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SUBMARINE

About The Production
In a film business notorious for stalled projects and screenplays stuck in ‘development hell', SUBMARINE is a rare example of simplicity and plain sailing. The film has its origins in the relationship between two long-time friends whose separate career paths into film and literature became a successful collaboration. As producer Mark Herbert explains: "What's great about SUBMARINE is the story behind it. Ally Gipps, who's now Associate Producer on the film, has been working with us for five years. His friend, Joe Dunthorne, is the person who originally tipped Ally off about the job at Warp. Ally got hold of his best friend's book, brought it in and gave it to Mary Burke, one of our producers. Mary read it and said, ‘God, this would make a good film' and there you go. I don't think you can get much more organic than that. All those little connections and here we are.”

Mary says: "When I first read the book in 2006, I fell in love with the originality of voice and unyielding wit in Joe's novel. It's not a familiar British coming of age story, so I thought it would be refreshing to see the work rendered as a film. The encyclopedic nature of Oliver's character unveiled through his internal monologues, I felt would be a good match for Richard's wonderful and detailed knowledge of film. There was something beautifully timeless about the book, and we thought Richard's nostalgic directing style would bring that out. And of course, we all knew he could execute the comedy because he is one of the funniest people working in the UK today."

Securing writer-director Richard Ayoade's involvement in the project was similarly intuitive, as Herbert explains: "Richard was a writer-director that we were really aware of and thought was a promising talent. We talked about doing pop videos and Richard said he was into the Arctic Monkeys and could we set something up. That became a video for the song ‘Fluorescent Adolescent' and that sprung a relationship between Richard and the band and us, including the film ARCTIC MONKEYS AT THE APOLLO. So the relationship with Richard started four or five years ago and has slowly built up to this.”

The next stage, finding partners and investors with enthusiasm for the project was also unusually straightforward: "There's been a momentum behind the project for quite a while … Straight away we had enthusiasm from Film4, who gave us development money. We then got a first draft underway, during which Joe Dunthorne consulted with Richard. Everybody has always been behind the book. It's one of those: when you've got the material, it's easy,” says Herbert.

Tessa Ross, controller, Film and drama at Channel 4 says "Katherine Butler, our then Head of Development, had read the novel pre publication and so when Mary Burke rang her to tell her that Richard was interested in adapting, she immediately said she'd be keen to support the bid to option the novel. We knew Richard through his acting work on C4's ‘IT Crowd', but also via his directing work on the Arctic Monkeys promos, and felt his previous work, his incredible cine-literacy and his approach to the material was a perfect match. It has been a tremendous pleasure working with Richard alongside our long standing partners at Warp Films".

‘Submarine' the novel is told entirely from the perspective of 15-year-old hero Oliver Tate as he navigates the pitfalls of young love with girlfriend Jordana Bevan. A successful film adaptation required strong lead performances from young actors who could carry the film. SUBMARINE's producers and director embarked on a comprehensive search for their teenage stars. Producer Andy Stebbing takes up the story: "We had quite an intense casting period; we were doing street casting, we were going around to every agent possible. We looked at hundreds of actors for both parts and I think both Craig and Yasmin really stood out from the crowd. They're both fantastic and we're very lucky.”

Craig Roberts remembers a nervous wait to get the part: "My agency sent a tape up to Warp and then about two weeks later we got a recall. I went up to London and met Richard Lindsay and Karen Lindsay Stewart (casting director) and that was great. We did this improvisation and Richard was so funny. There was another audition and then a screen test with Yasmin. Then it was a long two and a half weeks wait to find out it I had the part or not. I eventually got the call and it was a big celebration – I was running around!”

Roberts was just what Richard Ayoade was looking for, but in real life he doesn't think he has a lot in common with the film's introverted hero: "I don't think I have anything in common with my character, Oliver. He shuts himself off, he's quiet and I wouldn't say that I'm quiet. But he's a great character to get into and I'm grateful for the opportunity to play him. I'd say Oliver is weirdly cool… most of the time he goes around in his own little world, in his own little bubble, but throughout the film he just gets bombarded with these problems.”

Yasmin Paige, who plays Jordana, loved Dunthorne's original novel and identified with the bookish character of Oliver, "I think I'm quite like Oliver - quite uptight! Oliver reads the dictionary and when I was in years 10 and 11 at school I actually used to read the dictionary.” Charged with playing a playground pyromaniac who gets Oliver hot under the collar, Yasmin studied the performances of another acerbic movie bad girl: "I watched a lot of Christina Ricci films because Richard said he thought she was good at being mean, which she is. Also we rehearsed a lot and went to locations and just chatted about the characters. It was all really helpful.”

Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor, who play Oliver's parents Jill and Lloyd Tate, sound suitably proud of Craig. Sally beams, "You forget how young he is. He totally took it in his stride and he's so professional. He's really cool, very bright, and really funny, and like Noah, he beautifully underplayed everything.” Noah adds, "Craig is a joy to work with. I think he's a real find. He has an incredibly deft, light comedic touch. He doesn't try to sell big gags or mug and pull funny faces. He does a lot very economically and belies an intelligence way beyond his years. I think he's just a natural comedian... I'm proud to call him my on-screen son.”

By all accounts on-screen family the Tates hit it off behind the scenes. Sally and Craig are both quick to praise Noah's sense of humor, something that contrasts with his portrayal of the severely depressed Lloyd. "Noah is probably the funniest guy on set. He comes out with the funniest things. It's between him and Richard I'd say for the title of the funniest. They're competing,” says Craig, while Sally adds, "Noah has got an incredible dry wit. I really like Noah. I think he's a phenomenal actor. He made me laugh a lot and it was quite difficult to keep it together, especially the Christmas scene, which will forever be one of my favorite moments.”

Disturbing the peace of the Tate's quiet household is leather-clad life coach Graham T. Purvis, played by Paddy Considine. Graham's attempts to cuckold Lloyd don't escape the attention of Oliver, who is determined to keep his mum and dad together. Purvis is SUBMARINE's most conspicuously comedic character – a has-been TV star turned New Age charlatan created by the imaginations of Ayoade and Considine. Paddy explains Graham's unusual background: "Graham is a sort of failed actor. He went straight from RADA to a BBC sci-fi series called ‘Heats

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