«A Room With No View» – Update

A Room With No View (”Et rom uten utsikt”) – Update

During the months since I last wrote about this project our focus has been on writing the screenplay and finding the money to go into production.

The screenplay is a fictional story based on interviews and informal talks with people who have been bullied to the extent that it has made their lives difficult. Some have even become very sick as a result. We are inspired particularly by one woman who I interviewed indepth. This interview is filmed and I will be releasing a very short version of it in the not so distant future.

A few weeks ago the screenplay got the ”thumbs up” by dramaturg Kirsten Rask. I let out a sigh of relief when she approved of it. I am always open for suggestions and questions that challenge me as a writer, in order to improve what I write. This being said, I felt like I had written a screenplay that I was pretty satisfied with. Since Kirsten hadn’t read any of the previous drafts, I prepared myself to be sent back to the drawing board. Luckily she was happy with what she read.

The discussions with the directors, Inger Lene Stordrange and Skjalg Molvær, of how they plan to bring my words to life, have been very inspiring. I am very much looking forward to the result

We are scheduled to start shooting mid April. As of now we plan to shoot most of it in Kristiansand and Sveio. Solveig Arnesen has taken responsibility of hands-on director, so she is busy getting the crew and cast in place. The spots are filling up fast now. I am happily observing from the sidelines, as I continue to work towards financing.

Our strategy from the start was to try crowdfunding, applying to organizations who (hopefully) are not flooded by film projects and see this as a project along lines that they are concerned with and pre-selling/distribution.

The crowdfunding has mainly been powered by our Facebook pages: www.facebook.com/aroomwithnoview and www.facebook.com/etromutenutsikt and the homepage www.etromutenutsikt.com . Early on the English and Norwegian pages were equally focused on and we received funding both from Norway and abroad. At one point I decided to favor the Norwegian site for a while, yet planning to return to the English-language one at a later date. None of the pages have any ”wow”-factor as far as number of ”likes”, but between the two and the efforts we have made by sending out requests to companies, Lions clubs and organizations such as Mental Helse (Mental Health) has resulted in kr 35.000,-

There has also been some newspaper articles on the film and a portrett interview with Silje Marie Strandberg (mentioned above as the one I interviewed indepth), which has had an impact on some of these funds coming in.

I hope that when we post the interview extract, that it will inspire more people to donate. Her story is very moving and we hope our film will be, too. We will be posting it with English subtitles, since the film itself will be produced in both a Norwegian and an English version.

We have also received sizeable financial support from Utdanningsforbundet (Union of Education Norway).

We have also been working towards pre-sales/distribution. Yes, it is a short film (and no one has ever heard of one actually selling?) and yes, it is a film intended to have a high artistic level. One we aim at showing at film festivals. (At this point we are allowed to be optimistic, so I add: we aim at winning some prizes. Why not?) I have never seen any contradiction between creating something that holds high artistic standards and something that could have a large audience.

I am in this to make films, because I love films. I also have a driving passion for issues that matter. Most of what I have done reflects this. As does this project.

Due to the subject matter, we see that this film can have a large audience if distributed correctly. Nothing would make me happier than to see it reaching many people. Hopefully also creating a difference, even if it is for just one person.

We have sent out invitations to all of Norway’s 400 + municipalities. The invitation has been sent to the political and bureaucratic leaders (majors, heads of administration, schooling etc), so it would get in the highest hands possible. They have been offered to show the film at all their schools for a period of 6 weeks this coming fall through netstreaming. For this they pay a small fee.

22 have accepted so far. About 40-50 have declined. Several have requested to see the film completed and others have told us to go directly to their schools.  The rest have not yet answered. I will give them a little more time, before sending a polite reminder.  There are still over 300 potential “yes”’s  out there and until otherwise proven, the possibilities of these are still open.

I have several other strategies up my sleeves, but since I have not yet started them properly, I will wait to write about them here.

My attitude has been that many small amounts equal a substantial total. Not everyone has a lot to give, but if many give a little… It is the result that counts.

Lately we have begun sending in applications to the larger funds and will be doing the rounds on the film funds. I hope that some of them see the value of what we are doing, and by assessing the screenplay and director’s notes see that the film will be one they will be happy to put their money into.