Background

 

Profession:
Filmdirector & Writer
Born:
1974 raised on Hisingen in Göteborg, Sweden.
Education:
The National Danish Filmschool - animation 2006-2010

The (almost) true story

I started in the show business as an assistant to the assistant runner in the beginning of the 90´s for and advertising firm out in the middle of nowhere at the countryside outside Gothenburg, Sweden. I was doing local advertising spots for the television screens above the teller at certain stores. Later I advanced to assistant editor. I worked for free, and after the boss fired all regular staff and kept me on, I moved on and opened my own firm with the rest of the personal working for free in the summer of 1993. The company was called Digital Rembrandt and we had an ambitious plan of becoming the most important company doing computer graphics in Sweden. We did 3D-animated adverting for railroads, and allot of special effects for music videos in the g-funk spirit in Sweden. The most famous video we made graphics for was “Shoot the rasict and the area turns red”, by Infinite Mass and our all 3D-animated video of Dreamworld (very big in Japan). This was the late nineties and making adverting became our main income. We also did some impressive illustration with the new technology – visualized everything from new chainsaws to birth control pills. We had five great years with “Rembrandt”, and finished of strong by selling the whole company (expensive computers and the tired overworked staff of three people) to the world leading virtual reality company Prosolvia also based in Gotheburg – and made for ourselves millions in the frenzy of the IT-bubble.

 But just after sex months Prosoliva was charged with roomers of unethical business models, boosting their stock price. The whole ship was sinking, they were firing off everyone that wasn´t on a contract to cut cost (I was). Finally no one could prove anything, and after the whole company gone down, the board of directors were freed in court 110 years later in the most complicated trail in the history of Sweden – basically no one understood anything what was going on. In the turmoil I decided to move to San Francisco. I thought I would score a job at Industrial Light & Magic right away. But instead I became unemployed, poor and fat during the months I tried. Until, finally, I meet a beautiful Swedish producer in LA that lied me in to all the great production houses. Then, after some time getting fired and rehired, I finally got a strange gig doing special effects for a blue naked woman for a comic book based film called X-men(I didn't really think it would be an hit). But after proving my self worthy, I got the job as an animator (basically begging on my knees).

 After somewhat of a existential breakdown working tweenty-four-seven the film was finally done. I decided to never do that again. The Hollywood style of working combined with working on the same 6 seconds for over 3 months made me decide to try something else in my life. At that time I thought traveling the earth as an hermit was better suited for me, and I bought a used Volkswagen buss from 1968 and headed with my best friend (with a turban) to Tijuana, leaving everything behind (many times I regretted that decision afterward). Our goal was to reach Mexico City. Driving the buss trough the dessert was comparable to sitting in a hot fast moving sauna. After driving just 2 centermeters on the map out off 200 in 2 days, we gave up and turned back. I took and airplane and gave the buss to my friend so he could head back to LA. After some chaos in Mexico City I was finally back in Gothenburg.

At home I spent all the money on parties and worthless IT-stock. After just some months I had to find work somewhere – I found it in Milano at a small firm called “Ubik” as animations supervisor. We made animation and special effects for films and commercials and after two and a half years down there. I returned to Gothenburg when my father died. Then I was so tired of 3D-animation and special effects so I decided to do something else with my life. I ended up at the University of Gothenburg studying art, film and literature for 2 years. During the time there I found new inspiration. At the time I was working part time at Sveriges Television in Gothenburg and also as a teacher of animation at a school up north in Sweden called Gamemaker, and the students there inspired me to start my first short film, “Bara Ebba (Just Ebba)”. I then decided to do my own stories and film. First I started to study drawing and classical art again while I was sending out applications for schools in Europe. By accident I saw that the National Danish Filmschool was open for applications and I sent one there. 3 weeks later I was a student there as a animation director. 2010 I graduated from the school with my graduationfilm Julegrisen(Christmas Piggy), and are now working as a freelance writer and director.

 

R.S. Söderström