Jonas Risvig

Film Director & Scriptwriter, 28

"It took me 10 years to convince myself, that there was space for me in the industry, despite my ridiculous upbringing with nothing to tell stories about. The irony hits when you realize, that 99% of all young people feel exactly like me, which makes the market to make content for them gigantic."

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Who are you, what do you do, and what is your background?

I am 28 years old, and I am working as a movie director and scriptwriter. It is actually fucked to say that out loud, because even though I am getting older, I also realize, that I am so underqualified for that title. Especially if you asked the academic part of the industry. 

I spent my years growing up in a tiny suburb, where nothing really happened. My parents are still together, heartache came very late in my life, and I haven’t even lost a pet. But I always dreamt of becoming a movie director and working with fiction from the perspective of the youth. But when I went to the Danish film school, they told me, that you had to have gone through a tragedy in your life to create stories for an audience. It took me 10 years to convince myself, that there was space for me in the industry, despite my ridiculous upbringing with nothing to tell stories about. The irony hits when you realize, that 99% of all young people feel exactly like me, which makes the market to make content for them gigantic.
 

Who or what do you look to for inspiration when it comes to your art and work?

Many directors would say, that they love to read books, go to the theatre, or study films to feel inspired. I am not good at any of those things, and to be honest, I don’t even watch a lot of entertainment myself. I use my eyes constantly when making my projects because all of them are about a friend group, that mess up together or separate. Therefore I get my inspiration by closing my eyes and listen to music. Most of my work is inspired by an album, that I just can’t get out of my head. For example, my next show is inspired by Dean Blunt's album BLACK METAL 2.

 

Spike Jonze will always be my biggest inspiration. He started by making skateboarding videos. Then, he went on the make the Jackass movies, a couple of Kanye music videos, and then he developed Apple commercials and my personal favorite movie: HER with Joaquin Phoenix.

You get to work with 3 actors dead or alive - which 3 are you choosing and why?

There are so so many, but actually, I am not very blinded by famous actors and actresses, no matter their status or talent. I prefer using new faces and undiscovered talent, that I spot on the street. Many of the leading roles of mine, ends up being brought onto the team because they are friends with people I have worked with before. I have also cast a couple of runners and chauffeurs from my productions because the best people often are the ones that don’t know it yet.

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Sadly, he probably won’t be around for that many years to come, but I would love to work with Clint Eastwood. I feel like he IS a movie. Here in Denmark, I am a big fan of Mads Mikkelsen, and I really think I could make a great role for him. I can feel how much he loves to let loose, and that fits my way of working perfectly. Lastly, I would say myself. I feel like that would be the biggest challenge of all.

What are you currently working on?

My new season of GRÆNSER has just premiered, så I am working a lot with the launch of that. Besides that, I am going to shoot my new series for DR, which will center around sex. With that project, I am trying to teach young people about sex and what comes with it, because I feel like the schools aren’t doing that great of a job on that matter. It is going to be a challenging thing to balance, but I have an amazing team, that I know can get the job done with me. Besides that, I am writing my first feature film, so I am hoping to start shooting that this summer.

Where are you in 5 years?

In 5 years I am shooting my first Christmas calendar, and I have opened my own school teaching filmmaking. Of course, I am also dreaming of family life and a daughter, who can teach me to relax and to experience life in new ways. I miss having time off, but I think I have realized, that that will only happen when I have kids.

And last but not least - what is your go-to takeaway spot in Copenhagen?

 

Well, Bistro Cocorico and their French takeaway is A+. If we are going out, Thrilla In Manilla or Kung Fu always delivers.

Well, we recommend every single one of you to watch GRÆNSER with a fresh order from one of the three above. Big thanks to the extremely talented Jonas Risvig for allowing us to peek into his life for a short while. 

Keep it real.

The Collective.

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