Normaliteten (“Normality”) – The way we came to make it – Part 1

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Tuva and I met on the set of an “arty” short, Arien.

In the shower…
Me with the camera, she as an actor.

I had been working mostly with producing/filming/directing commercials and internal films for companies the previous years, but wanted to get back to long-form and fiction, which I had worked with as a musician/composer.
I had made a very unsuccessful short the previous summer and was generally a bit confused about where and what to take work.
Not happy with what I did, and not really seeing ways to get anywhere with what I wanted.

While chatting on that set, we found out we should maybe try to do “something” together.
Like movies…


You just make movies, right?
With Tuva… You do!

This was early 2009…

Now there are ways to make movies and ways to make movies…

We did a proper job in researching the themes we wanted to explore with Sanctuary. And the location was a given premise for the story.

We knew what we wanted to tell, sorta how we wanted to tell it, what we wanted it to look like, but we didn’t really have a proper script. (well… that is an understatement).
Still, the shootingdays ended up being pretty well planned and we shot us through the material we had decided to collect from September until December 2009.
Overshot it by a wiiiiiide margin. The first edit of Sanctuary was almost 25 minutes long. (the finished version is 10 including credits). Far to many elements and side-stories for even the most tapas-friendly connoisseur.

But despite the “wrong” way of shooting a movie, we eventually ended up with a film that did not only get finished, but a film we are extremely proud to have made, and which is talked about, discussed, upsetting and pleasing people and wins us prizes at festivals. (which basically is what you can hope for when making shorts…)

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The real crazy thing about it, was taking on a project as ambitious as Sanctuary, basically with a crew of two. Tuva and myself.

Have to rush to say that we had lots of fantastic help along the way. On set and in post.
But still, we were an artistic/production team of two, and mostly a technical team, being me.

There is no other real word for it than the purest of silly madness there is.
We somehow just thought we would manage to make it.

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Almost the day we wrapped, I spun off to Iraq to help setting up for a Kurd movie by Halkaft Mustafa (DoP Kjell Vassdal), Red Heart.
And when I returned to Norway I got a gig with nrk on the TV-series TAXI, by Ulrik Rolfsen (DoP Gaute Gunnari), which was initially a 3 month gig, but ended up being my mostly full time place to work for the next 30 months.
Time for Sanctuary was limited. It was a complex production, and it was in a state of “almost” done, for quite a while, as we tried to figure out how to lock it down.

And Tuva came with this idea for this new film “Normality“.
Everything normal.

I was not too enthused. Wanted to finish Sanctuary and wanted to to “other” stuff.

And starting a new similarly big production without having finished Sanctuary was not on my top-5 list of things to do.

The obvious solution?
Starting to work on the manuscripts of two-more shorts, “Daughters” monologue was written mainly back in the spring/summer of 2011, and shoot 5 “simple” shorts over a week… :)

That makes total sense, right?It was back then we started toying with the idea of calling us something along the lines of “Omvendt” (which means “as opposed to”), as we obviously were not capable of doing things “the way they are supposed to be done”.


All imagery on is © Gunleik Groven, unless otherwise stated. For TFP shoots, the images belong to me and the model.
It is possible to buy most images for editorial, commercial or stock usage. I’ll even sell you large prints of them….


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