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2017: Recap

It's here! The end of 2017. I feel like it just started, but in the words of Damien Rice: and so it is.
2017 has been really interesting year. A year of growth and improvements, both personally and professionally.
In late January, Guðný and I did a music video with MIMRA for her song Play With Fire under the name Andvari.
The concept was to do a one-take backwards video where María learned the lyrics (backwards) and completely nailed it like a real champ!


In February we FINALLY released Elsku Stelpur // Dear Girls, a whole year from the shooting date since we had problems getting the licence to the songs. We didn't want to put it online and risk it being taken down so, a year went by with so many emails trying to get everything done correctly.
We had an event for the release and it was surreal, most of the girls actually hadn't met or seen much of each other since we shot the video so it was amazing to reunite and watch their faces seeing the fruits of their labor a year later.
We were really stressed they wouldn't like it but they in fact loved it!
So many happy and grateful tears and hugs that night!

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A day after the release-party of Elsku Stelpur it was announced that our first short-film, C-Vítamín, was selected for the Shortfish at Stockfish Film Festival in Reykjavík. We were selected as a part of 6 short-films that would compete for the price of 1.000.000 ISK for equipment rental at Kukl. And we WON!

 
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It was actually so unexpected to us that I didn't even go to the ceremony, I just got one of the most crazy phone calls I have gotten when Guðný called and told me we had won!
We were planning our next short film at that time so we were VERY happy!

I did my first and only (for now at least) underwater photoshoot, BAREFACED, it was stressful and amazing and I am very happy with it!

March rolled around and that means Reykjavík Fashion Festival is always right around the corner. I couldn't attend the festival itself since I was on a project called Hughrif, but I did a couple of behind the scenes shots for the RFF magazine that Birtingur made.

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I also did a short video-teaser for MYRKA

In March I got a phone call informing me one of my two cats, Armaní, at my parents house had died. He was 17 years old. A little over a month later his brother, Amor, died too.

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As April rolled around we were full speed prepping, testing and getting everything ready for shooting our second short film, and with it also being Guðnýs graduation film from film school, tensions ran high.
As usual we always have some problems right until the final second when everything just kinda works out. 

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The film is called Dagurinn sem baunirnar kláruðust or The day the beans ran out and it hasn't been released yet BUT it was selected as the best graduation film!

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At the same time Jón Atli was finishing his first year and I couldn't be more proud of him!
June rolled around and that just means one thing, Secret fucking Solstice, the festival was hella fun but I am pretty sure I have never worked or walked as much as I did during this years festival. I was working like 3 photographers and it shows when you look at their campaign, it's nearly all my photos.
I honestly haven't even put the folder up here on my website since I just got so tired of looking at the photos, I had enough haha.

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 pretty wasted during editing hours - haha!

pretty wasted during editing hours - haha!

I did a photoshoot with Sprey and had worked with some of my favorite girls!
The series can be found on the website under ALPAS. It was in print in Glamour Iceland magazine and online in Bast magazine.

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July started rough. We had one of our beloved rabbits, Lubbi, die. Being the third pet I lost this year. It's always hard to say good-bye to our little furry friends, even though when you get them, you always know you are gonna outlive them.
We had her for 3 years and held her while she drew her last breaths. I miss her deeply.

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July was very hectic though since we had, with almost no time to prep, invited people to our wedding!
I was getting a custom-made dress for me, and the designer was living and working in Denmark. We had one day to meet up early in July and she would be off to make it and ship it to me before the wedding. 
Thinking about it now it was really crazy, but everything worked out and I highly recommend Pale Mist
She even blogged about our little story!
I only realized now I never sent you any photos Særós, Sorry! <3

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The wedding was on the 19th of August and held outside. Jón Atli and I are true optimists at heart so we had no worries, it was mainly our parents that did the worrying but everything worked out perfectly, and I think we even got the last day of summer.
I am so grateful for all the people around us helping out, from the food to the dress to the makeup to the performing and photographing.
We wanted something small and intimate with our family and friends and that's what we got. A true bohem wedding of sorts.

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It's actually kind of funny that we didn't get legally married on the day, since we wanted to have Jón Atlis father do the ceremony itself on the day. So we got a priest to our house to legally do it a couple of days earlier with our friends as witnesses.
I, by accident, wore white and found it really funny when I realized it.

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After the wedding we flew away for the amazingly romantic city of Stockholm (not really romantic but really nice)
We stayed with Katrín and Sveinn and had such a good time. Can't wait to go there again!

When we arrived in Reykjavík after a sleepless flight, I jumped into another car and had a sleepless 10-hour car-ride to Flateyri to what's called Gamanmyndahátíð Flateyrar where they were showing C-Vítamín. It was a festival showing comedies and I felt it was VERY difficult to find life entertaining after such a messed up sleep-routine. I won't do that again, not on purpose at least.

C-Vítamín got the award "Almost funniest film" meaning "Second funniest film" or second place, which was fun!

 
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We decided we had done so much as Andvari that we would actually be able to put together an OK showreel, so we did.

In early October I got the news that the music video I did for Una Stef last year, I'm Yours, got into the Northern Wave Festival
We also got the news that C-Vítamín got into Leeds International Film Festival!

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It's funny, in a way, that I got the news about Una's video because we were full speed planning and working on making her a new video before Iceland Airwaves.
Guðný got the idea to have a old lady long to be free again, in a sense, and so became the video to Like Home.

 
 

The story behind the post-process of this video is a messy one. 
I went to Rif for the Northern Wave Festival while Guðný and our editor, Arnór, edited it down a bunch and did couple of different versions. We also have a project going on we're not revealing yet that kindaaaa had a deadline at the same time and also, we were going to Leeds!

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So! Superduper early in the morning when we were waiting in the terminal for our flight we were still editing and I had also started colouring a little bit. The main thing was that we were trying to get everything ready, export that would take 2 hours with only 40 mins of battery life and having to start exporting again when the export was at 80% and stopped. 
That + arriving in Manchester Airport and having misunderstood the time the bus left at and having to wait for 2 hours, editing, to be shouted at when we walk into the bus. It was a weird day.
And we had to find the house we would couch-surf at, and how to get there.
Adventure away!
But Leeds is a nice city and we stayed with and met some great people!

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Shortly after Lubbis passing we got another rabbit, a neutered male called Kalli. Lúlli and Kalli were NOT friends at first but took about a month and a half to warm up to each other fully and stop being aggressive.
Lúlli is still queen of everything and everyone so he just had to learn that.

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As for photoshoots later in the year, I mainly did two.
One is here on the website under SCARLET and the other are photos I did for Una Stef.

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What short films go, I shot 2 short films in November, which is kinda crazy.
One is a dark take on a Stephen King short story called Popsy and the other is a happy-go not-so-lucky story about a girl. 
The latter was an Andvari project and looking back; both sets have kind of funny story behind them.

 I know my jacket is filthy, not a word about it!

I know my jacket is filthy, not a word about it!

So, if we start with the dark short, it's important to mention that the film includes blood. Kind of a lot of it in the end, or at least during shooting. 
We did have permission for the location and had mentioned what type of film it was and there would be blood.
We shot during the nights and were wrapped around 5 AM (if I remember correctly) on the last day.
Well, the morning after we wrap the director gets a call from the police, asking him questions about the area and if he knows what's happened there. 
Elfar, the director tells the policeman that we had been shooting and did indeed have permission to be there and had told them there would be blood. So it happens the guy the director had talked to and gotten the permission was abroad and hadn't let anyone know or had forgotten how it would be.


The second film got off to a good start until the car we were using wouldn't start and we had to push it into all the shots where it was supposed to be driving (which is hilarious in and of itself).
But because of everything (weather, location, the car, the baby) we had to reschedule the last day and do some massive script changes.
I think the film turned out pretty funny and it's different than what we've done before.

We went north for Christmas and since the cat at Atlis parents house died just a week before our arrival (IKNOW) we were able to bring the rabbits with us for the first time!
They are happybuns but were probably as tired as I was after the long drive here.
We have spent Christmas chilling and meeting Jón Atlis family.
We actually went to a family gathering that had the theme of "Ugly Christmas sweaters" and both won 1st prize.
I make the ugliest Christmas sweaters, haha!

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Atlis family and I got him some new sound-gear for Christmas. As he's now freelancing I think it's important to invest in him!
He got a boom-pole, some cables and a microphone and we went to listen to the sea and record it, he with his mic and me with my camera.

Thank you ALL for everything in 2017 and I can't wait for 2018!

Lovelovelove!
Birta Rán

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