Thanks guys, for the anecdotes! It really helped, and loosened things up for me, first just making me want to put everything in, and for a day or three it was suddenly a very loose multiple-protagonist film that just floated around a little aimlessly, from episode to episode. Itís not like that anymore, though I wonít rule out that I float back to it later.
Especially the kind of chatting experiences you mention I think will be very prominent in the film. Since I started thinking about it, itís been the anonymity angle thatís been most attractive to me, that it letís to behave in ways youíd never allow yourself offline. Just like you describe Reelist, that situation is perfect.
And the educational part that you describe Matt, was also instrumental for me. Growing up in a tiny town, the internet really made you feel plugged into the world. Thatís also been a part of this film at one point, with a little kid who gets really cocky and starts feeling much smarter than his parents (which obviously wasnít true).
Itís been all over, this film, and Iím starting to feel like it might be because Iím trying to stretch short film storylines into a feature - hence the episodic idea mentioned above, but then it became a little to thematically focused.
The detective angle that you mention, polka, is something Iíd like to cover, in a little bit of a different way, that was covered a teeny tiny bit in the short. That using the internet in the beginning was mostly trying to figure out what the hell it was.
And Garam: losing your virginity through an online date, thatís what all this should be about.
Iím going crazy. I should make a dozen shorts about it instead, I want to do a little bit of everything.
And wilder - thank you again for the great words and in-depth thoughts. Itís quite moving to read. Much appreciated that you take time to watch it again. Here are some thoughts of mine about the process.
First of all, you are bang-on about the structure. My thought was very much to have these bulks of sequences with metaphorical atmospheres, where each sequence could be thoroughly soaked in a mood, where the plot was so much forwarded in the sequences themselves, so much as in-between (roughly). The first one, was, like you say, to do with innocence. Sadly it was just to chilly that day to have Arvid/Erlend run around in just his shorts, which would have exacerbated the innocence-mood, but oh well. The mood of the next one was something like ďescape and aggressionĒ, and, with the wake I wanted to bring in a surrealism, and so on.
Another idea was cross-cutting between these like Eisensteinian montage - instead of each shot having itís own strength and symbolic potency that crashes, itís in the whole of the sequences themselves. The cut-points become vital for the story and potent in effect (exacerbated by long-takes: minimal use leads to maximum feel, contrast is key).
As for whatís on the page or not: I definitely tend to over-write. Then as we shoot and go, I just keep subtracting: dialogue, beats, entire scenes. This is a very on-the-fly feeling, often. Iíve seen what we have up to that point, and can make some quick mental edits to feel if we have whatís needed, and then we either go or skip.
With these last two shorts Iíve also known the locations intimately and have so tailored the motions of the script very directly to the way people can move in these places. Many shots - such as when Mads is on the PC and the father is in the kitchen in WWWB - are very precise and are there on the page, as the intensity of the drama depends very much on it. I try to do that as much as I can - tailor the drama to the place. A funny anecdote that I think I said here before: before we landed on the house in WWWB I was picturing the house from GMGS while I was writing, just to be able to picture things more concretely. After my DP read the screenplay for the first time, he actually noticed that Iíd done just that. Heíd recognized the house from the writing. So a lot is there on the page, but itís always negotiable if it doesnít flow.
What stays in from the script and what goes out will often come back to the metaphorical atmospheres. If the atmospheric changes come through from sequence to sequence, then often the only thing that is really needed to keep is the key change in the scene - and it doesnít have to be outwardly big, as the atmosphere will do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to getting a sense of how the character feels. After that the rest is things that maybe deepen character and place, but sometimes those things have had to go, in favor of flow and keeping atmosphere.
This also feeds into how I interact with the actors. I try to do most of the talking up-front (and if possible to have a reading through the script with them) , and minimize it when weíre shooting. When we shoot I mostly try to get everyone into the feeling of a scene, the tone of it, and not to do too many adjustments to peopleís performances.
By the way, I have never really intellectualized this as much Iím doing now, but I notice that this was probably what I was doing all along.