So last week Orson Scott Card payed a visit to the set of EG where he recorded a voice over for a scene where a pilot makes an announcement to his passengers. The scene included Asa Butterfield (Ender) and Harrison Ford (Graff). OSC recalls in great detail what he saw and experienced on the set. Including this scene which he praises both Ford and Butterfield for their performance, the overall look of the set, the battle room’s null gravity mechanism and much more. Check out the review here.
The scene OSC worked on is, surprisingly, not from the book. Director Gavin Hood added it to the script.
The scene does not come from the book – very few of the scenes in this movie do – so it was amusing when others asked me how it felt to have my book brought to life. My book was already alive in the mind of every reader. This is writer-director Gavin Hood’s movie, so they were his words, and it was his scene.
As he watched Ford and Butterfield play out the scene over and over again, OSC remarked on how well they both worked together.
On the set, however, it was wonderful to see how Ford and Butterfield responded to each other’s timing. It was such a delicate dance – and they worked perfectly together.
Twice, I saw Ford give a tiny suggestion to Butterfield. The suggestion in both cases was excellent; and in both cases, Butterfield understood completely and executed perfectly.
OSC goes on to credit Ford on his brilliance in acting and comments that Butterfield “is not a child actor, but an actor who happens to be young.”
Along, with working on this great scene OSC got to explore the set design with production designers Sean Haworth and Ben Procter. And he states that the set was done wonderfully and that “The movie Ender’s Game is going to look great.”
The most interesting portion must be what OSC says about stunt coordinator Garrett Warren’s method of defying gravity for the battle room scenes.
There is a mechanism used for training gymnasts – a wheel they wear around their waists that allows them to rotate in space while suspended from wires. Warren used this on Avatar, which allows a great deal of apparent freedom of movement in space – once the computer artists have erased the wheel rig, you can’t tell that there’s any way a wire could have been attached.
Though, suspended in air and gravity still pushing down the kids had to look weightless and it all depended on the actors’ performance on how to portray that. But no worries, for the most difficult of scenes Warren decided to bring in dancers from Cirque de Soleil. Because of there training and abled bodies they could move and pose as if defying gravity. A perfect solution.
The endurance of this mechanism couldn’t be all too fun and games. They definitely were tested in endurance but hey, when do you get a chance to defy gravity?
These kids can take such pride in what they learned and what they accomplished. Everything that they were called on to do, they did – with style.
The last portion of the review OSC talks about his satisfaction on how well everyone worked together. An important attribute that he wanted on the set of the film.
I wanted Ender’s Game to be a joy to work on, so that the kids especially would take away good memories of their time involved in making the movie.
I tend to believe that if the author of a novel becoming a film agrees on the overall set of production then we as fans don’t need to worry as much as thinking the film will be a flop. Many people will still doubt the performance of the actors or the visual content of the movies, even with a review like this detailed beauty. However, I must say even though OSC states that the movie is Gavin Hood’s vision and not necessarily what he thought of, if it satisfies the author then it should satisfy us. Let’s not make any overall assumption of the movie just yet. We have a long way to go for the premiere and hopefully soon a teaser trailer or full trailer so during that time maybe, just maybe, we can get a peek into the world of Ender’s Game.
How do you feel about the battle room mechanism? Did anything pop out at you when reading the review? Let us know in the comments.