How did you get involved in “Amundsen”?
I knew about the movie and was very interested in what kind of approach Espen Sandberg was going to take, telling the story of Roald Amundsen. I got the script from Espen Horn, one of the producers, and I was truly amazed at how the film was angled – not at all the action movie I thought it would be, but rather a character study, not only of Amundsen, but also his brother Leon and people around Amundsen that I knew nothing about. I then got to sit down with Espen Sandberg to discuss the movie, and I think we had the same sense of curiosity for the characters so we decided to do the movie together.
What were the biggest challenges during production?
We had some bad luck with weather in Iceland where we filmed all the scenes with snow. Iceland is beautiful, but also unforgiving when it comes to weather. Espen wanted to get as much as possible on camera, so we made the most of our polar sets on a frozen lake in Iceland. We knew that Iceland has very unpredictable weather, so we chose the most weather-safe place we could find, but it still melted down to slush and rocks one week before we were supposed to shoot. And because we were not “The Revenant” we could not move the sets somewhere else, so we had to shoot most of the polar scenes in slush. The surroundings changed from whiteout winter to rocky autumn in just a couple of days and we where forced to shoot anyway. That was brutal!
You worked as second assistant camera on “Kon-Tiki.” How did that experience with Espen Sandberg make this collaboration more effective?
I had worked with him on commercials and “Kon-Tiki” before I got to shoot with him. I believe we had a mutual respect for each other from the start. At least we knew each other from before and could jump right into the movie. From “Kon-Tiki” I learned how good Espen is with characters and actors, which was good to know as he early on talked about how to make this film a character study. Espen works very closely with the actors in prep to get a sense of how to tell the story. That way we could plan the film in detail and not wait until we blocked the scenes on set to get a sense of how to block it.
What was it like working on “22 July,” a film about a horrific real-life event?
What project will you be working on next?
I just finished work on the series “Defending Jacob” for Paramount and Apple. I’m actually having a little baby boy in March, so I think I will be working on that project for a while.
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