Börkur Sigþórsson minnist Evu Maríu Daníels

Börkur Sigþórsson leikstjóri kveður vinkonu sína Evu Maríu Daníels framleiðanda með þessum texta á Facebook síðu sinni, sem birtist hér með góðfúslegu leyfi.

Börkur skrifar:

Today would have been my friend Eva María Daniels’ 44th birthday. She passed away last week in London after a long battle with cancer.

Eva was one of Iceland’s most accomplished filmmakers and if cancer hadn’t struck her down in her prime, there would have been no limit to her potential.

She was a champion of other filmmakers from the very start of her career (later in life she championed artists in other fields) and that generosity came to define her incredible professional success.

In the early 2000’s we were all still shooting on film. On top of the raw film costs, this was an extortionately expensive process that required developing, scanning and colour-grading, none of which could be done in Iceland.

At the time, Eva was in her first job at an established post production facility in London after finishing film school in Denmark. And she came up with a brilliant idea. She contacted most of the producers and directors working in Iceland and offered a deal. By bundling us together she’d be able to offer an affordable rate for the fledgling industry and at the same time bring a sizeable chunk of work to the company she was working for. Most of the Icelandic industry swiftly signed up.

However, once she had brought all this new business to the company she worked for, they promptly terminated her contract. Probably thinking: we have her clients, who needs her?!

That didn’t turn out well for them. Eva was immediately snatched up by the biggest player in the game at the time, The Mill, and after a handful of phone calls, every one of the Icelandic clients had followed her without question. Her old employer went bust shortly after.

We were now with Eva at The Mill. Suddenly, a random commercial for an Icelandic telecom company was being colour-graded by the guy who’d won an Oscar for Gladiator while the director or producer (often both) got to smear wasabi on the leather couch as they ate their sushi lunches, slightly tipsy from all the free alcohol on offer. The grade became the best part of the entire production process and we all trembled in anticipation of attending our sessions. Icelandic commercials, music videos, short films and under-funded features were treated like Audi commercials and Oasis videos at The Mill. Eva María made us all feel like royalty.

This became her style. She developed relationships with international filmmakers, offered opportunities for those whose talent she recognised but often lacked the means (and access to sushi), and became an enabler and supporter of countless filmmakers who went on to become hugely successful.

After nearly a decade in post production and having reached the pinnacle of her field with Company 3 in Los Angeles, Eva set up her own production company in 2010. She went on to develop and produce such films as The Romantics, Goats, What Maisie Knew, The Dinner, Hold The Dark… I could go on but Eva would have punched me by now because she didn’t seek exposure or wider recognition for her work unless it had a hard, practical application. And she was never vain. I learned that lesson early in our friendship when I once (and only once) really pissed Eva off…

This was back in either 2004 or 2005 and we were out having drinks with some random industry people in London Soho, including some of her colleagues from The Mill. At that point she was by far the youngest producer at the company and one of its most successful. She had built a formidable roster of international clients and by now she carried real clout. I said something I can’t remember but which gave away her age – she was in her mid twenties at the time – and she quickly pulled me to the side and said „Börkur! You can’t do that. My colleagues are all in their forties. They mustn’t know how young I am!“

…only Eva would tell me off for revealing how young she was.

Eva died on the same terms as she lived. She played her cards close to her chest. She didn’t seek recognition when she had success. She didn’t seek pity when she suffered. I will miss her friendship greatly, but mostly I will miss seeing what she would have done next.

To the many who loved her I offer my sincere condolences.

Hvíl í friði elsku vinkona. B

Klapptré er sjálfstæður miðill sem birtir fréttir, viðhorf, gagnrýni og tölulegar upplýsingar um íslenska kvikmynda- og sjónvarpsbransann. Ritstjóri er Ásgrímur Sverrisson.