From the imaginations of AnnaSophia Robb and Josh Hutcherson, comes the new film, Bridge to Terabithia. But, those creatures didn’t just come out of no where – the good people at WETA worked tirelessly to get them looking spectacular. The film is an adaptation of the children’s novel by Katherine Patterson; it’s directed by Gabor Csupo, of Nickelodeon cartoon fame.
I had the chance to speak with Matt Aitken, one of the animators at the New Zealand workshop about creating the world of Terabithia. He told me making this land was a little different than working on King Kong and The Lord Of The Rings.
Check out what he had to say:
Matt, this truly is one of the best children’s films I’ve seen in a long time.
Matt Aitken: Thank you. I think the visual effects is just one component. I was very happy to work on the film; I think it has real potential for greatness.
What did you work on?
Matt Aitken: We were responsible for the digital creatures; we worked on all the characters, and the realization of the land of Terabithia, especially at the end where it opens up. We did the bridge transformation, but a little bit of everything of the creatures and environmental stuff.
Do you see the movie differently when you see it on the big screen?
Matt Aitken: We have it set up so when we work on it, it looks the same as the theater. We spend a lot of time here making sure our screens match what’s going out on the big screen. But also, before we hand it off to the production, we make sure it looks clean; each and every individual shot looks good in the environment. What’s great for me is I’ve seen it a couple times, and seeing it cut together, the way it sounds, you get that experience! We work without sound, so there’s a huge different experience watching the film with the score and the dialogue all mixed up.
When do you think you’ll be able to see the finished film?
Matt Aitken: In a few weeks; I’m going to take my six-year-old daughter along to see it, and it’ll be great to show her. I use her for some early looks; she’s got a real critical eye, and she’ll be very critical. She understands what’s going on, and she can say, ‘Oh, you’re going to put that there.’