INTERVIEW: Her.ie Meets Pippa Cross, Producer For Summer In February
Summer in February tells the true story of a love triangle between artist AJ Munnings, his friend Gilbert Evans and their love interest Florence Carter-Wood. We caught up with the producer for the film, Pippa Cross, to talk about that lovely summer weather, Dan Stevens and the artists colony.
Pippa was very definite about what had attracted her to the project: "When I came on board, the project was already in a very advanced stage. It's a wonderfully tantalising love story which we felt that we could help make. For us, it was all about bringing out the love triangle and trying to make those three characters really work for us. I found it a very satisfying, interesting sort of film. I always wonder where are the love stories these days?"
Pippa was aware of the characters before they filmed, but didn't have the great incite to their lives that the producers have now: "I come from the same part of the world as the writer, Jonathan Smith is a much-loved person from our part of the world."
"He is a great teacher, one of the people he taught was Dan. There are all these wonderful kids that have been mentored and encouraged by Jonathan. I knew it as a lovely book and thought it would be a lovely film."
The crew had been working on the project for quite a long time Pippa told us: "It was a few years after it all happened with the book but sometimes, these things are meant to be."
A lot of the film had actually been shot in Cornwall, with Pippa and the crew eager to base the project around the artist's colony: "We went to Cornwall for as long as we could afford. We could have come to Ireland really, beautiful beaches and coves, the memories of Ryan's Daughter. It was a real Cornish story so it was fair to stay in Cornwall."
"We went down and checked the place out in November 2011 when the weather was appalling. We could barely stand up on the beaches. Then we found the wonderful location where the artist's colony was set and we began to think that we could do this. We were assured the weather was better in January. When we came back, we were blessed with really good weather. We only had one bad day!"
The film is gone straight to general release, without doing a tour of the festival circuit like other independent productions tend to do on occasion: "We are getting wonderful publicity. Dan has worked so hard on the film. Dominic Cooper flew in to spend some time with us for the release. We have had fantastic interest in the film and the cast and crew have been amazing."
Summer in February truly is a fascinating story and the fact that is true makes it all the more romantic. Pippa confirms: "Munnings wrote an autobiography and only wrote three lines about Florence. The entire affair is fascinating."
To see more from Summer in February, check out the official trailer here. Movie released on 14th June.