About Pia Josephson

http://www.lettersfrompia.com

Posts by Pia Josephson:

Lately

I flew back to Stockholm the other day with close to no money and it honestly hurt having to pay £50 for a public transport pass. I’m working at the same bookshop as I did last year, which is pretty fun as I literally just stand by the till and then wrap books.

Above is a screenshot of my directing project I shot this Saturday (wrapped up filming about 18 hours before I went to the airport to go to Stockholm), and I do feel I’m quite happy about the shots. I had a lot of fun shooting it, as well as preparing the set and making props, and hopefully I won’t mess it up too much with the editing.

Otherwise, I’ve been having a lot of uni work recently and I don’t even have time to rest now as I have two essays, one script, one film to edit and an exam to study for over these upcoming weeks. Plus work almost every day until Christmas, and have time to see my friends before I fly back on the 3rd of January.

Being back here in snowy Stockholm, I realise how much I’ve missed it. Like even the smallest of things, such as soft water (as London has hard water, aka, not as nice to drink and it makes your hair less soft) and proper taps (honestly England, what’s up with yours hot and cold separate things) and door handles that aren’t down by my knees. (lol kidding, but honestly, why are they so low down). But obviously I’ve missed my friends so much. Like sometimes it does really hurt being away from them, and seeing them doing all the fun things without you, and just generally seeing life go on here in Stockholm. & just the thought of how life is going to be that way now, how people just, get new lives, and that’s okay.

Also, I’ve been completely blown away by Skam (could anyone have missed this hit Norwegian show? even my friends at uni knows about Skam!) and I’m forever in love with Noora, William and Even. <3 My friend Jess suggested that I should try and get an internship at NRK and work with Skam as I’m looking for one anyway (HIT ME UP PLS, either London, Stockholm, or Oslo/Copenhagen I guess as I understand the languages) so if anyone knows how?

Hope you all have a lovely week,

Pia x

Montage exercise

Hi everyone, I’ve been having a few busy weeks lately and will be busy until term ends and even beyond that, I’m actually filming the day after. I’d just like to a share a bit of what I’m actually doing at university; a montage exercise for my directing class. Many thanks to my crew and Aria for acting.

Pia x

About moving forward

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I doubt anyone has missed last night’s change in weather. My Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are all filled with angry, sad and disappointed messages about the new US president. The left side is blaming the right side for normalising the far right movement. The right side is blaming the left side for creating the far right movement.

In my home country, Sweden, a racist party became the third largest party in parliament in 2014. We saw the rise of racism and violence against people of colour, especially Muslims and black people. After Brexit, we saw the same thing here in the UK. People of colour are fearing for their lives and Polish people have been threatened in their own homes. And yesterday, the US voted for a man with similar ideas and rhetorics to Hitler.

The election is over. But from this day, we must move forward. We must use the diplomatic resources to ensure that the damage is as minimal as possible. We must watch every step Trump takes, create a dialogue with him to protect our own and fellow countries and the world peace. As a citizen of another country, there is little I can do about the country’s internal politics, for example Obamacare and the tax system. Instead, we need to do what we can to stop the far right movement from going as far as it did last night in America. The left and the right needs to unite against the fascists and racists. Europe needs to unite. I am not talking about an idea of a federal Europe, I am talking about a union where its member states go together in the issues we are faced with as a whole. And this is an extremely important one.

There are people blaming the white, uneducated working class for the rise of fascism. Whilst this is true to some extent, it is important to remember that a large portion of voters are also white upper-middle class academics. When the blame for everything bad that is happening is targeted to one specific group in the society, it is natural that it creates a backlash. By creating a divide between the uneducated working class and upper-middle class academics, it feeds the fascist movements. Dividing people is one of the most dangerous things we can do.

So today, we must move forward. For us European citizens, no matter if you are in the union or not, we must ensure that our people are not divided. And we must ensure that we don’t close our borders, any of them.

 

Pia x

What I’m studying

I’m currently in my second year of the Film, Television & Digital Production programme at Royal Holloway, University of London. As part of this programme, we choose two practical courses to specialise in and then continue with one of them in our third year. For this year, I chose Directing Screen Fiction and Screenwriting, and will probably continue with the first one next year. It’s a lot of work to do for both courses and even more as I also do two theory courses (Women’s Cinema and Moderna European Cinema), but on top of that, I also study another 50%.

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Say hi to Introduction to Law. It’s a course worth 15 ECTS credits (same system Sweden uses, but worth 30 credits here in the UK) I’m studying online through Umeå University. It’s essentially the same as any university course; I have to buy textbooks, the expectations and level are the same, but it’s all done online. There are pre-recorded lectures for every topic and every now and then I have group assignments which I do through Skype. (my group consists of people living in Sweden, Denmark, Taiwan, and then me in England) What’s so good with it that I can plan when to listen to the lectures and of course, I can do it alongside my film degree.

I’ve never been particularly interested in law, but when my friend Anna recommended it after doing it as an evening course at Stockholm University (and now she’s doing a law degree at Lund University!), I decided to go for it. It differs a lot from what I’m studying and what I’ve studied earlier at upper secondary level, as it’s another way of studying. Rather than to learn about political theories, history, culture and analyse it, it’s mainly about solving problems.

Since I started with the course, I feel it’s a good base of general knowledge to have, as a lot of the problems we deal with are common once that you’re likely to face in real life, as divorce, home ownership, etc. It is a lot of extra work to take on, and it’s one of the reasons I don’t have a part-time job. It’s definitely not for everyone to study extra, but if you feel that you have time and the determination to do it, I do recommend it. I’ve applied for a couple of other small courses for the spring term and I’ll see how this goes and if I decide to go for it.

 

I’d love to hear what all of you are studying/working with/doing, and why you do it, so please, tell me in the comment section!

Pia x

My room

For once in a while, my room is tidy and sorted out, so I thought I’d share some photos of my room. I had the incredible luck to get the room with the largest windows (mainly because I’m the only one who doesn’t mind neighbours and other passerby’s to see literally everything), and after moving the horrible and tiny desk as well as the unsteady wardrobe and the folding chair to the garage and instead bought my own future, I really love my room here.

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#aesthetic – I do feel clothes should be on display because they’re so much a part of oneself. It’s a bit hard to see on the picture, but I have fairy lights on the rail which makes my room 120% more cosy in the evenings. Also notice the lack of mirror/frame on the wall, so I hung a bag I got from Arlanda Airport because it was pretty.

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We’re not allowed to put up anything on the walls as the landlord don’t like marks etc, so a few of my photos are just lying on the desk at the moment. Also, stress balls are life, get one or two.

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Sometimes I feel like a shit film student as I currently only have one book about films (if you don’t count the Harry Potter: Page to Screen and Jess’ copy of Harry Potter: Film Wizardry that’s currently residing in my Harry Potter corner)(behind the blue fat book is also the Spanish version of the first one, La Piedra Filosofal), but to be honest, most of them don’t interest me. I’d rather read fiction (got my favourite books shipped in boxes from Sweden) or, as seen in the top photo; A Very Short Introductions. I highly recommend them as they give you a good general knowledge about basically everything. I’ve only read the one about international relations so far and started with human rights, but I find it hard to find time for reading that’s not related to my degree.

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Look at those windows! Light! But also awkward eye contact with every postman that arrives at my door. (fun fact: my 150x75cm desk is attached to its legs with duct tape) I’ve been planning to get some plants/flowers for my windowsill, but I’m incredibly bad at keeping things alive, so I’m not sure yet.

As I said before, we’re not allowed to put up anything on the walls, which is a shame, because I feel that the corner where my bed is, is incredibly bare. There’s a screw on the wall, but I don’t have anything to hang there except for my Ravenclaw tie and plastic camera.  Also, more fairy lights hang between the screw and the curtain rail as well as around the shit mirror by my bed.

I’ve lived here for about 3,5 months and whilst there are another 8 months before we move out, I really, really love this room. I’d love to live here in my third year, but it’s quite expensive for the area. In some ways, I love this room (except the horrendous yellow walls) more than my room back in the Founders castle, as I’ve added more of my own touch to it. However, I do miss having a grand courtyard as my view from even larger windows, and also heating and unlimited hot water that I didn’t pay any extra for. (honestly, that’s so underappreciated – appreciate it before all of your money goes to bills)

 

Pia x

Hi November

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As they entered November, the weather turned very cold. The mountains around the school became icy grey and the lake like chilled steel. Every morning the ground was covered in frost. Hagrid could be seen from the upstairs windows, defrosting broomsticks on the Quidditch pitch, bundled up in a long moleskin overcoat, rabbit-fur gloves and enormous beaverskin boots.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997) J.K. Rowling

It was 10 degrees today by midday and the leaves whirled from the stronger winds that November has brought us. I spend longer and longer time in bed in the mornings as every little millimeter outside the duvet is freezing. All I crave is a steaming hot bubble bath and to not live in a cold house. (we still haven’t figured out how the heating works)

1st of November also means the start of NaNoWriMo. For those of you who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, and all there is to do, is to write 50 000 (yes, fifty thousand) words in those 30 days. Which is a lot, but in a day, that’s 1667 words. I’ve tried doing it in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and all years failed. To be fair, I didn’t put much effort into it at all last year, and it always falls when I have a lot of school work to do. For this year, I decided not to do it, as I have even more work this year, and to be able to write those 50 000 words, you need some sort of idea that could span that long, which I don’t. Instead, I’m aiming to try and write something every day, even if it’s just a short passage of a moment. My friend Anna has succeeded every year since she started, which I think was 2011? Which honestly, I have no clue how she does it as she’s during those years been in her last year of college, studied engineering and last year changed to law. (she also manages to squeeze in some Christmas crafting etc)

Are any of you guys taking on the challenge of 50k words in 30 days?

 

Pia x

Last week of October

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Hi there! Reading week is here (or the autumn holiday’s if you’re in Sweden!) and I have a bit more reading week than last year. Last year, it was like any other week for me, but this year I only have one class, directing on Thursday. So I’m currently enjoying my straight 5 days off!

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Last Thursday + Friday, we shot some montages for our directing class, and as you can see, Jake killed Poppy in the bathtub and Christmas came early to Hollie’s house.

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(cock valve) Jess and I were alone in the house over the weekend, so she bought a little pumpkin and we made a Harry Potter. (cock valve)

I’m currently shivering in my room as we yet have to figure out how the heating works (is this what true student life is), but at least I have a winter duvet, fuzzy socks and lots of jumpers to keep me warm. I hope you all have a great end of October and happy Halloween! (such a capitalist and materialistic thing though, to be honest)

 

Pia x

A Sunday list

supartyfrom friday night when the student union’s club released paper butterflies


How are you feeling today?
Stressed, tired, and excited for the week to come.

What was the first thing you did this morning?
Stayed under the duvet for a good 45 minutes before having an egg and veggie sausage toast.

Did you accomplish anything today?
A lot of school work got out of the way, at last. Emailed my landlord, took a lot of nice selfies. (honestly, <3selfies<3)

What do you wish you’d done today?
Drinking more water, tidied up my room and maybe gone up a bit earlier as I’m quite behind on school work.

What did you listen to today?
An old playlist with lots of The Royal Concept, Vampire Weekend and some Belle & Sebastian.

How was the weather today?
Sunny but extremely cold. (hey, at least it wasn’t raining!)

What song is on at this very moment?
‘All Of The Stars’ by Ed Sheeran, the song is better than the entire film. (I cried when I saw it the first and only time, though)

What was the best thing you did this week?
Filming for directing class. Honestly, I love every second of it. (or at least most of them) & maybe dancing to Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ because I haven’t heard that song in ages.

What are you doing this upcoming week?
Being buried  underneath all my school work. And filming again. Hopefully cooking something nice and watching a good film.

Something that you hope is going to happen this week?
Not die from all the school work? 🙂

What book is currently read-in-progress?
Prisoners of Geography (which I’ve been reading for the past two months as I barely have time to read) and This Modern Love.

If you had time, what film would you watch before going to bed?
Boyhood, it’s on UK Netflix now <3

Describe the perfect Sunday:
Waking up refreshed at 09:30, lie in bed until 10, eat eggs and avocado toasts with a cup of Earl Gray. Go with friends for a long bike ride, a museum or somewhere you can have a picnic if the weather’s nice. Take a hot bubble bath, have another cup of tea with a film/tv-series/book. Cook and eat something incredible. Go to bed at a decent hour. (aka the Sunday that has yet to happen)

 

I hope you all had a good week!

Pia x

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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Another addition to my Harry Potter collection, this time the newly released illustrated version of Chamber of Secrets. Like most Harry Potter books, it’s a bit pricey, £30, but the other week, Book Depository had a sale to celebrate their new website design, and it went down to £15! Like the first one, which I also have, it’s filled with rich and extremely detailed illustrations by Jim Kay, my favourite illustrations are the ones involving Diagon Alley and the character portraits, like this one of Professor Sprout.

What is so great about these illustrated versions are that they can take in the youngest generation. I read the first one when I was 6 years old, which was quite early compared to several of my friends, who had them read for them by their parents. When my cousin’s son turned 6, I tried to read the first one for him, but he soon grew tired because of the lack of illustrations. With these, I’m hoping that my future children (which is going to be far, far away in the future) will be able to be more tempted to read them at a young age. (also, I love just going through reading my favourite chapters before going to bed and now having them with illustrations is just amazing as it feels in some way, that I’m re-experiencing the magic for the first time)

 

Pia x

Directing class and London

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On Thursday, I had Directing for Screen Fiction class from 10:00-18:00 (I have more hours in a single day than what my friends’ have during an entire week) and we were divided into groups to go out and do  a one-shot exercise. I had the luck to be with Jake, Hollie, and Gemma, who are also all on my screenwriting course, and we literally spent the last four hours that day to just play around with the camera. It’s kinda funny how this is my actual degree, that instead of reading for most of my time, I get to do proper hands-on practical work.

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On Saturday evening, Flora called me to catch up as we hadn’t seen each other for a couple of days (which is so weird because when we lived in the corridor last year, we saw each other about 90% of our waking time), and asked me if I wanted to go to the Imperial War Museum the next day. So yesterday, Flora, Mary, Jess and I took the train into London and learnt about wars. It’s very interesting for Mary (who’s from America) and me, to see how the Brits look upon the two world wars. Especially for me, as Sweden wasn’t explicitly in the war (even though we kinda were). We also saw an on-going exhibition about Ebola and ISIS, which we’d been really excited about but then it was kind of disappointing. I highly recommend the museum though because there’s a lot to see and it’s very interactive. Plus, free entry!