As producer of Steven Spielberg’s “Munich,” Kennedy knew she and her longtime collaborator were dealing with a subject matter that was sure to inflame. But until they arrived in Malta in July, they didn’t realize how hot it might be.
“Temperatures there were well into the 100s, and it was extremely humid,” says Kennedy, the president of the Producers Guild of America. “It drained people’s energies.”
Malta was chosen for several reasons but mostly because the island served as a stand-in for a specific European ambience of the early 1970s that the production design team was looking for, as well as areas of the Middle East. The shoot took six weeks there, as well as time spent in Budapest and Paris.
“Malta has this kind of Mediterranean hodgepodge of culture where we could find areas that look like southern European locations in one spot and areas that look like Israel or Beirut in another,” says production designer Rick Carter.
While the Maltese government gave the production a substantial tax break, the cast and crew had to endure the possibility of terrorism on the set, but there were no incidents.
The local film pros proved helpful over the course of the shoot.
“We used a lot of locally based people,” Kennedy explains. “We had great crews who were both experienced and enthusiastic. The people were excited to work with us.”