Mats-Ola Pålsson and Lars Gahlin are so enthusiastic about 007 they decided to make a new feature-length Bond film of their own, despite having no budget and no experience. The result? About as brilliant as you would expect.
“We always liked Bond and grew up with Connery and Moore, but we thought the recent films were missing that special Bond feeling,” producer and director Gahlin told The Local.
“So as a joke I said: someone should make the last ‘real’ Bond film.”
It’s one thing to say you’re going to make a movie, and another thing entirely to do it, but the next day Gahlin and Pålsson followed up on their idea by sitting down with a piece of paper and starting to write a story.
A year later they had a script, and despite never having worked with films before, they decided to get 'Black Light' made.
“Could someone make a feature-length film with people who had never been in front of a camera before and with zero kronor in the budget, we asked? We started to speak to people we knew were into films, and then a friend loaned us camera equipment and we put a team together.”
From the start it was decided that the film would be made available for free when it was finished, so the two amateur directors relied on any contributors to the project doing so without expecting remuneration.
Fortunately, Sweden has hordes of Bond enthusiasts who wanted nothing more than to play a part in creating a unique new chapter in the spy’s story. Bond himself is played by Anders Cöster, a 57-year-old teacher from Landskrona in southern Sweden.
“It’s a pure enthusiast’s film. The team grew from just us two to several hundred people. People from all over the country got in touch and wanted to take part,” Gahlin said.
“Businesses loaned out locations, people with cars and boats got in touch and wanted to help. Making people who had never been in front of a camera before into actors was one of the biggest challenges, but the majority outdid themselves and and the result is much better than we expected.”
A familiar looking car scene for Bond enthusiasts. Photo: Mats-Ola Pålsson/Lars Gahlin
Like a true Bond movie, the film takes in several locations, featuring glamorous destinations like New York, London, and… Markaryd, southern Sweden.
“It starts out in New York, then goes to London and Denmark before ending in Sweden in our little community,” Gahlin revealed.
“When Bond checks into the Markaryd hotel he’s checked in by Sandra, who owns it in real life. When he needs to hire a boat, he does it from the local kiosk owner Pedda, who plays himself. It’s a little bit of art imitating life, or something like that.”
And just as any self-respecting director would, Gahlin and Pålsson make cameos in the film. Not to mention several other appearances, out of pure necessity.
“We directed, produced and were occasional edit assistants. We even acted occasionally when we needed someone. We played waiters, stunt-men for Bond, staff at MI6, and even ourselves,” the Swede said.
“There’s a scene where Bond walks into a bar and orders a vodka martini. He sits down at the bar, and me and Mats-Ola are sitting there too, drinking a beer.”
After four years of hard labour, Black Light is finally in the post-production and editing stage. While a premiere date still hasn’t been set, the producers say they hope to have the film ready by December. The perfect Christmas present for old school Bond enthusiasts.
Find out more about Black Light on the film's Facebook page here.