Photo by David Eric Nilsson
Well, always off to an awkward start, haha! We're two filmmakers based in Gothenburg, Sweden, even though we do work all over the country.
To define our roles would be a disservice really, since we basically do everything (as most indie people do), depending on the project. Everyone chips in. But if we were to boil it down, Emil does the directing and editing, while Eliza does the acting and special effects, while we both come up with the stories and write a lot together.
We embrace the very soul of indie filmmaking, more as a necessity than a choice, since the mainstream industry makes you jump through hoops that you really don't want to. Not that we are completely against it, but it restrains our creativity and a lot of the people in the industry really don't want our kind among them.
So, instead of trying to fit into a mold, we do our thing however we want to do it, with the people we want to do it with. As we said, we are not against working in a more traditional way, but a lot of people in higher positions are.
What is the best thing about working in horror?
What isn't? Haha! All the creativity that spawns out of the genre. You can't kill anyone in a more fun fashion in any other genre.
The community (we guess some people would call them fans) is like a big family that welcomes and embraces almost every creator or filmmaker worth their salt. To interact with anyone who has seen something we have made is always fun and rewarding, even if it sometimes comes off as a bit weird to us, haha! Are people actually paying to see our stuff!?
But we guess that the best thing about working with, especially, indie horror is that you are allowed to experiment and make a lot of mistakes, to fine tune your craft and try out new ideas that maybe wouldn't work on a bigger scale. Sure, we lack the budget a lot of the time, but we make it up in creativity/gore (pick your poison)!
Can you say anything about your movies?
*we both stared into the abyss for way longer than we care to admit when we got to this question*
Well... they are not for everybody, that's for sure! They are not meant to be taken seriously, even if we do have some serious thoughts behind some of them. Unfortunately, some people don't understand that and get really upset about the whole thing. We mean, come on, we make some of the silliest things we can imagine and people get truly riled up about it. Just enjoy the ride! If you don't - then get a sense of humor. And if you get something more out of it, we are very happy that you did.
Why do you work in the film industry?
Because nothing else will do to satisfy those masochistic urges. (Rawr...) Art can be used to materialize some of the thoughts and feelings we all have. We picked film as a way to project them onto others; to share the odd and, sometimes, twisted, things that swirl around in our heads.
And who knows - maybe some people get what we are doing; some have and some haven't.
What are some of your upcoming projects?
A lot of different things really, some connected to horror, some not. Eliza does a lot of projects on her own, as does Emil, so we never really know what's next. Of course, we are knocking around some ideas, but as of now we don't know how to get them made, considering the state of the world.
What was the project you learned the most from?
You always learn something from every project you take part of. If not, then you need to try harder. Some filmmakers realize this fast, while some, sadly, never do.
During the last couple of years we both have learned a lot; from our and others mistakes as well as successes, and because of it we have taken on bigger roles and projects as a direct result.
Some more specific examples include projects that never really got off the ground, often because of a lack of leadership and/or the lack of a clear collective vision and end goal. A failed anthology with a lot of different ideas and skills comes to mind, in which the main producer maybe lacked the experience to bring it all together in a satisfying way, not that everything was the fault of the producer.
Not so surprisingly, it all ended with a couple of really bad previews and all we could do was to either abandon the whole thing, or salvage whatever we could. We got a few good shorts out of it and a hard lesson we will never forget.
What is the last horror film you saw? What did you think of it?
We actually saw both The Nun and The Curse of La Llorona today, both part of The Conjuring-universe. And while The Nun was more satisfying as a horror film, The Curse of La Llorona was definitely better as its own thing while being a part of the bullshit that is The Conjuring-universe. Like, seriously, we discussed them both at great length (probably longer than the writers did) afterwards and found so many problems with them, both story wise and in a filmmaking sense.
You could almost call it nit picking, except that most of the things we complained about was just a lack of logic. We get that these movies have their audience, but the average score of them both kinda shows that even the intended audience found them both a bit disappointing.
What is your favorite horror movie and why?
Oh no... Depends on the mood, dude. Okay, lightning round! Eliza, under immense pressure, yelled out The Shining (?), so there's that. But seriously there are a lot of great ones, all for different reasons - cinematic, story, acting, villians, heroes, style, effects, which kind of sub-genre, era and so on. It all just depends. But to name a few influential ones: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho, The Exorcist, American Psycho, Dracula, Creep and Candyman.
How do you prepare for a movie?
Sigh... It depends on what function you will fill.
As a writer/director you need to figure out what story you want to tell. If you have an idea - that's a great start. But - what is the moral of the story? Why do you want to tell it? How do you want to tell it? You need to hone in on the "how to", just to not confuse the audience. You can't throw everything into the mix just because you want to. Your job, in the end, is to make the best film possible, the best end product, that you can; even if you have to "kill your darling" (and trust us - you'll have to. KILL THEM ALL!!!).
Don't underestimate pre-production - please, for the love of everything Hitchcock. Do. Not. Do. That. We have seen it time and time again, and it always ends badly. Pre-production affects everything, from the script to the release. We could write an essay on the subject, but we will settle with sighing, shaking our heads and just stating the obvious, once again - do not underestimate pre-production. Period.
If you are going to act the main preparation is to know and understand the character and their motivation. How you figure that out differs, but the basics rarely change - ask a lot of questions, to yourself and the writer/director. Most answers can be found between the lines of the script and allows for different takes on the character. Again - we could write an essay, but we won't, for now. One final tip is this: No question is too dumb. Ask away. It's way better to ask too many questions than none.
If you could work with any actors or actresses who would they be and why?
Oh my God - this is like the "favorite horror movie"-question all over again!
It all depends on the project and what character that specific someone would portray.
We all have seen great actors casted in the "wrong" parts. It might not be bad, but it could have been so much better. Like George Cloney as Batman. Sure, he got the part and he did Bruce Wayne pretty well. But there were a lot of other actors that could have done the character more justice (Michael Keaton did it before even) than him.
Where can we find out more about you and your work?
You can find us on the most common social media platforms, like Instagram and Twitter. If you want to see what we are up to, those are the two we recommend you following us at.
To see our stuff we would like to recommend you to check out Troma NOW. And of course, you can always check out our IMDBs for more information.
What is your personal definition of horror?
Again, this is a hard question to summarize an answer for. It's such a subjective question that demands a lot of explanation, just like when somebody asks you what your favorite kind of humor is. Is it a good old knock-knock joke? Slapstick? It's such a wide subject and it all depends. But, let us say that the true definition of horror is something that makes you uncomfortable. Sure, horror can be fun and games, something that we truly enjoy.
Sometimes it can disturb and shake you to the core. That familiar feeling of wanting to shut the TV off and crawl into bed, with the light still on, but instead covering your eyes with your hands and peeking through your fingers, just because something draws you in. That is horror, that is scary entertainment. But let us leave you with this - does all art need to be entertaining? Think about it.
Who is your current inspiration?
We are really bad at boiling our thoughts down to simple answers. Usually when we ask ourselves questions like this, we discuss them for hours on end.
Once again it all depends on the situation, it even changes from day to day. It's impossible for us to answer this without having a long discussion.
But after a short discussion we came to the conclusion that it isn't a "who" that inspires us at the moment, but a "what", and that what is actually Covid-19.
Seeing how people react during a real crisis has brought forth a lot of thoughts and questions about true human behaviour. We have seen a lot of disturbing acts committed by ordinary people, but rarely in the open as now, during mass hysteria.
Favorite country or place?
Før Helvede (Danish pronunciation). Wherever people can't reach us by phone, but where the booze always flows.
Anything else you want to mention?
Never forget that there is always room for improvement regarding your skills and your work.