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Random House Children’s Publishers @ 10:56 am
Some people think that being a writer is glamorous. I know that I once did. I dreamed of finally getting published and all the amazing fun that would follow. I imagined travelling to distant countries, staying in city hotels and seeing the sights.
Most of that came true and I do enjoy it but sometimes it can be hard work: having to grab a coffee and manage without breakfast to be in time to travel to some school event; attending a bookshop when hardly anybody turns up; spending a night alone in a strange town on a wet Monday; visiting a big city but seeing only the inside of your hotel room. So when you actually do live the life of a writer it’s not as glamorous as some people might believe.
The same is true of film-making. On April 30th I visited Vancouver, Canada, to watch the film of ‘The Spook’s Apprentice’/ ’The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch’ being made. The film is called ‘The Seventh Son’ and it is a good choice. After all you have to be a seventh son of a seventh son just to be eligible to become a spook’s apprentice.
They have created some amazing sets designed by Dante Ferretti. I was shown the preliminary models and artworks then, finally, the sets themselves. They are big and very convincing. I saw a walled city set in a huge muddy field. It was like a building site complete with heavy machinery and workers in hard hats. There was no glamour there.
That comes afterwards.
I met Jeff Bridges who plays the Spook. He looked convincing. He believed that he was the Spook – I could see it in his eyes. Yes, he was the Spook! Then I watched him playing the same scene over and over again until he and everyone else, (especially the director Sergey Bodrov), was satisfied. There were a lot of people involved and each one of them knew exactly what to do. It was an action scene and the ‘Spook’ kept falling backwards against a pillar in danger of his life. He was covered in dust and he probably had bruises or at least aching bones the following day. It wasn’t glamorous. It was hard work.
The glamour comes later.
They started filming in March and will continue until the end of June. Then post-production will begin. They’ll spend hours, days, weeks and months, editing the film until each section is perfect. Then like a Pendle witch casting the spell called ‘glamour’ the film will come to life and the magic will be there.
It will differ from the first book somewhat. All films are adaptations and make changes. But I am convinced that it will be a great film.
I’m looking forward to it.