By Admin | September 10, 2001

Here’s the latest news on the remake of “War of the Worlds” direct from the production with info on how you can win a part in the film:
WAR OF THE WORLDS director Timothy Hines and Producer Susan Goforth have returned from the picturesque Bavarian town of Leavenworth, Washington, where they photographed images of raging forest fires to use in special effects compositing. “Anyone who has read H. G. Wells’ novel knows that the story calls for many woodland settings in flames sparked by alien fighting machine heat rays,” declares Hines. “Nature provided us with the opportunity to film real fires at the right time. We would have spent mountains of effort recreating what we captured, and it never would have had the amazing force of the real thing.”
Producer Susan Goforth concurs, “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. There are just no words to describe the experience of being so close to a curtain of fire rising into the sky and stretching on for miles. Wafts of heat constantly remind you of forces that are greater than our own. Timothy was so excited. He kept moving in closer and closer with the camera. I was very worried as to how far we were pushing those boundaries. I had to keep reminding Timothy that we didn’t want to announce that the principals of the new WAR OF THE WORLDS movie perished while filming forest fires.”
On other fronts of WAR OF THE WORLDS, the production is gearing up for its October 15th start date of principle photography. “The excitement is palpable,” beams Timothy Hines. “The city of Seattle and the surrounding towns have been incredibly helpful in securing locations that in many cases we had planned to do on soundstages. No soundstage set can compare to the spectacle of actually setting up hundreds of demolished cars and trucks on real streets and setting them afire. Of course the many mechanical effects and the devastation that has to be added becomes a logistical challenge.”
Susan Goforth smiles, “Timothy prefers real settings to stage sets. He’s been pulling us in that direction since the beginning. We are fortunate shooting in the Northwest in that so many shopkeepers are willing to let us break out their windows and make their establishments look to be in ruins.”
Foundation Imaging, who provided effects for STAR TREK VOYAGER and the upcoming ENTERPRISE series, just provided Pendragon Pictures with some of the advanced design work and effects tests for the fighting machines. Timothy Hines excitedly says, “The fans of WAR OF THE WORLDS have no idea how phenomenal the alien technology will be. We have astoundingly gifted designers and artists working on this and most of them have been envisioning Wells’ fighting machines their whole lives.”
The look of the fighting machines and alien technology is coming from both the computer world and the miniature team, but being led by the miniature creations. Miniature effects supervisor Jon Sorensen, who contributed to such films as ALIEN, OUTLAND, and THE DARK CRYSTAL, says, “We have to be careful that the CG tail doesn’t wag the MINIATURE dog. The Aliens have been studying us. Our past. They would pick things from various periods that scare us and integrate them into their machines. They have constructed these things for the sole purpose of invading Earth. Nowhere else. These machines are custom built for that purpose. Not as generalized war machines. They have complicated pistons and highly detailed machinery.”
Timothy Hines adds, “WAR OF THE WORLDS is going to feel as reality. Using miniatures and actual locations will help to anchor this. Also, it’s easier for the actors when they can react to actual trucks being dropped from cranes onto parked cars and full-scale sections of the alien fighting machines whipping past their heads as opposed to starring into a blank green walls. H. G. Wells would be very pleased as to how we are honoring his visions.”
Casting is still in progress as Timothy Hines insists on having the best and the most natural actors possible to fill out his production. “Ultimately the human element is everything. We can have the biggest explosions and most spectacular battle scene ever put on film and it won’t matter if you don’t care about the people. WAR OF THE WORLDS is a lesson of arrogance and hubris. How we react is far more important than the tactics and strategies of our enemies,” reflects Hines.
Check out the contest to win a role as a featured extra in WAR OF THE WORLDS on the Pendragon Pictures website. Nine winning contestants will land a paid on-camera featured extra role and be flown to New York City to attend the premiere with the director and cast. The first place contestant will be allowed to speak on his or her experiences of being in WAR OF THE WORLDS and all winning contestants will be featured in THE MAKING OF WAR OF THE WORLDS book.
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