Vilius Petrikas, film maker and former student of The Icelandic Film School, is one of those chosen to receive an American Daytime Emmy awards nomination for superior cinematography of the shows Ocean Treks, that were in part filmed in Iceland.
Film making had called to me since I found out it existed. There was nothing else I wanted to spend my life doing.
I still kind of find it ridiculous that I can actually work in a field that I love and get paid for it, although of course it is hard work.
There are fewer things more complicated than asking a film lover to pick his or her favorite, but if allowed a bit of leeway, some always make the cut.
There are many films I delight in. Choosing one is an impossibility. For the last few years I have watched a great number of films, and the ones I can watch over and over again are by directors like Hitchcock, Brian De Palma, Spielberg, Kubrivk and Billy Wilder (Billy enchants me the most for the extraordinary scripts he wrote). The category of films I enjoy the most is Film Noir.
The goal being clear, studying was the obvious next step
I moved to Iceland in 2001, at the age of 11. It was very difficult getting to know people while I was learning the language, and even harder getting access to film projects.
So I took the opportunity and enrolled in IFS for a clear path into the film industry. In 2008 there were 4 departments and I chose Directing and Producing . I knew at the time that if I had those two down I could advance myself by making my own projects.
I think my studies at IFS showed me the possibilities and limits, a sort of whole picture of it all. I set myself to accessing and learning as many positions as I could. I wanted to learn to film, direct, produce and edit.
The studies did nothing but expand the future goals and he took the next steps with assurance
Shortly after I graduated, I started looking for work. It had challenges to become part of projects to begin with, but after a variety of television jobs and advertisements, it all began to roll forwards.
As of today I have been a part of more than 350 projects of varied sizes and makes. Among them are films, television shows, advertisements, music videos and introduction videos. I started as an editor, then moved over to cinematography and producing.
Right now I am focusing on directing and producing. In the last year I became a part of a lovely group of people at Hero Productions Iceland, a company founded by Bui Baldvinsson and has been doing great things in the last few years.
There I have been able to work with the most talented film makers in the world as the company specializes in foreign projects and I consider that an invaluable experience.
Among the projects Vilius has taken on, one has brought him back a nomination to the Daytime Emmy Awards
Last summer I got a project from Hero to be in charge of airial cinematography in the travel television show “Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin” produced by the ABC television network. We filmed 2 shows, one shot around Akureyri and one around Reykjavik.
Here you can enjoy clips from the shows
I did not think a lot about the programs until I got a message from the producer that I was nominated for the Emmy Daytime Award for the Icelandic show, in the category of “Outstanding Cinematography”. In that I share the nomination with three foreign cinematographers that follow the show all over the world.
It is a great honor to get nominated for the largest television awards globally. It encourages me to continue doing my very best. The awards ceremony will be on April 29th and I will keep my fingers crossed until then.
It is safe to say that things will not quiet down in the following months
The people at Hero have been outstanding in pushing me forward and assisting me in reaching where I wish to be. Recently I have filmed, directed and post produced the music video “Dreams” for the Swiss pop band Sinplus. “Senitmentality” is not exactly my department but it is a joy to be able confront every kind of target audience.
We have, in production, a feature length Icelandic film. The script was written by Elvar Gunnarsson and myself, produced by Hero Productions. I am the director of the film. Our film is currently going through the grant process at the Icelandic Film Fund. If everything goes according to plan we will start filming next winter.
Here is a clip from “Ruins”, that has developed into the film they plan to shoot next winter
We of course will be following excitedly, crossing our fingers and congratulate Vilius on the nomination !