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
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.