Interview - Gunnar Vikene
Interview with Gunnar Vikene (Director)
How did you come up with the idea for Vegas?
When I was working in a psychiatric ward a few years back, I met a lot of young people who had became sick due to experiences like the experiences of the main characters in Vegas.
Is the story of Vegas a real portray of modern Norwegian society?
It’s very real for too many kids in one of the richest countries in the world.
How was your experience directing some actors who had never been into acting before?
We spent a lot of time casting the three main characters. Over 4,000 kids were waiting for audition. At the end we managed to find three incredible talented, but inexperienced kids. I found it very inspiring to work with them. They had not learned any techniques and that was a challenge, but in this case it was all for the better in the way that they had nothing else to rely on than their own personal experiences.
What do you think are the challenges of young people in modern Europe and Norway?
These days a lot of European countries are facing massive unemployment rates, especially amongst young people. We are bombarded with depressing news about climate changes, and a failing economies, and there is also -in my point of view- a tendency towards less tolerance between different ethnic and religious groups.
We see from abroad Norway as an almost a perfect society, is that image true for natives? What do you think is different?
It’s true, in my opinion, that Norway in many –if not most- ways is a very well functioning social-democracy. Also, or because, we have had a lot of luck, since we have a lot of natural recourses that had brought welfare to most Norwegians. At the same time there are a lot of challenges that we deal with in a way that I find not working.
Are you involved in any filming project at the moment? Could you tell us about them?
I’m trying to get a film started in the end of this year, to premier in 2013. It’s a bit early to pitch it here, but it takes place in Norway and Sweden, and deals with an old man who feels he needs to revenge himself.