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.
The first steps of adapting a book in to a film are hugely exciting. There’s the joy at having the opportunity to work with material that you love, the trepidation of wanting to do your very best with other artist’s work, and the sheer buzz that comes from many creative people working together and sparking ideas off one another.
What we’re doing at the moment is mostly sketching and throwing ideas around at each other. Some of these ideas will stick and become part of the film, others will be laughed at and rejected immediately. Doing an adaptation is all about deciding what is the heart and soul of the source material, what the author’s intentions were and what the children love about it – then finding a way of translating that to the different medium while hopefully expanding and enhancing other areas.
The only thing we know for certain is that, like the book, this film will not be for the faint hearted!