×

Sundance helmer sees ads as an entrée

Bond uses commercials background to bring vitality to feature

In the world of Fredrik Bond, people are always moving — dancing, falling, running — through time and space, with energy and panache.

From his skillfully orchestrated ad spots for Adidas and Heineken to this year’s Super Bowl ad for Budweiser, the Swedish-born director has proven to be a master of the kinetic mini-movie. Now Bond has brought his distinctly lively vision to his feature directorial debut, “The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman,” which premieres at the Sundance Film Festival.

“It’s a wild ride, and that’s what was so fun about it,” Bond says of the film. “There are very few scripts I read where it’s a real bouncy, dynamic ride. That’s why I feel my commercials were a very good training ground for me.”

In the film, produced by Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa (“Little Miss Sunshine”) and backed by Voltage Pictures, Shia LaBeouf plays a young man traveling abroad who falls in love with a Romanian woman, and then finds himself ensnared in Bucharest’s underworld.

Popular on Variety

Bond studied filmmaking briefly at NYU’s School of Continuing Education, and got his start in the Swedish entertainment industry, working as an editor and creative assistant. Swedish actor-director Felix Herngren became his most valuable mentor. “One of the things I learned from him was to trust in other’s peoples skills,” says Bond, who now lives in Venice, Calif. “If you hire the right people, you can have a much better overview of the entire project and be more creative.”

Bond’s colleagues praise his creative vision and unifying spirit. “Fredrik is a generous collaborator who skillfully blends humor with distinct imagery and spontaneous energy,” Berger says.

Indeed, whatever form Bond’s next project takes, he says he wants to keep humanity and humor at the forefront, citing inspirations such as the films of Hal Ashby, Martin Scorsese’s “After Hours,” and Tony Bill’s 1980 comic drama “My Bodyguard.”

Bond has been attached to a number of high-profile FX-driven projects over the past few years, including a remake of the South Korean monster movie “The Host,” but he abandoned them for “Charlie.”

“I’ve never really been interested in making a movie just for the visuals,” Bond admits. “As soon as I don’t feel the human drama is coming through enough, or the heart isn’t there in a movie, I fall asleep.”

More Scene

  • 'Little America' Team on Creating Immigration

    'Little America' Team on Creating the Immigration Anthology Series for Apple TV Plus

    Respect and authenticity were the key words at the screening of the new Apple TV Plus series “Little America” on Thursday in Los Angeles. Produced by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon and inspired by true stories featured in Epic Magazine, “Little America” is an anthology series focused on immigration. For executive producer Sian Heder, [...]

  • 2018 Sundance Film Festival - Egyptian

    Sundance 2020: The Ultimate Party Guide

    Heading to Park City? From intimate dinners and cocktail parties to late night bashes (that end just in time to head to brunch), there’s plenty to keep this year’s film festival attendees out of the cold between screenings. Here is Variety’s ultimate party guide for Sundance 2020:  Thursday, Jan. 23 “Summertime” Premiere Party Lyft Lounge, 8-11 [...]

  • BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 21:

    Jenna Andrews Hosts Zhavia Ward, Lennon Stella at Jed Foundation Fundraiser

    Jenna Andrews, the Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer and executive, hosted a pre-Grammy event in partnership with The Jed Foundation at Alice and Olivia in West Hollywood on Tuesday.  The non-profit Jed is dedicated to protecting emotional health and preventing suicide. The foundation has partnered with high schools and colleges in order to “strengthen mental health, [...]

  • Coldplay - Chris Martin

    Grammys 2020: The Ultimate Party Guide

    Let the music play, indeed. The Grammys are just days away and dozens of parties are happening every night this week leading up to the big day, Sunday, Jan. 26. And the partying continues with several bashes following the ceremony. (All events listed are by invitation only unless marked otherwise; this list is being updated [...]

  • Jared Harris arrives at the 26th

    No, Jared Harris is Not Playing Doctor Octopus in Marvel's 'Morbius'

    The first-ever trailer for Marvel and Sony’s next Spider-man spinoff “Morbius” left comic book fans reeling with theories. While the plight of the main character, Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) – a scientist dying of a rare blood disease who accidentally turns himself into a vampire – seemed ripped right out of the comics, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content