I became a real Shell Motor Oil expert, and I did this 25-minute film. It turned out really well and, as a result, they offered me more work and lots of commercials to direct.
I loved cutting together simple commercials about margarine or soft drinks - all kinds of silly products - but I tried to make the commercials different.
I went out to some advertising agencies and asked if I could do anything.
This was in '79. I got pretty restless there, sitting around with a lot of people sitting around smoking cigarettes and talking about films, but nobody really doing anything.
Eventually, in '84, we made a film for a little over a million dollars - with American actors that was shot in English - that was shown in Finland A little action film called Born American.
I loved movies and went to see every movie I could in Finland.
I did some film reviews for small papers in Finland and things like that to be able to keep living here.
It proved to be pretty impossible to get funds for a feature film in Finland. It's still small, but the film industry was miniscule at that point in the early '80s.
In Finland, getting a university degree is the first thing that you expect your kids to do.
A government institution called the Finnish Film Foundation funds filmmaking there, and I wrote several screenplays but never got any money. They were sent back to me, and they said that they were too commercial for them.
Last Update: 28 January 2023
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