Commuting at the Speed of Light
High-speed broadband enables many jobs to be done remotely. Håkan Karlsson, a well-known editor and post production manager in the Swedish film industry was able to completely change his way of life by becoming a telecommuter.
A 20-year film-industry veteran, Karlsson has worked on movies starring such actors as Swedish veteran Peter Stormare. (You may remember Stormare as the doctor in the American movie Minority Report who transplants new eyes into Tom Cruise’s character, or as John Abruzzi from the American TV show Prison Break.)
Karlsson long dreamed of doing his job remotely. Two years ago, he finally decided to make it happen. Karlsson bought an old schoolhouse in Kilafors, a small town in the Fiber Optic Valley-region, and transformed it into a modern film-editing studio, where he is developing a brand-new technology for remote collaborative film editing in real time.
Karlsson’s work requires broadband speeds of at least 50 megabits per second, making access to high-speed broadband imperative.
The idea for the remote studio originated in the early 1990s during his editing of a film that was shot on the Swedish island of Gotland. As the rest of the team slept in tents on the beach after drinking beer around a campfire, Karlsson was holed up in a dingy film studio in Stockholm.
In all photos of film teams, no matter how tanned and happy most of the team looks, there will always be a pale dude in the back, namely the editor who never gets out.” he says.
Now Karlsson watches the weather change over the lake from his floor-to-ceiling windows. In the summer, when the light remains well into the night and his kids are off from school, Karlsson spends his mornings doing carpentry or taking the children swimming. During the afternoons and evenings, he focuses on his work. With his summer tan coming along nicely this year, his only worry is that his colleagues may not recognize him.
I have many colleagues and friends who say they’d love to live in the countryside if they didn’t have to abandon their career,” Karlsson says. “Here you can get a high quality of life at a lower cost and without the noise and distractions of big-city life; the workday is so much more efficient.”
To me, taking the rowboat out for some perch fishing at the end of the day is much more appealing than going for after-work beers in some big-city pub.”