Icelandic Filmmakers

Winner of the 2014 Hlustendaverðlaunin (Listener's Choice Awards) in Reykjavík, Iceland. 3.22.14

From filmmaker Bowen Staines (Sólstafir, ‘Fjara’, The Vintage Caravan, ‘Expand Your Mind’), comes a brand new project for Iceland’s chart-topping Norse metal giants, Skálmöld. The video is for the song, ‘Gleipnir’, off Skálmöld’s acclaimed sophomore album, BÖRN LOKA.

The video was produced & filmed in Iceland between November 2012 and March 2013, and condenses the entire concept of BÖRN LOKA. ‘Gleipnir’ tells the story of the peasant Hilmar Baldursson & his sister, Brynhildur, his compact with the great Óðinn and deceiver Loki, and his encounters with Loki’s terrible children. The story results in grief and betrayal, causing Hilmar to sacrifice the soul of his beloved little sister.

The lead role of Hilmar Baldursson was happily given to local sound designer, and close friend of the band, Garðar Þór Eiðsson. However, due in part to a lack of communication on my end, Garðar showed up on the first day of filming thinking he was an extra – not the star of a multi-month production. He was quoted at the time, saying, “So... we’re all done after today, right?!” Thankfully, Garðar went above and beyond in every possible way, arriving to set each day anxious to don his authentic Viking wardrobe and make the role of Hilmar Baldursson all his own.

I would very much like to take this opportunity to recognize the hard work of Fönn Harðardóttir, the wonderful little eight-year old who plays Hilmar’s younger sister, Brynhildur Baldursdóttir. Rarely have I witnissed the level of patience and enthusiasm that Fönn showed us each day - I would not hesitate in saying that her role was, by far, the most difficult and physically taxing. Here’s to Fönn, the brave and unwearied eight-year old, who repeatedly stood in the middle of driving snowstorms, wearing a thin dress and no shoes, covered head to toe in bloody pig intestines – all without complaining once. You are one brave kid.

The most interesting day of shooting came with the arrival of Jóhann Helgi Hlöðversson, and his accomplice, Byko the raven. 5 o’clock in the morning rolls around, and we get a knock on our door: it’s Jóhann and Byko, who drove all the way from their home on the south coast of Iceland at the crack of dawn to be a part of our shoot that day. We are introduced, and Byko begins flapping around the apartment, pecking at bare feet, and eventually coming to rest atop a nearby computer, where he proceeds to rip several keys off the keyboard, AND log himself into Facebook. Honestly.

There are so many people I need to thank, who generously lent us their time and hard work to make this video possible. To our amazing stylist, Margrét Björnsdóttir – without your hard work and incredible enthusiasm, this video NEVER would’ve happened! To our producer, Kristinn Sævar Thorarensen – thank you for approaching me about this project, and for always trusting me so completely. To Loki and his children – Sigurður Ingi Bjarnason, Edda Tegeder, Björn Jónsson, and Halli Hansen - thank you for contributing your time, love, and unique personalities to your respective characters. To the fine gentlemen in Skálmöld – it’s been a great experience working with you on this, thank you for trusting me to tell your story – let’s do a Part 2 soon! And lastly, to all the fans and anyone who contributed to this video in any way, no matter how small or large – TAKK FYRIR OKKUR!!

-Bowen Staines, Director

PRODUCTION DETAILS (Full cast & crew listing at end of video)

Presented by DON'T PANIC FILMS (
Directed, Shot, & Edited by BOWEN STAINES
Starring Garðar Þór Eiðsson & Fönn Harðardóttir



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