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About The Production

What happens when you put a cast and crew of over 300 people through a movie that has cramped and claustrophobic sets, lots of water, night-time exterior shooting, manufactured saltwater rain and open seas? This was the one question that was on everyone's mind when principal photography began.

"We felt like we were spread all over the Mediterranean. We spent a little over 10 weeks shooting the interiors of both the American and German submarines in Rome and then went to Malta for all the exterior photography," explains Ms. De Laurentiis.

Mostow always insisted upon authenticity to all departments during pre-production, and the crew delivered when it came time to shoot.

He explains, "If you do things for real, it looks real and has a certain quality. It not only helps the visual quality on film, but it also helps the performances because the actors have to manufacture less in their own heads about what's going on. The more stimuli that you can give them on set, the better performances you get."

The director went so far as to have retired WWII submariners on the set during every minute of shooting to ensure the authenticity of the action.

"We put the actors through technically complex submarine instruction, the curriculum of which was designed by our technical advisor, Vice-Admiral Hannifin," says Mostow.

The actors agreed. Bill Paxton admits, "When I first saw the sets of these boats, I was amazed. They went to great expense and effort to create the details of this movie."

David Keith continues, "It's by far the best art direction I've ever seen. It was pure realism when you saw the sets both in Rome and in Malta."

Matthew McConaughey agreed, saying that the film's realism made the acting come that much easier.

"Sometimes you didn't feel like you had to act; you were really reacting to what was happening because it was all so real, from the rain and wind to the gimbal simulating the depth charges."

According to Ms. De Laurentiis, "Every day was a challenge for every department and it was demanding for Jonathan. There was a lot of homework that had to be done for what would happen tomorrow as well as the following week. Production was a handful."

Cinematographer Oliver Wood adds, "This was a very strange picture to shoot. We started off inside the submarine where the biggest lights were 150-watt tiny little peppers. Then when we were outside, we used gigantic Musco lights, lighting vast areas of ocean. We went from the smallest to the biggest, making th


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