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15th May 2019
The revenge of an animal activist who drives a shoe
Title of film: Salvatore Ganacci, Horse
Director: Vedran Rupic
Production Company: Business Club Royale
Vedran Rupic, the Business Club Royale director, talks about how he and his team made this brilliant bonkers Swedish film for Salvatore Ganacci

1.4: One of our favourite Youtube comments about your music video, Horse, for Salvatore Ganacci is from Techno Mania: “I switched to porn when my mom walked in, it’s easier to explain.”

The magnificently insane narrative is indeed difficult to explain so it was a relief to find a surprisingly rational explanation on the same comments feed, this time from BismuthBepis.

“This video is a brilliant reference to Dante’s Inferno, in particular to the “contrapasso”, Dante’s poetic justice. As you can see, Salvatore acts as a superior force they can’t escape, even if they tried (the woman locks the door but S. enters the house though the walls), that punishes them accordingly to their sin. In this case, animal abuse. Dante would have probably placed them in the 3rd ring of the 7th circle, which is the circle of violence against God and its creation. The punishment of this circle would have been too barbarian to show on this platform, but we got the reference. Thank you Salvatore Ganacci, this clip really has a cultural value.”

Was this really Salvatore and your reference for Horse?

Vedran Rupic: Haha, I love that interpretation. And I’ve been generally happy about all interpretations.

It is in a sense a very religious or biblical story but with a forced moral of the story that is at least according to me a trademark of Slavic storytelling. The morale of the story generally overrides all other narrative elements in a very intrusive way. That’s the kind of stuff I love. Both me and Salvatore are born in Bosnia, so we had our share of fairy tales stemming from that. 

What WAS the original brief – or did the idea come out of conversations between you and Salvatore?

We have a very fluid exchange of ideas. That are usually bounced back and forth. Then when he sent me this song it was like they all had a place (a song) in which they could co-exist and we could turn it into a story. A lot of the energy that brought forth the ideation process was a dance.

Salvatore actually does an “ugly” version of that dance in the video while heading for the house wall. We used to do that dance very seriously when we were younger.

Did you detail every scenario in storyboards or simply have a shots list and improvise on the shoot day?

Everything was shot by shot storyboarded and put into an animatic before shooting. There is so much narrative elements in the video that there was no time for “spray and pray”. But we managed to find time to improvise. The reveal shot of the shoe, when we see him the first time was an improv shot from our very talented DOP Lionel Cabrera. The two storyboarded shots that it replaced were not as fresh.

The last shot of Salvatore driving into the sunset is exquisite – was that planned or is this another clever vfx?

We planned it in a sense that we wanted them to ride into the sunset. But the sun was setting a bit too far to the left and we didn’t want to be on a wider lens. So that’s when our compositor Ulf Lunden had to do his magic.

Where was the location?

Everything is shot on location in Portugal. We scouted so many locations that I can’t even say for sure exactly where we ended up shooting it.

The whole video is in fact based on vfx – you seem steeped in effects language. What is your background in vfx? 

We did mostly animation when we started. So we have an understanding of how live action and 3d can work together.

We love the tone of the production company you are signed to, Business Club Royale, but can’t tell whether you’ve directed any of the other work – or perhaps all of it?

I have directed most of the stuff that’s on the site right now. But our process is very collaborative, my fellow director Gustav Sundström who is set to do big things, is always around and we have a great exchange of ideas. Generally, the company Business Club Royale is like that. You as a director are never alone. Our producers (Christian Kuosmanen and Sia Masoodian) are not your run of the mill producers, they are creative powerhouses that you can always turn to. The environment is very forgiving (it’s basically insane) and it’s an extremely great place to get ideas. 

In a nutshell, can you tell us please your background which led you to filmmaking?

I was 18, I decided to do a feature length documentary about the European hiphop identity.

Swedish national Television jumped on the project; the film turned out so bad that I fell into

a depression. Then I met these guys in collage. And my will to live as well as my will to do shorter funnier stuff grew. We all dropped out of collage together and started a company.

How would you describe your childhood? Was it a particularly creative environment? And was it in Gothenburg?

I came to Sweden as a refugee when I was six. Once we settled down, I had an amazing upbringing. Early childhood wasn’t especially creative but later on I latched on to people doing music, dancing and stuff like that. But to find film as a means to express myself took at least until I was 18. I have actually moved around quite a lot so I can’t say Gothenburg is “my town”.

But with that said, Gothenburg is probably one of the best cities in the world.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Yeah. The wall that he breaks in through was built by my brother Adi Rupic. He is an accountant who flew in just to hang around because he knows how insane stuff can get.



Check out Vedran Rupic’s other work with Business Club Royale

Salvatore Ganacci, Horse Director: Vedran Rupic Producer: Christian Kuosmanen & Siamand Masoodian FAD: Gustav Sundström DOP: Lionel Cabrera Colorist: Martin Steinberg Drone: Kasper Bröns Gaffer: Pedro Nair VFX: Mindbender, Michael Bengtsson, Derek Henriques. Comp: Ulf Lunden Wardrobe: Joana Veloso Set dresser: Mariana Monteiro Head Carpenter: Adi Rupic Service production: We fix you, Filipa Soares. Runner / Portugals slowest driver: Luis Guita