Me, Orren and our manager Birgitta went to a meeting the other day. Actually we drove for 4 hours to get to that meeting.
Me and Orren didn’t really understand why we couldn’t do this over Skype, but Biggis insisted we’d go ’cause she had a feeling we should meet these people in person.
The people we were meeting were a production company based in Orsa, a tiny little town 4 hours north of Stockholm. Normally when you come to the office of a production company in Stockholm, or some other bigger city, you step into a slick world of hipsters with expensive computers, even more expensive jeans and they offer you coffee made from beans that were hand picked and eaten by monkeys who then shat them out and then someone made ridiculously expensive coffee out of the beans so that some hipster can pour soy milk in it so it tastes like coffee flavored soy beans.
But not in Orsa. We step inside the office and get the warmest welcome from a woman in rubber boots. There’s an old dog sleeping on the floor and it doesn’t even look up when we step in the office. We get a regular cup of coffee and a bucket of milk powder if we want it. We sit down around the office table and we are waiting for the sales pitch to begin.
But instead we start talking about what it’s like for a couple from Amsterdam (two of the 3 people running the company are Dutch) moving to a rural town in Sweden. How hard it can be to fit in. How hard it can be to connect to people from a culture so different from Amsterdam. And they tell us about the refugees from the Middle East who are staying in various places around the little town and how it must be even harder for them to fit in.
Then they tell us they’ve started a non-profit project in which they interview and take a nice portrait of some of the refugees. The result is a magazine in which all these people get to tell their life story to the people of this town. They are no longer a number in the statistics. They are a person that the citizens can relate too and not be afraid of. A really nice introduction into the community they are thrown into.
We talk for hours about life and then they invite us to their home for lunch and we stay all day and then go home without having talked almost anything about what we came there for, which was doing a video for Billy Momo. We didn’t feel we had to. We just knew this was the right people to work with. My dream is having a network of people like that around me. People who love what they do and use whatever they have to make a difference.
Sure, we all want to get paid and make it in the business. But it’s not why we choose to do what we do. We are super happy we took that 4 hour drive. We got to know some very skilled artists. But most importantly, we made some new friends.
Here’s to new friends and great people! (Tomas Juto, aka ‘Barba’).