Sunday, June 17, 2007

Bjorkliden / Sweden shoot (mid may)

So after the Mexican holiday I was on my way to Sweden again.
The mission this time was to get some sweet shots of our DC riders in my neck of the woods. Excuse me for all the bad spelling, or missed words. This post was too long to read though before posting..

The blurry pics are from my cell phone (I don´t have a cam at the moment). The other pics are stolen from my friends.

But before I left I went and bought a Pelican case to hip my camera stuff in. Traveling with all this camera gear isn´t easy. If the airline doesn´t “loose” your stuff (happens all the time) you´re arguing with someone about your carry-on bag being overweight (and I fly with a small carry-on). When you fly within Europe this is a big problem (not like New Zealand though, those kiwi´s are retarded when it comes to carry-on bags) so I thought sending it with a freight company was the best solution. Fed Ex doesn´t exist north of Stockholm, so DHL seemed like the obvious choice…
DC Film´s production manager Sara did a few days of customs paperwork (carnet) to make sure the package wouldn´t get stuck in customs.. more on this later.

Since I was going to Sweden for a while it seemed like a good idea to have meatballs at IKEA in LA before I left. See where I grew up in Sweden we don´t have IKEA, so actually going there is more of an amercian tradition, weird. Hjalle ate probably 30 meatballs and 4 hot dogs, while the rest of us felt that 10-15 + one or two “cocos-bollar” was enough.

While in LA I also went by MOCA (art museum) to see an exhibit about pre fab houses. I´m very into these kind of projects, probably a little too much since there wasn´t much to see for me. I already knew about most of the architects and the houses in the exhibit. Still worth the visit. I did buy another 3-4 books about architecture though, like I need to drag more books around ☺…

Even when you fill up for gas you can watch tv in California.

I also stopped by the finns (Iikka and Lauris) crib on my drive down to Carlsbad / San Diego. They were busy singing to the game Sing Star. Iikka was really good. I for some reason didn´t score very well. Eddie was also there, I think he was disappointed that there were no Bob Dylan songs.

If you didn´t know, I´m real good at falling asleep:

I got a sweet limo ride to the airport (to early in the morning to ask and favors from friends). I love Lincoln Town Car´s. I´m looking forward to owning one some day.

Here´s the weather I left in California... damn it´s nice there:

Once you´re at the SAS lounge in Chicago I almost feel like I`m home. Sparkling water, fish egg´s in a tube, nice bread, free cocktails, swedish newspapers and free internet really helps before you get on a eight hour flight. But what´s the deal with handing out metal forks and knives at the lounge 20 meters from the gate? And then again on the plane..?!
Considering they just took my metal pen at the security check point I really don´t know what to believe.

I got three seats to myself! Very happy about that. Add a few episodes of 24 and you´re off to a great flight.

Back to the Sweden part..

Northern Sweden had a lot of snow in may and I felt it would be a good idea to go there and shoot. I´ve usually gone to a resort called Riksgransen, but after asking around it seemed like that place wasn´t the spot to go to. Lame management was one of the reasons for choosing the resort next to it, Bjorkliden.

Here´s a pic from Kiruna on may 15th! Lotsa snow.

Bjorkliden was VERY accommodating to us. I showed up 5 or so days before the team to scout the area with my friend Peter Ström. I was impressed with the amounts of snow there was, and the 24 hour daylight was a nice change from California.
This part of the world is very remote. The drive from my parents place in Lulea is a solid 6 hour drive, straight north. Stina and Hekla came along for most of the trip, so that was nice.

Here are some pics of me and Peter riding cold snow in mid may. While the rest of Sweden were having summer temps and moving their laws, we had blue skies, mild temps and fresh snow.

I did pack a Super 8 camera in my carry-on , just in case the DHL box wouldn´t arrive the first couple of days.
One week after we shipped it it still hadn´t made it.

The night before the DC guys came I had dinner in Riksgransen and met some fellow boarders and filmers. It was a pretty crazy scene. A lot of Burton people and some dudes from the Euro film collective called “Pirates”.

Here is the picture:
I´ll try and name a few, top left to right .....kind of
Tim Manning, Me, Blotto, dude, Kjersti, Per-Hampus, Amber, Neir, Heikki, dude, Erin, Basti, Maurino, dude, dude, Iker, dude, russian crazy dude.
Lower part: Sean Aaron, Gigi, dude, Fredi Kalbermatten, filmer dude.

Picked up Iikka, Lauri, Aaron, Jake Price (filmer) and Andy Wright (photographer) at the Kiruna airport. All bags made in except one of Lauri´s. He wasn´t too happy about it. Going from partying at the Roosevelt Hotel in LA to sitting in Kiruna Sweden without your bag is quite the contrast in 36 hours..

Despite the riders (and Jake´s) jet lag and laziness they did make this great beer cooler. Pretty creative if you ask me.

Jake also built this miniramp:

Bjorkliden had closed a few days before the boys arrived, so we were free to do whatever we wanted. No waivers to sign, no banners to avoid, I like it.

And the DHL package still hasn´t arrived, in case you were wondering.

It was a little difficult to track down a cat driver who knew how to build park jumps (there aren´t any parks around here, except Johan Olofsson´s Thunder Park, but from what I heard Johan was in Germany shopping for cat´s and pipe dragons at the time). After some networking I did find Mattias “Stota” from Kiruna and Jonas from Gällivare to help out. We didn´t end up jumping the park jump too much. But it was nice to have it, just in case the light got good.

The weather up here is notorious for getting socked in. I felt that we got a fair amount of sunny days. And when the weather clicked with the riders being motivated we did get shots. The second to last day we got like 80% of our shoots from the trip. Most of them in a 300x200 meter area that we had passed 12 times in the last week. It´s funny how that works.., you get nothing and you have thousands of acres to work with. And then you sit down, get of your sled, look around and boom a rider just saw a few things to do. One hour later you have 10 shots in the bag.

Iikka and Jake milking it:

Peter tweaking on the jump:

Biittner and Jake:

Lauri looking at a possible transition:

A typical swedish hut:

I was still only filming with my Super 8 camera, no DHL box. I was considering renting some camera gear from Lulea or Stockholm, but I was doing ok with my Super 8 camera. It was my first real film trip since I broke my neck and it felt pretty good counting on Jake to get the shot and me getting 2nd angle. And my backpack was lighter than his :)

Here is one of the spots the dudes ripped:

Eddie had kept calling me about possibly showing up for 5 days since he was in Dubai (they have an indoor snowboarding place there) and had to go on another trip to Norway after the Dubai trip. Why his other sponsor would set up such a dumb route is beyond my understanding, but it worked out great for me because I could grab him for 5 days. And he was stoked not to go back to California for 3 days.
He didn´t have a phone or a computer, so getting him into our spot wasn´t easy. But after some pre-cell phone / pre-email planning I met up with him at this airport called Evenas in Norway. He got in at midnight and it was pretty much full daylight, he was a little tripped out I think. The mountains around this area Narvik/Evenas in Norway are so beautiful, everyone (or at least Swedes) should make their way up here sometime. It´s amazing,.. and expensive.

The funniest part about Eddie´s trip to Sweden/Norway was that he didn´t know where he was going after our Bjorkliden trip. But he knew it was in Norway so he just figured he could rent a car in Narvik and drive there or something. But after I figured out where he was going I giggled a little… he was going to Svalbard. Good luck driving there. Check Google Maps to find Svalbard.

The sleds we used were real sweet, at least I thought so. They were like my Cadillac, cushioned and a very smooth ride. Sure they lacked some power, but unless you want to pay 20.000$ for a Ski Doo REV or something you´re not getting one. Not in this part of the world.

Iikka was really into using the trailers for the snowmobiles that the ski patrol people used. Why? I don´t know. It was just love at first sight or something,.. maybe you´ll see him with one in the back country next year.

A few days after the dudes had arrived the DC snow director Sean “Bootsy” Lake showed up. He cruised with us for a few days and drove my car to the “Gnarvik” party (that me and Stina bailed on). From what I heard it seemed quite fun.

Me and Stina:

Bar shot from Riksgränsen:

View´s from Bjorkliden:

Here´s Aaron, Eddie, Iikka, Jake and Lauri. Good guys.

The day the riders and camera guys left it was 100% cloud free and I took some runs with Peter in Riksgränsen before making the long drive back to my parents place in Lulea. Here are some pics:
Peter on the "Norway Route". Many pro´s has ridden this run. Terje has a lot of shots from here in Project 6 (amazing movie by the way), TB3 (or 2, or 4..), Subject Haakosen.

The hike back from the "Norway Route". We saw a moose here, poor moose was stuck behind the railroad tunnel.. I hope he made it back, or someone got a good stew.

Here is the take off and landing of Ingemar Backmans 6-7 meter mega air form 1996. My version of that shot is the opening shot in Mack Dawg´s movie "Stomping Grounds". That shot was how I got into the snowboard industry. Nostalgic spot to say the least.
Here´s another bs air that I shot of Ingemar years later in Hemsedal Norway that someone illegally posted on youtube :(

The arctic circle. 3 hours south of Björkliden, 2 hours north of my hood:

A town that could me mine (almost). English spekeakers.. don´t worry. It almost spells out my name in swedish, almost:

Nice view of Överkalix:

So nice I had to pee in it:

Oh yeah, the DHL box still hadn´t arrived.

I´ll let you know how the past weeks have been, soon… but it´s mostly been like this:

Sleep, allergies, looking for places to rent in San Diego, good food, looking for music for the movie, calling DHL, amazing sunsets, parents bought a house! record high temps (30-32 Celsius), sleep, looking for places to rent in San Diego, logging footage, train trip to Gothenburg, calling DHL, surgery (tumor), sleep, morphine, more sleep, train back up north, listening to more movie-worthy music, logging footage, swelling in my face, 2 more visits to the Umeå hospital to drain my face from blood (not comfortable), logging footage, sleep..

Later / Pierre