On the surface, writer-director Andrew Bujalski’s “Results,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival back in January, is a romantic comedy centered on the relationships among a group of characters operating in and around the fitness industry.
What makes the film standout, however, is the fact that music is literally written into its DNA. “I wrote the script with Kevin [Corrigan] in mind,” Bujalski told Indiewire during a recent phone interview, “and I knew that he was a musician as well, so certainly, that made a lot of sense to me.”
Although Corrigan is best known as an actor, he’s also a serious musician — currently playing bass guitar for a band called Crystal Robots. This interest in music is shared by Danny, the character Corrigan plays in Bujalski’s “Results,” a wealthy, recently divorced, middle-aged oddball with a particular fondness for weed and guitars. Outside the narrative of the film, the guitars created a unique environment on the set.
Noted Bujalski: “The days we were shooting in there [Danny’s mansion] it felt like
working in a Guitar Center because every time I would turn around Kevin
or Guy or Giovanni Ribisi would have picked up one of the guitars and
would be jamming on it. It was constant guitar noodling in that house,
but it was great fun…It was
great to have that spirit in the room.”
The energy culminates onscreen with the live musical performances that take place in two separate scenes. “Results” is not the first time Bujalski has incorporated live musical elements into a film. In fact, he’s done it twice before. “It’s always my favorite day on set,” he told us. The two live performances in “Results,” are done by the Austin-based singer-songwriter Elizabeth McQueen and the track heard in the film is what was recorded live on the day of the shoot, not a pre-recorded track. Said Bujalski: “I thought it was going to be so much more organic and feel so much more right if we could just do it live.”
Even before hearing these behind-the-scenes stories, it was clear to us that sound played a huge role in not only the final execution of “Results,” but also its initial conception; which is why we asked Bujalski to curate a playlist of tracks from the film, along with jams from here and there that inspired him along the way.
You can check out the playlist below and subscribe to it on Spotify. We’ve also included some tracks that aren’t available on Spotify as “b-sides.” If you keep scrolling, you’ll find a third section called “Six Songs and the Stories Behind Them,” which examines six of Bujalski’s selections through their respective back stories.
The following tracks are used in the film: “Starlight,” “Think Feel,” “Storm,” “Show My Ass,” “Six Months in a Leaky Boat” and “Surrender.” In the case of “Love Isn’t Like That” and “You’re to Blame,” the film uses live recordings of Elizabeth McQueen’s performances on the set.
Kevin Corrigan’s band, the Crystal Robots, performing their song, “All the Buttons”
“Phantom Power” by Mike Jourgensen
Yet another “Rocky” classic — “Butkus” — because there is no such thing as “enough” when it comes to Stallone and “Rocky”
Donn and the Station Masters performing a cover of “Proud Mary,” live in Austin back in 2012
SIX SONGS AND THE STORIES BEHIND THEM
Bujalski is a big fan of Escort, a Brooklyn-based disco ensemble led by his friend Eugene Cho. He loves them so much that he actually licensed the same track for his third feature film, “Beeswax,” back in 2008. When he sat down to cut “Results,” Bujalski said that “[“Starlight”] was the first thing we tried slotting in there and then just never looked back [because] it worked so well.” He admitted that he hesitated at the thought of putting the same song in two different movies. But then, he though to himself, “why the hell not.”
“‘Rocky’ runs pretty deep for me, just from childhood; and it does with Corrigan as well,” Bujalski mused. “At one point, years ago, after we first met, we were slightly seriously talking about trying to mount a one-man show of ‘Rocky II,’ in which Kevin would perform all the roles.” Eventually, Bujalski and Corrigan gave up on the idea. “But,” he said, “I think some of that same energy got channeled into this movie.”
This track from McCartney’s debut solo album functioned as a placeholder and reference point for the kind of sound Bujalski wanted from the original score that Bishop Allen frontman Justin Rice composed for the classic montage sequence that takes place midway through the film.
Guy Pearce put out his debut album a few months after “Results” wrapped and missed the film’s Sundance premiere because he was on tour. Based on our conversation with Bujalski, however, the timing of Pearce’s musical pursuits ended up a blessing in disguise for the film. After a great deal of trial-and-error, Bujalski ended up using “Storm,” a track from Pearce’s album, during the pivotal dinner scene between Danny and his ex-wife. “We played with a couple different things and then at some point it occurred to me [that] we should try Guy’s song,” Bujalski told us. “It felt great and Guy was very gracious about letting us use it and on some cosmic level I like the idea that after all this time that Guy’s character has been training Kevin’s character, that Guy is somehow with him there in the room.”
Bujalski had a tough time deciding what kind of track should play through the earbuds worn by Cobie Smulders’ character, Kat, while she is out on a run. “I knew the feel that I wanted and I knew the kind of aggression I needed from the music, but it was not obvious, especially given our budget, what I would be able to slot in,” he said. “And,” Bujalski admitted, “[it’s] not necessarily a genre of music that I’ve got a thousand songs of on my iPod that I could scroll through and pick and choose.” The decision to use “Show My Ass,” came from a suggestion made by Bujalski’s wife, who is a big fan of Dominique Young Unique’s music.