Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Matkan loppu

The trip has ended and we're all home now. Yes, I know, eleven days have not been commented in this diary, but believe me: it was impossible, we were constantly doing things. Don't worry, you will read and see photos from all the days, but the posts will be shorter for sure. I don't remember all those details, which anyway were mostly uninteresting, and it took me a lot of time to write that much. But because the documentary is still a long way ahead, maybe you'll still find it interesting to read about what you're going to see, even if it's not in "real time" any more. Am I right?

This was an awesome experience, rounded up with the biggest fun on Saturday in Oulu. Now it feels extremely weird to be back home, it's like seven months have gone by...

You'll hear from us.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Day two: 2 Sorvalis, 1 forest

In the morning of Wednesday 29th, Leo and I got up early and immediately went out to a calm place to prepare the day's session, which would be one of the most important ones, if not the most important of all: we got to interview Henri and Ville together, and it's the only day in the two weeks we're here, so yeah. Better not to blow this one. We actually spent a lot of time discussing stuff. The plan was going to the forest, filming interviews for 4 hours, then they would leave and we would stay to film the surroundings and record ambient sound. However, while we were writing questions and separating blocks, we started an online conversation with Henri which then became a 3-way phone call and then back online and then we called Nikky and everything started to drift and drift and in the end all the timings were different and a new location was added: Henri's home.

Henri made us an awesome map

While all this was happening, Alexis and Pillau were at home, getting different instructions from us every ten minutes or sometimes fifteen. Then they came to find us, we made them wait again, they went for a walk during which they found a cool park/cemetery, and eventually the four of us went shopping together. Later, at home, Pillau made some awesome quesadillas, which he calls cuesidilios. Then again, we all call Alexis Alexis (instead of Alexí) and Leo calls me Éibol. Conclusion: none of us can speak, but that's why we are behind the microphones, not in front of them. And the cuesidilios were delicious.

While he was cooking, Alexis and I went to the car rental place behind the train station to add him as a driver, which we hadn't done the first day because he hadn't arrived yet and we didn't have his driving license. We were attended by the same guy as the previous time, whom we will hereinafter call The Efficient Viking. He's so awesome. He's your typical Viking, blonde, long hair, blue eyes, strong looks, super handsome, and he sits up perfectly straight and talks and behaves as formally as a British butler. He's tremendously efficient. Gets shit done in a correct and timely manner. The Efficient Viking. If all the assistants were like him, the world would be a more efficient place. After exiting that temple of effectiveness and passing the brass trio that still continued to play the fucking Pa-Panamericano after ten or fifteen minutes (goddamned Pa-Panamävitetty that was) we went to the shopping centre where Pillau and I had bought the SIM card to try to find my stegosaurus pin, obviously to no avail, as two days had passed since then. If the Efficient Viking was in charge, places like this would have a Lost & Found office for stegosaurus pins. But he's not. He only rents out cars, which is a perfectly respectable job but doesn't get this kind of offices created. Pity.


After lunch, we jumped in the car, picked up Nikky and headed to the place on Henri's map, which, as you may be interested to know, is the place where not only the cousins used to hang out when they were young(er!, sorry!), but also where they recorded the footsteps and the water sound for the Tämä ikuinen talvi demo. So now you know where to go for pilgrimage. Fuck Santiago de Compostela. We arrived only a few minutes before Ville and Henri and started working on the setup, which actually took a rather long time, because the ground of a forest isn't as stable as the floor of a, say, kitchen, and the sun and the shadows can't be controlled as easily as, say, kitchen lights. We wanted to take a couple of camping chairs with us, and we could actually get them, but they had backs and arms, which didn't suit Mr. Director's vision, and anyway we found something a zillion times better: a fallen tree branch! One part had an ant colony ("we call them piss ants, because of their yellow colour, and they are very aggressive, they really fuck you up if they bite you") but it was easy to avoid, and soon we were filming.

Photo by Nikky Holmes

The location with the improvised bench

The topics we discussed can be revealed, because I'm sure anyone who knows who Henri and Ville Sorvali are can guess them: the early days of the band and everything around it. It was a very informative session, and then they had the idea of re-enacting the recording of the footsteps for the abovementioned intro. While three guys were setting up cameras and sound for that, Nikky did a quick photoshoot with the cousins.

After the historical re-enactment, we did the second part of the interview in a different spot, and those shots will probably be among the most beautiful ones in the documentary. It was a great session from all points of view—visual, informative and entertaining. So beautiful that it would be a spoiler to show the exact shots, but you can get an idea:

"Par contre, je me suis fait bouffer par les moustiques"


Filming in the forest took a shitload of time because there were three setups and they were all pretty complicated, plus we had to move everything back and forth all the time, but fortunately we are in the Finnish summer, which means 20 hours of daylight (and lots of hungry mosquitos as well, but that's another story... well, ask Alexis what his eardrums felt when Henri murdered a mosquito by slapping it when it was standing right on his hidden microphone*). The plan was to be at Henri's at 20:00, but I think we arrived at 21:30 or something like that. We filmed in the garage, which was full of Ikea boxes. Alexis looked at me, pointed at them and said, "Jumalten Ikea," which made me laugh like an idiot for five minutes. Oh, and the drumset with which Marko recorded Suden uni and Voimasta ja kunniasta was there as well! The cousins had had the idea of being filmed while emptying a box full of tapes and magazines from the nineties, which in a way seemed like it would be kinda awkward because they had to speak English to each other, but actually worked pretty well. After that, the proper interviews. We only finished after midnight, i.e. wayyyyyy behind the schedule, but it was worth it: again, very good shots and tremendously revealing interviews. Besides, we got to see lots of old memorabilia; Alexis and I especially had to be careful not to drool on all those tapes, magazines (including both issues of Meathook'd) and even the 4-tracker with which Tämä ikuinen talvi was recorded. For example, here is the original Metsä tape from which all the 215 copies were made, for your eyes only:

After finishing, we went back to Helsinki with Ville, dropped him at his place, came home, had dinner, emptied the cards, checked some of the footage, laughed at Pillau's shirt falling in front of the camera without anyone noticing and ALMOST ruining a great shot but still leaving very good material usable, and went to bed.

Now enjoy the rest of Nikky's photos.

This one is beyond awesome, if you ask me

...and then some more from other cameras and cellphones. Click on them to see them bigger. Right click - open link in a new tab to see them full-size.

*This is called a lavalier. I'm learning so much!