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Randall Meyers

'Another music in Norway'

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- The American composer behind more than 80 musical scores, who chose to live and work in Oslo, talks about the difficulties of producing international films in Norway

Randall Meyers

Randall Meyers, a highly respected composer who has contributed to some 80 fetaures films and is also a director of animated films, is an American who chose to work and live in Norway. We met up with him when he came to Rome to present his latest work, produced with Cylinder Productions.
Over the last three years, the number of Norwegian feature films distributed in the domestic market has grown steadily. Is it now easier to produce and make films there?
“It’s no easy thing to produce films in Norway. Many of the feature films that are doing well at the box office were created and made for local and not international audiences. Films like Elling, which was also an international hit, are few and far between. The financing system gives you one third of what you would ideally need to make a good films, and forces you to outsource more financing. The downturn on all this is that all directors, even the most famous ones, must wait between three and four years between one film and the next. The success of your last film is simply not enough to ensure you get the funds to make your next one. Unlike Sweden, in Norway we are not given the possibility to re-invest part of the box office takings; according to our legislation this form of self-financing applies just to family and children’s films.”

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But to a certain degree, this favours international co-productions...
“If you are lucky, you can make a film on the cheap for the domestic market with just Norwegian funding. The only way to develop your project adequately is to leave the country. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If everything comes easily, you tend to lose interest and even co-productions become superfluous and unnecessary. Working with an international crew makes the work more interesting and, perhaps, the problems you encounter drumming up the money contribute to your creativity.”

What about the future?
“Things are changing in Norway, but the system is very well established and has become more of a psychological issue than a merely political one. In order to make good films you have to make lots of them. The more you make, the better the quality becomes.”

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