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30th October 2013
Fight Club
Title of film: Ghost of a Smile
Director: Simon Bonde and Peder
Danish musician Peder used his anger as a creative force to write, star and co-direct with Simon Bonde this riveting film Ghost of a Smile

Is this the first time you two have collaborated together on a film project?

Peder: I met Simon in school when I was 15 and consider him my closest friend.
We started working together in 1995 on a radio comedy show, Gramsespektrum, which ended up a platinum-selling comedy cd.
We also collaborated as the music producer team “The Prunes” where we remixed the Beastie Boys a bunch of times and released a lot of records of our own, but this is the first time I’ve directed anything.

Simon: After The Prunes I stopped producing music to become a director, and this video was actually the first time in more than 10 years that we’ve done a project together.

Peder when you were creating the music were you always imagining rather violent visuals? How did the narrative come about?

Peder: The narrative came to me after the dudes that were suppose to do my video ditched me and after writing a simple version of the narrative I talked to Simon and he said “let’s do it”.
I think it was inspired by my love of contrasts, my divorce, my son and Health’s video, We are Water, by Eric Wareheim.

Simon: Because I know Peder so well, I knew the whole background to his song writing, and I knew why he wanted to do something so gruesome for this song. The task was to make a video that talked about the same issues as the song but in a completely different way.

Did you use stunt men too – hope so!

Peder: Yes we did, the masked man is Martin Kallesøe who coordinated the fight with Adam Brix and me. We rehearsed for seven days in a row. When we were done shooting my neck was history 🙂

Simon: Fight scenes are exhausting and difficult to pull off. I don’t know a lot of musicians who I’d trust to do this kind of thing but I knew Peder could act, and I knew he had so much anger inside him he’d go all in on this.

How did you cast the boy – did you always have someone like him in mind?

Peder: Actually we wanted to use my son for the part but we decided he was too young.
We liked Storm right away as he has that wise face with a lot of history. Even though we shot odd hours, he was a good sport and we had fun in between all the violence…
What were the major challenges of the production?

Peder: So many things actually. This was a super low budget production so we had to ask a lot of favors. Kasper Tuxen(cinematographer) and Adam Nielsen (editor) were quick to commit to the project so that helped a lot, and Simon brought in his production team from Uitchiscratch.
The story was another challenge, and we discussed it a lot. I am really into the more emotional based stuff that doesn’t have to make much sense, whereas Simon is a screenwriter who likes to turn every stone.
The fight scenes were yet another challenge. So many people have done this before and we were new and had no idea if it would work or not. Then there’s all the other stuff like the extras (who all miraculously were awesome), the location, the makeup, yada yada yada…

Simon: The cigarette breaks were also an unexpected challenge. We were shooting deep down in the basement of an old brewery, and the extras were constantly drifting off the set. It turned out they were all going upstairs to smoke, and since none of them were getting rich off this gig, we couldn’t really do much about it. But they did a brilliant job, and many of them just looked so perfect for what we wanted to do, partly to do with all the smoking, I guess…

Credits

Peder, Ghost of a Smile

Directed by: Simon Bonde & Peder

Cinematographer: Kasper Tuxen
Gaffer: Noah Lynnerup
Editors: Adam Nielsen & Jacob Schulsinger
Producer: Christian Thomsen / UitchIscratch
Production Coordinator: Tobias Vestergaard
Production Assistent: Søren Jepsen
Focus puller – Ivan Molina
DIT: Martin La Cour
Best boy – Kim Bech
Stylist: Pernille Holm
Make up: Gabriela Uweis
Stunt coordination: Martin Kallesøe & Adam Brix
Mask designer: Julia Lous
VFX: James Johnston, Simon Sandin, Jesper Rydland/ Chimney CPH
Post coordination: Nick Thye & Emma Engberg/ Chimney CPH
Grading: Sandra Klass
Sound Design: Morten Green
Casting: Christian Thomsen & Louise Løber Elligsøe