Saturday, 24 March 2007
Golden Compass preview
We went down to Oxford Town Hall today to see Philip Pullman give a discussion about the Golden Compass - the movie adaption of his book "Northern Lights" from the trilogy "His Dark Materials". Also talking were the producer, Deborah Forte who bought the rights to the books 12 years ago and Michael Fink, the visual effects supervisor.
We didn't get to see any actual clips of the movie, but Fink did show us some of the proceses that went into making some of the special effects. So we saw some animation testing of Pantalaimon as a ferret and a mouse which looked quite cool. We also saw the ship that takes them North and the Mrs Coulter's sky ship.
Apparently they won't be shying away from the anti-relgious theme of the book. Philip was keen to point out that the book wasn't anti-religion, rather anti-organised political religious theocracy (at least I think that's what he said). That said, I guarantee there will be religious types denouncing the book as blasphemy and there will surely be organised book burnings in the US bible belt.
So we know the book in the UK as "Northern Lights" whereas in most other countries it is "Golden Compass". Apparently the person who changed the title was the same publisher who changed Harry Potter's "Philosopher's Stone" to the "Sorceror's Stone". i.e. this person is an idiot.
Philip's favourite scenes in the movie are when Lyra first meets Iorek Byrnison and when Lee Scoresby and Serafina Pekkala are flying in Lees' hot air balloon and Lyra is lying asleep.
How will they represent Dust? Fink was very elusive about that, so I'm not really sure what the answer is.
I would have liked to ask if they will continue to use Dakota Blue Richards in all three films as by the time they get to the third film she'll be too old. Unlike Harry Potter where the characters grow older with the books/films, Dark Materials takes place over a short time period. I would also like to know how they found an English girl called Dakota Blue? What a daft pretentious name to give a child. Odd considering there's another precocious child actor by the name of Dakota Fanning who probably could have fitted the role, had they not been looking for an unknown. As it was, someone asked a similar question, but all they would say is that the next two films were not yet confirmed but would probably go ahead.
I think it's going top be a great film and am looking forward to seeing it!