China Diary

Day 41: Where I Lay My Head Is My Home. Or is it?


I must say I’m not made for this lifestyle. Being an international filmmaker is probably what I thought I wanted, but now that I see the reality, I think I’d prefer going back to working more from home, not staying abroad such a long times. First I thought it would be really cool, flying around in business, being treated in style by a very international crew – but truth be told, the novelty soon fades, at least for me. I know there are people out there who are able to enjoy it, popping into a hotel, popping out, flying to China, then to USA, then back to Europe somewhere, but I really have come to realise I need to root down, properly. “Where I lay my head is my home”, Metallica sings. Although a very romantic thought, I can’t agree with it.

I’m no different from anyone else, I want my own home, my wife every morning next to me, my son and my family close. I know, it sounds like cheesy country song lyrics, but sometimes those guys and gals down South got it right.

Does it mean I can’t do films like this, shooting a film every now and then outside of Finland, doing post production elsewhere? I think not. Only thing it needs is to have a better plan for the future. I’m working on it. I just haven’t nailed it yet, really.

But I have time. Endless evenings in my bed, wishing the Internet would allow one continuous Whatsapp call without constant delays, hang-ups and bad sound quality.

Still, it’s weird what can become a cheap substitute for “home”, when one is not available. I think it’s an innate need for humans, to find one place they can call their own, be it their tribal grounds, their home cave, farm or even a spot under the bridge somewhere. For me, it’s far from that, but I too have it: my little hotel room (it’s really not that small, I’m just being emotional and make too much out of this feeling) at the hotel here in Beijing.

As we came back from our Qingdao trip and as I slipped my hotel key card to my door at room 429 (number changed, fans, don’t come swarming behind that door, I’m not there, really), the one the production had so thoughtfully had me keep even though I wasn’t there, I felt a slight tingle of the feeling one has when returning home after a long trip. My clothes were where I had left them, some fruits I had bought were still in place, my Playstation was patiently waiting… It was far from home, but it felt good after the few days in Qingdao.

We had planned to go to see a movie with Mika, and even booked the tickets, but right when I was stepping out of the door, my Skype chimed: “we’re ready!”. Shit! I actually was supposed to have a big VFX meeting on Iron Sky The Coming Race, starting right now! So I had to cancel my movie night, leaving Mika to have to go by himself.

The meeting went well, although it was quite taxing as we were following four Excel sheets and cross-referencing them, and I didn’t even have the movie on my hard drive so I had to try to remember each frame – but as Thilo, our VFX supervisor, said: you know your film. And funny enough, I do. The film is in my head, both current cuts etched almost in frame-by-frame detail, and I was able to discuss it as if I was watching the cut, only few times I had to admit I have to see what we’re talking about. It’s amazing how it really goes in the head and stays there in detail.

Anyway, that was the day. Sorry for rambling on about this nonsense of loneliness again, it just struck me harder than usual today. Kisses to home in Finland, wherever you are.

Like Arnie always says, I’ll be back.

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