Thursday 7 March 2013

Hollywood in Helsinki

The last time I was in Helsinki to work with Eki he was excited.  I mention this because in the 20 or so years we've worked together it has been me who was the high-flying kite.  One time he told me to "be quiet" my enthusiasm wore him out. So this was a new Eki.  But when he took me to the soon-to-be-ready SpaceWhale studio I understood. This was no good-ole-boy man-cave where the guys get together to jam and have a beer. This was the real thing. It was big and airy. You could actually make movies here. And music.

SpaceWhale is a non-profit music association.  Eki (Halkka), Era Mikkola and Teemu Konttinen are three musicians, who've kept their day jobs, but are serious about their hobby.  They wanted to create a place where bands could rehearse, record demos and even make actual records and broadcast quality music videos (Little Margie Productions is in the process of making "A Tiny Ton of Trouble").  One of the aims of the association is to advance the music life in the Helsinki area, another is to make the facilities for visiting (non-pro) musicians free and affordable for professionals. Half of the studio is built for video use and renting it out for commercial productions, which brings in most of the income to cover the costs.

Inner Circle is an affordable way for clients to use the studio and be sponsors for the non-profit association. The member companies pay a monthly, reasonable fixed fee for 24/7 all the facilities. They include:  a cyclorama with two greenscreen walls and floor that's ready for shooting. They also have a decent (Eki never over-rates anything) small light kit at their disposal. And some tracks, dollies, grip gear, etc. All are included in the studio rent. In addition it's in a great location with direct access to the outdoors:  Vattuniemenkatu 19, 00210 Helsinki, 

Q:  how do you and Eki work together, he' s in Helsinki and you seem to be on the road half the time?

A:  There are all those Monday morning phone calls.  Sometimes they get results and sometimes I show up on site with a whip. But we always have some project in the works.

Next month: A BIG Ton of Trouble