We had a chance to chat with Anton Smari, a former student, in our effort to keep track of our excellent graduates !
What made you decide to go to The Icelandic Film School?
I was finishing my studies at MH and was going to enter political science to become a diplomat until my good friend Erlendur Sveinsson asked me to join him for his interview at the school as “moral support”. I had not even heard of the school before then but ended up having an interview myself. Then a light bulb went off, I could work at something that I had been mesmerized by since I was able to sit upright in front of the TV screen. There was no turning back then.
Any fun memories from your years at the school?
So many fun memories, most of which I would not make public however. One great memory is from my first Technology course during my first semester. The group had just started to get to know each other and we were all at the studio in Lynghals where Sindri (the head of sound processing at the time), was showing us that it was possible to enjoy a film with quality sound and bad cinematography, but it was much more difficult to enjoy a film with bad sound and good cinematography. I thought this was very logical and opened my eyes to the importance of film sound. I think most people in the room agreed except one woman raised her hand. When Sindri responded to her, her translator answered that she did not agree. She happened to be deaf. I have never before or since seen Sindri as flabbergasted that ended with everyone in the room laughing.
Where did you get the idea for your graduation film?
I did a joint graduation film “Dear Kaleb“, with Erlendur Sveinsson, and it had a long process. We spent many good hours in Vikurhvarf brainstorming ideas. We ended up doing a film about a boy during his teen years and all that comes with it. We could both connect easily with that subject and I believe that is one of the main reasons it was so successful. Erlendur sat down to write and I did my best to support him in that process. Shooting took 6 days total and we got 4 days for the whole post production to edit, sound mix, color correction and finish the film. Very memorable sleepless nights in Vikurhvarf.
Any important lessons from the school you carry with you?
I learnt so much during my time at The Film School, as I truly involved myself in the studies and made use of the facilities and the professionals as best I could. If there was some one thing above others, it was the importance of cooperation. I was truly happy with my fellow students and and believe those were two of my best years, mostly thanks to the people I tirelessly worked with during that time, both teachers and students.
And what came after graduation?
After graduation I started working as a contractor, first as an assistant in a lighting department. For the next few years I worked in different departments within the Technology divisions. I learnt a lot from the wells of wisdom that are Icelandic film makers, in my opinion up to the highest standards world wide. I also worked at KUKL equipment rental that was an immensely valuable experience to me. Then three years ago I followed my better half to England, got a job at ARRI Rental, left there about a year ago and have been working as a camera man since.
And the future ?
There are some fun projects ahead, for one a music video that I will be shooting next month which includes for instance Rag‘n’Bone Man, a great favorite of mine. Also my first full length feature is on the horizon. An Icelandic horror film that I will begin shooting next year. Directed by Vilius Petrikas and produced by Hero Productions. I am extremely excited about this project.
To round this up, here is a show reel of what Anton Smari shot in 2017, clearly a talented man, so please enjoy !