Interview: Crazy Pictures

An article by
Martin Ohlsson, editor for the Swedish Film Database
The Unthinkable (Den blomstertid nu kommer)

Hello, Olle Tholén. Along with your colleagues at Crazy Pictures, you recently released your feature-film debut – Den blomstertid nu kommer (The Unthinkable) – in Sweden on the 20th of June. How did it feel in the run-up to the film’s premiere?

It actually felt a bit unreal. We worked on this project for such a long time, and when the time came to release it to the world, it felt a bit like giving birth to a child who would now have to stand on its own. But it also felt really fun. We are very happy with the film and believe people will appreciate it.

You have previously made a number of short films before. Was working on a feature film a lot different from making a short?

Yes, the difference was very brutal. Feature films are entirely different from shorts.

In which way?

The narrative is so much longer. For the most part, our earlier films have been full steam ahead. But when you make a feature film, the viewer has to be given enough time to contemplate the narrative, while the pace should still be considerably fast. We had wanted to make a feature for a long time, so it was still a lot of fun.

What convinced you to make a disaster film?

We never referred to it as a disaster film – the media assigned it that label. We consider it a suggestive, brutal thriller that moves people. Our wish was to explore how people in Sweden, particularly Östergötland where we were all raised, would react if something that had never happened before suddenly occurred.

A bit like in Jesper Ganslandt’s film Jimmie?

I actually haven’t seen that film, but I’ve been told that there are certain similarities.

Crazy Pictures consists of five members. How do you divide the work?

We are an extremely tight group that mostly works together the entire time. We share a common vision and then brainstorm ideas together, from which we create a script. During the filming we also work a lot as a team, although only one of us is actually directing the scenes.

Do you always agree on everything?

We have heated discussions and are constantly challenging one another, but there are never any major arguments. Something good is born out of this chaos.

You have previously mentioned that Den blomstertid nu kommer has a unique atmosphere, and that in ways the film is different from your average Swedish film. What does that mean?

We have not actively tried to make the film un-Swedish in any way, but we are regularly told by people who have seen it that it doesn’t feel like your normal Swedish film. We were all raised on a great deal of American cinema, which definitely had a lasting impact.

You had a very successful crowdfunding campaign. How important was that for the project?

As a matter of fact, it was crucial. We previously had trouble selling our film idea. The Swedish Film Institute, for example, didn’t believe in us, which made everything that much harder. But once we received such an enormous response from our fans – more than double what we’d expected – it became easier to attract additional investors. Without our crowdfunding campaign, we never would’ve made this film.

Your budget was barely 20 million Swedish kronor. How can you compete with your American counterparts, who have hundreds of million more kronor to work with than you?

We really pushed ourselves to the extreme in order to live up to what audiences expect from this type of film. We are also very accustomed to making big films on small budgets – it’s all we know. Ha-ha. I think and hope that we succeeded.

What does the near future hold for Crazy Pictures?

We have started thinking about making a new Swedish feature film, but also have many other exciting projects underway, including a possible project with a studio in the US.

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