The Ice Palace Opening Ceremony — Our Exclusive Report
Last Friday the big opening ceremony for the Dawn Treader inspired Ice Palaces took place. Our own GlimGlum was there, along with dozens of other Narnia fans to see Georgie, Will, and Michael Apted. GlimGlum has kindly sent us his full report from the event.
I never dreamed that when I joined NarniaWeb that someday I would be meeting anyone involved with making the movies. But yesterday at the Beverly Center, I had the privilege to speak briefly with Will Poulter, director Michael Apted, and Georgie Henley.
But before the interviews, I had to get to the Beverly Center and then to where the event was inside the mall. Something that caught my eye while walking from the parking area to the escalators was a big poster for VDT on a wall. Good move. Many people come and go in a parking structure so why not? It was the snowy version with Aslan.
Then, when I finally found the Ice Palace exhibit and got in the press line just outside of it, their was Georgie less than 15 feet to my left giving an interview! The people who were interviewing had to wait in line and go into the exhibit area for the interview as the mall and studio representatives allowed.
The Ice Palace has an arched entrance and includes a dome with a large snow globe like object with Lucy and Edmund looking at the Dawn Treader painting on the inside of it. Then there is a dome on the inside of which there is simulated falling snow and screens all around continuously playing the trailers for VDT. Also, I noticed at least one monitor on the outside of it and it was playing the “Transition to Narnia Clip”.
The look and feel of the exhibit is very pretty and wintry and reminiscent of the first Narnia film, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I think this is by design to evoke the good memories from that film which so far is the most successful one also. Let’s hope it will give a good boost to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader come December 10th.
Also there is a huge screen a little over one level above and in front of the Ice Palace and they played the latest trailer on it just before the ceremony. Before that it had the snowy Aslan poster displayed continuously.
Before the ceremony, it was just a pleasure to watch Georgie and Will interacting with everyone else. I saw Will leave the exhibit area to sign an autograph that I think he had promised to do before. I would describe both as an absolute gentleman and lady. Very polite and attentive to everything you ask them and Will remembered my name at the end of our interview! It’s too bad that not everyone will ever get to see them in person and meet them. I was told they were only here for 2 days (Thursday and Friday) and then back to Europe I believe. It was Will’s first vist to the USA.
Michael Apted surprised me as being more down to earth than I though he would be. He was even having fun with a group of visiting kids and I think made a funny face for them. His back was turned to me at the time but it looked like that’s what he was doing.
When the ceremony time came, Will and Georgie first read something over the public address system but unfortunately I could not understand a word. Michael Apted just watched from the level above and was a spectator like anyone else. Next, Georgie and Will sang “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” which I could hear the words to and they did a great job singing and looked like they were having fun doing it. Then the Ice Palace was officially lit up and opened.
After that, I mostly watched Will and Georgie interact with the visiting kids and taking picture with anyone and everyone including a giraffe and Santa Claus himself! It was great to see them so accessible for such a short time; and so willing and enthusiastic with each person they met. What a treat! (A final note on Will: He is getting taller. I am 6’ 1” and he has to be at least 5’ 9 or 10” now.)
I did meet some of the mall people but only remember the names of Mat and Stephanie. Also some of the studio people but didn’t write down their names. They were very all very helpful. All in all I think this is a great effort for getting the word out on behalf of Dawn Treader.
GlimGlum: What aspect of Eustace, your character, did you enjoy playing the most?
Will Poulter: Oh he’s just a great character to play you know, being the sort of brat he was it was really interesting playing him. You know I’m very excited. I think that one of my favorite aspects of him is just the transformation he undergoes. I loved playing the two sides of him before and after he transforms back into a boy
GlimGlum: Is there an in-between stage where he’s not quite like he is at the end, a transition?
Will Poulter: Exactly. That transformation really took place during his time as a dragon. Reepicheep is responsible for kind of mentoring and showing him the error of his ways. And the redemption he undergoes mostly takes place during the dragon. So I almost play two different characters. So I’m excited about that.
GlimGlum: What was your contribution to Dragon Eustace?
Will Poulter: Well obviously for the dragon, I think they made him look a bit like me. My movements were incorporated which is kind of cool.
GlimGlum: The technical people had you do movements like the dragon would move?
Will Poulter: Yes. Exactly. Absolutely they did that which was really cool. Great special effects team.
GlimGlum: Was there a favorite day of filming?
Will Poulter: I really enjoyed the whole experience. But one of my most favorite days was actually the fight with Reepicheep on the boat. I absolutely loved that. That was such a really good fight.
GlimGlum: How long did that take to film?
Will Poulter: It took almost a day to shoot.
GlimGlum: Would you like to play Eustace again in the Silver Chair?
Will Poulter: Oh, absolutely! I relish the prospect if that in fact comes about, that would be great. I would love to, yeah.
GlimGlum: What were the most challenging scenes to film?
Michael Apted: Well I think the boat was pretty challenging, because you have to get that right. We didn’t go to sea. And the other challenge really, the big challenge, was the opening scene in the film, when they go into Narnia. Because it’s been done before, the other two films have done that. We wanted make ours pretty exciting and believable too.
GlimGlum: What was the advantage of using the digital filming technology?
Michael Apted: It makes the blend between the visual effects anamorphish and much easier to do. You can also see it quicker and see it as you do it. So you get more chance of making it accurate if you know what I mean. I mean a lot of visual effects take a year to make but I’m talking about you know when you have a green screen or blue screen around you and you have lots of visual effects then you can blend them together on the spot. So you can give the actors an idea what they are gonna be playing.
GlimGlum: So they can see kind of what’s going on?
Michael Apted: Yeah, exactly.
GlimGlum: What scene did you most look forward to filming for Voyage of the Dawn Treader?
Georgie Henley: I was really excited about all of the boat sequences because I think filming on the boat was so great. And it’s like a work of art, honestly. Really fantastic, yeah. I mean as you can see with the boat it’s absolutely fantastic; the colors are amazing. And it was so fun to shoot with a really big crew of sailors and try to get to know them all and everything.
GlimGlum: So just being on the Dawn Treader was your favorite thing to do?
Georgie Henley: Great. Really great.
Also, Seacove who won one of our giveaway tickets sent us video footage of Georgie and Will at the opening ceremony
Thanks so much to GlimGlum and Seacove for your reports, pictures, and video!