Mike y sus chinos: Welcome to the Festival. Is the first time you come here? How do you feel about it?
Jukka Vidgren: Yes, it's the first time. It's such a beautiful place. It's warm, which is not in Finland. It's funny because the first snow just came in Finland and everybody is posting this pictures on Facebook, like "It's snowing"!
Juuso Laatio: And we are here lying by the pool and enjoying the sun.
JV: I was talking to Juuso yesterday and we were saying we've been in Cannes many times but this is much nicer and less stressful.
JL: Food is good and cheap and the service is always nice. Everyone at the Festivals has been very nice.
MYsC: How and when do you decide to do this project?
JV: It started like six years back. It was a long process. This is our first feature film, so it's always a long way. The script took a long time to write with Juuso and then we have to find the producers. It's kind of hard to find financing for a film for first time directors. But how we get the funding was because of the script.
MYsC: It's a little bit like what happens to the band in the film (laughs).
JV: There's a lot of true in the film. The characters are really acid. I'm like the drummer in the film. I'm the guy that says, ok, that's not a problem. And Juuso is more like the main character (laughs).
JL: Yeah, I puke a lot... (laughs).
MYsC: What motivates you to do this project?
JV: Well, a few things. The inspiration for myself was guys going to music. We live in the north of Finland and we've been doing a lot of music videos for metal bands of that area. Around Finland there are a lot of bands who make obscure metal and they're not getting rich by doing it but they're really into their music.
JL: There's a really nice contrast between the violent music and the loveable guys, the nice sceneries. I think it's a fascinating visual world, everything that comes from the metal genre. There's a lot to get inspired about.
MYsC: We have to say that we are musicians like in the movie (Mike is a hardcore singer and Eva is a classical pianist). And we relate to the struggle the main characters in the movie live with. Did you want to reflect that struggle?
JV: Yeah, definitely. It's like you always want to root for underdogs. We want to reflect in the movie the huge mountain the characters have to climb. Everything is very difficult. They're from a very small town, nobody in that town likes metal, they don't have a name for the band and they don't have a sound. They do have a lot of enthusiasm but they don't know what to really do with it. It's the same when you are in films. When we started so many times I thought, ok, we are never going to make this movie. We need people to believe in us. There's something very similar in that point.
JL: I can tell you about that. I'm a metal guy but not from a really small town. People in my town is used to see guys with long hair, but my family and girlfriend keep messing with me to go to cut my hair, and people yell me in the street, go and get a haircut. That part is real.
JV: In Finland there's a lot of oppression about metal in small towns. But usually every town has a couple of those.
MYsC: We see that the characters in the film are very charismatic. Can you tell us about how was the casting? What were you looking for?
JV: We had a pretty good idea of what we were looking for. We did a very long casting looking for dudes that have those elements in those characters.
JS: I have to say though that all the actors in the movie are very similar in real life. If you listen to them, you could hear like the characters from the movie were talking to you.
MYsC: So the bass player character is like that?! (laughs).
JL: I mean is not that far, but he is really like a Zen type of person. He's really intellectual and he's a dictionary in somehow.
JV: He knows a lot. He's a really intelligent guy. He's studying film directing at the moment. It was good that we have time to bond with the actors because in the film they know each other for a long time. They had to rehearse a lot playing the songs together. And I think we succeeded in the idea that this guys had been together for a long time.
MYsC: Is there a song in the movie that is from one of your bands?
JL: There is a song that we have a very close connection. Mika Lammassaari is the one that made many of the songs in the movie.
JV: Songs that they play.
JL: We've made musical videos for two of his bands. He actually comes from the same school as us. So not from our bands but from friends’ bands. We tried to get them out as well.
MYsC: Can you explain some anecdotes from the movie?
JV: We had a pretty tight schedule so we did stuff really quick but we had great moments. There's a lot of vomiting in the movie so one of the greatest moments was getting 10 grown up people sitting at a table and thinking "what should vomit look like?", "how should we do that?", "how do we get the pressure". And the special effects guys says, "ok we have this pump thing". And then we had the props department...
JL: "Should it have corn? Or maybe more yogurt..."
JV: In that moment you realize how glad you are you choose this profession (laughs). We had great moments like shooting the scene with the wolverine, which is fake, but we shoot it where the wolverine lives at the zoo. The wolverine has a small dent where he lives and we were like, is it ok to shoot now? And they were like, yeah it's ok. By the way the wolverine it's actually in the dent. Ok, would he mind? No of course not! But if he starts making noises you should leave. And we did the scene very quiet, just in case.
JL: There was an animal trainer with us and actually we had to remove him from some of the shots.
MYsC: How was the shooting in the small town?
JV: It was good, it was the easiest relaxed part of the shooting. It's a quiet town. People were very friendly. There's a scene where the guys are pushing the car and some dude appears and says, hey I can help you! He didn't see the camera crew. The actors told him, no we are fine. But he insisted.
MYsC: And when wasn't easy?
JV: Well when we went to Norway. We had a huge crew and cast. We had car explosions, a very tight schedule and difficult stunts. We went to Norway because we wanted some locations to have huge mountains. But then comes the shooting day and it's raining. The clouds are really low, like mist, and you can't see any of the mountains.
JL: Like a white background. We could've shot that anywhere, like a parking lot. And then we had to digitally add the background which was kind of stupid because we went to Norway to shoot beautiful mountains and end with green background.
JV: And if our schedule wouldn’t have been so tight we have waited for a day but we had only one day to shoot. We are lucky to have digital effects.
JL: Of course we had to give up something else because the budget was also tight but they did a great job.
JV: It's amazing what you can do these days with pretty small budget. For example, in the Viking ship scene we only have a few days in Norway, because it's really expensive to shoot there, so we shoot it in Helsinki with the city behind us. And the mountains were added by CGI. It works perfect. Also we had like a hundred boats around. We shot that scene with a drone and everyone was approaching the "cool Viking" boat (laughs).
MYsC: At the end when you're shooting a movie you don't know what's going to happen.
JV: Yeah, totally.
MYsC: Ok, tell us about the mental patient. How do you come with that idea, putting a mental patient, in the movie, with the death metal band?
JL: I think that we always knew that we needed a new drummer at one point.
JV: We knew that in a moment of the movie the main character needs some inspiration outside the band. His life is his band, but again he has this real job away from the band and where he has a different life from his band. So we wanted to combine those parts. We were going through different things like how should be the version he meets, how he ended up there. He is like a "Suomi" person, which means indigenous living in the north of Finland.
JL: There aren't actually black Suomi people.
JV: We have this person who is from really up high from Lapland, he speaks a dialect which is very different from Finish and we wondered, how would it be if it was a black dude. That character has nothing to do with his real background. We found a really good actor and said, well this could work.
JL: I think it's also something really different from them, from their world.
MYsC: So to end the interview, do you have any future projects? And can you tell us?
JL: We do, but we can't. I'm joking. It's a bit too early, we do have several ideas, but we are still learning from this movie.
MYsC: Well at least are you continuing with comedy?
JV: Yes, we need laughs in cinemas, we have enough drama outside.
MYsC: Well Juuso and Jukka thank you for this time.