The Set of Mr. Tumnus’ House

Posted October 5, 2004 4:35 pm by Tirian

The interior of Mr. Tumnus’ house, as illustrated by Pauline Baynes for Lewis’ book, included two lounge chairs, a dining table, a mantle and fireplace, a bookshelf and hutch. Filmmaker Adamson has imagined a setting very similar in his collaborations with production designer Roger Ford and set decorator Kerrie Brown (working with Ford yet again after associations on Peter Pan, Babe, Babe: Pig in the City and The Quiet American).

You may recall from our last set report that the inspiration for the exterior of Mr. Tumnus’ house was a structure seemingly built into rocks in the Czech Republic. For the inside, Baynes’ drawing served as Adamson’s and Ford’s inspiration in envisioning Tumnus dwelling, a cavernous space cluttered with bookshelves (over 30 cartons of vintage books were rented from shops around Auckland), chairs, a table, fireplace and an iron stove.

The dozen or so pieces of prop furniture fashioned for the three-day scene (enacted by nine-year-old Georgie Henley as Lucy and James McAvoy as Tumnus) were created under the supervision of two key Kiwi craftsmen on the project – Roger Murray, who runs the prop making department, and Adrian Bennett, who supervises the prop furniture. With the exception of Mr. Tumnus’ chair (re-fashioned from one found by Brown in a Sydney antiques shop), everything was manufactured from scratch, including the dishes and tea set that adorn the dining table.

The scene also provides a small glimpse into the forthcoming contributions from the film’s composer, Harry Gregson-Williams, who reunites with director Adamson after providing the music for both Shrek movies. Gregson-Williams is also well-known in the world of animation, having also contributed to the music scores for the hit features Antz, Chicken Run, The Tigger Movie and The Prince of Egypt. For the sequence, the composer wrote a brief, hypnotic piece of music that Tumnus plays for Lucy on his flute, a prop designed and built by Richard Taylor’s WETA Workshop (designed by Christian Pearce and built by John Harding).

While Adamson directed his two cast members on the second of over two dozen magical sets designed by Ford, the production designer’s crew was busy removing the lamppost and re-positioning trees and shrubs back in the “Lantern Waste” set in preparation for the arrival of Jadis, the White Witch, and the first scenes before Don McAlpine’s cameras for actress Tilda Swinton (more in our next missive).

Read the whole story from IGN Filmforce here.