we shot the rest of the film with, and the same 16-35mm f/2.8L II glass.

I would have gone up with him, but somebody had to drive Krister’s blue car, so I did that.

The helicopter footage for the opening credits and also in the end, makes the film look more expensive, I think.

The problem was we couldn’t get a mounted camera. Doing it handheld like this made the footage extremely shaky, which meant we had to do some serious stabilization of it in post. With the resolution being 1080p, that meant losing detail, because stabilization means you also have to digitally upscale the footage.

If we had shot this on, for instance, a Red One in 4K resolution, it would have been less of an issue.

It looks fine though, mostly thanks to the great job our editors Jonas Samuelsson and Anton Silver did with it in post.

 - Filip Tegstedt

MARIANNE from Jämtfilm AB on Vimeo.

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Production Day 24: July 21st, 2010
CHAPTER 88: PICK-UPS PART 1
We still had a few pick-up shots to take after Principal Photography wrapped, as well as one last day of shooting, which was scheduled for August 3rd.
On July 21st, with most of the team scattered, me and Hans-Olof Sörlin (who owned the green VW we used as Marianne’s car) went over to the house we had rented by Kerstin Hansson, to do the pick-up shot of Marianne sitting outside Krister’s house.
Fun trivia for this shot is, we couldn’t get Viktoria Sätter (“Marianne”) that day, but Sandra Larsson (“Sandra”) was available, so it’s actually her sitting in Marianne’s car, wearing the cheap wig we used for The Mare.
 - Filip Tegstedt


MARIANNE from Jämtfilm AB on Vimeo.
 
Watch MARIANNE At The Official Website Below!
MARIANNE Is Also Available At The Horror Show - UK Only!

Production Day 24: July 21st, 2010

CHAPTER 88: PICK-UPS PART 1

We still had a few pick-up shots to take after Principal Photography wrapped, as well as one last day of shooting, which was scheduled for August 3rd.

On July 21st, with most of the team scattered, me and Hans-Olof Sörlin (who owned the green VW we used as Marianne’s car) went over to the house we had rented by Kerstin Hansson, to do the pick-up shot of Marianne sitting outside Krister’s house.

Fun trivia for this shot is, we couldn’t get Viktoria Sätter (“Marianne”) that day, but Sandra Larsson (“Sandra”) was available, so it’s actually her sitting in Marianne’s car, wearing the cheap wig we used for The Mare.

 - Filip Tegstedt

MARIANNE from Jämtfilm AB on Vimeo.

 Rate MARIANNE on IMDb!Join MARIANNE on Facebook!Follow us on Twitter!Find us on Vimeo!Find us on YouTube!Ask me something!

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Production Day 23: July 20th, 2010

CHAPTER 87: PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY WRAPS

On Tuesday we wrapped principal photography.

After this, we had a few pickup shots to get, and one final day with Peter Stormare left, and that was it.

  • Scene 79 (Outside the therapist’s office)
    We started the day by shooting outside the Odensala health center. This is only a few hundred meters from Krister’s house, and if he existed in real life and needed a therapist, this is the health center he would go to.

  • Scene 66, reshoot (The Firepit Scene)
    We keep coming back to this, because it was a big scene in the screenplay, in the subplot between Sandra and Stiff.

    We had already failed once to film it, but the surrounding scenes were done.
    Here again is the link to the screenplay pages, where you can see how it originally played out.
    For those not wanting to read through all that, here’s a quick recap:

    Stiff has invited Sandra down to a hotdog roasting by Great Lake to get her mind off all the trouble with her dad and the loss of her mother. Being a bit thick and having trouble understanding social codes, Stiff doesn’t understand Sandra’s relation to the others who will be there. He knows their in Sandra’s class, but doesn’t understand they’re not exactly friends.

    Sandra doesn’t know they’ll be at the firepit, so she goes along with Stiff.

    In Scene 65, we follow Stiff and Sandra down to the lake on his moped.
    In Scene 66, we follow them through the woods, and that’s where we discover, together with Sandra, who has invited Stiff. They’ve already been established in the school scenes.

    One of the kids sneak off during the roasting, saying he’s going to take a leak. When he gets back, Sandra convinces Stiff they should go. When they get to the parking lot just behind the trees, they discover the kid who snuck off has wrecked Stiff’s moped. When they see this, the kids come out of the trees taunting Sandra, who finally blows the fuse that’s been burning all along throughout the film. She attacks her bullies, by throwing a rock at one of them and kicking him in the balls.
    They run off, and she tells Stiff to beat it too because she wants to be alone and she’s realized he’s not good for her anyway. She only started dating him because Krister doesn’t like Stiff and now they’re becoming friends, so everything is changing between Sandra and him.
    So Stiff leaves Sandra behind, and when we see him in the montage he’s walking alone with the bike.

    This is a continuation of the subplot between the characters that goes throughout the film (scene 22 was a big part of it too) and ends in their final confrontation.

    When we got the crew to the set, Sandra’s black leather coat had been misplaced, and apparently the door hadn’t been locked to the apartment before the crew left.

    We had to send people back to lock the door and find the coat, but unfortunately the coat was nowhere to be found.

    This was a big problem, because we had filmed the approach on the moped, and the montage with Tintin Anderzon and the rainbow, and Sandra was wearing the coat on both of those shots. We could film her sitting by the fire without a coat, as if she had taken it off, but we couldn’t film the confrontation on the parking lot as she and Stiff were leaving because she would obviously be wearing it there.

    This was taking a lot of time, and the crew would scatter all over Sweden the day after. This was the last day of shooting for most of them.

    Eventually, I made the decision to film the scene anyway, but shorten it, remove the part on the parking lot, and create a conflict for the characters right there on the spot.
    We set up two cameras, a wide shot and a close-up, did several adlibbed 12-minute takes where the actors would play around with the characters and the conflict given, and then our editors Jonas Samuelsson and Anton Silver would do what they could in post.

    I figured if we were going for naturalism anyway, and had already done this in two previous scenes, it would work well enough. The scene, as written, was too long anyway for the focus of the film.

    After filming Scene 66 improvised the way we did, we went back with the actors to film all of them for the montage instead of just Stiff pushing the moped.

    I’m making the film sound li

That was the end of principal photography.

The crew all went home to their respective cities. Director of Photography Johan Malmsten lived in Östersund, and I stayed behind to do some pickups with him, and prepared for one final day of shooting the last three scenes of the film with Peter Stormare.

 - Filip Tegstedt

MARIANNE from Jämtfilm AB on Vimeo.

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Production Day 22: July 19th, 2010

CHAPTER 86: A DROP OF WATER

  • Scene 4 (Krister arrives at the Church)
    On Monday morning, Thomas Hedengran (“Krister”) arrived by plane for once. The Östersund airport is very close to the Frösö church so me and Director of Photography Johan Malmsten picked him up at the airport with the Chevy and we drove straight to the church to film Krister arriving.

    We couldn’t film this when we filmed all the other scenes around the church because we just didn’t have time if we were going all the way across the other side of Great Lake to film the church interiors.

    Johan filmed this part from the Rumble Seat with me sitting next to him, and Thomas driving. We then shot the parking.

  • Scene 22, Reshoot (Stiff senses something in the house)
    Originally, in the screenplay, Scene 22 to 24 was a sequence that took place between the classroom scene in the beginning and Sandra visiting her grandmother Birgitta.
    As written in the screenplay, Sandra has been forced to babysit while Krister is at work, and Stiff has come over to keep her company.
    She’s afraid to smoke in the house because Krister will smell it afterwards, and she really needs a cigarette, so when the baby quiets down she tells Stiff to watch her while she goes outside.
    Outside, Sandra makes sure the neighbours aren’t watching, as she’s smoking, when she’s interrupted by a large crash in the house.
    Sandra quickly hides her cigarette under a rock where there are a lot of cigarette butts. showing she’s been hidden her smoking habits a long enough time to have a special hiding place, and heads back in.
    Once inside, she finds Stiff has turned over a bookshelf by mistake, and the baby is crying. Stiff claims the baby is crying because it saw something strange in the house and Sandra, tired of Stiff’s interests in the supernatural and his immature ways, takes the baby and leaves.
    Outside the house, she tells him she’s going to her grandmother’s place instead, leaving Stiff behind, not knowing what to do.

    On May 8th, we filmed the interior scene, but we didn’t have the baby. Instead we tried using the lifelike doll, but it just wasn’t working for obvious reasons.

    Instead we had decided to reshoot the sequence in July, simplifying it, but when we got around to it on July 19th, we ended up not having the baby yet again due to scheduling issues.
    We shot the scene anyway, using the baby carriage, and Dylan was playing with a toy in front of it. The idea was to shoot close-ups of the baby later on, and add sounds in post.

    That worked well enough, although once we got to editing, we ended up cutting it anyway.

    For once thing, we understand what’s going on even without this scene, and it didn’t add any emotions anyway, plus it’s another step away from the film’s main focus - Krister.

  • Scene 35 (Interrogation)
    We cast the police officer pretty late. Actors were hard to come by in this small town, and I needed someone with the right dialect to keep the authenticity.

    In the end it was our stunt coordinator Jonathan Bonin who got the job. He was happy to do a scene, had the right looks for the part, and did a great job. I was very happy to have him do it.

    Since we couldn’t access the police HQ in Östersund, we just faked it in the room next door to where we filmed the Principal’s Office.

    We also taped Jonathan doing the dialogue for the police officer’s phone call that day.

  • Scene 63 (Heart Examination)
    Another cast member to join us late was Kerstin Hansson.
    She owned the house we shot the film in during May, and we were still filming the exteriors.
    I was really looking around for an actor to play the doctor, but time and sleep deprevation because of the long working days was getting to me and I had trouble finding someone.

    As it happened, Kerstin worked at the city hospital, and was more than happy to come in for a short scene. She was very natural in front of the camera, and on top of that helped us borrow a poster for the background so we could fake a hospital room by shooting only close-ups with shallow Depth of Field. It worked really well I think, and Kerstin was a delight to work with!

  • Scene 77 (The Hospital)
    We had planned to film the hospital scene at the Inner Joy gym. That’s where we filmed the heart exemination scene, and it’s why these two scenes were scheduled for the same day.
    Kerstin did some checking for us since she worked there, and helped us film the scene right there by the entrance in the actual ER.

    Again, that’s something most people who see the film won’t even realize, and maybe on the whole it doesn’t matter what the people who have been to Östersund recognize in the film or not.

    But I think it matters in a film like this, where you go for as authentic as possible. I think it makes a difference knowing that all the locations could be visited and knowing they all exist.

    It sort of makes Krister and his family more “real” in a sense that you can follow the story on google maps.

  • The Faucet Inserts
    In the screenplay, a leaking faucet when Krister is falling asleep, turns into the sounds of the mare’s heels. It’s a hint that maybe Krister is actually just going insane, and in a way it’s a nod to a Mario Bava film I happen to like called BLACK SABBATH (yes, the band named themselves after this film too).

    We ended up not using it for some reason, but if we did shoot the material for it, so it’s something I’d love to put back in if I ever get a chance to do a Redux cut of MARIANNE.

  • Scene 101, Reshoot (Krister’s farewell to Eva)
    We had started filming this scene on July 5th, but interrupted due to the weather.
    So on July 19th, we made another attempt at it, and this time everything went smooth.

    A lot of the things Krister says in this scene is personal stuff for me. He mentions a couple of locations in town as well as a local second hand shop for kids clothes. He actually mentions the street of that shop too, and anybody in Östersund who had a kid in the 80’s either went there to buy clothes for their kids, or knew someone who did.
    Mom opened up that shop in our garage, only two blocks from where MARIANNE was filmed, after dad died. She supported me and my sister by doing that full time for seven years, until she finally decided to close the shop down in September 1991. People kept calling for years, asking when the shop was open.

    In a very small town, it made a very big impact, and I still hear people remember it.

    Krister also mentions (although it’s not in the translated subtitles because space is an issue) some other local places, and also talks about the roundabouts in Östersund. That’s kind of a local joke, that before the year 2000 there were hardly any roundabouts in the town, and in just over 10 years they built 20 of them. Now they’re everywhere. You see a few of them in the opening titles of the film, but there are a lot more.

    Nobody seems to know why. Somebody in charge somewhere probably just likes roundabouts.

    The wide tracking shot was me sitting (as in the picture) with the slider we had. It’s a great looking shot, and wasn’t any more complicated than that.

    We needed to get the camera further up than usually, so we just borrowed a flower pot, then I put the screenplay between the pot and the camera to make it a bit more stable, and that’s it really.

 - Filip Tegstedt

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Production Day 21: July 16th, 2010

CHAPTER 85: THE GOTH GUY

On Friday, we shot all scenes where we needed Patrik Andersson, who played the Goth Guy in MARIANNE.

In order to save costs and time, the whole shooting schedule was designed so we could use every actor as few days as possible, because we were paying per day. That was the only way we could keep production costs down to the budget level we were at.

The upside of this is that we could use a lot of actors for minor roles since we only had them for a day. It wouldn’t take too much of their time either. That worked well, since we filmed all over town.

The downside to this was when we needed to reschedule a scene, and get the actors back for another day, and it would cost us more to do so, like the Firepit Scene.

Patrik Andersson was an actor I found in Östersund, who has a lot of talent and stage experience, but is still unestablished.

The character I had for him never got a name in the screenplay, although in earlier versions of the screenplay he had a much more prominent role. The reason for this character’s existance was partly to show there was a bigger universe around these characters than the plot of the film, but also to show there might be some hope after the film is over.

  • Scene 51 (Hamburger)
    We started out with Scene 51, which takes place between Krister’s visit to his therapist Sven, and the Mare riding him in his sleep.
    The scene between Sandra and the Goth guy was really a remnant of earlier versions of the screenplay, where we follow Sandra around a lot more.

    In Scene 51, she’s having a burger in town while waiting for her boyfriend Stiff. The goth guy comes in and has a conversation with her, and gives her some advice.

    In a way, this scene is very similar to Krister’s redemption scene at the end, only the dialogue could have used some rewriting and I could have directed it better. They would mirror eachother, but having both wouldn’t add anything.

    If this was Sandra’s movie, he’d be a mentor, and in versions 1-3 of the screenplay, that’s what he was.

    Imagine if George Lucas had re-written Star Wars so that Han Solo had suddenly been the main character. A lot of the scenes between Luke and Obi-Wan would have been scrapped, but Obi-Wan might still be in the film.

    That’s this character.

    Since MARIANNE is structurally a horror film, we needed to stay with Krister and experience everything through his perspective. This scene wasn’t part of that, so it got cut.

  • Scene 100 (The Last Night)
    After filming the hamburger scene downtown, we took lunch and waited for sunset. Then we went to the house and filmed Sandra and the Goth Guy’s last conversation. It was pretty straight forward, me and Director of Photography Johan Malmsten had already gone there a few days earlier to work out how we would film it.

  • Scene 38 (Little Lake)
    We had already filmed Sandra’s escape a week earlier, but the footage wasn’t steady enough. So when we were done with Scene 100, Patrik and the crew took the car and went over to Little Lake, while me, Sandra and Dylan (who played “Stiff”) filmed Sandra’s bike ride once again.
    This time, we connected a small cart from the moped which we had borrowed from the hardware store Jula.
    After that, we filmed Sandra at the Little Lake jetty, watching the Goth Guy in the woods.
    That one became one of my personal favorite shots of the film, because it’s a really good representation of how mysterious everything looks on those bright summer nights up north.

 - Filip Tegstedt

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Production Day 20: July 15th, 2010

CHAPTER 84: THE FIREPIT - TAKE 1

After Thomas Hedengran went back down south to Falkenberg after the Wednesday’s filming, we had the rest of the week to complete whatever scenes his character Krister wasn’t in.

On Thursday, that meant filming Scene 65 and Scene 66, which was Sandra and Stiff arriving at the Great Lake firepit on their moped, and the subsequent firepit scene. In order to get the correct light for this late evening/night scene, we started out very late, probably around 10pm.

  • Scene 65 (Sandra and Stiff goes to Great Lake)
    Originally, in earlier versions of the screenplay, there had been a scene after Stiff tells Sandra about the firepit hotdog roasting at Great Lake where they go to the supermarket and get supplies.
    At the supermarket, they would argue about Stiff’s vegetarian eating habbits (Sandra bullies him about it) and she would also have a phone conversation with her grandmother Birgitta. This is where  we first learn that Birgitta is staying over at Krister’s house to look after the baby since he doesn’t know how to take care of it.
    Later, in earlier versions of the screenplay, there would be a scene between Krister and Birgitta in the living room, before she goes to sleep in Sandra’s room.

    In Scene 65, we would follow Sandra and Stiff on his moped down to the lake, where they would meet the kids that bully Sandra in school, and her meeting them there would cause further distrust in Stiff. He’s already hanging out with her her father, which goes opposite of why she’s even dating him (to upset Krister, mostly), and Stiff not realizing her relationship with these other teenagers is another beat in that subplot.

    All of that stuff at the supermarket and the scene between Birgitta and Krister was taken out of the screenplay early on, and replaced by scenes that were later cut from the film in editing (Birgitta meets Krister at the house twice as he comes home from work).

    We filmed Sandra and Stiff on the moped, going down hill towards the lake. The footage turned out very well, but It took us a long time to get right, with setting up how the cameras would follow Stiff and Sandra on the moped and get it to look good.

    When we got down to the lake, and filmed them get off the moped, which would set up the parking lot where they left the moped, for a later portion of the scene where Sandra would physically confront her bullies and drive her boyfriend off, to later spend the night just sitting by the lake.

    Sandra and Stiff walking down to the lake was filmed on a Canon 5D we had borrowed for this one day, just to get some much wider shots of the five of them.

    We filmed that on a glidecam, but setting everything up took a very long time due to us not having prepared enough, and me not having been able to storyboard it.

  • Scene 66 (The Firepit Scene)
    The original version of this scene can be read in English here, in chapter 23.

    By the time we got to filming the actual firepit scene, it was getting really late in the evening.

    The location was a major pain to film at. We had the lake on one side, with the sound of the waves coming in all the time, behind us was a small but loud stream pouring into the lake, the firepit was surrounded by birches and other leaf trees, and it was a windy day.

    When you’re filming dialogue, and have actors facing eachother, but with different types of background noise coming in from different directions, it’s very difficult to match dialogue because that’s just how it works.

    So on top of all these issues with the location and the storyboarding and the sounds etc, we were now in the middle of July, and the nights had started turning darker again. By midnight, it was too dark to film, even with the fire going.

    The fire was another sound problem, by the way.

    Then, it started raining.

    We were all tired, and cold, and things just weren’t working out.
    So we simply re-scheduled this scene for another day.

    As it turned out, none of the footage we got this day ended up in the film.

 - Filip Tegstedt

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Production Day 19: July 13th, 2010

CHAPTER 83: KRISTER AND MARIANNE

Other than filming scenes on Tuesday, we went out to a gym in Östersund called Inner Joy to look at some locations.
Me and DP Johan Malmsten also went around to the house to find some angles for a few other scenes, as well as the health care center in Odensala where Krister comes out of the psychologist’s office later in the film.

It was rainy that day, but we shot everything anyway. On a low budget shoot like this, you can’t afford to miss a day just because of weather.

Then we started shooting.

  • Scene 47 (Sandra moves out)
    The scene where Stiff and Birgitta help Sandra move out was pretty straight forward. As before, we used Gudrun’s (who played “Birgitta”) own car for her character. It was just the easiet way to do it.

  • Scene 82 (Sandra moves back in)
    We had some great adlibbing from Dylan (“Stiff”) and Thomas (“Krister”) in this scene. One line about Stiff not wanting to do the exorcism because of soccer practice that was really funny got cut.

    The main thing about this scene though is a lesson to aspiring filmmakers: If your story revolves around a house that’s bright red, make sure you don’t dress your actors in red clothing. If you do, at least make sure you don’t use the house as a background.

  • Scene 41 (Krister’s affair)
    Marianne’s apartment was on the other side of town, in an apartment we had rented for one of our crew members. We had two scenes there, and after lunch, the production designer went over to get the place ready.
    The problem was yet again that I hadn’t been able to storyboard the scene due to me spending all that time in June replacing the sound crew. Because of that, the FAD and the Production Manager didn’t know how many setups were needed for each scene, and they didn’t know which room we should film in.
    So that meant they had to set up the entire apartment while I was having a quick lunch, and when I arrived with the Director of Photograpy we decided on using just the couch for Scene 41 and the kitchen for Scene 60.
    That meant all the other crew members had spent too much time working out the place than they should have needed, which caused further discontent among the crew for natural reasons.

    If I’m going to play Captain Hindsight here, obviously we shouldn’t have gone into production with only half the film storyboarded and a few scenes needing to be rewritten. Obviously there was no way to have forseen the loss of an important crew member in the middle of shooting, so my plan to do all that in those three weeks in June might have been a good plan, but looking back there was just too much at stake.

    You have to plan for what you don’t know.

    So while we did get the scene, the team spirit was starting to fall apart.

  • Scene 60 (Krister breaks up with Marianne)
    This was a very simple scene. We had already filmed the surrounding scenes, so all we needed was Thomas turning around the same direction to get a nice crossover in dream space/time, and a nice focus pull to match him coming into focus in the next scene.

    It wouldn’t even matter what he was wearing, but we did match that anyway, as well as his makeup to make sure his ever increasing sleep deprevation would move in realtime throghout even the dreams.

When we were done filming, we took Dylan out to shoot the scene in the montage where Stiff is pushing his moped along after the other kids had broken it during the firepit scene by the lake.

We ended up changing that scene later on, but I’ll get back to it in a future chapter.

 - Filip Tegstedt

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Production Day 18: July 12th, 2010

CHAPTER 82: KRISTER AND STIFF

On Monday, Thomas Hedengran (“Krister”) was back again from the south of Sweden, to do a few more days of filming on MARIANNE before going back down to perform on stage.

It was a very long train journey for him to make that would take one day up and one day down again, and I’m still incredibly impressed by the way he did it tirelessly.

It must have been even tougher on him to not be able to stay in the sun when he was down south. The film was shot out of sequence, and if he would have been tanned in some scenes but not in others, it would have looked really weird.

But I think we got it to work pretty well.

  • Scene 18 (Stiff and Sandra arrives after the funeral)
    We had already shot scene 19 back in May, and this is the problem I’ve written about before. Since we didn’t have a script supervisor in May, we didn’t have proper wardrobe notes, and when it was time to shoot Scene 18, we didn’t know what they would be wearing inside the house as they go through the door.

    There was no way we could have filmed this any other way. In May there might even have been some snow left on the ground so we couldn’t have filmed the exterior shots then, and in July we didn’t have access to the interior of the house. Even if we had borrowed it only for a few hours of shooting, we had completely redecorated it in May so it didn’t even look the same indoors.

    The thing we missed was Sandra’s headband (see the interior image above from Scene 19). We shot the exterior scene without it, so we had to cut around that in the editing. It looks fine, you don’t notice it, but still. That’s why you need a script supervisor.

  • Scene 53 (Krister visits Stiff)
    This was probably the one scene that had needed the most re-writing. I hadn’t been able to do it in June because I spent all my time and energy finding a replacement sound crew, so the scene was what it was.
    I was also very tired that day from constant work, very little sleep, high stress levels, and limping everywhere because of the
    sciatica injury in June.

    I discussed the scene with Thomas and Dylan (“Stiff”), and we talked about what the scene was and why it was important. This is the scene where Stiff, as a mentor character, gives Krister the gift he can use to overcome his problem. Like Obi-Wan and the lightsaber, or Mr Miyagi and the karate uniform and the car.

    The gift in this case is a bag full of linseeds and other things to defeat the Mare.

    The scene needed re-writing because it was too functional but not very emotional. It kind of just happens in the script.

    So we decided to do some adlibbing, cover it with two cameras and also take a couple of wide shots, and see what we could do with it.

    We were all tired that day, and under a lot of pressure to get moving for lunch and for the next location, and I don’t know how many takes we did but it was a lot.

    Eventually, the scene works as well as it does I think because Jonas Samuelsson and Anton Silver managed to cut it together from all the material we picked up.

    Dylan doing the “Feng Shui” and “Dream Catcher” lines in this scene always gets a good laugh from the crowd when I’ve watched it at festivals, and that’s all him adlibbing. Thomas had some great stuff too, which unfortunately didn’t make it into the cut.

    Anything that doesn’t work in this scene is all my fault, for not being able to re-write it when it had desperately needed it
  • Scene 93 (Stiff to the rescue)
    This was pretty straight forward. The car Sandra and Birgitta drive off in is actually Gudrun’s car (who plays Birgitta). She came down from her apartment, which was only two blocks away anyway, and we needed a car so we used hers.

  • Scene 3 (Krister leaves for the funeral)
    This is also when we shot the scene at the beginning, when Krister leaves the house for the funeral.
    We had to find a nice angle and tried both going in front of Krister as well as going behind him. I think we settled for the shot where we went behind him because we did it the other way in Scene 75 when he comes out and it’s winter.
    It was also in line with the theme we had of following Krister around with the camera when we were inside the house.

  • Scene 7 (coffee after the funeral)
    This is also the day we filmed the coffee scene, where a lot of the story themes in the film are discussed and we get to know the characters, their goals and motivations, as well as their conflicting interests.
    There’s a lot of set up in this scene, and for inspiration I had looked at the “What’s a fuck-ass?” scene in DONNIE DARKO and the “Where’s Mexico?” scene in E.T.

    Actually, if you compare those scenes, they’re very similar, and I’m willing to bet some cash the “Fuck-ass” scene was partially influenced by the scene in E.T.

    The wide shot in this scene was taken from a watchtower at Stocke-Titt, where the café is. It’s very close to the Frösö church, where we filmed the exterior, but wasn’t allowed to film the interior, because it’s a horror film.

    When we arrived, someone had apparently told them we were satanists, but I think they realized pretty soon we were just normal people, even though we were shooting a horror film.

 - Filip Tegstedt

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Production Day 17: July 11th, 2010

CHAPTER 81: STIFF’S APARTMENT

  • Scene 62 (Stiff and Sandra argue)
    We didn’t film anything on Saturday, but managed to get a scene on Sunday before Thomas Hedengran (“Krister”) came back to town so we could continue with the main character.

    On Sunday we had one scene to film between Sandra and Stiff, in his apartment. Originally, the scene was much longer than what is in the film, because it tied into the firepit scene by Great Lake.
    What happens in the scene is, Stiff tells Sandra about the hotdog roasting by the lake, and convinces her to go. He doesn’t tell her who else will be there, and he doesn’t the relationships between those guys and Sandra, because Stiff is a bit socially awkward.

    This scene was too long, but contained some good conflict between the characters. It’s a good scene and propels the story, but could have used a re-write to just get to the point quicker.

    Since I hadn’t had time to rewrite between filming periods, and we had a lot of time on our hands for once, we played around with the scene on set and the actors Sandra Larsson and Dylan M. Johansson are adlibbing most of it. I figured it would be a fun exercise for everybody and lend some naturalism to the film.

    We covered it with two cameras and took some wide shots as well.

    A lot of the cred here should go to the editors, Jonas Samuelsson and Anton Silver, who put it together well. That’s always the danger of filming like this, you get a lot of material and then you recreate it in editing.

Other than Scene 62, we also had a visit from Stella Edling, who played the baby Linnéa, and her parents.

Pretty much all of the close-ups in the film where you only see the baby were shot in Stiff’s apartment on this day.

This was partly because of scheduling, but also because the film takes place over a short period of time, while we filmed it over a period of three months. If we had taken a close-up of Stella over the course of three months, we didn’t know how much she would have grown over time.

MARIANNE Director of Photography Johan Malmsten managed to match the lighting over the baby’s crib very well with how the crib stood in the house. Especially considdering he used an ordinary desk lamp and not actual lights.

 - Filip Tegstedt

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Production Day 16: July 9th, 2010

CHAPTER 80: SANDRA’S ESCAPE

When we first filmed the pitch pilot to MARIANNE a year earlier, in 2009, one of the images we shot was of Sandra riding her bike to the lake.

However we only did a quick image of her on the bike, for a montage from the scene, and we filmed it from the trunk of the car.

That was easy. This time it would be different though, because the house was so close to the lake we could do the ride in one long take and then just edit it in post.

The problem was a big part of the way wasn’t accessable by car, so we had to figure out another way to film it.

MARIANNE Director of Photography Johan Malmsten tried sitting on the back of Stiff’s moped while I drove it, but the weight of two large 6’ men on that little Jawa moped was just too much.

Instead, camera assistant Sara Fors got the job to film, while I drove the moped. We didn’t ride that fast, and we filmed it at 1am, so it wasn’t a dangerous stunt where we would ride in traffic or anything. Östersund is pretty much deserted nighttime.

The ride was 9 minutes, and we also took the shots of Sandra sitting on the jetty that night. Patrik Andersson, who played the unnamed goth guy, wasn’t with us this day, but we tried to cover as much without him as possible.

In the end though, the footage from these takes was too shaky, and we would later come back to reshoot them on another day, with a slightly modified sollution.

  • Scene 26 (Sandra and Birgitta)
    Earlier in the day we filmed the scene between Sandra and Gudrun Mickelsson (“Birgitta”). Gudrun was happy to lend her own kitchen to this scene and we couldn’t have done a better production design job. It was just perfect. Gudrun also lived right between the house we used as Sandra’s house in the film and the lake, so strywise the location fit perfectly.

  • Scene 76 Pick-up (Birgitta comes in to find Krister and Linnéa)
    In one of the scenes in the film, without spoiling it for those who haven’t seen it yet, Krister is on the floor in the baby’s room after a horror scene.
    We never got a pick-up shot of Birgitta’s face when we filmed that, so we took it at Gudrun’s apartment on this day instead.
    It never ended up in the film, which is a shame, because without it you don’t see who comes into frame and it all happens so quickly. Between this, and the removing of scene 64 during editing, a lot of people seem to miss the detail that Birgitta is even in the house.
    This is fine of course, and the film works perfectly without it, but if I ever end up doing a redux cut, I would put this image back in.
    She also has a line that ties into some other lines in the plot

 - Filip Tegstedt

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Production Day 15: July 8th, 2010

CHAPTER 79: SANDRA AND STIFF

As Thomas Hedengran (“Krister”) went back down south to perform on stage in Falkenberg, we continued shooting what we could without him and focused the other days of the week on that.

On Thursday, July 7th, we filmed two scenes and a pick-up shot with Sandra Larsson (“Sandra”) and Dylan M. Johansson (“Stiff”).

  • Scene 10 (Sandra stays with Stiff)
    Stiff’s apartment was filmed in one of the apartments we had rented for the crew to live in during filming. The new age decorations came from a great little shop in town called Shamanen, who were happy to lend us the things we needed for Stiff’s decorations.
    This particular scene, although it looks simple enough, was tricky to film because I wanted to keep a certain dogma look to it in order to get closer and more intimite with the characters.
    We cleared the room of as many crew members as possible, and the trick was to move the handheld close-up camera between Sandra and Dylan’s faces right between their line deliveries and still make it look natural. It took a few takes, but we finally managed to get it, and it turned into a very nice and moody scene.
    The rain sound tapping against the window was added in post both for atmosphere, but also to tie in with the scene where Krister calls Sandra, as well as the first scene in the dream where Krister is driving and it’s raining.

  • Scene 17B (Sandra and Stiff arrives)
    This was a pick-up shot that showed Krister’s point of view through the window as Sandra and Stiff arrived on the moped the morning after the funeral. We had already filmed the interior scene with Thomas in May, so we just needed a matching exterior shot through the blinds. Thomas wasn’t with us that day, so it was all we could do of that.
    The problem was that we didn’t have a script supervisor in May. We had planned for it, but circumstances came in the way of that and we didn’t have one. That caused a lot of problems in July when we didn’t know exactly what everyone had been wearing.
    In Scene 19 (pictured above), after Sandra, Stiff and Krister enters the house, Sandra had been wearing a head band. We didn’t have a note of that, so when we shot them arriving on the moped, she wasn’t wearing one. For this point of view-shot, she is so obscured by the blinds, it’s not a problem, but when we shot Scene 18, it would be.

  • Scene 96 (Sandra confronts Stiff)
    The exterior scene after Sandra storms out of the house was a pretty straight forward and simple shoot. It went as planned, with no real hiccup.
    I think it might have been raining, so the ground was still wet, but we filmed it normally and I don’t think it affected the story in any way.

 - Filip Tegstedt

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