Linda May Kallestein - Writer - Filmmaker - Speaker - Journalist - Storyteller

Search
  • Linda May Kallestein

Atlantic Crossing - Now in Production

Updated: Nov 8, 2019



Six years ago to this day, I landed back in Oslo after spending a week in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in upstate New York. I combed this and many other archives to find anything and everything I could about the President's relationship to the Norwegian Royal Family. - Crown Princess Märtha, in particular.

Production company Cinenord had recently started developing what later morphed into an 8 hour long drama series inspired by the amazing true story of this unlikely relationship which had an impact on world events.

My co-writer and director of the series, Alexander Eik, had already spent several months on the project when I came aboard.

Alexander and I carved out a vision almost seven years ago. We simply realized that we struck gold. The story of the princess and the president who became kindred spirits as a war spread like wildfire across the entire planet was almost too good to be true. Yet it was. Once again, a true story proved to surpass fiction. So we kept digging in archives, reading books and newspaper articles, interviewing people - in short, anything and everything we could get our hands on related to the people who would be the characters of our series.

And so we started plotting and writing. And rewriting and replotting. And then there was even more writing. More plotting. At some point, the plot and structure were firmly in place. But the writing didn't stop there. We're still rewriting, and we'll continue to write until that very final "...and cut!" is called out.

It's been a long time coming. There were many, many times when it seemed as if our vision would remain one of the many creative "could've beens". But sometimes being stubborn can pay off. We kept trudging on, even while working on various other projects. Traction slowly crept up on us. Others caught glimpses of our vision. People became intrigued. At some point broadcasters and distributors sat up and took notice. And then things really picked up.

I can't explain the past years it in any other way than a creative frenzy. One moment I was drowning in constant rewrites, the next I was on set in Prague for the first day of shooting.

December 3, 2018 was one of those days that forever will be etched in my mind. I think I'll always be able to recall just about every single minute of that amazing day. Everything about it blew me away. The set - a reconstruction of the Oval Office and other rooms in the White House down to the smallest detail. The crew - professionals focused on bringing this story to life. The cast - among them Sofia Helin (known from "Broen"/"The Bridge") and Kyle MacLachlan ("Twin Peaks" and "Sex in the City") as Crown Princess Märtha and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. And the others, who I am not yet at liberty to disclose who are. All I can say is that hanging around them for a week, on and off set, was great fun.

My week in Prague was unforgettable. I wanted to stay on longer but since the shooting will continue for about another six months, I'll have other opportunities to visit again. I'm looking forward to joining the cast and crew on other locations and sets.

It's hard to express what I'm feeling these days about the press attention and seeing the story Alexander and I have lived with for almost seven years now coming to life. But if I try to put into words what I feel now while writing this, the closest I can say is:

Stunned.

Amazed.

Excited.

Humbled.

And perhaps above all:

Grateful.


32 views