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MSPIFF: "Son of Rambow" and the challenge of making a film for everyone

Posted at 4:51 PM on April 19, 2008 by Euan Kerr

Nick Goldsmith and Garth Jennings, producer and director of "Son of Rambow."

Nick Goldsmith and Garth Jennings hit big with their film adaptation of "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" both in the UK and the US. But when they went to various studios and pitched the idea of "Son of Rambow" they couldn't get anyone interested.

Nick Goldsmith, the producer on the project says the issues was they wanted to make a film with and about kids which was aimed at everyone.

"The people who we were going to for money liked us, liked the script. Some of them liked "Hitchhikers," some of them didn't. But the problem was we were saying "Son of Rambow" is a film starring children but will appeal to adults. And people didn't get that."

Goldsmith says it was a shock. "I mean I thought 'Stand By Me' was quite a good film. 'Billy Elliot was pretty good. The problem is when you say your film is for everyone, 'everyone' is a very difficult market to pinpoint."

They eventually got the money to make the film and by early accounts it's been a success. The film tells the story of two misfits, one the school troublemaker and the other an imaginative boy from a fundamentalist family who team up to make a home movie inspired by "First Blood" the first Rambo movie.

Goldsmith and Jennings know the thrill the film caused when it came out. Jennings admits to having seen the film on a pirated videotape when he was 12.

"It blew my mind," he says.

"We weren't supposed to be watching it. It wasn't for our age group," he says. "So yes, pirated videos were on the scene and we watched it and we just thought this was extraordinary."

"That was probably why it had such an effect," said Goldsmith. "Because you weren't meant to be seeing it. You weren't allowed."

The film is a sweet story, spiced with slightly crazed stunts. Jennings and Goldsmith says the larger than life element reflects that 12 year-olds perspective.

The two will introduce the film tonight at the MSPIFF, with a q and a after. The film opens in Minnesota on May 9th.

(By the way Stallone is believed to be a fan of the movie.)

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