The Fearsome Beastie begins at sunset and ends at sunrise, with all the action and the scary stuff happening at night – so we knew from the outset that we’d need to pay a lot of atten tion to the colours and lighting if we want the film to have the right atmosphere.
Posts by Katie Steed:
It’s slightly unusual to make the decision about who will be scoring a film at such an early stage in the pre-production process, but we knew straight away who we wanted to work with on the Fearsome Beastie.
We first worked with Verbal Vigilante several years ago on ‘Death by Scrabble‘ and ‘Hide and Seek’, and since then they have created the scores for every large Hollywood Studio you can name, for trailers including The Lone Ranger, The Dark Knight and Thor. They’ve also created music for TV shows such as America’s Got Talent, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and F1 Sports.
Recording Brian Blessed as the Fearsome Beastie was an experience that I’m going to remember for a very long time. Not only was Brian incredibly professional and a hugely talented actor, he was also charming, generous with his time and a whole lot of fun. The recording session lasted about 45 minutes, but he was with us for about 4 hours, regaling us with stories of his many adventures up Everest and around the world, and his hopes of making a documentary about the Redgrave Theatre in Farnham (where the recording took place).
Picking a voice for an animated film is a hugely important part of the process, and one that can make or break a film. Get the right voice, that the animated character comes to life; a living, breathing creature with believable thoughts and feelings. Get it wrong, and the character is disjointed, the voice and the actions never quite gelling and the illusion failing to convince.
Before we get started on creating our own artwork for The Fearsome Beastie, we are spending a lot of time researching and experimenting with different visual styles. The wonderful illustrator Gabriele Antonini has given us a base to work from, and we’re keen that the film is visually linked to the book, especially regarding the eponymous Beastie, but making a film in 3D means a different set of requirements, limitations and challenges that have to be met in a creative and imaginative way.
The Fearsome Beastie by Giles Paley-Phillips is the sort of book that doesn’t come along very often: an old-fashioned fairy story with horror, humour and an axe-wielding Granny – exactly the type of story that I loved as a kid. The wonderfully catchy rhyming couplets, combined with Gabriele Antonini’s beautiful, quirky and distinctive illustrations make The Fearsome Beastie a book that is simply crying out for an animated adaptation.
And we’re delighted to be the animation studio that gets to make it.