Magazine article Screen International

Kormakur Dives into Post for the Deep for End-of-Year Release

Magazine article Screen International

Kormakur Dives into Post for the Deep for End-of-Year Release

Article excerpt

Baltasar Kormakur's The Deep is one of a number of hot Icelandic titles, also including thriller Black's Game, that are in post production now.

Baltasar Kormakur is heading into post production on his eighth feature The Deep, an Iceland-set drama based on true events.

In March 1984, a man named Gudlaugur Fridthórsson miraculously survived a shipwreck off the coast of Iceland's Westmann Islands and swam for six hours (in sea temperatures that would usually kill a man within 15 minutes) and then had to walk barefoot for two hours across volcanic rocks before reaching help.

Kormakur is not just interested in the man's heroic struggle that day, but also his past (he was part of a group of people whose houses were destroyed the Heimaey eruption in 1973), and how that played into his psyche. "As he swam, he reviewed his life mentally, and that was one of the most powerful events in his life," Kormakur says.

The film will also explore the man's life after the event and his survivor's guilt (his fellow fishermen perished). Olafur Darri Olafsson plays the main character.

Kormakur shot the film in 2010 but hadn't edited it yet because last year he was in New Orleans directing Contraband - starring Mark Wahlberg, for Working Title/Universal. (That film will open in early 2012.)

Kormakur is also one of The Deep's producers (with his partner in Blueeyes Productions, Agnes Johansen) and he wrote the script along with Jon Atli Jonasson (who wrote the play from which the script is adapted). Bergsteinn Bjorgulfsson served as DoP and shot on the RED ONE.

Shooting on the sea (and in the sea) was a challenge during the arduous three-week shoot, which included sinking a 40-ton boat more than once. "The shoot was as tough as it gets. Yet it's not as tough as what he really went through. It sounds whiny comparing it with what the real story is," Kormakur remarks.

The Icelandic Film Centre, The Nordic Film and TV Fund, The Norwegian Film Fund and Eurimages all backed the project, and Framestore's Iceland office is handling visual effects.

The Deep should be ready for a release in Iceland around Christmas, and then will go to festivals early next year. There have been some discussions with sales companies, but nothing is signed yet.

"It's a great story after the [economic] collapse in Icleand to understand who we are and why we live here, and why we keep fishing," says Kormakur. "It is a tough movie but an important one."

The Deep is just one of a number of Icelandic features now in post, which were presented by the Icelandic Film Centre at this week's Reykjavik International Film Festival. …

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