Wavebreaking with Jules Verne in Sweden

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Vågbrytare or “The Wavebreakers” is a short (14:30 min.) film by a bunch of crazy Swedish guys — and it looks like lots of fun. Based, perhaps rather distantly, on Jules Verne’s classic undersea adventure 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, it is described by its creators from Millroad Films as “a captivating underwater drama with adventure elements”. It shares something with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard’s play re-telling Hamlet, in that it takes the focus from the central characters of the original narrative and gives it to the little people — the ones assigned to the background, often ignored by the needs of the plot.

Instead of re-telling the original story with its charismatic heroes, Vågbrytare tells the story of the book’s silent supporting roles — in this case, the crew aboard the legendary submarine [Captain Nemo’s vessel, the Nautilus]. These men are totally anonymous, both in the book and in all the screen versions. The idea of Vågbrytare was to let these nobodies make an impact, to let them tell us of their experiences. In short, to give voice to the silent ones, to those neglected by literature. (Translated from the website)

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“It is more of a drama with focus on boredom and anxiety than an adventure film,” director Daniel Lennéer told the Backbrain.  “But yes … It has a giant octopus!”

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According to the creators:

Chronologically, the events of the film are set after the events in the book, making it a sort of sequel. Of course you do not need to have read the book to see the movie. On the other hand, perhaps your understanding of certain features increases if you are familiar with the source material. Our aim was to make a timeless interpretation by the Jules Verne story. Vågbrytare mixes 18th Century aesthetics with fascinating science-fiction ideas to create contrast and make it difficult to tell when it is set. Vågbrytare is timeless. It takes place in the past, the present and the future.

Vågbrytare was written, directed and edited by Daniel Lennéer. Richard Svensson (aka The Lone Animator) contributed to model building, animation and designed props (or as the director put it: “he made the gigantic octopus, the tentacles, the steampunk helmet and Nemo’s electric vibro-sword  — everything with nerd-value …”), while Christopher Johansson (CJFilm) filmed much of the material and created all the music. The actors were drawn from their friends and acquaintances.

Trailer 1:

The film was shot in Ronneby, Karlshamn and Lerdala metropolitan area, mainly in spring and summer of 2008 and was completed in March 2009. “Post-production dragged on somewhat because there are many segments containing special effects,” said Lennéer. “A large part of the material for the film was shot against green cloth with backgrounds and objects added afterwards.” You can get some idea of how it was done in the Making Of documentary below.

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Trailer 2:

SFX Making-Of Short (in Swedish, but you can get the idea):

Lennéer (and Millroad Films) has also just completed Jordgömda (english title: “Earthbound”) — a 10-minute silent Lovecraftian parody.

Jordgömda Teaser Trailer:

Both films are on DVD. “Vågbrytare [The Wavebreakers] — The special edition takes you deeper” DVD contains both the movies and a lot of special features around them. Commented Lennéer: “Remember that MRF is truly independent and very low budget. The copies are limited and are DVD-Rs — though the package is nice.”

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He added:

Unfortunately these films are currently only available in Swedish and without subtitles, but we are working on English subtitled versions for our international fans. I’ve made a few short films in English, but I usually prefer to use my own language. The dialogue and text sounds better and a little bit less cheesy.

Further clips for both films (and other Lennéer productions) can be viewed on his YouTube Channel.

Below is a Gallery of Images from Vågbrytare:

Addendum: SFX Making-Of Short for Jordgömda (Earthbound):

This entry was posted in Film, Giant Monsters, Giant Squids, Independent film, News, Science Fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Wavebreaking with Jules Verne in Sweden

  1. G2KM says:

    Looks interesting enough. Though what strikes me is that this is based on a Juels Verne piece. Interesting. Thanks Avery.

  2. Avery says:

    I love that they incorporate stop-motion fx into these cool little short films they keep popping out! It’s great to see the fx technique is still in use and really great to see that other countries are still making giant monster movies! That and these guys make some very impressive looking fx films on such tight budgets! This one looks so authentic as if it could be a legit sequel to the original classic.

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