HS Helsinki | The friends made a professional-level film on a shoestring budget – A 40-piece orchestra plays in the background and a professional camera was borrowed at a “buddy price”

The friends financed the film project entirely from their own pockets. The production team has strong networks in the film world, which enabled a professional production with a small budget.

“On a shoestring budget here we go.”

So Sampo Yrjö-Koskinen describes what it produces Maniac– the realization of a short film.

The half-hour long film was largely financed from the production team’s pocket, for example using student loans. Yrjö-Koskinen says that it can be difficult to get funding for film projects in Finland without previous evidence.

Yrjö-Koskinen or whoever directed and wrote the film Ilmo Muurosen have no previous experience in film productions. A ten-year friendship and an interest in culture were the basis on which a common passion project was built. The cultural production company Liitto, under whose name the film was made, was born.

When the project started in 2019, Yrjö-Koskinen and Muuronen were still students. At one point, they both studied at the Aalto University School of Economics, but Muuronen moved on to study literature at the University of Helsinki.

Maniamies is based on a short story written by Muuronen, which he gave to Yrjö-Koskinen to read.

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“It occurred to me that we could make a movie out of this,” says Yrjö-Koskinen.

Culture has always interested Sampo Yrjö-Koski.

Work sees its premiere on Saturday at Bio Rex. After three years of work, it seems incomprehensible to Yrjö-Koskis.

There have been situations where money had to be scraped from somewhere, for example for space rent. That’s why Yrjö-Koski and Muurose have sunk their own money into the film project, a total of a few thousand euros.

“I myself have even lived on a meager diet just to get something right in the movie,” says Yrjö-Koskinen.

Yrjö-Koskinen estimates the film’s final budget to be around 6,000 euros.

“If we had gone through the normal formula, paid all salaries and actual rents, the budget would probably be on the better side of 50,000 euros.”

The film has been filmed in valuable locations in Helsinki, such as Bio Rex and Ritarihuone.

Costs wanted to keep as low as possible without compromising on how the film looks from the outside.

The production team has strong networks in the film world, which enabled a professional production with a small budget. It was possible to get help from professionals for free, and the camera could also be borrowed at a good friend’s price.

The soundtrack for the film was created by a forty-piece orchestra, and the film’s visual impression has been carefully finished. The film has been filmed in valuable locations in Helsinki, such as Bio Rex and Ritarihuone.

“We used aesthetically beautiful and descriptive spaces, which I don’t think have been used much in Finnish films.”

The project sounds ambitious to say the least.

“That’s what this has been from the beginning. We thought we’d just do it now, and then figure out how to do it.”

The movie the main character is a young, idealistic man with big dreams. Then he stumbles upon his inability to influence the world around him. The lead role is played by the same person who also acted in the Jussi award-winning Tove film Wilhelm Enckell.

The main character meets different people in one day, and everything just keeps getting crazier. More specifically, Yrjö-Koskinen does not want to open the plot, as it could affect the viewing experience.

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Maniac may raise questions with his name, which refers to a mood disorder. Yrjö-Koskinen describes mental health as a sensitive topic, which, however, did not want to be treated unnecessarily cautiously.

“If we shoot a little too much, maybe those issues can be dealt with more openly,” Yrjö-Koskinen reflects.

Still, the idea of ​​the film is not directly to deal with mental health problems.

“It’s mostly a way to introduce the main character and bring out more universal themes.”

The focus of the film is ambition, self-centeredness and the illusion of controllability.

They wanted to make these themes laughable by means of tragicomics. In Yrjö-Koskinen’s opinion, great emotions are seen too rarely in Finnish cinema.

“Perhaps the scene lacks a certain flamboyance. Often we are somehow a little too careful, and we don’t want to overshoot.”

Read more: Young people gather to watch a new movie in costumes in Helsinki – Now they tell what the phenomenon is all about

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