Talking about disability can be a slippery topic. How to do portray everything to match the reality as close as possible? Director and screenwriter from Sweden Jimmy Olsson in his short film Alive has highlighted the basic human need of intimacy. A topic that can be seen as a taboo for many is portrayed in a very realistic, through provoking way. We had a pleasure speaking with Jimmy and getting an insight how Alive came to life. You can also find a review of the short film Alive over here.
– What came first: the idea or the character?
“The idea came first. Most of my ideas for films come from what I have read or seen and I often take small bits and pieces and combine them into one film idea and/or character. In this case it was part of a story in a podcast I listened to. That story was about two men but I thought it would be more interesting to make a story with two women instead. When I listened to that story in the podcast I sensed something in my stomach that this is interesting and dramatic, or could be at least.”
– Was there anything you drew on for inspiration: films, novels, experience, etc.?
“I have seen so many great films over the years and I always to draw references from older films into my films. It could be the tone of another film or a line, a part of the line or just the situation psychologically. This time I wanted to treat a subject that isn’t really seen too much and I wanted to make a suspenseful but warm film and I wanted to focus on really really good acting. The Dardenne brothers always come to mind when I try to discuss something with a producer or a DP. They are just marvelous at what they do and I would love to be in that world of filmmaking.”
– What was the hardest part for you while making this film?
“Well we didn’t have any money to start with. We went in with some of our own money and favors from friends. That was tough and we only had two days to shoot the whole film. But the actors and I prepared for quite some time and on set it went surprisingly smooth. I knew I didn’t need to many angles. I was looking for realism and I think we managed that.”
– What do you hope the film will achieve?
“I hope the film will get people to think about their own prejudice a little bit towards disabled people, or just in general really. I also hope they will have a smile on their face after have seeing it.”
– Looking back at your short film now is there anything you would do or approach differently?
“Not really actually. I have been doing films for quite some time now and I feel more and more confident in what I do and the decisions I take. I would have hoped to have a little more time and money to make the film but I couldn’t have asked for better actors to help me bring my script to life.”
Here’s the trailer of the short film Alive