A Day at the Beach

Categories Filmmaking, Life, Smile, Study & work

After weeks of planning, we finally went to the beach on Saturday to shoot the short film I wrote for my directing class. It was an incredibly sunny and warm mid-February day (which for filmmaking isn’t that great, but we did our best to work around it) and we had rented a 9 seat minibus for our cast and crew.

We went down to Seaford, a small town near Brighton.

Sitting on the bus, we all let out a shriek when we saw the sea.

Hollie, Molly and I decided to go and test the water – it was probably freezing cold but my feet died from the pebbles so I wouldn’t have noticed.

My little cast & crew.

I still can’t believe that we pulled it off. As my teacher read my script, he asked if I was actually planning to go to the beach and laughed a bit when I said I’d try, and then we actually did it. The best part of it was the feeling of going on a short day trip/holiday but at the same time, making a film. & I’m starting to understand how filmmaking is essentially like getting a very large family.

Pia x

#GIRLBOSS

Categories Filmmaking, Study & work, Style

Honestly, I feel like I can do anything with this top.  & today I’ve so far sent 6 emails to 9 different people, had a script tutorial about my film I’m shooting next week, filled in forms, and had a cup of tea with two egg, spinach and spring onion toasts – in three hours! (on the topic of food; I’d like to take this opportunity to push for the lunch I had yesterday; fried potatoes with breadcrumbs, spinach with butter, a fried egg, spring onions and sesame seeds – cheap, healthy and so good)

I’m in a bit of busy period at the moment, with four film shoots over the next 2 weeks, two essays, a presentation, several 500-1000 words hand-ins in my Economic History course and Democracy course (aka a lot of reading and self-studying), and then I have a practical editing exam just before the Easter holidays. I’m almost half way through spring term and it’s scary how quickly everything goes. (my suitcase is still in my room rather than in the garage) But I’m really excited about the upcoming weeks, even if it’s stressful. Oh and also, I got onto the university’s placement scheme so I’ll most likely get a short internship this summer!

It’s been starting to get cold again. Last week we had fair bit of sun and 12 degrees, but just half an hour ago, I saw it was snowing lightly. Not enough to stay on the ground, but still. Sitting in my cold house, freezing my fingers off as I type this, it’s hard to imagine summer and proper warmth. Hopefully Berlin in the end of April will be warm.

 

Pia x

Screenshots

Categories Filmmaking, Study & work

… from a film I did that I’m not happy with but it was good practice and my teacher called me a “sensitive director with potential to go far” before saying my story was too big and not that great, but oh well, I had fun making it.

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We’re currently working on our 5-minute short films and this time, I do have a stronger and better story (hopefully) this time and will be working with a larger crew, two wonderful actors and we’re hopefully going to a beach in southern England to film. When I first came to uni (and even before during my application process), I thought I knew what kind of films I wanted to make, aka Sofia Coppola meets like Lukas Moodysson and Skins UK, but now I’m not that sure anymore. & that’s what I love about studying film at university; that it’s alright not to have found one’s style yet. I see people on my course who knows exactly what kind of films they want to do (which is seen in the films they make) but also people who have no clue and who jumps between genres and styles for every project. I feel that I’m somewhere in the middle – not entirely all over the place and trying everything (as I do know I want to go towards drama), but still not by the point where I know what kind of aesthetics and feel I want to create.

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I’ve been having a full on study week recently with about 8-12h of studying each day (no joke) as my dumb me decided to study 175% (my film degree, a course in global economic history and another course on democracy, human rights and sustainability). So tomorrow I’m taking the day off from studying to go to London and eat some Semlor (a type of Swedish sweet roll with cardamon, almond paste and whipped cream – go get it! All Swedish/Scandinavian bakeries/cafés should have them now), visit some galleries and just in general chill. & then it’s back to studying on Sunday – have a  great weekend!

Pia x

(p.s. yesterday I bought tickets to go and see Maria and Gustaf in Berlin in April!)

Montage exercise

Categories Filmmaking, Study & work

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

What I’m studying

Categories Study & work

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

Directing class and London

Categories Life, Study & work

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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!

A list

Categories Life, Study & work

… about work, studying and the future

 

1. What did you want to be as a kid?
A professional chef with my own TV programme – cooking shows was what I watched between the age of 3 to 9 –, and an architect because I loved The Sims more than food back then.

2. What did you want to be as a teenager?
I had a slight dream of becoming a war photographer because I feel that it’s one of the most important jobs and a very unappreciated one, but otherwise writer and working with advocating education, something I still aim to do some day.

3. What were you best and worst subjects in school?
Best: Maths (can you believe it), social science subjects (so politics, history and religion), art and English. Worst: Physics, chemistry and biology. Which is funny as I was really good at maths.

4. What was your very first paid job?
I used to babysit my cousin’s son from when I was 16 maybe? But otherwise, the play I wrote back in 2013 when I was 17.

5. What other jobs have you had?
I went on to do more babysitting for another family, a recruiter for UNHCR (not the greatest job, but I quite enjoyed it because of my colleagues), shop assistant in a bookshop, and I’m currently working as a catering assistant. (with a pay lower than what you give a 16-year-old in Sweden)

6. Your strengths and weaknesses?
Strengths: I’m quite organised even though it may not look like it, and when I get into a project, I really invest myself into it. Weaknesses: Cooking under pressure and getting up in the mornings.

7. Something you’re really proud of?
That I wrote a whole play whilst being at my lowest points in my life. Even though it got cancelled after eight months of production, I’m still proud of it and myself, because I proved to myself that I’m good enough, and maybe even more.

8. Something you would like to work with for a short while?
I would love to work with an art magazine or something. I was on the editorial board for my school magazine when I was 18, and it was such a great experience. Or design the fake flats in IKEA.

9. Jobs that you would be really bad at?
My current job, which is making baguettes and sandwiches. I can’t work with food under pressure and I’m total shit at cutting the sandwiches nicely. Other jobs I can’t see myself doing is everything that has to do with science and numbers.

10. What is the best thing about your degree? (BA Film, Television & Digital Production)
That I’m literally given all the tools to go out and do films on my free time. (which at this point, I haven’t really gotten into it, but I’m hoping to do it this and next year) We are free to borrow equipment and have access to powerful editing programmes 24/7. But also that I do feel it’s fairly free. Yes, we do get set assignments with different themes and such we need to follow, but when you look at the finished products, you see how different everyone’s is. We do have more freedom with our work than we think we do.

11. What are your plans after graduation?
It’s still far away, almost two years from now. I’m planning to stay here in London, and obviously, I would love to be a trainee at a film production company, or at least something with film. I would also like to really put time into writing on the side, so I sometime in the future, maybe, can do just that. But I’m also kind of drawn to the idea of going on a food trip? Like, go travelling for three months and learn how to cook in different parts of the world.

12. What are your hopes and dreams for your life in twenty years?
Having a job that I love, a family, and preferably a summer house by the sea in Stockholm’s archipelago.

 

Pia x