×

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.

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

  • David Crosby

    David Crosby Says New Documentary 'Remember My Name' Is Like 'Being Naked in Public’

    “It’s not easy. It’s hard being naked in public,” David Crosby, the legendary troubadour of classic rock, reflected at Tuesday night’s New York City premiere of “David Crosby: Remember My Name.” “I don’t know what to do here. There’s no guitars, no drums,” he laughed. Directed by newcomer A.J. Eaton and produced by the legendary [...]

  • The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con

    The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con Parties and Activations

    Hollywood is heading down the California coast to San Diego because It’s time for 2019 Comic-Con International. The annual cosplay celebration officially kicks off tomorrow, July 18, with a preview happening tonight. Here, Variety gives you a guide to this year’s parties and activations. Make sure to check back for updates. Wednesday, July 17Amazon Prime [...]

  • Sir Elton John, David Furnish. Sir

    New Elton John AIDS Foundation Gala to be Held in the South of France

    Elton John and David Furnish are launching a new gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The two will host the inaugural A Midsummer Party benefit on July 24 in the south of France at the Johnny Pigozzi’s private estate, Villa Dorane, in Cap d’Antibes. A cocktail reception will be followed by dinner, a live [...]

  • Dwayne Johnson Idris Elba

    Dwayne Johnson: Idris Elba Nixed 'Black James Bond' Joke in 'Hobbs & Shaw'

    In the “Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw,” the movie’s villain Brixton, played by Idris Elba, spreads his arms out wide and declares “I’m black Superman.” It turns out that might not have been the original line. Dwayne Johnson tells Variety that Elba was first asked to proclaim he’s “black James Bond,” but the [...]

  • Matteo BocelliAmerican Icon Awards Gala, Inside,

    Top Music Manager Calls Out American Icon Awards for Failing to Pay Talent

    The centuries-old adage no good deed goes unpunished is a common refrain for star music manager Scott Rodger of late. Rodger, who represents Paul McCartney and Andrea Bocelli at Maverick, says his client Matteo Bocelli, the son of the opera star, was stiffed out of promised expense reimbursement by the American Icon Awards. The event, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content