Norwegian Ninja (Cosmic Disco Version) Music Video!

It’s time to move your booty – Norwegian Ninja style!

Below is the music video for the irresistible, danceable version of our main theme, as performed by Disco Chris! Music video editing by Martin Stoltz-Olsen. Original score by Gaute Tønder.

Don’t forget that you can buy this song as well as the whole score!

From The Vaults #2: An Hommage To Our Extras

The unsung heroes of any production are the extras. Have you ever tried doing this job? The pay is low, the days are long, and sometimes you just know you’ve been out of shot the whole time. To pay tribute to these hard working people, here’s a gallery showing off just a few of our fine extras. Thanks guys! (Click images to enlarge)

Photos by Ellen Ugelstad and Nina Elise Johansen.

PS: Norwegian Ninja is out on DVD in the UK today!

From The Vaults #1: Cast and Crew photos

Posting has been sporadic here lately, but rest assured there’s lots more material to come! The film is now heading abroad with the UK release right around the corner, and more countries to follow! Announcements will be made when we have them. But for now, here’s the first post in a behind the scenes series we’ve dubbed “From The Vaults”.

You do this on every production: the cast and crew gather to take a team photo for posterity.

Well, with this movie we did that twice. Why? Well, the photo was scheduled for the end of one particular shooting day, and we all gathered on the set. Actually, not everyone who contributed to the movie but as many people as we could round up on that day.

However, close to the end of the day, the schedule was running tight. So the photo session was cancelled to be done at a later date, to allow for more shooting time. Consequently, most of the production office people headed back to the office. Meanwhile, the day ended successfully and the remaining cast/crew managed to squeeze in the photo anyway.

And it turned out smashing!!! (click for HUGE!):

Cast and crew of Kommandør Treholt & Ninjatroppen, pt.1. Photo by Ellen Ugelstad.

…except that it was missing the crew members who left. Fast forward some days, we’re nearing the end of the shoot and we decide to go again. Only this time, there were some other cast and crew members missing due to availabilty. Go figure.  (click for HUGE!)

Cast and crew of Kommandør Treholt & Ninjatroppen, pt. 2. Photo by Ellen Ugelstad.

I don’t even know what the moral is with this post, except that you should perhaps not leave the set, ever, if you want to be in the cast and crew photo!

Bonus trivia:

– the first photo was taken on the stunning location for the Umbraco mountain retreat, on the outskirts of Oslo.

– the second photo was taken on the Storyline Studios back lot in the Jar area of Bærum, outside Oslo. Myself (left) and director Thomas (right) are seated in the full scale Sky Car cockpit we built for one scene.

Below is a photo from shooting the scene in question:

Sky Car ready for "lift off". Left to right: 1st AD Håkon Sørensen, actors Amund Maarud and Mads Ousdal, VFX Supervisor Ludvig Friberg (possibly!), cinematographer Trond Høines (possibly!) and director Thomas Cappelen Malling. Photo by Jessica Balac.

 

Limited Edition VHS competition

The label.

In partnership with our friends at Montages, YOU are invited to compete for one of three ultra limited signed copies of Kommandør Treholt & Ninjatroppen on VHS!

UPDATED WITH WINNING ENTRY AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST!

International entries are welcome! If you live outside of Norway, this will perhaps be your only chance of getting one of the tapes straight from the source.

The prizes. Each tape has been signed on the inner cover by the writer/director and producer.

Culled from our limited run of 500 hand numbered VHS copies, these three tapes are extra special because they have also been signed by director Thomas Cappelen Malling and yours truly.

But you’re going to have to work a little to get one of them! Here’s what we’re asking:

1. Send us a photo of your VHS collection that truly shows your love for the format.

2. Tell us about an especially memorable movie experience you’ve had that is somehow related to VHS. This task is open to be interpreted as you wish, but keep it at no more than 1000 characters including spaces.

3. Answer the following three questions related to the movie:

a. What is the name of the mysterious hand sign Commander Treholt uses in the scene from Vienna (depicted below), and what does it mean?
b. How many years did Arne Treholt serve in prison after his conviction on espionage charges?
c. Kommandør Treholt & Ninjatroppen / Norwegian Ninja has a duration of 77 minutes on PAL system VHS. What would the duration be in the NTSC system?

A frame grab related to question 3a.

Send your answers to konkurranse@montages.no before the end of 31 January, 2011.

Update!

So! We have a winner! Despite there being three prizes, only ONE entry made the jury’s cut – and the lucky winner of a VHS of Kommandør Treholt & Ninjatroppen signed by both the director and producer is Espen Lyngstad from Stjørdal, Norway. Congratulations! Espen’s answers are worthy of sharing with the world; below is the picture he sent us to represent his VHS collection (question #1):

Ultra-rare Norwegian dubbed edition of He-Man! From the glory days, indeed.

Espen’s answer to question #2: When I was 13 or 14, my friend’s father ran a video store. In the basement me my friend found a stack of movies his dad had rented out BEFORE censorship arrived. In addition to loads of porn, we found movies like Cannibal Holocaust and The Evil Dead. The following weeks turned into one long film festival, and probably imprinted me for life.

Espen’s answers to questions #3a-3c:

a: It’s called “the optiplacebic twin hand”. It tricks the brain into believing the third person in the photo isn’t there.

[jury’s note: clever enough. The real answer: Pyō / Hyō, or in English “Channel”. One of the mystic Kuji-In hand signs as interpreted by Steven K. Hayes in the book “Ninja Vol. II: Warrior Ways of Enlightenment”]

b: None. One of his doppelgangers did the time for him.

[jury’s note: here, the belief in the truth of the movie surpasses the truth of real life, where the answer would be just over 8 years]

 

c: 94 minutes. Because in the NTSC version, the graphic violence wouldn’t have been edited out by the censors. For example the scene where Treholt rips out the heart of the US ambassador.

[jury’s note: correct]

 

 

 

This competition is organized by Montages. The jury consists of the Montages editorial staff, plus Thomas Cappelen Malling and Eric Vogel. The winners will be announced no later than the end of February 2011. The prizes will be shipped with standard mail, and we can’t take responsibility for lost parcels. This VHS edition is PAL system, hence not playable on standard NTSC/SECAM equipment. Also, this edition is in the original Norwegian language and not subtitled. But it’s still cool. The competition is not open to employees of Tordenfilm, Euforia and Montages, or their families. If you worked on or with the film you aren’t eligible either. By submitting text and/or images to this competition you give Montages and Tordenfilm the right to publish them online.

Old School Distribution News

The Limited Edition VHS/Blu-Ray combo release is now available to order at Platekompaniet! Also in-store at most of their locations.

Below are some pictures from when we prepared the VHS tapes for distribution, i.e. we manually stuffed a Blu-Ray disc into each VHS box and added a numbered label. The total print run is 500 (minus the one in the last image below!)

Quite a special day at work.

International friends: sadly, Platekompaniet does not ship outside Norway. Your best bet is to recruit someone local to pick it up for you.

If you really, really need to get this and don’t know anyone in Norway, maybe you can leave a comment below to get in touch with someone? We’ve also gotten emails directly about this, but here at Tordenfilm we only have a few copies for cast and crew and none for sale unfortunately.

1:6 Action Figures Behind The Scenes

As you may have seen earlier, concept artist and illustrator Jaeger Art aka. John S. Jamtli has created some wonderful 1:6th scale Ninjatroppen Action Figures. They are the stars of his epic action figure commercial hommage, which is also part of the extra materials for our domestic DVD and Blu-Ray release. You can check it out below.

Isn’t it great?

The figures are a project that has been in progress for quite some time. Luckily for us, John carefully documented his work over at the One Sixth Warrior Forum.

So if you want to take a closer look at the figures in progress as well as the finished results (there are loads more pics!) stealthily direct yourself to this thread to see all the goodness!

Full details: Norwegian DVD, Blu-Ray…and VHS

Finally, here’s the lowdown on the previously teased DVD and Blu-Ray editions to be released here in Norway on January 12th! You can already pre-order at several outlets, including Platekompaniet, CDON, and DVDHuset.


Below you’ll find a complete rundown of the extra materials to expect. They are the same on both the DVD and the Blu-Ray.

DELETED SCENES
(with director and producer commentary tracks, in Norwegian)

Treholt & The King
You Stay Here!
A Peaceful Solution

BONUS SCENES

Wingsuits (the best of the raw footage)
Pyrotechnics (all the things we blew up for the movie)
Life on Grassy Island (a poetic look at the Ninja lifestyle)
Home Alone With Otto Meyer (an extra mini-scene from the bunker)
Action Figures (commercial ca. 1985, made by Jaeger Art)
Bloopers and Oddities (self-explanatory)

FEATURETTES

Interview (lead actor Mads Ousdal, writer/director Thomas Cappelen Malling, producer Eric Vogel)
Torpedo (the making of the underwater sequence)
Skycar (forced perspectives and model work)
Kielland (the making of the oil rig sequence)
Fight Choreography (all about the stunts and choreography)
Score (studio footage with composer Gaute Tønder and actor/musician Amund Maarud)

GALLERIES

Press Stills
Characters
From The Movie
Behind The Scenes
Graphic Design
Action Figures

PROMO MATERIALS

Music Video (for “Norwegian Ninja (Cosmic Disco Version)”)
Theatrical trailer
Teaser 1 (Torpedoes)
Teaser 2 (Easter Greeting)
Teaser 3 (Summer Greeting)
Teaser 4 (Stay Behind Warning)
TV spot 1 (10 sec)
TV spot 2 (15 sec)

COMMENTARY TRACKS (IN NORWEGIAN)

Commentary 1: writer/director Thomas Cappelen Malling, actor Henrik Horge, producer Eric Vogel
Commentary 2: DoP Trond Høines, VFX supervisor Ludvig Friberg, Colorist Christian Berg-Nielsen, Supervising Sound Editor Fredric Vogel

SUBTITLES (MAIN FEATURE ONLY)

Norwegian for the hearing impaired
Swedish
Danish
Finnish
English

ALSO:

Audio available in 5.1 and 2.0, plus there is a special audio description track (in Norwegian) for the seeing impaired and blind.
The DVD is PAL Region 2.
The Blu-Ray is Region B.

Here’s a taste of the extras, namely the wonderful Action Figures commercial made by Jaeger Art!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

As you may have deduced from that New Year’s greeting – yes, we’re releasing a Limited Edition Stereo Widescreen VHS!

This is of course the preferred home video alternative for this movie. But we recognize that some of you still prefer more modern formats, so we bundle each VHS with a Blu-Ray disc. This also means you don’t have to buy the movie twice.

So how do you get one? These puppies will be exclusively sold by Platekompaniet here in Norway. They are not listed at their website yet, but we’ll let you know once they are.

Again, check out the amazing alternate artwork for this thing! As always, graphic design by Alen Grujic and with photos by Ellen Ugelstad:

IN CLOSING

An important note for our international friends:

The description above is for the Norwegian home video release of the movie by Euforia Film and Paramount Home Entertainment, to be released on January 12.

As the movie gets released in other territories, the region codes, extras and subtitles will vary. Ultimately it will be up to the local distributor to decide the final content.

Rights have so far been sold for the Nordic countries, The UK, Canada, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We’ll let you know once release dates are set for these countries, as well as keep you posted on further countries that will see release, be it theatrically, on DVD/Blu-Ray or on VOD. Or even VHS.

Hm… the only thing we’re missing now is the Laserdisc…

Norwegian New Year Ninja

To everyone who supported us and made 2010 a great year – thank you!
The story continues in 2011…

Happy New Year from the Ninja Force headquarters.

Norwegian DVD/Blu-Ray sneak preview

Mads Ousdal as "Kommandør Arne Treholt". Photo by Trond Høines.

Between more festivals the film has screened at (/Slash Filmfestival in Vienna, the venerable and wonderful Sitges, the FNC in Montreal and AFI Fest in Los Angeles) and working on distribution, new blog posts have been a rarity ’round these parts. But rest assured there’s more to come!

In the past couple months we’ve been working on the DVD and Blu-Ray editions to be released here in Norway. The street date to mark in the calendar is January 12, 2011 (both as rental and to own).

Here at Ninja Force central we’re huge DVD extras nerds, so this thing will of course be EPIC. We’re stuffing the release with TONS of goodies. Since we’re still racing to complete a few items, we don’t want to blow the top secret list of contents until it’s final – but there will be plenty of deleted scenes, featurettes as well as bonus scenes – with some pretty wild, previously unseen footage. And of course commentary tracks (yes, that’s plural!), interview footage, brand new promo stuff (in addtion to what you’ve seen before) and … well… even more. Simply a LOT of stuff.

Here are sneak peeks from a small portion of what’s coming:

Deleted scene.

Bonus scene.

Bonus scene.

Deleted scene.

Featurette.

Featurette.

Featurette.

Note: We don’t have release dates for any foreign editions of the film yet, but as soon as we have them – know that we will post them!

Fantastic Fest 2010 Report

Writer/director Thomas and I have just returned from a fantastic festival experience.
This post is going to get long. Where to begin?

Maybe with a tantalizing flashforward to the end?

Vikings in Austin?! RRRRAAAAAAAaaawwwrrggghhhh! Photo by Eric Vogel.

Back to the beginning now, and some context. Held from September 22nd through 30th, this year’s Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas marked the international premiére of “Norwegian Ninja”.

Fantastic Fest is the most important genre film festival in the US, specializing in sci-fi, horror, fantasy and action. In addition to full days of programmed screenings, there are tons of special events to attend and sights to see. Like the yearly Fantastic Debates, the Fantastic Feud, plenty of madcap karaoke, excursions to shoot automatic weapons, Texan barbecue and well… many more actually.

The Commander has arrived at the Alamo Drafthouse. Photo by Eric Vogel.

What also needs to be said up front is that Fantastic Fest is organized by the same people who run the Alamo Drafthouse cinemas in Austin (and expanding to other US cities as you read this).

This is a cinema experience you may have been reading about on the internet since they premiered it in 1997 (like I have).

A cinephile’s dream, the Alamo means top notch projection and seating comfort, while being served drinks and food right there in the theatre while you watch the movie. It just works. And after you’ve tried this, the regular going-to-the-movies experience back home is simply not up to scratch anymore. Cinema owners of the world, take note! They’re doing things right over in Austin.

How it works: Every seat row has a table/benchtop running along it, and between each row there's room for a server to move. The orders are placed in writing, so no need to talk. Photo by Eric Vogel.

Our film screened in the section called AMD Dell Next Wave, together with 7 other feature films. The idea with this yearly program is to put the spotlight on new directors, from all over the world. With this year’s strong lineup it was an honor to be a part of Next Wave, and cool to meet a lot of the other filmmakers from the program as well.

The Alamo Drafthouse South, the main cinema of the festival. Photo by Eric Vogel.

The first screening of “Norwegian Ninja” was on Friday the 26th. The house was packed, as was expected. Almost all screenings throughout Fantastic Fest are completely sold out. Todd Brown from Twitch (who also works for our sales agent, Celluloid Nightmares) did an excellent intro, Thomas and I said hello from the stage – and off we went.

The first thing that happened was that some familiar but also very unexpected imagery flickered across the screen: the trailer for the first “American Ninja”! Dug up from a dusty vault to set the tone before our film. A clever bit of programming that had us in stitches!

The film itself played great. Big laughs, and we were relieved to see that many Norwegian bits of reference and our strange humor actually carried over. Of course, not all of it could. The archival clip where some famous Norwegian politicians sit around and say nothing in an especially awkard television moment doesn’t resonate unless you know who they are.

"Norwegian Ninja" Q&A, moderated by Todd Brown. Photo by Sveinung Golimo.

After the film: the Q&A. This is a ritual at most festivals, where after the credits have rolled a few hardy souls stick it out to ask the filmmakers some questions. We were happy to see that many stayed for it, and had good questions. A lot of it concerned the recent developments of the real-life Treholt case, and the mix of fact and fiction in the film. Quite interesting to see how the international (mainly US) audience read the film. It was a highly interested and competent audience for sure.

After the screening, we had a couple of days to simply enjoy the festival – see films, hang out and go to different events. Not to mention check out the city of Austin a little bit. Very cool!

By Monday night, all the films had been screened once each – and that meant it was awards time.

Award ceremony. That's Thomas on the far left, and actor Elijah Wood on the mic. Photo by Eric Vogel.

The ceremony itself was very funny, with a whole lot of beer chugging (it’s the festival’s hazing ritual – all winners must down a mug of Texan beer to prove themselves worthy), and although it doesn’t capture the mood quite right you can watch a stream of the whole ceremony online.

Thomas with the awards - only beer steins will do for a drafthouse.

We were quite surprised and of course extremely happy to win two awards in the Next Wave program, namely Best Director for Thomas and Best Actor for Mads Ousdal. Wow! It goes without saying that this felt extremely good, and that we celebrated quite hard that night.

But the fun wasn’t over yet. The following day it was time for our second screening. Again a packed house, and again a good reception. The Q&A was actually funnier this time, with even more people staying to ask questions and listen in.

There were also three other Norwegian films that screened this year in a special focus on Norwegian cinema – “Fatso“, “A Somewhat Gentle Man” and the brand new creature feature “Troll Hunter“, directed by André Øvredal. The latter was one of the festival’s four secret screenings, with the title kept under wraps right until the audience sat in their seats. It played really well! Got a lot of buzz afterwards too. Great play by the filmmakers to bring it to Austin a full month before its Norwegian premiére.

Troll Hunter secret screening. From left: moderator Todd Brown, director André Øvredal, producers John M. Jacobsen and Sveinung Golimo. Photo by Eric Vogel.

And after Troll Hunter screened, it was time for a viking party on a boat to celebrate the Norwegian focus of the festival. Although it’s questionable how authentic the viking gear they provided was (glowing horns, blow-up swords), we had a great time. And with that, we’re full circle with this post.

A mysterious "viking ninja" was spotted on the boat party (who knew the tradition went back that far?) and director Thomas. Photo by Hans Urbye.

It goes without saying that we are already longing to return for next year’s festival. And you should go too. Passes are already on sale. They’ll sell out quite soon – there’s a very dedicated audience for Fantastic Fest, and the way its run by the organizers – it has just the right size, great taste in programming and really knows how to take care of everyone who visits – the 2011 edition will surely be great as well. The experience was simply fantastic, with the festival and the people we met totally exceeding all expectations of coolness. Long live Fantastic Fest! Chaos reigns! (as they like to say)