You have only recently released your debut feature Arkusan
Martinsson. Can you tell us in a few phrases what that film is about?
film is about a guy named Arkusan Martinsson, he's unemployed and bored.
And we get to see what a typical day in his life looks like. That’s
To which extent is Arkusan
lot of the stuff in the movie is taken from real life. I was basically
living like Arkusan when I started writing it. And the guy playing Ronkas
is actually playing himself (which I don't think he've figured out yet).
So at some points it is kind of autobiographical, but mostly fiction.
Damn, I really don’t hope people think that this movie is about my life!
few words about your co-writer and co-producer Erik Rydberg - who also
happens to have a role in your film?
known Erik since 2003 when we went to the same high school. Early on we
noticed we had the same sense of humor and we later found out that we're
actually relatives! During production he was the one who I always called
and complained about stuff to, pitched ideas, talked about suicide when
things didn't work out as I wanted. So you could say he was my coach and
psychiatrist while making the movie. So I gave him the co-producer and
co-writer credits for listening to me bitching. So I and he were on the
phone constantly during the whole process of making Arkusan
Martinsson. He got the
part as Molge when another actor, whom the part was written for, said
no to the part. And I must say Erik did the part thousands of times better
than the original actor would have done.
Patrik Lindström in Arkusan Martinsson
inspired you to make the movie?
was really really bored and I've always wanted to make a movie. So I
thought why not make a movie about a boring guy living a boring unemployed
life? A movie with no real plot or meaning that doesn’t cost anything to
produce. I read Robert Rodriquez’s Rebel Without a Crew and got
really inspired by the way he wrote and produced El Mariachi and I
decided to try to make my own movie in the same way he did his first
A few words about your lead
actors, and how easy/difficult was it to cast them?
Johan Gustavsson, Robin Lindh and Patrik
Lindström in Arkusan Martinsson
of them were easy, like Ronkas. I wrote the part with Robin Lindh in my
mind. He's like that in real life, no joke. Arkusan was pretty hard to
cast, but when I asked Patrik if he knew about anyone who might be willing
to act he said he was up for it. Almost all parts are played by friends of
mine. Johan Gustavsson (who plays Acke) is a guy I met at a new years
eve-party and thought he might be a good actor. I looked up his number and
called him and asked if he wanted a part. Apart from saying “Who is
this” he said “no” right away. But later he changed his mind. So he
didn’t really know anyone on set. I also had an ad out looking for
actors. I got 150 responses, but I only cast one person out of them,
Henrik Sjöman who plays Snorlof.
Lloyd Kaufman with Jimmy Johansson
In one scene, you also have Troma
legend Lloyd Kaufman doing a voice-over. How did you get him and how was
it working with him?
has been my biggest idol since I was very young so I really wanted to have
him in the movie. And since I had no budget whatsoever I couldn't fly
him over for a part, so I figured that maybe I could use his voice. So I
sent him an e-mail and he was up for it. I sent him some lines that I
wanted him to say and a couple of days later he sent me an mp3-file in
which he is moaning and free styling for 4 minutes. So he was great!
It’s an honor to have him in the film.
A few words about the rest of your cast
Nobody got paid or fed on the set. Everybody did it just because they
wanted to do it. There were some walk-offs from the set and stuff, but
that's what you get when you don't pay people. Some actors didn't even
show up on the day for their scene! This happened two times actually, and
there were only girls who did that. But luckily we have nice friends, so
some other girls showed up on a very short notice and did an awesome job.
This happened when we shot the record shop-scene and the scene where
Arkusan has dinner with the woman of his dreams.
Could you talk about the film's
the bands you got to perform on it for a bit?
some local bands in the movie such as S.P.D.A, Apsvett feat. Ralph ez
Boston (in which I play bass), Sister, Albin Olsson (ex-member of
and Apsvett feat. Ralph ez Boston). Apart from the local bands the rapper
Goretex (former member of Non Phixion), who is a personal favorite, gave
me his song New America to use for the opening of the movie which
really sets the mood. But the most important contribution is by Alter Egon
(Crashdïet’s Peter London’s own band). I listened a lot to Alter Egon
while writing the script so when he gave me the ok to use his songs I was
really happy. You should check all these bands; most of them have profiles
As far as I know, Arkusan
produced on the dirt-cheap. Did you sometimes regret you didn't have more
money at hand, or did the lack of funds help the film in terms of
spontaneity and creativity?
Not at all. The whole mission was to make a movie for as little money
as possible. We made it for the cost of 10 DV-tapes and a dog leash. I
wrote the script based on what I could do for free. The only thing I regret
was not getting a better microphone. The sound came out really bad some
How did you come up with the scissors masturbation scene at
the beginning of the movie?
I actually had a dream like that once. There’s a skit by a Swedish
comedian where he talks about masturbating with scissors on national
television. So I guess that’s where my nightmare came from. It was
basically like Arkusan’s nightmare, but I didn’t watch cat-porn. I was
Martinsson premiered in Sweden in May I believe. What
can you tell us about the audience's initial reactions?
over expectations. While writing and shooting the movie I never thought
anybody would like it except for me. But people demanded a premiere so I
rented a theatre and was hoping for 20 people in the audience so I could
cover the rent for the theatre. But 80 people showed up and it looked like
most of them really enjoyed it.
and where will the film be available on DVD (again)?
Soon! The first 60 DVDs that were released on July 25th
were sold out in a matter of days. This next edition is called Special
Sören Edition and will include a Sören-pin and all new
cover-art. It’s getting drawn in Iceland as we speak. You will be able
to buy the DVD from our MySpace-page as soon as they’re delivered at my
Arkusan Martinsson was your debut feature as a director. Did you have
any previous filmmaking experience, or did you take any classes in film
only experiences I had prior to this was some homemade shorts and working on
John Birmingham’s The Vampire of Zanzibar [John Birmingham
interview - click here]. I have no education in
directing really. I just like telling people what to do.
Are there any lessons learned from making Arkusan
mistakes you won't repeat in your next film?
Yes, don’t cast too many friends. And I will to try to keep
on schedule as much as possible. The movie was supposed to be done in May
2008, but we finished it a year after that. If you look closely in the
movie you’ll see people’s hair changing. This is because we shot
sporadically from March 2008 to April 2009.
What can you tell us about Sweden's independent film scene?
I’m not really sure there is one. I’ve seen some Swedish
indie-flicks and most of them are really good.
Martinsson is sometimes likened to Kevin Smith's Clerks.
How happy are you about that comparison?
I fully understand
why people compare them. And I’m ok with that. As long as people don’t
call it a Clerks-rip-off, which I haven’t heard yet, I’m happy.
Clerks was a major influence on this film.
Filmmakers who inspire
people who inspire me the most are John Waters, Kevin Smith, Robert
Rodriguez (mostly because of his book Rebel without a Crew – The Making of
El Mariachi), Lloyd Kaufman, Fred Vogel, Trey Parker
and Matt Stone, Quentin Tarantino, Nicolas Winding Rehn, and many more. I
could go on forever.
Jimmy Johansson in Vampires of Zanzibar
You are also involved in the production of John
Birmingham's [John Birmingham
interview - click here] The Vampires of Zanzibar. A few
words about that one, and your function(s) in it?
I play the part of Marko, an evil vampire. I also serve as co-producer.
Since it’s a smaller production we all had to help out on set. So when I
wasn’t in a scene I was holding the boom, helping the special effects-guys, helping the DP with a dolly-shot and so on. So I did a little
bit of everything and it was a great experience!
Birmingham also has a role in Arkusan Martinsson. How did
the two of you hook up?
We got in touch on MySpace back in
2006 when he was finishing his first feature Crazy Animal and he
told me about his ideas about a vampire-movie and I liked what I heard. So
he offered me a role in Vampires of Zanzibar and I flew over to New
York in the summer of 2007. We shot the movie in Roanoke, VA, over the
course of three weeks I think. Then in March 2009 he called me up and told
me he needed to shoot an additional scene for the movie, so I flew over to
New York on a very short notice and shot a scene together with Brandon
Dicamillo and Chris Raab from Jackass and CKY. At the same time I shot
John’s cameo for Arkusan
Martinsson at his grandmother’s house in Staten
future projects you'd like to talk about?
just got handed a script by a guy from Sweden. It’s really interesting
and I like the idea. He wants me to work with him, but it’s really too
early to talk about.
now I’m developing the script for the sequel to Arkusan
Martinsson. Well, it’s actually a prequel and it takes place three
years prior to Arkusan. We get to see some of the characters from
Arkusan graduate from high school and their last summer as
kids. It will be made in the same style as Arkusan
Martinsson but with a darker and
more depressing approach, but much funnier! This time we will
see a guy taking a shit in another guys face. How epic is that?
Apsvett feat Ralph ez Boston
A few words
about your band Apsvett feat Ralph ez Boston?
on a long break now. All the members are busy with their own stuff. I’m
busy getting ready for my next movie, the drummer spends all his free time
with his band Sister and the other members just started studying.
But who knows, Bring da Ruckus (the new demo) might be recorded
tomorrow, next month or never. The songs are ready, we just need to find
time to record them.
MySpace, whatever else?
main site for Arkusan
Martinsson is the myspace-site www.myspace.com/arkusan.
We also have a Facebook-group, feel free to join it!
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Your favourite films?
This list is really long. Right now I’m really into the Danish Pusher-trilogy, I love the style
of those movies and they really inspire
me. I love the work by John Waters, Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino and of course
Lloyd Kaufman. So I guess my favorite ones would be movies made by those people.
To name a few others: The Last House on the Left,
Supervixens, Fyra Nyanser av Brunt,
Ett Anständigt Liv, Bad Taste… I
have a hard time to pick a favorite!
and of course, films you really deplored?
And this list is
even longer! I don’t even think I should get started… Let’s just say
that I despise the re-make wave. I really hate it. Re-making The Last House on the Left? What are they thinking?
Anything else you are
dying to mention and I have just forgotten to ask?
desperately need to go to the hairdresser, my hair looks awful right now
and the hat I’m wearing is getting really smelly.
than that, if you’re going to Tromadance Indiana this weekend, please
check out Arkusan
Martinsson! It’s free!
keep checking the MySpace-page for the latest updates on Arkusan
the upcoming prequel.
YOU! And thanks to everyone reading this.