A few months ago I got a phone call from my dad who was a bit more excited than usual.
– “I am starting a TV-Channel,” he told me, “Just like you guys and 2Famous.TV! It’s an extreme sports channel on cable called FatStone!”
Oh my god, my dad is just too cool, I thought.
Basically, my dad, Even, has been keeping up with 2Famous.TV and acknowledged how cost effective it is to run a TV-Channel, so he teamed up with his childhood buddy, entrepreneur and extreme sport guru Kjell Vagle to establish Fatstone.TV.
It is the first new TV channel to hit Norwegian television in 6 years, and they will focus on extreme sports such as snowboarding, skiing, surfing, skating, and their accompanying lifestyles. They will also feature a lot of user generated content making it possible for anyone to send in their videos to Fatstone.TV. If you want to get famous in Scandinavia, you should check it out!The story of my dad is pretty cool, since our age difference is so little compared to traditional parents and children, we’ve always been close. His energy and youthfulness always played well against mine. Like when when we travelled around Africa or New York he’d introduce us as brothers. Or the time when I was 12 and my friend Yngvar came over to watch an action movie with us, my dad got so excited showing his moves like he was down with the kids after the movie that he accidentally punched Yngvar in the face! Don’t worry, Yngvar is now the CEO of one of my dad’s companies.
My dad was 19 when I was born and already too cool for school to stick it out. I can hardly remember how old I was when he took over my granddads dying printing press business in the North of Norway with a loyal co-worker who helped keep the whole thing alive. My dad was only in his early 20’s, without much experience when his friend started his own venture and my dad had to start something else. I was six years old at the time. So, he decided to run his own local newspaper, Lofot-Tidende, which was actually a relaunch of a newspaper my mum’s dad started in the 50’s. The fact that my dad owned the local newspaper didnt instantly make me famous in the local comunity. When I was around 10 I found a missile on the beach and expected to at least get my name mentioned, but to preserve the integrity of the newspaper, they only wrote: “a boy”. At this point it seemed impossible to become famous in Lofoten and I realized i might have to go somewhere else to get that done.Although my dad was a “Newspaperman,” I never really knew what his job actually was, since he wasn’t the classic Reporter or Editor. But he was on the phone a lot and when I asked for a printer for school, he just called the computer shop and told them he wanted interest on the money they owed him, so “The Kid” (Me) was gonna come pick up a printer, OK? In retrospect it is easy to see that he was working more on the business part of the Newspaper.
And I started to work for him selling newspaper subscriptions during the holidays. In High School I got punched in the face by a fisherman, who later said he did it because I was a ‘Fucking Journalist’s Son.’ Needless to say, the fist hurt more than his words. Especially because my dad was the CEO and not even a journalist. Lofot-Tidende became one of the most awarded local newspapers in Norway and my dad sold it in the end of the 90’s. With new owners i almost imediately made it to the front page. Once becouse i got a ride, and once becouse I became famous in Lebanon. My dad still dabbles with local old school printed newspapers in Norway.
At university, I went into Journalism and Documentary, never thinking this was my Newspaperman family background pre-determined destiny. Ultimately, my dad must have had something to do with it, I mean one of the first documentaries I ever made was an Explorer movie where he and and I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro while everyone else who attempted it with us failed. The male bonding really peaked when only the two of us made it to the top of Africa’s highest mountain. I think it was in the middle of that freezing snowstorm at the peak when my dad got his first introduction to extreme sports filmmaking.
Later I moved on to making more Adventure / Explorer documentaries where my friend Espen Aarsvold I and hitchhiked from Norway to China and from Norway to South Africa, starting with no money at all. The movies won awards and I was invited to give a talk at the world-renowned and respected Explorers Club in New York, and who else to bring along than my dad. At the time I had no idea I would later inspire him to get into Extreme Sport Television.
– “It’s been 25 years since I started my first Newspaper, so it’s only natural that I should get my own TV channel too”, he told me a few weeks before the launch of FatStone. Congrats Dad! You are too cool for school!
While that sounds like a credible reason, one of my sisters (who wants to remain anonymous) has leaked the information that launching an extreme sports channel on Norwegian TV is a trick on my dad’s part to make me move back to Norway!
Here is one of many extreme sport videos I have made that might have inspired him:
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