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Sundance: 'Charlie Countryman' Director Fredrik Bond Shares How 'Trainspotting' & 'The Graduate' Inspired His "Coming-Of-Age Spiritual Love Story"

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 18, 2013 at 12:56PM

How can you be a first-time filmmaker and a veteran all at the same time? Well, if you're director Fredrik Bond, it's easy. For the last decade or so, he's been an acclaimed, award-winning commercials director, picking up honors from the British Television Advertising Awards and being nominated twice for the Directors Guild of America’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials. He's been a globetrotter as well, growing up in Sweden, studying in New York, living in England and Los Angeles, and always working his passport for wherever the job would take him. But this week Bond arrives in Park City, ready to prove himself at the feature level with "The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman," and we had a chance to speak with him before the fest about the movie. The first thing he shared was how much he appreciated the Black List-ed script by Matt Drake ("Project X").
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"Trainspotting"
"Trainspotting"

Featuring a wild mix of romance, action and drama, and all powered by a solid soundtrack (more on that in a second) it's not exactly a surprise that many of the films that Bond has cherished over time share those elements. "I have a bunch of movies that I've loved for a long time, and they just kept coming back to me, for different aspects [of the film]. When I saw 'Trainspotting' for the first time, it blew my mind how unconventional it was in its storytelling, and how it could blend a lot of different characters, in a cinematic tree," Bond shared. "Definitely 'The Graduate,' in terms of this boy's journey in finding himself. And other movies like 'True Romance' and 'Pulp Fiction' and even one of my early favorites, 'The World According To Garp,' was one film that always hovering somewhere. And also 'After Hours' was a big favorite film of mine as a kid. And another film that I just love is 'A Swedish Love Story' by Roy Andersson. All these movies that I love, in one way or the other, kept [coming up] through the process of the film."

But of course, everything changes once you get on set and you're in the mix of shooting. And that was true for Bond who told us the influences that might have been present before gave way to working in and adapting to the immediacy of the moment. "That was pretty much before we got Bucharest," he said of the movies he mentioned. "When we got Bucharest on location, all that sort of falls to the side, and the locations, the local actors, our main actors, the city in itself, just guided us in what the flavor would be."

And helping to set that flavor is the music of the film, which features a score by Dead Mono and Christophe Beck and songs by The xx, M83 and Moby (who Bond directed the "Body Rock" video for), and the latter in particular really became involved to try and help get the right sound for the movie. "I was playing some stuff on set that Moby had done. As we were shooting, I had Moby send me some stuff that I should listen to. It was definitely an inspiration through the process," he said.

"He was really generous, he made an amazing gesture. He's a very open and generous guy, and he basically opened his library for me," Bond continued. "A bunch of stuff, sketches and things he had done over the years, and he tried some stuff as we were shooting. It was an incredible experience. I would be shooting through the day and at night and I would come back home and in my inbox I would find three tracks from Moby. It was quite extraordinary."

All told, it sounds like everything worked out well for his first feature, and Bond is certainly excited to finally get it out there. "The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman" doesn't yet have distribution lined up yet. The film will premiere on Monday, January 21st.

This article is related to: Charlie Countryman, Fredrik Bond, Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Moby, Sundance Film Festival, Interviews


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