Ten years ago, nearly one in every ten Danes went to see the Danish teen comedy "Love at First Hiccup". Regner Grasten, the film’s producer, had long been aware of the story’s international potential. In the writing phase, he hired an American consultant, Linda Seger, to give the screenplay an international flavour.
“The Danish screenplay, which already had an American tinge, is largely unchanged, but the cast and crew are all American."
“We knew we didn’t have a particularly Danish story, but a very universal, boy-meets-girl story about the ‘first time’ and the kind of problems that are familiar to young people all over the world,” Regner Grasten says today.
THE AMERICAN LOOK
Ten years and four Danish sequels later, Regner Grasten has set up a production company in Los Angeles, where he recently wrapped shooting on the American remake of the 1999 Danish hit film.
The Danish screenplay, which already had an American tinge, is largely unchanged, but the cast and crew are all American – and that’s crucial for the film’s possibilities in the global market, Grasten says.
“American movies have a special look, and if you get that you increase your chances of international success. So we did it hundred percent the American way. Bringing over a few of your Danish friends would increase your risk of failure,” he says over the phone from Los Angeles.
CHEAPER THAN COPENHAGEN
The decision to make the film in the States with an American crew also makes good business sense, the Danish producer says.
“Actually, it’s fifty percent cheaper to film in Los Angeles than in Copenhagen. Everything moves so fast because of the high quality of the cast and crew. But you can’t do it without having contacts here,” Grasten says.
Grasten made the necessary connections via the remake’s director and screenwriter, Barbara Topsøe-Rothenborg, a 30-year-old Dane familiar to many in her homeland from her years as a successful child actor in the ’80s and ’90s.
In her adult life, Topsøe-Rothenborg has established herself as an assistant director in Los Angeles and amassed a wide network, including Robert Engelman ("Blade", "The Mask"), who is a producer on the remake of "Love at First Hiccup".