Release Year: 2005
Directed by: Arni & Kinski
Formats: Digital
Label: Krunk Records
Type: Video

cinematographer q&a

the following questions regarding the glósóli video were posted on the message board, and answered by the video’s cinematographer chris soos. chris was also the cinematographer for the band’s previous two videos, viðrar vel til loftárása and untitled #1. many thanks to him for taking the time to answer our questions, and of course for photographing such beautiful videos.

gwensarah: “we love you soos for the incredibly beautiful and touching cinematography! wherever did you find those kids? there was a timelessness about all of them, very rare indeed.”
stefán and siggi casted locally in reykjavík. there’s lots of production and enough theater in reykjavík to create a pool of child actors, pepper that with real people casting from the schools and children of friends… also, style them in killer little outfits, raven (bjork’s stylist) and genius designer came through big time… voila, a band of really cute kids, and tough too. icelandic kids are really tough, all that lava rock there running across, and the weather… amazing. i think the film reads that kind of authenticity in the faces, no weird hollywood puppet children in iceland. amazing experience.

actorguide: “my favourite was the frackle-faced kid sitting on the rocks. what news of him?”
can’t say, i remember it was really dangerous when we were shooting in the hot spring, it was literally a one step away from boiling water. we did have people hidden behind the rocks just in case (actually, that same location literally blew-up 4 years ago due to geothermal pressures). icelandic kids are so tough, my hats off to them. the kids were amazing.

trueblue: “hey soos, i love your cinematography work, good stuff man. is the bleach bypass kinda look in the videos a digital filter or are you doing stuff to the actual film?”
it’s a chemical process done at the the lab. the film, when processed, ‘by-passes’ the bleach process which normally washes away silver particles for re-cycling. the result of the bypass is thick contrast and de-saturation do to the presence of the silver on the negative in a nutshell (the process can also be done to a print). you might have to move to a cinematographer’s forum for a hefty explanation. this project could not afford the bleach bypass, we broke the bank shooting three days on 35mm with two anamorphic primes, it was like a big budget format with no bells and whistles, shooting available light, a tripod and a few filters to darken the sky, the rest was telecine magic when the film was transfered to tape.

gwensarah: “who was the dark haired girl (the kissing girl)? was she cast from a school or is she a theatre actress?”
i know she is the studious type, and trained as classical musician, cello i think, not sure, very sweet, don’t think she’s an actress formally, could be wrong, the camera loves her though, she might end up being an actress.

actorguide: “the last boy… confirm to me he doesn’t fall and it’s just the way he jumped in real life that made it look like that?”
the kid is tiny and very young, he came with his own set of reluctant issues, after all we were really pushing the kids hard over three days. for example, the shot of him running up the hill and looking back at the drum rolling down, he’s not wearing his boots, it’s was a little painful for him at the time so he’s just wearing his socks. as far as the jump, doing his own stunts, he was only capable of only so much, he’s tiny, but, the reluctant attitude worked well for his character since he was the last of the pack, plus the canon ball and the other kids doing swim strokes in the air made the flying more interesting presenting a surreal aquatic approach to flying. i dunno, it kinda worked for me, the little guy definitely flies at the end, the drummer boy was far too caring throughout the video to let little timmy down.

actorguide: “there have been soooooo many posts from people thinking it was deeply symbolic and he died. i was sure it was much simpler than that.”
well: you have to understand this is my opinion still, even when you’re so close to the project, your relationship is subjective, a narrative flow can change direction, particularly in post, because of the musical synergy attached to the edit the absolute meaning can sway beyond the original narrative intent as far as what’s written on paper in the form of a treatment or drawn in the form of a story board. in the same way parents will have conflicting views as to why certain characteristics of there child are being exhibited, two directors working on the same project will obviously see the same film in a different light, opened ended conclusions open to interpretation should allow for different opinions expressed, that’s discourse. in fact it’s really interesting for me, as one of the film makers to read some of your interpretations, it’s the kinda of stuff impossible to think about when your shooting, but becomes this poetic stamp of enlightenment when you cut two shots together in post, my interpretation is still subjective, if anything i’ve been too corrupted by real and physical attributes of the production, but still it’s hard for me, in my heart, to believe siggi (the name of the drummer boy), could let little tommi (that was the little guy’s name) fall to his death. the undercurrent of this film diverts the audience towards a spiritual release, a re-birth in a way, obviously open to interpretation, as it should be, sorry, no easy answers, soos.

spookypen: “you know, i kind of read into [the last boy’s jump] that deeply. it seemed to me that it was showing that sometimes you have to make a “leap of faith” and give all of yourself, i.e. believe you will fly, in order to move forward with courage in your life. it seemed to me all the kids who you saw flying had courage that they they were gonna fly and they did. maybe the little guy didn’t believe he would fly when he stopped at the edge looked over, so when he jumped off he didn’t fly. of course, i may be reading way to much into it.
i think your interpretation is very interesting, and maybe we each have are own way of ‘flying’. i can’t help but feel somewhat moved by your explanation, where reading my own objective view seems somewhat dry and with less meaning, the directors are spiritually strong, and i’m sure would appreciate your thoughts.

xerkon: “the kissing scene is definitely the two girls. i don’t know why anyone thinks it’s the boy and the girl.”
it’s a boy and a girl, i know, i was there, in the grass, slaving a 6.2 kilo anamorphic prime. the boy simply had long hair, dogtown euro style. i know the last thing the directors wanted to do again is the gay thing, we did it a few years ago on vidrar vel til loftarasa. i’m happy most fans liked the videos, makes me feel good, we worked hard for free, labour of love, low budget art film making…i feel the love, thanks, this message board is making my day, soos.