Monday 17 August 2020


North Empire shoots News.

The rent was higher than their last studio, but the space was fantastic  -  200 square meters divided into two rooms. I imagine the three guys said, ’What the hell, let’s go for it.’ The green screen and their musical instruments are in one room and they built three office cubicles in the other. They’ve rented out two. Eki says something has been going on every week. Around 12 years ago they were in the same building, one room, in the basement. Then moved to a bigger space on Vattuniemenkatu (Raspberry Cape St.) Now they’re back in Lauttasaarentie (Ferry Island Dr.) on the 2nd floor instead of the basement, two doors from the canteen.

Greenscreen with a fresh coat of Rosco Chroma paint.

Love working with Eki on a video at the studio. It’s like invading a ‘guy’ place. A comfortable hangout.  Erkki and I  basically sit in front of a screen for about eight hours. When he needs a break, he bangs on his drums. We’ve worked o projects for about 25  years and he’s taught me a lot. Mostly to shut up when he’s concentrating. And I’ve learned that when something is rendering, nothing happens. Haven’t seen the new studio, but I know the three guys worked hard to get it in shape. I remember that they had a lot of stuff to move, plus they built the cubicles. I’ll be in Helsinki in October. And get my first look. 

The play area.

When we’re working on a project eating is important. When the studio was in the basement, we used to go to a small cafe where the owner made delicious fried strumming. But in the winter it meant going out. Now we can just walk down the hall. It seems a bit crazy to me. But when I first met Eki he was a 25-year-old long-haired hippy. Now he, Era and Teemu are businessmen. Jeezus. Eki thought I was some loony American who wanted to make videos. He was right. Now I’ll get to go to three guys’ upscale new digs and work on another. That’s going to be fun.

Sources: Eki, personal experience

Next week: WAKE UP AMERICA: We've Been Invaded by a MONSTER

Note: I'll keep this brief as I'm in a rush right now (sorry for the delay in publishing this, Maggy!!).

We're really happy with how the new place has turned out. The building is in good shape - the reason we left it 12 years ago was that they renovated it completely, tearing everything down to the concrete and rebuilding the interiors. It still feels like a new(ish) building.

It may look like a business, but it's a non-profit one. Literally. A nonprofit association to be more exact. We're happy just to have this amazing place for us and others to play in (in both senses of the word), we do not need to make money from it.

The place is pretty expensive, but luckily we cooperate with a few companies on an ongoing basis: Liveo, North Empire, and Pinesker all pay a fixed rent for the use of the facility every month, and the three make up for the bulk of our costs. We just need to rent out a few days each month to break even.

I'd have a ton more to say about SW5 studio, but I need to run. Gotta work for my bread you know ;-)



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