Today I have the pleasure of interviewing, Birgitta Sunding. Birgitta has been a blast to work with as producer for the film adaptation of Morium. But being a producer is not the only thing she has on her plate.
Could you tell my readers a little about yourself?
I am a Swedish Dane, entrepreneur, chef and the last 15 years I have been working in the Entertainment industry as talent manager, film producer, casting director, author, actor and singer.
Wow. That’s a lot. How do you fit all that on your plate?
First of I am a serious workaholic, I enjoy everything I do, that way it’s easy. I time manage, I accept that I can’t do more than what hours I am given, so being an octopus and able to multitask is a tremendous talent. But I’m human, blonde and I fail too.
How did you get into the entertainment industry?
Well, it all started once upon a time, lol. I lived in Denmark, ran a catering business in my spare time. I used to book entertainment for my clients. One day it just hit me. I was doing it as a free service; the booking of agents, managers and talent was earning money off my service. I started by cutting out middleman by collecting direct contacts to entertainers and soon one musician asked if I would manage him because I was getting him more jobs than anyone else. That was the sweet start!
Could you tell my readers what the process is for making a film?
The process varies of course, but to be short and blunt about it. Someone either gets an idea, writes a script or will hire someone to do it, or as in your case, someone wrote a book that can be adapted to a screenplay. When the script is all good to show off, one has to try get the whole idea “sold” to many financiers, investors, to a production company, or a studio. Along the way, a producer or more will be attached, a director as well. When monies are in the house for pre-production, the ball can start rolling to get crew, department heads and miscellaneous crew added. When the casting director is ready, the lead roles above the line, as it’s called on a film/TV budget, will be cast. Then when all is green lighted for start, a shooting schedule is coordinated and approx. 7 weeks of filming will start (unless a longer production is needed for a more BIG film or ongoing TV series etc.) lastly post production will be set in motion to edit and polish of the end product and the actually selling of the production will be done too (most time its dealt with along the way to ensure deal)
What do you look for when reading a script?
The first 3-5 pages has to make me urge to want to read to the end. Then I try imagine how an audience will react to it. It has to have good characters and well written dialogue, regardless of genre. The story has to be good, it has to have the genres depth, and it has to be able to make me visualize the end product. I must be able to see in my head who it is written for both as cast and audience. It must touch my emotions: laughter, fear, love, lust, sorrow, disgust, anger, joy etc. Also I need to feel it is bankable. But as said before, the story must appeal to me. Be solid!
What projects are you currently working on?
Well I can’t go into all, but I’m working on two book to film productions. Yours called Morium, Laney Smiths Lock Creek Stories, Jackie O’ The true Hollywood Story, Laud The Deaf Guy, Dizzy Queen B, Facades and writing 2 books, scripts and of course with our talent clients.
You mentioned you’re a chef. What is your favorite dish to make?
I have many Steve I must admit, but since I turned Flexitarian I do mostly Vegan during the week. I am at the moment very much into doing vegan sushi. But to create new dishes, with different flavors and textures, is just up my street. I tend to make “Pheasant food fit for Kings and Queens” which is by way the tittle of my upcoming cook book.
Tough question. What do you enjoy the best? Cooking or Entertainment?
Golly gosh, you sure know how to put a woman on the spot, lol. I can’t really say because to me they are both great source and necessity for life… my life. To me they go together. I mean how many TV dinners is made each day and, need I go on?
What is the toughest part of being a producer?
Patience! Not mine because I understand that one need to have patience in this industry but to try convince writers, other producers, cast etc. to have patience. Most of the time what we need patience for is all about the money, the finances. And to be frank, one also need patience dealing with folk who tell you they are interested, that they have the money, that they will give it to you and then the disappear from the face of the earth after you spent 4011 hours on them. One may have to have years of patience and be happy with it. Patience is a virtue in showbiz!!
Are you patient person?
Some say far to patient, check the dictionary under patience and you’ll find my name! To a degree like everyone else, but due to the person I am, it is very, very, very long indeed! But never so patient I lose a deal though. With men I’m like far to patient, lol. When there is something or someone I want or need, my patience extend beyond belief.
What do you think has been your greatest accomplishment in the entertainment business?
Making a gob smacking fool of myself in front of millions of viewers on a sky channel program on Pancake day back in the 80’s when I had to toss a pancake that the crew had glued on to the pan as revenge for all the pranks I pulled on them. My greatest accomplishment … is probably due any time soon, lol.
So much for nonstick pans, lol
Day at the beach or a night in front of the fireplace?
With family and friends, it’s a day at the beach, but story telling in front of the fireplace in my comfy chair or on a soft rug with a handsome knight in rusty armor, that must be heaven. Plus add a bottle of W40 to take the noise off the rusty hinges. (Lol)
Romantic movie or action?
An action packed romantic comedy is all me. I’m like all over. But comedy beats it all!
Did you ever see Grumpy Old Men with Matthau and Lemmon or Mrs. Browns Boys?
Favorite film of all time?
Muriel’s Wedding, Casablanca and The 100 year old man.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to be here.
Why Thank you for having me, that was fun and a first via Twitter.
You can find Birgitta on social media.