Film Courage: Where did you grow up?
Andreas Climent: I grew up in a little town called Oxie in the south of Sweden. My mom is Swedish and my dad was from Spain, so I was immersed in both cultures. My parents always encouraged my creativity, so I was writing and drawing a lot. I sort of grew up on American movies. That style of storytelling has influenced me a lot. Spielberg, and in recent years, Nolan and Fincher are big influences.
“…I decided to make my own film school. I found out which books were part of the curriculum at USC and borrowed as many as possible from the local library. Then I watched hundreds of hours of behind-the-scenes documentaries. Particularly all the behind-the-scenes material from Peter Jackson and Robert Rodriguez’s films were great.”
Andreas Climent – Co-Writer/Co-Director of ORIGIN Movie
Film Courage: How do you see yourself?
Andreas: When I was younger I never thought being a movie director was something you could do. Then I guess I figured, if someone else can, then I can also do it. My philosophy is to aim high, because then you will at least get a lot further than if you didn’t try at all.
Film Courage: How do you want others to see you as an artist?
Andreas: I try to make movies that will be enjoyed by a large audience. If my movies can also make you think about interesting concepts or grip you emotionally, then I have achieved what I’m aiming for. It’s a very hard thing to balance though and I really admire the few directors who do manage to make audience friendly movies based on complex ideas or concepts.
Film Courage: Did you go to film school?
Andreas: I got a partial scholarship to Vancouver Film School but still couldn’t go since it was too expensive. So I decided to make my own film school. I found out which books were part of the curriculum at USC and borrowed as many as possible from the local library. Then I watched hundreds of hours of behind-the-scenes documentaries. Particularly all the behind-the-scenes material from Peter Jackson and Robert Rodriguez’s films were great.
After that I started helping out on short films and after a while started making my own shorts, and that’s more or less how I learned filmmaking. Though to be honest, I’m still learning every day and hope to keep doing that for as long as I do this. I don’t think you can ever stop learning.
Film Courage: How many language do you speak?
Andreas: I’m fluent in English, Swedish and Spanish and I’m trying to learn German right now. My dad was Spanish, but I’ve learned both Spanish and English mostly from watching movies and TV-shows. Everyone watches subtitled American movies and TV shows in Sweden so after a while you just pick up the language.
Film Courage: Your bio says you travel for video client work – what are must haves you take everywhere?
Andreas: I’m a pretty minimalistic guy, but my Macbook Air is my number one must have. I’m always surprised how powerful such a lightweight computer is.
Film Courage: When did you start your video production company? What do you specialize in?
Andreas: My production company Neverday Film which I run together with producers Jennifer Carlsson and Michel Cardoso Teixeira focuses on a few different areas. We produce commercials and a lot of corporate work for many companies in the south of Sweden. On the fiction side we are developing both English language features and movies aimed at the Swedish and international market, TV drama and some innovative short film projects which we can hopefully reveal more about in the coming months.
Film Courage: Although Dogme 95 is not from your generation, how much do you agree with its rules? If so, how closely do you follow them? If not, why? Were these rules applicable at that time, but have now evolved with the dslr, crowdfunding, DIY revolution?
Andreas: Rules are meant to be broken, how else do you innovate? But using limitations as something positive can be a smart thing. For Origin, we decided to use what we had in creative ways and limited ourselves both to 4 characters and more or less 4 different locations. We also intended to shoot the film in 10 days just like my friend, director Antonio Tublén did with his sci-fi “LFO”. We got a little ambitious though and changed that to 19 shooting days, but seeing our limitations as something positive was essential in making it possible to shoot our first feature film.
Film Courage: How did you meet your collaborator on ORIGIN movie, André Hedetoft?
Andreas: André actually posted an ad on a filmmakers forum, looking for people to help him with a short film he was making. We met up and discovered we had a lot in common and became friends then and there. After that we made a bunch of short films together and now finally Origin which is the culmination of our collaboration, since we’ve decided to make separate projects for our next films now, as a way to keep learning and growing as directors, even though we still collaborate a lot.
Film Courage: What is bio hacking?
Andreas: Biohacking is this phenomenon where both scientists and regular people are using readily available technology, and parts anyone can order online, to experiment on themselves. Essentially to try hacking their own DNA, improve their genetics or add functionality which we normally don’t have, like implanting magnets or computer chips under their skin which gives them enhanced senses or new abilities.
Film Courage: How did you first hear of the term?
Andreas: I think André told me about it after having read about it in a science article. As we started bouncing ideas back and forth on how biohacking could be depicted on film, we researched a lot and read even more.
Film Courage: What prompted you to make this movie?
Andreas: What prompted us to make our first feature film was essentially my friend Antonio Tublén (“LFO”) telling us to stop making short films and take the step to making features. That led to André and I and our amazing lead actress Emelia Hansson and director of photography Nils Croné, whom we were both friends with, to all make a pact that we were going to make a feature film the coming summer, no matter what.
As for what prompted us to make Origin, the ideas about biohacking and the story we developed about a young woman willing to do anything to save the life of the man she loved, even if that meant passing moral and ethical boundaries, was just too tempting to stop thinking about. We had to make this movie.
Film Courage: What was the budget? Where did you secure financing?
Andreas: The budget is around half a million dollars and mostly financed through investments and deferrals. Everyone who worked on the movie, including André and I, really believed in the project and invested our wages in the film. We also had investments from co-producers like Film i Skåne, Way Creative and Solid Entertainment. Aside from that, we managed to get sponsorships for food during production and everything else was payed out of pocket by me and André. We’ve spent both lots of time and money making the film so seeing Origin win at different festivals and getting such a positive response from the audience really means a lot!
Film Courage: How did you pitch the script to your actors? Had you known them previously?
Andreas: We knew Emelia Hansson, who plays Julia, from before, having worked with her on our short film Double Trouble. She really is an amazing actress and a great person and has some very cool projects lined up. Hopefully we’ll work with her again soon too.
We found Rikard Björk and Sandra Redlaff through the casting process and both really impressed us. Rafael Pettersson is of course the most famous of our actors, playing one of the regulars on the Swedish/Danish TV phenomenon “The Bridge”. We knew Rafael through a common friend and when we pitched him the movie and his character, Bergman, I think he really responded to getting to play a character with more emotional complexity.
Film Courage: How long have you been planning the film?
Andreas: André and I started with a much more action thriller oriented version of the story. Many iterations later we decided to make it smaller and focus more on the characters, which is how we found the current version of the movie.
I think we spent about a year working on the story and screenplay on and off, then when we decided we were going to shoot in the summer, we accelerated everything and did several rewrites. I actually had to do a page one rewrite of the entire script two weeks before we started shooting, to remove some scenes and plotlines to make our new shooting schedule work.
We also did about a week of rehearsals and read-throughs with the actors, planned stunts and special effects extensively, and our director of photography Nils Croné spent many days and nights storyboarding and doing floorplans. He is an insanely talented guy who is quickly becoming one of Sweden’s best cinematographers.
Film Courage: Did you take turns writing your own versions of the script or write scenes together?
Andreas: A little bit of both actually. We outlined a lot and then numbered the scenes and split them up, so André wrote some scenes and I did others. Then we both did passes on sequences and constantly gave each other feedback until we felt we had a version of the script that felt like a good foundation for the movie.
“The ratings systems in Sweden and the US are pretty similar, but I think in Sweden we are generally a lot more accepting when it comes to sex, while in the US you are more accepting when it comes to violence and more careful when it comes to sex, which is a little odd. But Origin has a little bit of both, so I guess we caught the attention of the censors on both sides of the Atlantic!”
Andreas Climent – Co-Writer/Co-Director of ORIGIN Movie
Film Courage: The trailer for ORIGIN is marked as MATURE. Why? Do you have a version that is for all ages? How different are rating/censorship standards in Sweden or other countries outside of the US? Why? What is different about how content is portrayed? Any thoughts you care to share about the differences?
Andreas: The funny thing about the movie making process is how long it takes to make a movie, so in some ways I don’t feel Origin is representative of what I know now, since we actually shot in in 2014, even though I’m very proud of the film and what we managed to achieve. Being less experienced back then, we didn’t consider how the content would affect the rating, we just wanted to make the best film we could. I’m not sure I would have changed anything, since I was a strong proponent for keeping the movie as violent and slightly disturbing as it sometimes is.
The ratings systems in Sweden and the US are pretty similar, but I think in Sweden we are generally a lot more accepting when it comes to sex, while in the US you are more accepting when it comes to violence and more careful when it comes to sex, which is a little odd. But Origin has a little bit of both, so I guess we caught the attention of the censors on both sides of the Atlantic!
Film Courage: When you encountered creative differences on ORIGIN, what was your process?
Andreas: To be honest, André and I work really well together and when we do co-direct, we discuss things among ourselves before either one of us talks to the actors. On the odd occasion when we didn’t agree during the Origin shoot, we simply decided to shoot both versions. Since we edit our own films and are both present in the editing room, it’s really easy to just try both versions in the editing room and see what works in the cut.
Film Courage: How true or false is the statement “fix it in post?”
Andreas: Haha. Well, I’m a big believer in getting as much as you possibly can in camera. A lot of our effects and stunts are in camera and I really think that’s why they work. There is this one take during a fight scene where the camera just follows the fight without cutting, and it’s so much more believable and intense than cutting on every punch could ever be.
Of course there are times when things do need to be fixed in post, like painting out booms which happen to be visible in frame on your favorite take or adding ADR lines to polish the flow of the story. In those cases you have to fix it in post, but we always try to get it on set.
Film Courage: You have several breathtaking scenes in which the backdrop is the ocean. Where is this shot? Why the “Sea” as a metaphor or symbol?
Andreas: Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed those! It’s shot at a place called Falsterbo in southern Sweden, which is where both André and I would go swimming in the summers. To us it’s just the beach, but just like other movies look cinematic to us, we figured locations that we are used to would hopefully look interesting to an international audience.
I don’t want to explain the movie here, but like you’re saying, the sea is of course also a metaphor for the origin of life as we know it. Or the origin of something new, which in many ways is what the film is about.
Film Courage: Were there any locations in ORIGIN in which you have an emotional connection?
Andreas: I’ve actually become good friends with the girl who owns the apartment we shot in and went to a party there a few weeks ago. It’s slightly surreal to be in an apartment that after months of editing and just having seen the movie so many times now, just feels like the apartment where my characters live!
Film Courage: Where is ORIGIN available to watch?
Andreas: Origin is available on:
And we’re very excited for the Scandinavian release in the first few months of 2017!
Film Courage: What’s next for you creatively?
Andreas: I’m developing several projects to direct and possibly also produce. We’re looking at possibly bringing in international talent and shooting with a Swedish crew but depending on schedules we’ll see if that is my next movie or if it will have to wait a little. I’m also working on a screenplay for something very exciting, a time travel movie with a pretty unique twist to it. It’s a bit more of a high-budget film, but I would love to do that one in the next few years.
ORIGIN Movie – Available on iTunes December 13th, 2016.
CONNECT WITH ORIGIN MOVIE:
Andreas Climent directs feature films, commercials and music videos and is known for his visual style and strong focus on story.
Based in Barcelona, Spain, Andreas speaks Swedish, Spanish and English fluently and travels the world to work for international clients like Alfa Romeo and Cadbury.
Andreas Climent and André Hedetoft, ORIGIN Movie – Available on iTunes December 13th, 2016.
ABOUT ORIGIN MOVIE:
Ambitious science students Julia and Rebecca are trying to make cells age slower through their research in biohacking. They are right on the verge of a breakthrough when they find out that Julia’s boyfriend Erik is dying from a rare form of cancer.
There is nothing the doctors can do for him anymore, and as Erik gets worse and worse, Julia decides to use their untested biohacking research on Erik in a desperate attempt to save his life. They steal the source code for the research from Bergman, their genetics professor, and disappear from the university. In secret they build a lab in their small apartment and start experimenting – with Erik as a human guinea pig.
“Hi, Mom!” Zooppa has partnered up with T-Mobile on a brand new project! T-Mobile gives its customers unlimited data and texting in over 140 countries and destinations—at no extra cost. T-Mobile wants to inspire those customers to travel and get off-the-beaten path—to be explorers, not tourists—and unlock adventures they can share when they take their phones. The ‘Hi, Mom’ project focuses on sharing the most extreme moments of adventure outside of the United States with family and friends back at home.
The project is open for submissions until February 21st, 2017 at 4:00 PM PST. There are $40,000 in total cash awards available that will be assigned to the top eight videos chosen by T-Mobile. In addition to the cash awards, all winning videos will also be featured on T-Mobile’s social and web platforms or as a part of a compilation celebrating adventurous moments from around the world.
THE WEEKEND SAILOR is a new feature documentary about the unexpected victory of the Mexican yacht Sayula II in the first crewed sailing race around the world in 1974. The most demanding sailing quest in history.
Sailor, Ramon Carlín visits his rebellious son, Enrique in the United Kingdom and comes across a magazine advertising a sailing race around the world. Although he had been sailing casually for two years, Ramon embarks on this race and brings his son along as an opportunity to not only teach him discipline but real life experiences as well.
Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue: With Hurricane Sandy looming on the horizon, five hard-lived friends come to from a send-off celebration alongside an unexplained dead girl. What are friends for?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT): Zooppa and Nickelodeon are inviting filmmakers and motion graphic artists from around the world to reimagine TMNT on a global scale through depicting what they are up to in various home towns or cities. The goal is to show how the Turtles would come to life in any given location, using local city or pop culture influences to help tell the story. Zooppa and Nickelodeon are looking for imagination and creativity, the videos made should be a fun way to share Turtle stories from across the globe––authenticity is key!
The project is open for submissions until February 23rd, 2017 at 4:00PM PST. There are $25,000 in cash awards available to the top 10 videos that will be chosen by Nickelodeon.