MicroCosmos is a film about six teenage girls who are home alone in their parents’ house. The fool around in the house but beneath the surface lurks a much heavier and more unpleasant reality. Is there something hiding in the dark?

The idea for the film came from the Danish-Swedish band The Tremolo Beer Gut, who gave the two instructors Jeppe Kolstrup and Lasse Martinussen free hands to create a whole new world around the band’s music and the outcome is the dreamy teenage thriller MicroCosmos.

Hafrun Karls met with the two instructors Jeppe and Lasse and got the change to get a little wiser about their new project. Read on!

Tell us about your short film MicroCosmos, what is the theme and idea behind it?

Lasse: “It’s not a short film, I don’t like the label of it. Certain expectations occur when you think you’re about to watch a short film or any other format or genre. It’s not a music video either, it’s not documentary. And I don’t really see it as an art film either. It’s 14 mins. audio/visual, just a piece of film and sound, I guess, I think I’d like to call it a music film, as it is written and developed around the music of The Tremolo Beer Gut – that’s where everything starts in this film.” 

Jeppe: No matter what you want to label it it’s a portrait of teenage youth and its soul. A film in the borderland between dreamy fiction and observational documentaries.

The vision was to create a documentary told in a fictional and designed setting. A film that doesn’t follow a classic plot driven narrative, but focuses on the mood, behavior and interaction that would naturally occur among the girls within the designed frames.

The narrative is six teenage girls who are home alone in their parents’ villa. They walk the catwalk in pyjamas, playing hide and seek and put on make up. But beneath the surface lurks a much heavier and more unpleasant reality. Perhaps there is something in the darkness surrounding the villa?

It seems like the plot to a classic teenage horror-film, but instead of murder and blood it is the girls’ dreams, desires and fear for the future, that becomes the threatening element.

How was it to work with and direct a bunch of teenage girls?

Jeppe: It was a pleasure working with these girls! We wanted to do the film in English. So we did the casting at the international school in Copenhagen. 60 girls appeared at the casting. After the casting at the school we chose 9 girls for a group casting, and ended up with Eerika from Finland, Lara from the UK, Sophia from the US, Isabel from China, Amelia from Australia and Victoria from Russia. These girls had each their great personality and had an interesting group dynamic. At the set they totally understood the premise and added a lot of great stories and lines to the film. 

Lasse:I felt it like working with actors and people you are directing in front of a camera, pretty much. Actually, I’d like to have filmed them for a week or two, but because of the limited budget we could only shot for a night.”

When did you two, Lasse og Jeppe start to work together and why?

Jeppe: We have known each other for a long time and we have been flirting with each other for other projects as well. But this film just seemed perfect for us to do together. We have totally different ways of writing and directing and with this film we had the chance to do something completely different. By combining our individual approach to filmmaking we hoped to find a third way of doing a film.

Lasse: “We found common interests and ultimately was drawn to our differences and different ways of working and thinking. I found lots of pleasure in working with Jeppe to be totally honest, he’s such a gentleman.”

Describe your work process and who is in charge of what assignments when you work together?

Jeppe: As mentioned we have two completely different ways of directing. I’m the guy who talks a lot between the takes, and Lasse is definitely the more observing guy who let things happen in front of the camera without too much interfering. These two ways of directing were pretty useful in this project.

Lasse: “I don’t think we had a working process really and we didn’t share assignments between us or anything. Our differences naturally made us fill out the various aspects of directing and thinking.”

Jeppe: “True that.”

Is there a lot of difference when it comes to making a music video or a short film?

Jeppe: The biggest difference is obviously that in a short film there are (more) lines and dialogue and it is a longer format. Beside from that it can be hard to tell the difference because music videos nowadays can be everything from a playing band to an art installation to a capturing narrative. The music video as a format has really developed from the MTV-dictated days to the uncensured internet where you can do what ever you want as a band and as a director. I really like the music video-format, but it has been nice to have more time to unfold the characters and the environment in Microcosmos.

Lasse: “I think there is a lot of difference between each project that you do, it doesn’t matter if it’s music video, fiction, commercial or documentary. It’s always something different, even if it’s three promos in a row. That’s always the important thing for me, finding something new and interesting, something i need to explore in each piece. I don’t distinguish between formats in that way.”

Any upcoming projects you would like to share with us? 

Jeppe: I’m working on different projects at the moment. The only one I can reveal is three interactive anti-discrimination film for the Danish Ministry of Integration. Pretty interesting project.

Lasse: “I just finished one commercial coming out this month and will shoot another one in two months. Apart from that i’m making the score of a feature film, plus working on a new album. I’m not sure if i’m allowed to mention the titles of these projects, so i’d rather not. But keep up-to-date on my site to see the latest films.”

Photographer: Kia Hartelius: kiahartelius.com