Vilius Petrikas graduated from The Film School in the spring of 2010 from Directing and Producing. We got a hold of him to get information about his newest project, a full length feature, “Axlar-Bjorn”, to be released next year
I just finished my first film as a producer, for”Axlar-Bjorn”, but before that I had co-produced another film soon to be released, “It Hatched”. I graduated from The Film School in 2010 and have since been working in television and filmmaking in varied positions. During the last few years I have worked in aerial filming and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for my work in that field.
David Charles Fridbertsson screen writer and the films director has been working on the script for a decade. He has taken his time to go over all the legends and folktales and found his own Bjorn. As there are few facts available on Bjorn, David has made a great version of Bjorn and his wife Thordis.
The film is a love story
Despite all the violence, the main characters are sympathetic. The casting process was very difficult for both the roles, for a multitude of reasons. The actors needed to look like average people but at the same time be able to show great cruelty, but again be sympathetic. Complex characters need quality actors, especially when we have two domineering roles in the film. After a long time we got two former students of The Film School to come audition, Hafsteinn Gunnar Hafsteinsson and Vivian Olafsdottir. In both auditions we instantly knew that we had found our Bjorn and Thordis.
The film is produced by Hero Productions under the direction of Bui Baldvinsson. This is the first film that Hero produces in its entirety and it is an absolute honor to have been able to be the films producer. Before that have co-produced the films “Rokkur”, “It Hached” and “Angels Never Cry”.
We were able to put together a fantastic crew, that created a wonderful family atmosphere on set that helped us get through the demanding shoot. There were quite a few former students of The Film School in key positions in making the film.
Rutur Skaeringur N. Sigurjonsson was in charge of scenery, props and SFX, Hallgrimur Johann Hallgrimsson did the lighting and Ari Rannveigarson did the sound.
The cinematographer was Eduardo Ramirez, a former classmate of Davids from the films school in Prague.
The film is mostly set in the farmhouse of Oxl. David and I took a long time in location scouting and ended up at the farm Osvor by Bolungarvik. As much as we wanted to shoot in Snaefellsnes, Osvor worked better visually.
The people out west were amazing during the shoot in regards to hospitality and food. Einarshus in Bolungarvik helped a great deal, as we had our base of operations there while we were shooting in the Westfjords. Kukl equipment rental were very helpful with equipment. Without these parties it would have been extremely difficult to make the film for the little budget we had.
The film is actually shot in many locations, some of the scenes were shot in Snaefellsnes, Reykjanes and Myrdalssandur.
Now shooting has finished and editing and processing is the next step. If everything goes as planned the film will be ready by the end of next spring. We want to do some film festivals over the summer, so we expect the film to hit cinemas in the fall.
From now on I intend to add to my producing and directing experience. There are some projects on the horizon, mainly my first full length feature as director, which will be produced by Hero Productions.
Photographs by Zygimantas Andrulis