domingo, junio 26, 2005

LAS OTRAS "GUERRAS DE LOS MUNDOS"

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Nota: Este post se divide en tres partes.

1. La primera habla de las dos nuevas películas de La Guerra de los Mundos que aparecerán junto con la de Spielberg este verano.

2. El segundo es un artículo sobre la Guerra de los Mundos tomado directamente de Galaxia-Media, un blog dedicado a la ciencia ficción y cuyo autor me ha permitido reproducirlo integro aquí.

3. El tercero es un artículo sobre La Guerra de los Mundos de Timothy Hines tomado de la página STUFFO donde explica porque hay tres películas de La Guerra de los Mundos este verano. (Esta en inglés)

1. LAS OTRAS GUERRAS DE LOS MUNDOS.

Noticia de último momento. Me acabo de enterar de que este 2005 no solo podremos disfrutar de la versión de Spielberg del clásico de H.G. Wells, LA GUERRA DE LOS MUNDOS, sino también de ¡otras dos versiones!

I. La primera de ellas es H.G. Wells´s THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, una producción inglesa de Timothy Hines que se jacta de ser la original ya que esta ambientada en 1898 que es cuando ocurre la invasión en la novela de Wells.

La película es una versión independiente y notoriamente de bajo presupuesto, pero los efectos por computadora le dan estilo al filme y se puede ver que es bastante disfrutable. Por el momento ya se puede pedir en Amazon el DVD, ya que la producción se realizó para llegar al público de esta forma, ya que la película llegó a cine en Febrero o Marzo pasado.

Pueden acudir a la página oficial de esta película en:

http://www.pendragonpictures.com/WOTWKEY.html

o ver los cortos de la cinta directamente en:

http://static.howstuffworks.com/quicktime/wowhires.mov

II. La segunda es H.G. Wells´s THE WAR OF THE WORLDS pero esta dirigida por David Michael Latt y protagonizada por C. Thomas Howell (The Hitcher) en el papel de “Herbert George”. Esta versión esta ambientada en la época actual, igual que lo que ocurre con la de Spielberg. Por supuesto, esta producción irá también directa al video y por supuesto, hay mucho de computadora.

La página oficial es:

http://www.theasylum.cc/cgi-bin/showMovie.cgi?id=10

y puedes ver los cortos directamente en

http://www.theasylum.cc/video/WOTW.mov

III. No es precisamente la película de La Guerra de los Mundos pero si es un documental sobre la obra. Es H.G. Wells´s The War of The Worlds, The Real History. El paquete de DVD incluye dos discos. Uno sobre la obra y otro dedicado al planeta Marte. Ya lo pueden encargar por Amazon.com

IV. La Guerra de los Mundos a tenido mucho éxito y también hay una versión musical realizada por Jeff Wayne (incluso hay un video juego), pero si quieren escuchar esta versión, pueden hacerlo directamente de la siguiente página:

http://www.thewaroftheworlds.com/radio_003.html

La página principal es:

http://www.thewaroftheworlds.co

V. Acaba de salir al mercado una nueva traducción de La Guerra de los Mundos de H. G. Wells editada por editorial Sexto Piso. El problema es que Sexto Piso pagó los derechos de esta obra para su publicación y así poder retirar del mercado a las otras versiones, que en este caso, serian piratas. Una verdadera lástima porque acabaron enterándose que realmente no había que pagar nada ya que los derechos para esta obra hoy son de dominio público (se liberaron el año pasado). La edición es muy bonita y esta bien cuidada, pueden adquirirla ya en librerías a un precio aproximado de $ 89.00 pesos. Así es la vida.


2. LA GUERRA DE LOS MUNDOS DE MEGACOSMOS

"La Guerra de los Mundos"

" De día estamos tan ocupados en nuestros pobres asuntos, que nos parece imposible que alguien, allá arriba, vigile nuestros pasos y, laborioso y metódico, planee la conquista del planeta Tierra. Sólo la noche es capaz, con su oscuridad y su silencio, de crear las condiciones para que los marcianos, los selenitas y demás seres que habitan el universo, tengan cabida en nuestra imaginación. "

Este solo es uno de los fragmentos iniciales de una de las novelas que leí con gran interes cuando era niño. Se trata de "La Guerra de los Mundos" de H.G. Wells. Fue en un tiempo donde empezaba a nacer mi gusto por la literatura. Mi papá me compro un par de novelas que brugera editó como biblioteca de literatura juvenil, y al ver que los titulos eran sumamente interesante me fui a la tienda de autoservicio a comprar más titulos relacionados con ciencia ficcion, aventuras y humor. Alli fueron mis primeros contactos con dos grandes precursores de la ciencia ficción: Julio Verne y H.G. Wells. La novela de Wells era fascinante. En una epoca en que los humanos consideraban muy probable la existencia de vida en Marte, Wells puso en el planeta rojo una civilizacion empeñada en conquistar nuestro planeta mediante el envio de grandes cilindros metalicos en cuyo interior albergaba a marcianos feísimos y llenos de tentaculos que convertían su rustico vehiculo interplanetario en una maquina de guerra que lanzaba rayos caloricos.

La sensacion de como la humanidad, con su tecnologia de finales del siglo XIX, es derrotada por las maquinas marcianas era angustiante. Los terrestres estaban al borde de la extinción, pero un "giro de tuerca" genial que agrega Wells hacia el final de la novela termina derrotando a los marcianos (no voy a contar el final porque seguro algunos no lo han leido).

Por si no lo sabian, esta novela fue publicada "en entregas" en algunos diarios de los Estados Unidos a inicios del siglo XX, y uno de aquellos niños que lo leyeron con interes fue Robert Goddard. Con el tiempo, Goddard se pondria como meta construir un cohete para viajar a Marte. Gracias a ese proposito, Goddard se convirtió en uno de los precursores de la astronáutica. En la actualidad hemos llegado a la Luna y visitado con robots otros planetas gracias a su empeño. Incluso uno de los Centros de la NASA lleva su nombre.

Hacia la decada de los treintas, un grupo de teatro que realizaba representaciones dramáticas por medio de la radio, decidió realizar una representacion radiofónica de "La Guerra de los Mundos" de H.G. Wells. Lidereando el llamado "Teatro Mercury" estaba Orson Wells, quien presento la obra con un giro interesante: lo presento como un docu-drama ambientado en el mismisimo Nueva York. Cuando la emisión se transmitió, era tal su realismo que muchisima gente creyo que, efectivamente, los marcianos estaban invadiento Nueva York y New Jersey. Como nunca antes, la humanidad entro en histeria producto de una emisión de radio. Allí empezó la fama de Orson Wells.

Con sorpresa me he encontrado una página donde puede uno escuchar en línea o descargar las grabaciones de diversas obras interpretadas por el Teatro Mercury. Entre ellas se encuentra por supuesto "La Guerra de los Mundos". Visiten la pagina: http://www.unknown.nu/mercury/ y seleccionen el formato que más les resulte conveniente para escuchar tan histórico docudrama. También hay otras obras como "Dracula", "El Conde de Montecristo", "El Increible Sherlock Holmes" y muchos más. Y para aquellos que quieran leer el guión radiofónico de la "Guerra de los Mundos", lo tienen a su disposición en este enlace:

http://www.mega-cosmos.com/invasion.html

También no olvidemos que se hizo una película basada en la novela de H.G. Wells y con efectos de George Pal que actualmente se consigue en DVD. Y dentro de poco Hollywood realizara una nueva versión de dicha pelicula con la direccion de Steven Spielberg y la actuación de Tom Cruise.

P.D. Los archivos de audio en formato "real audio" los puedes escuchar con RealPlayer. Los archivos MP3 puedes ser escuchados tanto con Windows Media Player como con Winamp (mi favorito). Todos ellos con versiones gratuitas.

3. ENTREVISTA CON TIMOTHY HINES, DIRECTOR DE LA VERSION DE ÉPOCA DE LA GUERRA DE LOS MUNDOS

STUFFO
http://stuffo.howstuffworks.com

Videos exclusivos de esta versión en
http://stuffo.howstuffworks.com/wotw-videos.htm

Interview with Timothy Hines, director of "The War of the Worlds"
by
Dave Coustan

10/26/2004

For his entire adult life and much of his youth, director Timothy Hines has dreamed of bringing H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds" to the big screen. His first attempt was at age 10. He built a complete set in his bedroom and hung a camera and tripod above the scene with coat hanger wire. And what's an alien invasion movie without a city ablaze? For the big action sequence, 10-year-old Hines covered his makeshift buildings with lighter fluid and set them on fire.

"I had my glass of water waiting to put the buildings out. Didn't work, and I ran in and got a dishpan, and eventually had to drag in a garden hose to put the fire out. There was quite a bit of fire damage and it was at that point that my parents started to ask questions like, 'What's wrong with our son Tim?'"

Decades later, Hines pulled together an eight-figure budget and a dedicated team of actors, production personnel, and special effects artists and set out to give "The War of the Worlds" another shot. The story of how the film made it from concept to completion is fraught with setbacks and false starts that tested the resiliency and creativity of Hines and his crew. It's not every day that a disaster movie is temporarily put on hold by similar real-life disasters, or that the same book faces adaptation by two different filmmakers around the same time.

How Did It Get Started?

In 1998, Hines produced a small independent sci-fi film called "Bug Wars" to see what he could accomplish with a quarter-million dollar budget using desktop computer hardware and commercially available software for post-production and compositing. A few of the founding members of Microsoft happened to attend one of the screenings, and found themselves fans of Hines' work. Among the small audiences at the screenings, Hines found the initial support he needed to take on the feature project he had been waiting to produce, "The War of the Worlds."

"...they loved the film so much, immediately afterwards they asked me, 'What have you got planned next?' I said "The War of the Worlds," and they all happened to be fans of the material. In a very short period of time I found myself in New York assembling 42 million dollars to put the film together entirely without Hollywood's help or backing."

Hines planned to update the story to take place in the present instead of 1900's Britain where the H.G. Wells novel is set. In the initial script, the aliens that invade earth have electromagnetic pulse wave (EMP) weapons, which they use to wipe out all electronic devices on the face of the earth. It's not as futuristic as it may sound; the U.S. military is rumored to already have e-bombs as part of their arsenal. With all technology destroyed, contemporary times would resemble the 1900's and much of Wells' storyline could play out just as it did in the novel.

What Was the Biggest Setback?

On September 11, 2001, Hines was in the middle of pre-production on "The War of the Worlds." He wanted to create a scene in the movie where the aliens destroy the Space Needle, and had just negotiated permission from the monument's owners to do so. As the September 11th tragedy unfolded, Hines began to feel like it was the wrong time to shoot a movie about cities being destroyed.

"When September 11th occurred, two things affected me. One, one of my prime investors was directly involved. He was in the world banking center across the street. That had a great impact on the operations of my company. And the second thing was, of course, I had in my script airplanes crashing into buildings, buildings collapsing, planes falling out of the sky. People running in terror ... I personally couldn't imagine spending immediate time after September 11th, spending a year recreating events that were essentially September 11th. It just wasn't in my spirit. It was suddenly a different world."

Hines felt so strongly that he decided to stop work on "The War of the Worlds" as a modern story. In so doing he left his production company Pendragon Pictures with a mountain of sets, materials, rental equipment and labor. Rather than let the momentum and materials go to waste, Hines decided to use all of that to begin work on the next picture in line for Pendragon, a sci-fi movie called "Chrome."

"It fit perfectly in the amount of work we had done in setting up model shots and casting molding shots and as far as the materials we had pre-purchased to build sets with. And so we just immediately, within a week, were in pre-production for "Chrome," and it was in less than a month and a half before we were in principal photography for that production."

In the meantime, Hines revisited his "The War of the Worlds" script and found an approach that he was more comfortable with given the events of 9-11. He decided to produce a direct translation of the book to the screen, without changing the time or setting. He felt that keeping the story in the early 1900's would make it more allegorical and less directly applicable to what was going on in the world. That way people wouldn't relate so closely to the main characters and thus it wouldn't intrude as much on people's feelings about current events.

Check back soon for parts two and three of this interview, where Hines discusses the making of "The War of the Worlds" and his take on the Steven Spielberg production of the same story.

In part one of Stuffo's interview with Timothy Hines, the director discussed the beginnings of his "The War of the Worlds" project. Now, in part two he talks about the pre-production and production phases and provides a brief glimpse at the alien civilization that attacks earth:

What are the aliens and special effects in the movie like?

Above all, Hines sought to create a movie that would be as true to H.G. Wells' vision as possible. That meant finding a look for the invading aliens and their technology that would reflect the fears and anxieties of the Victorians, rather than current trends in special effects. For inspiration, he looked to what was "cutting edge" at the turn of the century.

"This was the booming point of the industrial age and human beings were just fascinated with things that they could overscale. You know, giant wrenches the size of houses. A piston the size of a car. Things that are like, 'wow, look what we can do!' Big giant gargantuan lathes with huge bolts that are as big as your head. And bridges that were bolted together with zillions of rivets."

He wouldn't reveal much, but Hines did provide a brief glimpse at what his aliens and their technology would be like:

"... it's as if the medievalists, they had these giant overscaled catapults that they would use to sling these huge bales of fire the size of a wagon at each other. And so we sort of applied the idea that what if the medievalists had somehow stumbled on computer technology. How frightening would these massive overscaled iron and copper age kind of energies be, applied to computer use. And that's about as much as I can say ..."

How Did They Go About Adapting the Book?

"People think it would be easy to take a novel and translate that to the screen. Oh my god, there's much more than just changing everything from past tense to present tense. Especially for a story like 'War of the Worlds,' where he doesn't name virtually any of the characters. He calls them by their designation -- the Artilleryman, the Curate, people that he's run in to. And secondly, it's a narrative story. He heavily narrates. It's a very, very interior story."

Hines began by studying every movie he could find that relied on narration, from "It's a Wonderful Life" to "The Royal Tenenbaums." He sought out examples where voice-over narration worked, and examples where it became obtrusive. One pair of movies that were particularly useful to him were the film and tv productions of "11 Harrowhouse," one of which used narration and the other did not.

The cast and crew also immersed themselves in books on H.G. Wells, Victorian England, and the literature of the time. They read everything from dissertations on Wells' inspiration for his characters, to the Sears Roebuck catalog from 1902, to social histories of the Victorian period. They shared useful books with each other as they found them, digesting as many as 200 books in preparation for the project. In addition, they all spent time exploring Woking, England and studying what the landscape would have looked like at the time of the book.

Their research turned up many surprises. For example, the book makes frequent reference to the main character, the Curate, spending much of his time escaping trouble through what are referred to as "ditches." Hines discovered that the city of Woking in the 1900's had no indoor plumbing. The "ditches" that the Curate was spending so much time in were actually exposed sewers. This discovery made several scenes in the story far more horrifying and disgusting.

How Did They Keep the Movie True to the Book?

Hines surrounded himself with cast and crew members who were all huge fans of the H.G. Wells book. This helped to keep his directorial decisions honest. Any time he felt he had to stray from an exact presentation of the book's material, he had to justify his decision to the people around him as well as the voice inside his head.

In one instance, he altered the facts of a scene slightly to show the Artilleryman drinking from a river instead of a watermain pipe. He wanted to take advantage of what happened to be perfect shooting conditions and a beautiful river setting, and didn't think it would have a big impact on the authenticity of the scene. When Hines showed the rushes to his cast and crew, he expected positive reactions. But everyone seemed a little let down. He explains:

"Everyone was saying afterwards, 'well, he drinks from a culvert [watermain]. The character drinks from a culvert.'"

Hines himself agreed. They had to find a compromise. The special effects artists all got together and figured out that in post-production they could skillfully add in a broken watermain to the scene, so that it looked like he was in fact drinking from a culvert.

Anthony Piana, the actor who played the Writer, even took it upon himself to prepare by living as his character would have. Hines describes Piana's method preparations:

"He actually went out to England and slept in fields, and slept in ditches and wandered around like a vagabond specifically to absorb those feelings and approach people as how the writer might have approached people. Coming up like a crazed man in the middle of the night all dirty and what not."

What's the Feel of the Movie Going to be Like?

At times, the cast and crew were so focused on staying true to the novel that they had to remind themselves that "The War of the Worlds" is a horror film and not a quaint period piece. Hines emphasized that he's trying to put together a movie as frightening to watch as the original book was to read.

"To sit in the dark at night with a lamp and read this book, the things that he described curdled your blood and he was able to do that with just words. And so we very, very carefully, at every step along the way, had to stop and remind ourselves, because so much of what we were shooting with all of the period detail and carriages and horses and period trains and the locomotives being the right period. And worrying about all of these things to make sure that the spats were correct and the ties were correct. And so at a certain point, every so often, we had to stop and say remember we're making a horror film. We're not making "A Room With A View."

Check back soon for part three of the interview, where Hines gives Stuffo his take on the upcoming Spielberg version of "The War of the Worlds."

Part III: Pendragon and Dreamworks by Dave Coustan

12/2/2004

In the first part of Stuffo's interview with "The War of the Worlds" director Timothy Hines, he explained the origins of the project. In part two, he described the making of the movie. Now, in the third and final installment, Hines discusses the circumstances that led to the possible release of two "The War of the Worlds" movies in the same year by different studios.

Why did Pendragon shoot the movie under the fake name "The Great Boer War?"

"One, it was a great in-joke to me. Because the Boer War was the war in which H.G. Wells wrote 'The War of the Worlds' in reaction to. And so anyone who actually was deeply connected to the book might know..'gee the Boer War, why does that sound so familiar?'"

"Secondly it was a war that was going on in the turn of the century for England. And so for us to be shooting a picture where we're marching around with nineteenth century troops, in England, preparing to go off to war, that was a good cover. People would immediately accept that in reason that 'oh well that makes sense, that was when the Boer war was occurring.'"

"And part of that was that we shot it under 'The Great Boer War' just to not be inundated with onlookers and with fans of War of the Worlds and as it was, and as it is, we get thousands of letters a week of people essentially wanting employment or wanting to be involved or giving us advice on how to make the movie. And it would have been doing it in a fishbowl."

How did it end up that Pendragon and Dreamworks are adapting the same book at the same time?

"When I originally set up my production on 'The War of the Worlds', we approached everyone in Hollywood for the distribution side. Eventually we were funneled into Dreamworks/Paramount. We met with the heads of Paramount and friends of friends of Tom Cruise, various producers and associates. And little by little we learned that he [Cruise] had designs to do 'The War of the Worlds.' And we really weren't quite given clear indication as to why it was stalled out for him, what was his problem that he hadn't previously made it. But we weren't given such clear indications that it was definitely a go project for him. And indeed from the time where we first heard that to the point where they eventually fast tracked it, he did 10 or 15 projects in between."

What's the legal copyright status of the right to make movies from the book?

"It's one of the most complicated copyright issue problems out there. I can only say it like this. Parts of it are in the public domain, parts of it have really strange rights optioned in very strange ways to people for various different concerns. It's available in some territories and not available in other territories for some people and that possibly is why Tom Cruise was so stalled out. It was just a daunting experience. When we set out to make it we spent easily right at the very beginning $12,000 in just copyright research alone. Just to find out what all of the different various aspects of the copyright concerns were. So what I can say to you is that it boiled down to essentially a head to head between us and Paramount and ultimately they wrote us a letter conceding that we had a right to do a version of 'The War of the Worlds.'"

What's the plan for distribution and release?

"From our perspective, we're going to open in the Spring, he's [Spielberg] going to open in the Summer. I believe everyone will rush to see our version for comparison, and then everyone and then some, and their grandmother and their dog included will rush to see Spielberg's version. And I just simply think that we don't really hurt him at the box office. It's not like either or. It's not like they are opening at the theatre at the same time at the same day, and you've got this much ticket money and you've got to decide between these two films. You've got months of pressure off between the two productions. And if anything, we're going to do our picture right, which should from Spielberg's perspective, be almost like backstory to his. It's the original story and it's going to intrigue people and bring people all the more to want to go see what Spielberg has done with this."

Pendragon Pictures has recently announced that "The War of the Worlds" will be released worldwide on March 30, 2005. Check our War of the Worlds Roundup for updates and ongoing coverage.

1 comentario:

Admin dijo...

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