The weather in the U.K. might have brought the country to a standstill, but Fox must have been delighted; the giant snowflakes which fell on London’s Leicester Square outside the Royal World Premiere of the latest Narnia movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, gave the event a magical feel. There was no need for the sort of amazing special effects that brought the new 3D Narnia movie alive.
The biggest challenge was making a movie on largely set on the sea. “I thought ‘How are we going to make a movie on water?’ I took some advice from some colleagues who said ‘Never make a movie on water,’ so once we’d resolved that it became more manageable,” joked director Michael Apted, at a press conference at London’s Dorchester Hotel, when asked about a scene where the children meet Aslan in front of a huge tidal wave.
“It’s such fast-moving technology. I don’t think we could have done the wave scene even 18 months ago. The technology for doing water has changed enormously.”
Apted shot the boat on land by the side of the sea, so he had about 100 per cent horizon. It was placed on a gimbal so it moved up and down and sideways, but the sea was created by computer effects.
“It’s a million miles away from Bond,” said Apted, who was at the helm of the spy series entry, The World Is Not Enough.
“Where you’re supposed to think he really can do it, you don’t really go into the world of surrealism – at least not until after the one after I did, things went a bit haywire after that, because I wasn’t there,” he joked. “This was a whole new challenge.”
The film is 3D, more to create depth than to allow objects to jump out at you. The CGI was created in 3D and the filming was done in 2D, then converted.
“It was curious to me, that when we were starting converting, we took a lot of heat from colleagues like James Cameron saying that we would debase the coinage [value] by not shooting it in 3D, but then I found out that he was converting Titanic into 3D. Then I learned that George Lucas, our great mentor, is converting all the Star Wars films into 3D, so that tells me something, that maybe it is here to stay.”
Will the franchise, based on CS Lewis' series of seven books, continue like Harry Potter? The producers would like to make at least more, but it depends on how well the audience embraces the current film. If Aslan can rise from the dead, perhaps anything can happen.