Your new movie Bodom
- in a few words, what is it about?
József Gallai: The film is based on the actual murders that happened at
Lake Bodom (Finland) in 1960. Our film is about two journalists who
started to investigate the case 50 years later.
is to an extent based on a true crime from more than 50 years ago - so
what can you tell us about that story, and what drew you to it to begin
With the help of any web search engine, one can find the story of Lake
Bodom. Gergö and his filmmaker partner Ákos Varga started writing the
script in 2010, and I rewrote it completely in late 2014. It was a big deal
to work on a Finnish-related story in Hungary, speaking only a few words
Other sources of inspiration when writing Bodom?
J.G.: There are only a few found footage movies I really like and those
might have been an inspiration when I wrote Bodom. My favourite films
regarding this genre are Home Movie and
The Conspiracy. Last week I saw Beckoning
the Butcher, which is also a perfect found footage film from Australia.
did you choose the found footage approach to your story at hand, and is
this a style of filmmaking especially dear to you? And with all those
found footage movies out there, what do you think makes your film stand
out of the crowd?
Elekes: After finishing our previous feature film, Interview
we had to face budgetary problems. In this situation the found
footage approach is the best way because the production can be done on a
much smaller budget. Furthermore, we wanted the audience to have the same
experiences as our actors did. I personally think that the found
footage movies these days are basically all the same: somebody goes to
somewhere where something happens - meanwhile they do not stop recording
(even when it is completely nonsense). In case of Bodom
we wanted to show something else without neglecting the characteristic
features of this genre.
would you describe your directorial approach to your subject at hand?
J.G.: Improvising is a great opportunity, and I encourage the actors I
work with to do so. Nevertheless, planning is everything. One has to
choose the best actors, best locations and crew members. It is not easy to
work with me, and I really don’t like big crews.
can you tell us about your key cast, and why exactly these people?
J.G.: In Hungary, it's not easy to find enthusiastic people who would
like to be in a film. Enthusiasm ends when they get the script or have to
spend some time working on the project. I chose these people because they wanted to do this film
as much as I did. And for me this is the most
your film actually filmed at Lake Bodom? And wherever you shot it, what
can you tell us about the locations of yours, and what was it like filming
As we all live in Hungary, we shot the film within the borders of our
country. This can also be explained with the budget of the production, but
we did everything in order to find such places that can stand in for the
original Finnish locations. The filming itself was a huge challenge for
every castmember, not just because of the extremely cold weather but also
because of the difficulty of such scenes - especially if we imagine that
most of our actors were newcomers to filmmaking.
What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and
the on-set atmosphere?
was shot in mere
six days, with a minimal crew. There was a day when only the two main
actors and two directors were on set. The entire crew was about 20 people.
I was pretty happy, because it was like a very big family. When problems
arose, we sat down, discussed them over and found a proper solution
A few words about audience and
critical reception of your movie so far?
Fortunately, the film has got mainly positive reviews not just by
Hungarian critics but also from international ones. Bodom
was the opening film at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival 2014
in Whitby (UK) and also took part in the competition of 30 Dies Festival
(Andorra) and the 21st National Student Film Week (Hungary), meanwhile it
is currently in the selection sections of several international film
festivals and it was picked up for North American distribution.
projects you'd like to share?
After one or two short films we will shoot a new horror movie, which is
again based on actual events. This time in English language as we have
ambitious plans. Hopefully, we shall see next year or in 2016.
What got you into
filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal education on
G.E.: I have never received any education on filmmaking, it was a
kind of love at first sight. After watching the Back
to the Future trilogy I fell in love with motion pictures because
they showed me the real values of our life: what is real friendship, what
is real love, how should we act in various situations. Since my childhood
I have been working on my mission to broadcast these values to the
audience while entertaining and educating them via our own films.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Bodom?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
We made Hungary’s first feature-length mumblecore film (Silent Change
aka Csendes változás – 2012), an award-winning thriller (Interview
– 2013) and dozens of short films, including the award-winning Still
would you describe yourselves as directors?
We are not easy guys. A year ago, neither of us would have said that our
film would get US distribution and would compete in international festivals. We
work hard and will not stop until we reach our goals.
who inspire you?
Jamin Winans, Andy and Lana Wachowski.
Jamin Winans, M. Night Shyamalan.
Your favourite movies?
Cloud Atlas, A Beautiful Mind, A Lady in the Water.
Unbreakable, Cloud Atlas.
and of course, films you really deplore?
& G.E.: The Paranormal Activity series - It’s a joke
to describe them as horror films.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
You can find Bodom and Interview
official website of our team
(http://elekes-pictures.webnode.hu) is currently only in Hungarian language, but we are working on
the translation. Meanwhile you're welcome to check our Facebook pages as they are bilingual.
for the interview!