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Fredrik Wikström • Producer

“My goal is to make a better trilogy than Millenium”

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Fredrik Wikström • Producer

Fredrik Wikström has been a producer at Tre Vänner since 2004. After making Daniel Wallentin's One Eye Red [+see also:
interview: Evin Ahmad
film profile
]
in 2007 he then started production on the Easy Money trilogy, directed by Daniel Espinosa. The first episode became the most successful film in Sweden last year, with 620,000 admissions. Cineuropa caught up with Wikström at the (The article continues below - Commercial information)

Cineuropa: Previously, you attended this workshop and now you are one of the experts. How was it to participate in EAVE on both sides of the “barricades”?
It’s fun because not many years passed in between. I came here only three or four years ago and I see some lectures with new eyes now that I’ve produced two feature films and have gained a lot of experience throughout the years.

A year ago, trailers and promos of Easy Money [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
were screened at the American Film Market. Now it’s the main case study of the EAVE Workshop. What has been the arc of the film and the reactions to it through its various stages?

It’s been incredible. For me as a producer it’s been a dream. A year ago I didn’t know whether the film was going to fail or succeed. What happened throughout 2010 is the best possible scenario. A year ago I would’ve never dreamed that this would happen. It’s always a good thing that a film turns out to be good. It would be easy now to say "Of course it was going to be a success!" but I didn’t feel that way a year ago. I was nervous and I didn’t know how well it was going to work. However, the film turned out to be very successful in every way possible and I hope it won’t be the highest achievement of my career.

Are you afraid of having overly high standards for future projects?
On the one hand, my first feature was not the best. I wouldn't say it was a flop, it did OK, but it didn’t work as well as we’d hoped and I didn’t get the results I wanted at all. I was very disappointed and I thought I had to do much better next time. Thus, the starting point was good, on my first film I had not been able to do what I wanted to do. On the other hand, now I might feel I could retire after this film or do even better... Both ways of thinking are wrong!

How did the successful Millenium trilogy affect the marketing strategy for your film?
The first Millenium film [The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Niels Arden Oplev
interview: Søren Stærmose
film profile
]
] premiered two months before we started shooting and when I saw it I felt it was going to be the film we would be compared with. However, it was too late to back out – we had finished our script, everything was in place, we had the financing, the whole team was ready, we got the green light. I also felt that it was like a reality check. Easy Money had to uphold the Millenium standards but our film was going to be very different. Although it’s also based on a book, it would have a different style, it would be more raw and realistic, with younger characters.

All in all I felt confident that nobody was going to say we tried to imitate Millenium – we were still doing our thing. Then their film was released during the post-production of our film and became such a success throughout the entire world. From that stage on global awareness on our film increased and both in Sweden and internationally it has been a great help, so I thank the producer of the Millenium films very much because their success has helped us.

You also intended to make a trilogy out of Easy Money (Snabba Cash).
We’ve been writing the second and third films for over a year. The second part will start principal photography this summer while the third part will be shot within a year. My goal now is to make a better trilogy than Millenium. The first Millenium is excellent but the second and the third parts are not. Our challenge is to close a strong trilogy.

Only three episodes?
A proper trilogy should be stopped at the third episode. When you start planning the fourth part you go beyond the limits. I don’t want to do that. The third film is going to have a definite end and everything will come to a conclusion.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

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