November 29th has marked my birthday since 38 years back, and I’ve had a birthday party three times while shooting. First, I turned 31 when shooting Iron Sky in Germany. Coincidentally, Christopher Kirby, who plays Washington in the first one, shared the same date and we arranged a big party for the whole crew in our costume hall, which was actually a downstairs of a huge empty office building. Later on, we found ourselves all stuck in a small bar singing “Olen suomalainen” by Kari Tapio, which for some reason was randomly in a jukebox in this small hole-in-the-wall in Frankfurt.
The second time was when I turned 36, we had a big party over in the amazing Finnish apartment in Antwerp, Belgium, when shooting The Coming Race. The house was just beyond words; maybe something out of David Lynch’s dream. Stuffed with great art pieces, a full round bed in the middle of the living room and dark wood floors and walls, and even more amazingly, the building had a ship’s cockpit hoisted in the rooftop. Yeah, sounds crazy, and it is. We partied pretty hard, Annika was there for sure, my brother was there, Tom Green showed up, rest of the cast came around and much of the crew. It was great fun.
My birthday party weekend started here on the date on 29th with a bottle of sparkling wine after a shooting day, and a nice dinner with bunch of my friends and people from the production. The actual party would be few days away, but already Pekka and Roope had joined the party from Finland, Annika was there and we had a killer seafood dinner with Max, his wife as well and others. The actual party was scheduled to happen in two days, but that was a good start; we had to shoot the next day so nothing crazy went down, but we had a very nice time and had a fantastic dinner altogether.
Oh, and yeah, what did we shoot that day? Yeah, that’s also another story. One of the things we had been lacking here in China was a decent steadicam work. The crew had good people in it, but steadicam is a bit of a different story, but luckily the production had agreed to haul over an outside support: Ants Vahur, who is probably one of the best steadicam operators in Europe, and has worked a lot with Mika, came over and we did a bunch of pretty amazing steadicam moves just to stretch our muscles a bit; there would be much more of that coming up later, but already yesterday we did want to do some tries, and boy can Ants move like a butterfly even with that heavy camera set hanging from his neck.
So, now we are in full force. Although the drones have left us, the steadicam is in so bunch of cool moves are still in the store for us!