How did you get into directing? 

I first started out by doing a documentary. It turned out really bad since I had no idea what I was doing. I figured I’d need to study film. So I did. But dropped out really soon in order to start a company that did shorter, animated work. After a while, I realised I wanted to direct. 

Salvatore Ganacci – Horse

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What was the inspiration behind the music video for Horse? And can you shed any light on the story?

Me and the artist (Salvatore Gannaci, the blond god in the film) have known each other for quite some time. So our exchange of ideas is very free.  He sent me this song, I got the general idea immediately (we had parts of the idea from before) so I called him back and pitched it to him. He said it was the best idea he ever heard.  

Pointy shoes have become an ironic symbol of power, potency and virility.

We are both of Bosnian descent, so we had our fair share of Slavic storytelling, the kind where the moral of the story is always injected, no matter if it's motivated or not. I’m really inspired by semi-functioning story arcs. 

Above: Vedran Rupic (left) on set with Salvatore Gannaci.

The film’s subject matter - animal abuse and (a much-deserved but) violent comeuppance - is quite shocking, even though it’s done in a slapstick way. Have you had any outraged responses from viewers?

Much less than we expected. We thought people would be far more outraged. But it sure makes me optimistic! People can take a joke. That’s great news. 

The most bizarre element of the video is the car shaped like an oversized pointy shoe – what does it signify?

We grew up in groups of immigrant boys wandering the streets in Sweden. The older guys had these extremely pointed shoes. With time, those shoes have become an ironic symbol of power, potency and virility. Salvatore had to arrive in that. 

What was the biggest challenge of the production process? How much was captured in camera versus added in post?

We had a lot of 3D, but I have some experience with that. The challenge was that it was a fairly small budget with a pretty high ambition and that always takes a toll on one. We had help from really talented people but there was no avoiding late nights and weekends. 

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Above: behind the scenes on Horse.

How did you approach casting? How important was it to have good chemistry between the cast members?

I really like casting. I think that is one of the biggest parts of the process. We wanted them to feel like a really weird group of people. The hard part was the language, since we shot it in Portugal. Not everybody was fluent in English, but we managed to convey what we wanted to do. 

I realised that people are starved for imaginative work. One shouldn’t be afraid to push wild ideas.

What have you learned during the process of making the video?

I think that I realised that people are starved for imaginative work. That one shouldn’t be afraid to push wild ideas.

What does it mean to you to win a YDA and what can we expect to see from you in future?

It means a great deal. I’ve been so lucky to sign with Bacon in Scandinavia and Riff Raff in the UK, and this fall is fully booked already so I’ll hopefully have more interesting work coming soon.