A dystopian look into the future of home help service of the elderly.
Interview with Writer/Director: Viktor Hertz
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Thank you! This short sketch/film was part of a comedy project I made in 2014. ’Home Care Before Christmas’ took a while to complete, for various reasons, which is somewhat a paradox, since it’s only one minute long. The theme for the whole project was to make satirical comments on various contemporary phenomena, presented as accessible and funny short stories. It was a zero-budget project, all the three films, but we had lots of fun. It was originally meant to be a pilot for a humor TV show, but it was never accepted, so we edited them as separate short films instead.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Well, for starters, it’s only one minute long, so if you hate it, it’s going to end real quickly. Other than that, it’s a bizarre and dystopian look into the future, where we treat our elderly in an efficient and cruel way.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Universally, I think it can have some problems in various cultures (see more below), because of the main theme with home care service, which doesn’t even exist in many countries. Or, they do, but it is not really accepted as an alternative for the family. Personally, I guess it’s hard to identify with the person in the film, mainly because it’s only one minute long- I guess you’ll have to look at it as a pessimistic and dark still-life, about what the future might hold, if we don’t make any changes for the better.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
Both this one and the two other short films were made quite in a hurry, and were completed within one or two months. There wasn’t even a real script for this one, just an idea, which we just tried out when shooting- I knew it would work when the whole team burst out in laughter during the shooting. The problem, though, was the post-production, where we had to re-assemble the different shots- we had to put it all together, and mask the cuts, etc. Also, I was struggling with a good title for the film, but this spring it finally all came together, which was a great relief.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
My friends and family likes it (so they say, at least), and it has been selected at around 15 international film festivals. It also won gold in the Swedish Championship for One-Minute short films, and competed in the UNICA World Championship in Romania this year, in August. The festival is over, but I have no idea how it went, or who won.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I showed it to a Syrian friend of mine, and he didn’t get the idea at all, which was interesting and led to a long discussion about how they do things in Syria. So, I guess the theme of home care service is somewhat limited, and doesn’t work in every culture. He and another foreign friend of ours just sat there quietly, watching the film, which first made me really disappointed and nervous. But, then we talked about it, and I had to explain how things usually work in Sweden today, and that this was an exaggerated version of that.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
First of all, I’m just happy that you want to share it, thank you! And of course, it’s nice if more people will see it, and possibly get some feedback on it.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Hmm, I guess sales agents and distributors would be nice to get in touch with, and see if there are any possibilities for promoting or screening it at platforms, except festivals.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
Oh, I have no idea- I was just personally amused and engaged by the idea to make this absurd comment on the social system in Sweden, and never really thought about what I wanted to achieve with it, outside my own country. So, I’m a bit surprised to see that it’s getting accepted at international film festivals! I just hope people will see the dark humor in it, and both laugh and get something to think about at the same time.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
I guess it would be what I mentioned earlier, about how we take care of the old and/or sick people or members of our family, and how it looks in different places in the world. Also, if we should rely on and trust the system, if there’s such a thing in the place where this conversation takes place.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Johann and me, the DOP/producer, are about to finish our third film that we shot in 2014. The film is called ‘Fomo Sapiens’ and is currently live on Kickstarter, where we try to gather some money for past and future expenses, but mainly for the festival submission fees. Here’s a link, if you want to see the trailer or even become a backer: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/viktorhertz/fomo-sapiens-a-comedy-short-film
Interview: August 2016
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Home Care Before Christmas
A dystopian look into the future of home help service.
Length: 1 min.
Director: Viktor Hertz
Producer: Johann Skirnir Gustavsson
Writer: Viktor Hertz
About the writer, director and producer:
Viktor Hertz (director & writer): Viktor Hertz (b. 1983) works mainly as a freelance graphic designer, but started to make short films in 2014. Currently based in Warsaw, Poland.
Johann Skirnir Gustavsson (producer): Johann is a producer, editor and D.O.P. from Sweden. Currently working in Norway with Bulldozer Film, known for the award winning 'Med Livet Som Innsats'.
Key cast: Olov Hertz
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): Sales agents for television and festivals.
Release date: 2016-04-02
Where can I watch it in the next month?
It’s actually available online at Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/156545887