The principals of Pendragon Pictures have announced March 18, 2002 as the official start date of live action photography of CHROME, their new sci-fi action thriller, starring Katie Tomlinson. â€œIt was a difficult transition from the WAR OF THE WORLDS project,â€ says CHROME director, Timothy Hines. â€œWhen the tragedy of September 11th occurred, we had little time to rebound. I felt from the beginning that we were going into CHROME spread too thin. And I didnâ€™t want to do a picture like that. So twice we extended the pre-production time by several weeks until I was satisfied that we were doing this picture right.â€
Producer Susan Goforth concurs, â€œTimothy has made the right choices in extending pre-production. Moviegoers will flip out when they see the array of amazing robots in CHROME, which are a combination of live actors, animatronics and CGI. Timothy has been very adamant that the mechanics work and that the robot characters are plausible. You donâ€™t have to be with Timothy very long to know that heâ€™s the real thing. He has a gift of totally focusing on the details, while never losing the bigger picture. His focus is one hundred percent on making a great movie, and on telling a great story.â€
â€œIâ€™m disturbed by the shift at the root of storytelling in the movies,â€ adds Hines, â€œFor thousands of years, storytelling was about revealing the truth behind things that were confusing to us. The poets and the philosophers were all about showing us another way of looking at our problems so that our course would be smoother. The modern method of polling people to find out what they want a movie to be, is absurd. Thatâ€™s how they wound up with the EDSEL, a failed car that was designed through polling people as to what they wanted. But those polled generally only imagined design elements that they had seen on other cars. What they wanted, however, was something new. Something they couldnâ€™t imagine. Polling is a ridiculous way of approaching storytelling.
â€œThatâ€™s why so many movies wind up with flash and action, but beneath it all, have no sense of meaning or content,â€ bristles Hines. â€œMovies and characters, generally, should not wind up where they started like as in sit-coms, which, for the most part, are just designed to keep you coming back each week. The best stories donâ€™t always give the viewer what they want every moment, but allow true tensions to develop so that the resolution is meaningful. The best resolution is one that reveals things the audience has been looking for, that sheds light on the truth we already know inside, but has become confusing to us. With CHROME, we are giving the audience plenty of action and amazing fantasy elements, but one will come away with a new way of looking at things.â€
Special visual effects supervisor, Karl Cottle, who mentored under legendary make-up effects man Dick Smith, agrees, â€œWhen I read Timâ€™s script, CHROME, I was blown away by the scope and also by the ingenuity of the story. I kept thinking, â€˜Iâ€™ve never seen this on a movie screen before.â€™ Timothy has a fresh way of looking at things. And heâ€™s very intuitive. When I came to the end, I realized I had never been ahead of the script, never outguessed the story and I immediately wanted to read it again. CHROME is so much more than just an action picture.â€
Special effects house, Foundation Imaging (STAR TREK VOYAGER, DEEP SPACE 9, ROUGHNECKS: STARSHIP TROOPERS CHRONICLES) is on board to handle CGI elements. Foundation Imaging executive producer Michele Jeffers is excited to be involved in CHROME. â€œCHROME is right up our alley,â€ expounds Jeffers. â€œWe have much experience with robotic CGI, such as our Borg work in STAR TREK.â€
CHROME will shoot live action for nine weeks then move into several weeks of miniature, pyrotechnic and effects photography to meet a release date of Summer 2003. Pendragon Pictures is considering offers for distribution. â€œWe are being very careful about who we get into bed with. Lots of people have looked at CHROME and wanted to make it,â€ says Timothy Hines. â€œMatt Wall was very interested in CHROME when he was in charge of development at Universal Pictures. John Bertolli, at Destination wanted to make it. Iâ€™m glad we were ultimately able to mount CHROME free of committee influence.â€
â€œWe have communicated with Artisan pictures, among others,â€ says Susan Goforth, â€œbut we are focused on talks with Amanda Klein at USA. I think they get that we are doing something special with CHROME, that we donâ€™t want it to be the flavor of the moment and disappear. Tim has two sequels already in development. CHROME is a trilogy and the entire story wonâ€™t unfold until all three movies have played out.â€
Concept artist Bryan Randall, (TARKISS, THE DESTROYER OF SOULS), is hard at work on the comic book version of CHROME, which will be ready for publication at the time of the CHROME movie release.
On the WAR OF THE WORLDS front, Pendragon Pictures is at work planning the retooled production of WAR OF THE WORLDS, placed in its original setting and time. â€œSeptember 11th destroyed any possibility of an updated version of WAR OF THE WORLDS,â€ says director Timothy Hines. â€œAt first, I felt we shouldnâ€™t do it at all. Then I realized that would be giving in, letting the terrorists win. So we went back to the source. Iâ€™m very happy that we are going in this direction with WAR OF THE WORLDS and we have nothing but support from the world.â€
Charles R. Keller II, Director of The H. G. Wells Society, wrote to his worldwide members, â€œI have since learned from the Pendragon website that they will continue with the project. The release will be delayed as they abandon their â€˜updatedâ€™ version and re-write the script and re-tool the entire production to its proper late-Victorian setting. I applaud Pendragon Pictures for their decision. Perhaps H.G. will finally have his most famous novel put to film in a way not seen before. The potential for this project is enormous and I hope you will join me in supporting Pendragon Pictures in this.â€
Ann Robinson, the female star of the original 1953 George Pal classic version wrote Pendragon Pictures, â€œI am so pleased that you are creating the film around the original time frame that H.G. Wells depicted in his book. When we filmed the George Pal version, it was right after WW2 and George Pal wanted to show that technology is not the answer to all human problems. Faith in oneself and a higher order is necessary to meet the challenges of everyday life. Heroes rise to the challenge. They have been educated and have the experiences to know that their sacrifice matters. Mr. Pal was a master at communicating his message.â€
â€œWeâ€™ve been contacted by Jeff Wayneâ€™s people about a cross-promotion with his planned tour of his musical rock opera version of WAR OF THE WORLDS, originally performed by Justin Hayward of the MOODY BLUES with narration by Richard Burton, currently released through SONY,â€ reveals Susan Goforth, â€œI donâ€™t know if something will work with them, but its more confirmation that we are on the right course.â€
Plans are that WAR OF THE WORLDS will be released Summer of 2005 and CHROME will be released Summer 2003.
Get more info at the official Pendragon Pictures web site.
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