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The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Whimsical Rambow thrills inner child

Will (Bill Milner) and Lee (Will Poulter) get serious as they film their movie in the comedy, Son of Rambow.  Photo courtesy Paramount Vantage
Will (Bill Milner) and Lee (Will Poulter) get serious as they film their movie in the comedy, Son of Rambow. Photo courtesy Paramount Vantage

By Sara Pintilie/entertainment editor

Will (Bill Milner) and Lee (Will Poulter) get serious as they film their movie in the comedy, Son of Rambow.  Photo courtesy Paramount Vantage
Will (Bill Milner) and Lee (Will Poulter) get serious as they film their movie in the comedy, Son of Rambow. Photo courtesy Paramount Vantage

It took eight years, but Son of Rambow finally gets its shot to be the next indie darling in selected theaters.

Director Garth Jennings and producer Nick Goldsmith were in town early April for the 2008 AFI International Film Festival in Dallas to promote their new film, due May 2.

After the screening of the British comedy and an ovation, the duo took questions from the audience and rewarded them with T-shirts.

“When you get these positive responses, it is really wonderful,” Goldsmith said. “You put so much of yourself into a project and to have it come back in this way makes a difference.”

Jennings agreed and laughed, saying he could not add more to Goldsmith’s sentiment.

“I think we are going to cry now,” Jennings joked.

Jennings and Goldsmith are part of the production company Hammer & Tongs, which has created many music videos and the 2005 film, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Son of Rambow, set in the ’80s, centers around the young, imaginative Will (Bill Milner), a member of a strict religious sect not allowed to watch any TV. 

Director Garth Jennings and producer Nick Goldsmith on set. Son of Rambow is set for limited release May 2.  Photo courtesy Paramount Vantage
Director Garth Jennings and producer Nick Goldsmith on set. Son of Rambow is set for limited release May 2. Photo courtesy Paramount Vantage

He makes friends with the school hooligan and filmmaker wannabe, Lee (Will Poulter), and at Lee’s house, Will sees his first film—a pirated copy of Rambo: First Blood.

The two team up to create a new film, Son of Rambow, with the help of a misfit bunch of students and a bizarre French exchange student, Didier (Jules Sitruk).

The next day after the viewing, the two, following after playing a few games of ping-pong with the reporters, sat down and talked more about the movie.

The two joked around with the reporters and shared what they did in their first trip to Texas.

“We went to see the hockey game yesterday, and it was brilliant,” Jennings said as Goldsmith chanted “Dallas Stars.”

“It was loads of fun,” Jennings said.

Goldsmith added his love for a steak they had at Bob’s Steak and Chop House.

But then attention focused back on the film.

Son of Rambow focuses on Will’s reaction to seeing the first Rambo film.

He takes his imagination to a new level as he does the stunts and creates a story for Lee’s film.

“I genuinely like First Blood. I think it is a cracking film,” Jennings said. “It really did, in a really weird way, just inspire us to start making our own films.”

Though this is their second film, the conception of the project started eight years ago.

“No one would give us any money to make the film, before Hitchhiker’s,” Goldsmith said. “After Hitchhiker’s, when we thought everyone was going to give us money, no one gave us money.”

They started to doubt if the film was any good, Goldsmith said.

One interesting time concerned a guy who sat down with them.

The guy gave them many praises about the script but he said “adults would not see a film with children in it.”

“As he is saying this, behind him, the size of this Dr. Seuss mural (he points to the mural painted across the entire wall of the conference room) was a poster for Billy Elliot.”

They finally got funding in France and began shooting in 2006 after finding the leads.

It took five months to find the perfect choices for Will and Lee.

“It has been fascinating to talk to kids, like in the casting process, because they haven’t heard of Rambo,” Goldsmith said.

“They are like ‘What’s Rambo? Is he like Jason Bourne?’” he said.

But they found their two leads, Milner and Poulter, who have never acted before.

“They just got it,” Jennings said about the character of Lee and Will. “They were just themselves.”

One of the comedic devices in the film was the use of items from the 1980s.

The ’80s style was never intended to be that ridiculous. But what happened is the script will say “brother driving car, talking to the mother on the cell phone,” Jennings said.

“We call it a mobile phone, but I am using your language here,” he joked.

“But then the prop guy said ‘here’s the phone and the car,’ you’re like ‘really?’ Then the wardrobe lady comes out with this track suit and you find yourself thinking, ‘It’s like turning into a cartoon,’” Jennings said.

The two are currently working on an animation feature, but the project is in its earliest stages.

Son of Rambow is set for limited release May 2.

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