Árni Filippusson of Mystery Productions is Iceland’s Producer on the Move this year. Cineuropa interviewed him about how he got into the film industry, as well as his toughest challenges. Excerpt from the interview:
Cineuropa: Why did you choose film in the first place? Árni Filippusson: Originally I think I wanted to do something creative that would also make me look intelligent. And how did you get into it? When I was 17, I got a job making sandwiches and cooking microwave dinners for a film production, and I decided I would never work in this business again – I thought all filmmakers were stubborn idiots. But after college, I decided to try film school, before spending five years at university studying something I was not sure of. So I went to the European Film College for a one-year course, and then I was hooked. You have worked both as a cinematographer and a producer; which do you prefer? I love both, and I love having the opportunity to do both. After being stuck in front of a computer checking various budgets in Excel, it is nice to go on location to do some shooting with a hand-held camera, working in the field. And after a while, I miss being at my desk, going through scripts and budgets, and having millions of meetings. What is it that you are particularly good at? I am probably the best you will find doing both jobs at the same time in Iceland, but on the flip side, I am not able to be the best at both jobs, precisely because I am doing both jobs. Which film presented you with your biggest challenge? Definitely Either Way – my feature debut as a cinematographer – which we filmed far up in the Westfjords in 2010, during the crisis in the Icelandic film industry. We had an extremely small budget, around €45,000, but an enthusiastic crew, so we decided to shoot the film and trust we could raise money for the post-production later. People thought we were crazy, but it was a film where you invested everything you had to create something you really believed in. Everything worked out in the end, and Either Way travelled the world and was selected for more than 30 international festivals.
Source: Árni Filippusson – Cineuropa.