On The Cusp, Longlist - Commercial


Simon Gustafsson

Camp David Film

Monza, a small local bicycle manufacturer here in Stockholm approached me and asked if I was willing to do a film for them on a very limited budget in exchange for creative freedom. The only condition they had was that they wanted to see their bikes being ridden in the streets a way that would inspire. I wanted to create an urban film since because of this ongoing pandemic many of us are looking into alternative ways of transporting ourselves in order to avoid public transport in the cities and the bicycle is a great alternative for this. At the time I was also heavily inspired by old black and white street photography from the first half of the 20th century, mainly from New York and from photographers such as Garry Winogrand and Berenice Abbott. I wanted to use that inspiration and create a mix of something old and something new. I wanted to portray the streets of Stockholm as something much bigger than what it actually is. The city of Stockholm has a bit of a cute and idyllic look to it and I wanted it to look bigger, more crowded and more brutalistic. Kind of like New York in the 1930’s but in real time. Therefore I decided to shoot this on black and white 16mm film and carefully choose my locations. Partly working with shooting on a lower frame rate and long shutter in order to create a kind of chaos and congestion, I wanted to portray these cool bicycle riders riding through the city like ninjas. Despite the stressful city and congestion, these people are calm, playful and in full control while riding on their Monza- BMX’s. All this accompanied by the tones of the great violinist Fritz Kreisler.

Simon Gustafsson is a director based in Stockholm, Sweden. Simon is heavily rooted in sub- and street cultures and is driven by visual storytelling. By working with energy and pace in his films ha wants to take his audience on a journey where he carefully combines all elements of filmmaking. Simon started his direction journey in spring 2019 and released his first commercial that same year.