"Seduced by the playfulness of Reprise"
by Annika Pham
- Karin Julsrud, who spent many years working as independent producer and filmmaker in Norway, joined the dynamic production outfit 4½ Production in 2004 with Reprise under her arm
Karin Julsrud, who spent many years working as independent producer and filmmaker in Norway, joined the dynamic production outfit 4½ Production in 2004 with Reprise [+see also:
interview: Joachim Trier
interview: Karin Julsrud
film profile] under her arm. She is now co-owner of 4½ with producers Håkon Øverås and Aagot Skjeldal, and filmmakers Marius Holst, Pål Sletaune and Turid Øversveen.
Cineuropa: How did you get involved in the film?
Karin Julsrud: 4½ Production was established in 1998 and I joined the company three years ago. Just before that, I was film consultant at the Norwegian Film Fund (Norsk Filmfond). It was at about that time that Joachim Trier and the film’s scriptwriter Eskil Vogt, who had studied abroad, contacted me for the first time to get some advice on their script. One year later, Joachim contacted me again when I was leaving the Fund. I had loved their script and they asked me if I would consider producing it. I said yes and brought the project to 4½.
How did you put the financing together?
It was very tough to finance it. We spent NOK 21m (around €2.6m) on the project, which is almost 25% more than a normal budget for a first feature film. The Norwegian Film Fund was the main investor, providing us with almost half of the money. The local distributor Nordisk put up NOK 2.5m, post-production companies gave us some money against future receipts, I put part of my salary into the film and Joachim Trier 80% of his directing fee as investment. We were also supported by the Nordic Film & TV Fund and Sweden’s Film Lance International invested a small part. In total, 4½ invested NOK 3.5m in the film, which is a lot for a small company like ours.
Now that the film has been sold to some 15 territories, will you be able to cover your costs?
Although the film has been sold to many foreign territories, it didn’t succeed as we would have wished at the Norwegian box office. Hopefully we’ll be able to pay back everyone at the end, once the film will have finished its international distribution exposure. We as producers will not earn money on the film but at least we should cover our costs.
The film was partly shot in France. Did you try to get a French partner on board?
Yes, of course, but it didn’t work out. If I had the opportunity to produce the film again, I would have shot all interior scenes in Oslo instead of Paris and used only a few days for exteriors in Paris. That would have saved us quite a bit of money.
What was that attracted you about the script?
I had worked three years as a film consultant for the Norwegian Film Fund and read many scripts, but this one was very different and fresh. I loved the playfulness in it and the genre. The final film sticks very much to the script and the way I had imagined the project when I read it, which doesn’t happen very often.
What are you currently working on?
I did a short film with Katja Jacobsen, a graduate from the Lillehammer Norwegian Film School, and hopefully we’ll follow up with a feature film. I would of course like to make another film with Joachim Trier, using our experience on this film.