Renny Harlin

Renny Harlin
Renny Harlin
  • Born: March 15, 1959
  • Nationality: Finnish
  • Profession: Director, Producer, Screenwriter

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A government institution called the Finnish Film Foundation funds filmmaking there, and I wrote several screenplays but never got any money. They were sent back to me, and they said that they were too commercial for them. Government ;Money, Coins & Minting
Actually, it was first a movie called Gale Force, which was a hurricane movie. That script never came together, and then the same deal was replaced with Cliffhanger.
At that point, the movie was called Wild Force. Everything fell apart, eventually - our financing completely fell apart - and we were never able to make that film.
Eventually I did that, but it took a lot of twists and turns, and there were a year or two there where I was living with no money at all - no home, no car, no nothing. I was living in somebody's garage in Los Angeles at that point - for a year. Money, Coins & Minting
Eventually, in '84, we made a film for a little over a million dollars - with American actors that was shot in English - that was shown in Finland A little action film called Born American.
Ford Fairlane was one of those movies that was so much fun to make that it was bound not to be a big hit. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I became a real Shell Motor Oil expert, and I did this 25-minute film. It turned out really well and, as a result, they offered me more work and lots of commercials to direct. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I decided that, somehow, I had to get out of there and go to Hollywood. I had never been to America.
I did some film reviews for small papers in Finland and things like that to be able to keep living here.
I learned a lot about how to shoot and how to put together sequences.
I loved cutting together simple commercials about margarine or soft drinks - all kinds of silly products - but I tried to make the commercials different.
I loved movies and went to see every movie I could in Finland. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I think the reason why we were able to actually get it made was that we were so extremely naive - we had no experience at all here. We didn't even know that you were supposed to have an agent. We didn't even have a lawyer. We didn't know one soul.
I was making films when I was about 12 years old - Super-8 films.
I went out to some advertising agencies and asked if I could do anything.
In Finland, getting a university degree is the first thing that you expect your kids to do.
It proved to be pretty impossible to get funds for a feature film in Finland. It's still small, but the film industry was miniscule at that point in the early '80s.
I've continued to always keep in mind having a healthy does of that in Hollywood, now that I am part of the system and obviously have to follow the way the system works - you still have to have that crazy determination.
My very, very first professional job was when I was 19 years old - I got a job doing an educational industrial film on Shell Motor Oil's oil products. I really put my heart into it - I wrote a script for it, I did a lot of research.
Several times we were stranded in strange places without any money and with our credit cards cancelled - trapped in a hotel that we couldn't check out of because we had no money to check out. Money, Coins & Minting
There were a lot of people dreaming about making films, and they would finance maybe 6 films a year. Because they were funded by the government, the films sort-of had to deal with serious social issues - and, as a result, nobody went to see those films. Government ;Business, Commerce & Finance
This was in '79. I got pretty restless there, sitting around with a lot of people sitting around smoking cigarettes and talking about films, but nobody really doing anything.
What I learned most was how to tell a story in 15 seconds or 30 seconds or 60 seconds - to have some kind of goal of what to try to do and make it happen in that time. Time
You just never give up, no matter how hard the challenges are, and observe this world with a healthy dose of criticism and don't just follow the herd like somebody else might do.
You want to do something that shows some type individuality and talent and imagination - at the same time, you want to be truthful to the predecessors, because obviously the audience liked something about them and you have to replicate that experience to a certain extent. Time

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