This is how we made the short film Rånet (The Robbery), written and directed by Henrik Eriksson
At the end of my first term of studying screenwriting at Dalarna University the class presented the short film scripts we had spent half the term writing. Rånet was the screenplay written by my classmate Henrik Eriksson, and while I myself had tried to cram a two hour post-apocalyptic thriller under the ten minute limit, Henrik had written meandering argument about potato gratin. Granted the screenplay might have lacked certain ingredients like a "message" and "plot" but it was still somehow brilliant, and out of all the screenplays I heard that day it was the one that stuck with me weeks and months later.
For a time I considered turning it into an animated short. I even went so far as to draw some sketches and storyboards for a potential animated Rånet, but nothing ever came of it. I was learning to do this sort of thing, but never really finished any of the bigger animations I had in mind:
When we came back for our second year of screenwriting studies (fall of 2010) I found out that some people were actually going to shoot Rånet, and I thought "cool, I want to be a part of this". A group called Daydreamers, consisting of filmmaking students that make films on the side of their schoolwork, had made an open call for scripts, and obviously they saw the same potential in Henrik's screenplay as I had, because they selected Rånet.
Over the next few months we tried to find a convenience store that would let us shoot there, and as you might imagine it wasn't very easy. We weren't helped by the fact that the script called for the characters to walk through the entire store in one uninterrupted take, meaning we'd disturb any and all business for hours. The only real option was to film at night while the store was closed, and that meant paying an employee overtime-cash to hang around and keep an eye on us. We weren't even paying our actors, god damn it... But we found a perfect place! Nice! And they'd let us do it! Awesome! And they cancelled on us a week before shooting! Fantastic! So yeah the film was pretty much dead, until lightning struck twice and we found a second perfect place.
We shot Rånet after closing on a cold dark November night at ICA Slätta in Falun. The owner of the place thought the film sounded really cool, and he stuck around with his young son to watch us shoot. I can barely put into words how friendly and helpful they were, but if I had to try the words would be: "They gave us coffee and candy". If you're ever in Falun, Dalarna, Sweden, and you need to do some shopping - this is the place to go! Unless you're, like, in the centre of town, cause then it would be, like, stupid to drive all the way out there I guess…
My main job on this production was as the editor, but my role during filming was as a general production assistant and an extra, playing the cashier who's tied up on the floor throughout the entire film. Since I'm only in frame twice I had lots of time to shoot this behind the scenes video. It's in Swedish, but you might get some enjoyment out of seeing the moving behind the scenes pictures anyway. Minutes 1-2 are of the director meeting the actors and going through the script. Minutes 3-4 documents us filming various things in the store. Minutes 4 and on is us trying to get the "long shot" of the actors walking through the entire store in one uninterrupted take. It also features us getting more tired and silly as the night went on (and on and on and on).
filmed by Jakob Burrows & Nils-Henrik Länsberg, edited by Jakob Burrows
If you're an international viewer I suggest going to 07:30 to check out some internationally accessible behind the scenes fun-times. The finished film will appear on Awesomepedia within a few weeks, after its premiere at the Dalarna Filmfestival on September 16th.