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A man wearing a dog mask shows up at a film festival uninvited.

Kristoffer Bjerg

Writer and Director

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Since 2017, Kristoffer has tried out every imaginable role in a film set -runner, first assistant director, sound guy and gaffer. However, he seems to be pretty secure that writing and directing is his craft. Back to FilmMaskinen -the only film course in Northern Denmark- Kristoffer started as a writer and developed his directing skills later on at the European Film College. As he says "Most of all, I am probably a screenwriter, but every once in a while, I write films that are too outrageous to ask other directors to work on them. Then, I see no other solution than to direct them myself. 'Unofficial Selection' is one of those films.

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A man wearing a dog mask shows up at a film festival uninvited. 

Unofficial Selection

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Details

Genre: Dark Comedy
Country of filming: Denmark
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Shotting format: Digital
Budget: 4,000 EUR
Run time: 12:56

One of the biggest challenges we face as filmmakers when making short films is budget restraints. When writing your first screenplays, it may be tempting to go as big as you can, but some things will quickly eat through your limited budget and be a difficult hurdle to overcome. Having just a few locations is a good start, and Kristoffer seemed to be aware of it since the film was shot in only one place. As he says "we were privileged to get in touch with a very kind and cooperative cinema director early in the process. On paper, the cinema looked perfect: nearby toilets, rooms for equipment storage, great conditions for sound and plenty of seating for everyone. After three days, though, I felt the cabin fever creeping in. It is tough to shoot a 12-minute-scene for three days because you have to come up with a way to organize the shoot. We only had extras one day, and most of the shots were only efficient in certain parts of the scene. Therefore we had to break up the script for every shot, and this was at times very confusing for everyone."


According to Kristoffer, the mask was there ever since the conception of the film. "It seemed like a good idea until it arrived from Amazon. Marc could see close to nothing and the mask was very wobbly. My Production Designer, Emma, came up with different ways to fasten the mask to Marc's head, so that it would turn when he turned his head as well." Quite hard to wear that mask while holding a real sword, so Kristoffer and the cast had to rehearse the character movements deeply. Fortunately, a lot of safety talks made Marc fall only twice. Nobody got stabbed. 

When asked about his career goals, Kristoffer told us his dream is to write and direct films that make people go "oh, that's a Kristoffer Bjerg film!". And hopefully a feature one day. Money is not an issue for him, as for many artists, since "nothing brings more joy as filmmaking does", as he says.