Thursday, June 21, 2012

Snow White & the Huntsman ★ ½

ONCE UPON A TIME IN A PRODUCTION MEETING


Release Dates
Australia
21st June
, 2012   USA 22nd 1st June, 2012   UK 30th May, 2012
Other Countries Release Dates





In the darkened cinema—made darker by the bleak grey palette used in ‘Snow White and The Huntsman’—my mind wandered. That’s what happens when the film is agonizingly slow.  You start thinking about the school run and that book you must finish and what to cook for dinner tomorrow night. 
               Eventually, my thoughts turned to the production meetings I imagined occurred in bringing this film to screen to darken my evening. Hear this conversation in multiple enthusiastic American accented voices.  Like Chris Hemsworth, I am an Australian, and just like him I can’t do foreign accents.

An Office in La-La Land

‘We have Kristen Stewart and she’ll bring all the Twihards.’
‘Plus we’ve got Charlize Theron.  She’s looking fabulous and got that Oscar too; so there’s credibility there.  She’ll get in the men—and the women (she has that appeal).'
‘And then we’ve got Chris Hemsworth.  Oh yes, yes, we all know he  can’t do accents (#&%*? Australian accent always slips through).  But look, as long as his hair is long and he’s still swinging something around that reminds them he’s Thor then nobody will care.’
‘The Dwarves though, they’re a problem.  There are no famous dwarf actors.  We can’t use the Oompa Loompa or that mini-me guy, they’re not craggy enough looking.  No, what we’ll do is we’ll get well known full size character actors and use CGI to make them look like dwarves.  Nah, nah, don’t worry about the “Dwarves Actor Union”—we’ll tell ‘em we may be remaking ‘Wizard of Oz’.  That’ll shut ‘em up.’
‘If only we hadn’t stuck these three writers (John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini, Evan Daugherty) together we could have just got cheaper actors and probably made something interesting.  Separately, they’ve done well for themselves but for some reason they just can’t patch this one together.  They all want their contribution to have equal time on the screen, which has turned it into over two hours of sludge.  But they’re standing firm and we’ve got contracts.’
‘And the Director?  Look everyone’s sick of seeing Spielberg above the title and Ridley is off in space again.  J.J. Abrams, well, he’s good but we need a conclusion here and after “Lost”, we don’t trust that he won’t end it with Snow White really never waking up and it was all set in Heaven. 
There’s this guy, Rupert Sanders.  Nobody’s heard of him—he hasn’t even got a proper bio on IMDB—but his video game commercials are pretty good and that really gives him great experience to handle a big budget Hollywood movie. So he’s not gonna complain or upset the writers or demand any more time and money be spent on the script.  No, he’ll be grateful, he got the job.'    
       ‘Then what we’ll do is start releasing really impressive CGI trailers a year out from the in-cinema date.  Really feature Charlize in them.  Put her in a milk bath and have her come up out of that with it covering her. That’ll get them interested.’
‘Don’t forget Kristen.  Get her to stare blankly at the camera just like she did in all the Twilight movies; and put her in chain mail and get her to hurl a sword around like she means it.  Thats a bit different from Twilight. They didn't give her a weapon, just a bad attitude.’
‘Put a lot of grabs of Chris with mud on his face and scenes with Kristen, like some romance is going to happen, even if it’s not.  And hair—get good shots of his long hair.  CGI it, if you have to.  We’re up against “Brave” and that one’s got good hair.’
‘And get Entertainment Tonight on the phone.  Tell ‘em we’ll fly Mark over to the set and he can interview Charlize.  Tell her to tell him that its great fun to be evil even if she has to shout in every scene.  Get one of the girl interviewers as well to fly over and stand outside a castle swooning as she interviews Chris Hemsworth about his new baby.  And make sure his hair is still long and tell him to use the Australian accent—we want it now—oh that’s the only accent he can do?  Right.  Right.’
'Now we’ve got the previews to do and we need to get passed those reviewers who may pick up it’s a bit of a dud.  Those useless scriptwriters—should have used dwarves.  Get the publicists to give ‘em a drink when they arrive.  And apples, get apples and put them everywhere—even put them in gift bags with other irrelevant stuff. No, no, we can’t put poison in the reviewer’s apples.  Too obvious.’

'Now we’ve got them sitting there, it’s our last chance to do something positive, let’s play them the spoiler trailer of the movie they are about to see.  Then let’s show them how we made the movie.  Show them the CGI.  I bet they wouldn’t realise we used CGI to make the troll or makeup to make one of the characters old.  Then tell them about the music. The music is really good.  We’ve got James Newton Howard.  He does all the big ones and Florence and the Machine.  She wrote a special song.  Maybe we can get some money back on the soundtrack.  Can’t hurt.'


'Oh and get Chris Hemsworth in again telling everyone how good the film and Director is, and tell him he can use his Australian accent.  Right, right, I forget that’s all he uses.  Is his hair still long?  Good, good.  Get him to Sydney for the Australian opening. Tell them he’s been surfing. That’s what they do in Australia in their spare time.  Can you get Kristen to Australia and get her in the reel?  Tell her to smile when she talks about the filming.  Oh, she doesn’t smile.  It’s in her contract?  Why?  Why can’t she smile?  Too many years as Twilight’s Bella, and everyone knows smiling gives you wrinkles.  Shame—pretty girl.'
‘Of course, it’s a good idea to show an audience how a film is made just before they see the film.  They want the spoilers and they know it’s just an illusion on screen, so why wouldn’t you tell them everything?  No there can’t possibly be reviewers who avoid pre-knowledge about a film before they see it, so they can experience it fresh as a ticket-paying film-goer would.’
‘Oh dear the reviews are coming in and it didn’t work.  Told you we should have put something in the apples.   Look on the bright side, we’ve still got “Alice in Wonderland” to our name and Johnny Depp is still returning our calls.' 
'Any more of these fairy tales we could have a swing at?  What about that “Rumpelstiltskin?  Get the Dwarf Union on the phone—tell ‘em we can make it up to them.  There’s a part for a baby and one of their members.  Wait, wait, hold that thought, get Depp on the phone.  Ask him does he mind if we digitize his body to make him shorter?  It’s a fairy tale for $#@&*’s sake, how can it fail?’