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!


Anonymous said...

intresting muse you've got here. i heard that they have already commisioned a subtle knife scriptwriter and will begin production next year pending on the success of the first movie.

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I also wrote up some notes on the lecture and just discovered that the Bridge to the Stars people somehow found and posted them. Sort of a bizarre feeling. I saw from your comment over there that you think you might have been sitting next to me? The guy next to me was, in fact, taking notes during the talk, which made me feel a little better about my own geeky note-taking. Was that you?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, the above was me.

Adi said...

Are you big time into movies..I like watching Movies too..Check out my blog sometime:

otto said...

Perhaps you could do some actual research and find out why Dakota Blue Richards's parents named her that way, instead of insulting her simply because she shares her first name with Dakota Fanning. I also think Fanning's an awesome actress, but she's not British and as far as I know, has never used one in a role. British accents are also very difficult for someone who doesn't live there, thanks to all the numerous regions and dialects.

Major_Grooves said...

Nah, it's easier just to make glib remarks. I have to save my vast intellect for deeper philosophical issues.

Rather than really meaning to insults her name (which I still stand by) what I was really getting at was the chance that a UK actress would have such an American name, particularly when there is another actress of the same age and "style".

and what do you mean the British accent is difficult? You just say things like "cor blimey guvnor'" and you're sorted. Easy!

Anonymous said...

To be honest any good actor (not necessarily the same as movie star!) would be able to master an accent if the role requires. In any case Dakota Fanning is still very young so there's plenty of time for that and yes, she's an impressive actor.

Still, I can see why they picked Dakota Blue Richards - what with the curly hair, reminds me of Nicole Kidman in her early acting years. Not bad considering the characters are supposed to be related. Let's hope the acting is marginally better than the HP cast (sorry, HP fans! - lovely as they are I know and improving too if theatre and TV reviews are anything to go by)..

Anonymous said...

Do you think their respective parents knew both of their children, who they happened to name Dakota, would both turn into famous actresses when they were born? Durrrrrr....... Dakota is a fantastic actress. Get over the name and enjoy her acting skill. She is a perfect Lyra. And not just for the hair either.