Hello from Norway!!
It has been a week for me here so welcome welcome to my new chapter. From the hot and dry desert in Sahara to green wet and cold fjords. Beautiful scenery here, insanely beautiful, how I like to refer to it.
My week started with isolation as per Norway government rules, I have been well looked after and had actual work to do, so it went by quickly. The weather also has been pretty good once I was released, I know in photos it looks kinda grey, but I think I didn’t have my camera on the sunny days.
So for the whole job we will be staying at the village/ town called Fosnavag, population just over 3000 people I was told, but for the place this size the infrastructure is actually impressive, we have a cinema in our hotel! How cool is that. Unfortunately other shops and few restaurants which are here are actually closed on Sundays and it is our only day off so not sure if it will be possible to take advantage of that at all.
Anyway, for now all is well and I am super grateful and excited to be here. Norway is not cheap as I am discovering now and I don’t think I would have gone here on holiday if it wasn’t for work, so being here and seeing how pretty it all is is just such a bonus. Hopefully we won’t have too many storms as I hear they are brutal here.
Love to you all!
Monday. The morning started in Vilnius. My friend came to have a cup of tea at my hotel while I was finishing the packing up. It was pretty sweet. My first flight was at 15:45 so I got there 2 hours in advance. I had 3 flights in total. The first flight out of Lithuania went pretty smooth, my work booked me better flights so I had food and drinks all included. I ended up drinking wine and snacking all the way. It was pretty nice, kinda helped me to ease the stress of going to the wrong gate for boarding and then running across the airport for the correct gate. Yea.. that happened. Once I was in Oslo even though I was on the transfer flight, I had to take my suitcases out, go and get a Covid test, wait for the negative result and check them back in before going back in. It’s all the Covid regulations. Also, you know how I had Covid when working in Morocco, so I have a doctors letter with all the official stamps and all, but because I was sick outside of the EU I am not on the digital system (hence the letter) and when entering Norway it didn’t count. It kinda gave me those futuristic vibes of “if you’re not on the digital system, you do not exist” weird right. So after I reached my final flight destination, I was picked up by a very lovely driver who has 8 grandchildren and is a retired police officer. We had a nice chat on the way to the hotel and he was teaching me some Norwegian, which reminds me a lot of dutch. Anyway. I felt very well looked after and the hotel is lovely, I settled in and went to bed for the early start.
Tuesday. I had a Covid test to attend at 8.30am so had to wake up early. That’s hard. Did the test, had breakfast and then was told to go back to my room and isolate. Fair enough, I knew I had to do it, since I do not exist. The hotel staff made me feel super welcome though. They called and asked specifically what I would like to eat and at what time. Once the food started arriving the portions were huge and it was just delicious. I spent the day working, prepping and it was a very productive day. Had a call with my writer buddy, always very inspiring, made notes, now just need to find the time in my head to work on those notes. Had another call with my Monday morning tea friend and now I am exhausted. Loving first impressions of Norway though. It is insane how beautiful it looks really!
Wednesday. Production meeting lasting all day long. I am still in isolation so while everyone is in the conference hall downstairs I am here in my room on zoom. At one point I noticed that my face was literally taking the whole wall behind the director. Hmm. So at the start of the meeting the 1st AD said that this job is our opportunity to show how professional we are, he said it is like having one bullet to shoot at the target which is also moving pretty fast. I liked his metaphors, but yeah.. so much for the easy little film in Norway. Haha it never is easy is it.
Thursday. My PCR test came back negative. Hurray!! Went to the office for the first meeting with the director it was long and only half way done to be continued tomorrow.
Friday. Day in the office. Meetings. Free coffee. Nice to be out of my room. Dinner with few of the girls. Quiet night. Really trying to catch up on the rest. A lot of waiting around, so ordered a new iPad. So excited. Oh yes and I engraved it of course with a cheesy motivational quote. One day I will make an art piece out of my work iPads with those quotes.
Saturday. One last meeting with the director and a little party with my new colleagues. The day was beautiful actually. I keep looking at the landscapes here and cannot believe how beautiful it all is. It really is insane.
Sunday. Moving tho the new hotel. Finally settling in. Tired actually. Called my mom and a friend in London, nice to catch up. In the evening we had welcome’s drinks with the crew and I wore the dress I bought for my friends wedding in Italy. I dressed it down, but still was the most formal person there, oh well. It was nice to get to know everyone outside of work, also it was probably the first and last time on this job where I will be making an effort to look better as it will be so intense. 30 shooting days for a film which should have been at least 45 and that’s according to the 1st AD. Anyway, interestingly, in Norway the crew has to elect a crew representative for the union and one person for the safety. It means that if we get any trouble, sexual harassment, abuse or similar we can go and talk to that elected person and he or she will raise it with the union. Same goes for the safety representative, if we feel unsafe we can go and talk to him or her. Interesting right. Ah yes also in Norway you are supposed to break for food every 4 hours. Let’s see how that will go. We have a lot of foreign crew who are used to 12 hour days so this new change feels like a gift. Myself included.
- Being in Norway!
- The crew on this job is so international it’s fantastic. We have Mexicans, Italians, Danish, Swedish, English, Norwegian, Estonian, Lithuanian, German and so many different languages spoken I think I hear more of Spanish and Italian than I do Norwegian. We are a prime example of diverse production.
- Boats everywhere!
- Houses are so clean and pretty it looks like they just had a fresh coat of paint done on them.
- The heating system they use, don’t know what it is, but insulation is crazy, cold outside, warm inside and no noise, feels a bit like future.
- Electric cars, bridges and ferries.
Cheers with glass full of impressed elephant!