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Raiders of the Lost Ark
 
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Raiders of the Lost Ark

5. LA ROCHELLE, FRANCE


 
 
 

Frank Marshall (Produer): When I was doing The Warriors, Walter Hill was offered a book called The Boat about a German submarine. So I read the book, too. And I said to Bavaria Studios, the German studio that wanted to make the movie, "Where are you going to get this submarine?" And they said, "We're building it" Walter turned the movie down and we sort of forgot about it, and then their movie got cancelled. Then, when we had decided to go with the submarine in Raiders, I called Bavaria Studios and said, "We're look ing for a submarine; can you send us some pictures?" And it was perfect. Because the German movie was cancelled, they'd never had the submarine out on the ocean or shot with it. So we were the guinea pigs; we found out the things we could and couldn't do with it.

Robert Watts (Associate Producer): They had constructed a submarine in Bavaria Studios and then shipped it and assembled it in La Rochelle, France. So we had to go to La Rochelle to shoot the submarine because it couldn't be moved anywhere else. We decided to shoot the interior of a World War II submarine in La Rochelle. That required some construction because we had to make it look like a cave entrance. Ultimately the La Rochelle location was set up in about four or five days because we never had any more time. On June 23rd, the unit assembled in La Rochelle and we started to shoot. We shot there for a week. We were very, very lucky to finish because we were shooting out at sea with a submarine and also an old freighter that had been converted in England to look like a 1930s tramp steamer.

Frank Marshall (Producer): When Steven arrived in La Rochelle in France, he got up to the passport man in customs, kind of a chubby Frenchman. And the guy looked at Steven's passport, got real excited and started jumping up and down. He shouted, "Steven Spielberg. Steven Spielberg. Jaws of the third kind!"

You've got to show people things that they don't have an opportunity to see. That's what makes a movie exciting. People don't ordinarily see a big German submarine out there on the ocean. It may be extremely difficult to do that sort of thing, but you have to try because real things always look better. You get away with models only when you have to. If it works out that you can't have the real thing, then you try to fake it.

Almost every movie I've ever worked on, the local people say, "We've never had weather like this never before" They said it in La Rochelle. They said it in Tunisia. Actually, they said it in England, although it didn't make any difference there.

Kathy Kennedy(Associate to Steven Spielberg): It was the worst summer in England in three hundred years, so they said. But then this happened to George Lucas, too. He ran into the same thing in Norway for Empire where it was the worst blizzard in fifty years, or something. When he did American Graffiti it was the worst weather in two hundred and fifty years in the town he filmed in. So George considers it to be good luck if somebody immediately says to him, "This is the worst weather we've had"

Frank Marshall (Producer): Which they said the first week. It was clear the weekend before we started filming and boom, Monday morning it was like a hurricane. And we couldn't get any weather forecasts because the forecasters were on strike. So Robert and I went out to the jetty every morning at 4:30 and looked at the ocean to decide whether we could go out or not. The weather was cold and windy, and the sea was breaking over the breakwater, which meant eleven-, twelve-foot waves. We had a sixty-foot boat, and the guy didn't want to leave the breakwater. He said we were in real danger. So we went out anyway. It was like going in a trough and looking up and seeing this mountain of water. We needed three days of filming on the ocean, and finally that's all we had left there. And, like a miracle, on the third day it was calm.

Robert Watts (Associate Producer): The first two days the weather was very rough and we had limitations on the height of waves we could take the submarine out in. So we shot the interiors. We shot everything at sea Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday got very rough. We managed to stay out even though a lot of people got seasick.

Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones): There was always a double for me and there are some scenes that were doubled, but there were also a lot of stunts that I did myself. There were some things that I didn't do because of time, and some I didn't do because they were too dangerous. Most of the things that I did were like swimming to the submarine; that didn't involve danger, it only involved discomfort.


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Today 13. December 2017
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