Friday, July 30, 2010

An Interview With The Director

Hey there! You may know that there is a movie being made for The Shadow Of The Bear, the book that was reviewed earlier this week. We interviewed Elizabeth H., the director/writer/producer; in other words, the talented young lady that is making it possible. Enjoy!

The Katies: How did you first hear about the Fairy Tale Novels?
Elizabeth: My friend pulled them off her bookshelf and said I should read them sometime. Me being me, I made 'sometime' happen immediately and read them both that night.

What first inspired you to make a movie of The Shadow of the Bear, and when did you officially decide to do it?
There were four incidents that got the idea squarely in my head.
#1 - my friend Ella (Froggy on the FTN forum) read the books and said we should do an informal film of it. I didn't take it very seriously at the time, but it did sort of get the idea in my brain.
#2 - several fans were talking about getting together and shooting the film over a two week period. This got me thinking about the logistics of making such a project happen.
#3 - However, I wasn't seriously thinking of doing a film at this point because I had given up my filmmaking career plans officially about six months previously. I went through a really dark period in my life and was only just beginning to come out of that in the spring of 2008. That's when my friend Josh (always my co-director) told me that he really thought I should get back into filming, because it made me more alive than he'd seen me at any other time. Because I respected him greatly, I took this to heart and really started wondering about SOTB.
#4 - I joined a production of "Beauty and the Beast" and at our first official read-thru I met our "Beast." A quiet guy with dreadlocks who radiated so much 'Bear' it was nearly impossible for me to remember that this was a guy named Jed, and not the real Arthur Denniston. When Josh kickstarted my film thoughts, one of the first things I did was ask Jed if he'd consider joining the project. When he said "yes"... well, it's all history from there.

How difficult was the casting process?
I sometimes think I have a gift when it comes to casting. In just about every film I've done, I've been able to look at the people I know and choose exactly who would be best for each part. I give the credit for that to God, because he brought together all the right people at the right time. I could never have pulled everyone together if God hadn't introduced them to me. That said, the four main characters were fairly easy. Jed was the first on board, and I already knew Hannah and Anthony would be brilliant for their roles. I didn't know Sharayah very well, but had a hunch she might be a good Rose. Actually, I had been tossing around the idea of Sharayah as Rose almost since I first met her, even though I wasn't seriously thinking about the project at that point. I was really surprised when she said yes, and once again it turned out to be God's hand at work.

Harder roles to cast were the adult parts, because adults tend to be a bit wiser about making these sorts of commitments. The last character to be cast was Sister Geraldine, whom we only signed on yesterday!

Which part of film making is the most fun?
My absolutely favorite part is when we're in the middle of a take and I get to see the characters really come to life. I've spilled my guts out doing everything I could to get to this point... but I'm no puppeteer. The actors are in control, and it's like magic when Jed becomes Bear, and Anthony Fish and they start yelling at each other and I think I've fallen into another world...

Which part is the hardest?
SCHEDULEING! I hate scheduling with a passion. You can't even begin to imagine how incredibly frustratingly difficult it is trying to coordinate the insane schedules of a dozen different people who are not getting paid to comply with you. My personal hell would be me being forced to schedule films like this for eternity. It's miserable.

How did you get interested in film making to begin with?
It was my Dad's fault. When I was about a month old he made a film about what an important baby I was when we went to visit my mum's hometown. It was a pretty hilarious film and it must have made an impact on little sleeping me because I've never been able to escape filmmaking since. I learned how to use the camera when I was about 7 years old and I've been making projects of some sort ever since. My first feature length production took place when I was fifteen years old and consisted of me directing a horde of junior high guys running around with swords and capes all summer.

What has been your favorite scene to film so far?
Oh that is an insanely hard question! Probably the scene in Freet's basement. That was just really awesome and I had way too much fun putting blood on Anthony. That guy is amazing for letting us tie him up to a post for hours. Seriously amazing.

Which of the scenes left to do are you most looking forward to?
We've done most of the fun ones... oh, the end scene! I am SO looking forwards to shooting those girls in their dresses and those guys in their suits!

We all adore them....who is your favorite male hero in the FTNs?
FISH! Need you ask? I adore Fish. Though according to Regina, if they were real (and not already hooked up with the FTN girls), I'd probably end up with Paul. He's not my favorite, but I can see the truth in that.

Which of the two sisters, Blanche and Rose, do you feel you most relate to?
I used to be very Blanche-like. In fact, my experiences at private school were in some ways quite similar to Blanche's. However I really identify more with Rose. I'm not nearly as sanguine or easy-going as she is, but we have very similar interests and flights of imagination. To be perfectly honest, I really consider myself more of a 'third Brier sister' who has parts of both girls, but is totally unique. I think the three of us would get along spendidly, although I'd probably tell Blanche she needed to loosen up and go skydiving or something.

When, approximately, will the movie be released?
God willing, June 2011!!!

When it is released, how will people order it, and about how much will each DVD go for?
I believe it will be available for order on our blog, ( and I am estimating that the total cost will be between $15 and $20.

RANDOM: What is your favorite kind of pie?
I LOVE pumpkin pie! Ooh, I shouldn't have done this interview on an empty stomach. Now I want some!

Thanks so much for doing this interview! We can't WAIT for the movie! Keep up the good work! :-)

If you haven't checked it out yet, there's a button for the official movie blog on our sidebar. Just click the image, it'll take you straight to the blog! That concludes Fairy Tale Novels Week; thanks for reading!


  1. Eeeek, that was so cool! Amazing interview! Especially the pie part! XD

  2. Thanks for doing the interview, Elizabeth!

    The Original Katie