Opening sequence of Göteborg International Film Festival
Recently a team of 60 people took part in a two-day shoot for the opening sequence of the 36th annual Göteborg International Film Festival. The vignette will be screened before all films during the next film festival.
The plot depicts a grand Nordic adventure where the hero, played by Swedish actor Fares Fares, meets a dragon during an expedition to ‘no manʼs land’. Animation studio Milford Film & Animation was responsible for the production and brought in production companies FLX 2.0 and againstallodds as co-producers to get the best possible outcome.
Johan Gustafsson, Executive Producer at Milford Film & Animation, says: “When we got the request to visualize the dragon symbol for one of the largest film festivals in Europe, we saw an opportunity to do something extraordinary. We quickly realized that the dragon is very popular among festivalgoers and in previous films the dragon has been both an embryo and a little baby, so it was now time to take it out into the wide world.”
At an early stage in the production, Milford Film contacted both FLX 2.0 and againstallodds to hear if they wanted to be part of creating the dragon world and develop the existing ideas. Since then, the companies have worked closely to develop the story, the characters and the dragon. The film is directed by Fredrik Falck from FLX and to help is co-director Derek Picken from againstallodds.
“Our goal was first and foremost to make a great film for Göteborg film festival and for ourselves. I love being able to combine multiple techniques, mixing live action with animation and VFX, to create worlds unlimited of what the reality looks like” says Falck. “It is not every day you get to dress people up and get lost in a forest with smoke machines and a flame-thrower”, says Picken. "When we took the very first image with Fares Fares on the beach at 6:30 am on the first day of shooting, I thought, “damn, this will be awesome”. That was a great feeling”, Falck continues.
Fares Fares has previously starred in famous Swedish films including Easy Money and was recently seen in Safe House with Denzel Washington. His next coming film Zero Dark Thirty is directed by Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow. Alongside Fares, Swedish actors Peter Eggers, Anna Åström and Alexander Stocks have leading roles in the film festivalʼs vignette.
Johan Gustafsson says: "Producer Simon Hernadi at FLX 2.0 pulled together a great ensemble of actors and in a short period of time engaged a fantastic live action team. With Paul Evansʼ, Tobias Allansonʼs and Jessica Mittletonʼs flair for photography, set design and costume design, we managed to get some very nice scenes with us home. We are all very pleased with how the shoot went and from what we have seen so far, the material conveys exactly what we are aiming for. Now it remains to edit the film and revive our final leading actor- the dragon.”
Six years ago, the film festival's advertising agency SCP began to work on a brand strategy called "Release the dragon" which is based on having the dragon logotype come to life. Tommy Östberg, Creative Director, explains why: “The brand Göteborg International
Film Festival was a mosaic of expression. We proposed that when creating a new strategy, the film festival should give the dragon a uniform appearance across all media and release it, therefore the concept “Release the dragon”. The dragon is a bit like the festival itself; playful, social but extremely complicated to keep at home.”
"Just like the Berlin Film Festival has its bear and the festival in Rotterdam has itsʼ tiger, Göteborg has itsʼ dragon. With the festival's logo coming to life, the brand develops a consistent connection to the dragon. There is a great interest surrounding the dragon's development, from the public, the media as well as the film industry. We are delighted that such an experienced animation studio like Milford Film & Animation chooses to, alongside with us and our advertising agency SCP, enable the next step in the dragon's development”, says Karl Svedung, Head of marketing at the film festival.