August 1, 2010 ~ Water for Elephants filming is scheduled to wrap shooting this week according to Director Francis Lawrence’s tweet on July 26th… I am finding it a bittersweet ending to say the least… I’ve had a great time following the film’s production since before Day 1 and I am a little sad accepting that the daily set news/tweets will end. However, we’ve been given a promise by @Hibbits that he will keep us in the loop with his post-production tweets. He tweeted this response to me: @WFEfilm “no problem. I’ll keep you updated during post as well”… I trust that Francis will keep his promise… Let’s backtrack a little since I’ve not posted all of the recent WFE filming details from last week: On July 26th Francis @Hibbits tweeted this: “Done with Cornell… Off to the morgue.” What this meant is that they were filming the scenes that take place in the beginning of the novel where Jacob is about to take his final exams at Cornell School of Veterinary Sciences when he is notified that his parents have died in a car crash and he must identify the bodies at the morgue… They used the UCLA campus exteriors as a ‘stand-in’ for Cornell and an historic, but abandoned, hospital in East Los Angeles (Linda Vista Hospital) for the morgue scenes… On July 28th @Hibbits tweeted: “Last day in Los Angeles… Nearing the end…” Obviously this meant that they were about to wrap up filming in Los Angeles and move on to TN/GA for the last few scenes of WFE, the film… The next day/evening July 29th @Hibbits tweeted: “shooting Jacob on the roof of the train right now… In the rain and with a knife. Last scene before we wrap in LA.” And “On the last shot in LA… And it’s Blackie!” and finally he tweeted: “That’s a wrap for LA!!!!!!” Francis has gone above and beyond his initial comments to me about keeping us in the ‘loop’ with regard to WFE filming details. I was pleasantly surprised that he replied to me on March 18th after I tweeted him: @Hibbits “As you can imagine there is a lot of interest in WFE film info, any updates you can share with us?”.. His response: @WFEfilm “just getting started. Have a great crew and a great cast. Should be shooting by mid may.” And on March 19th I tweeted: @Hibbits “Thanks for the ‘tweet’, Yes you do have a great cast, am looking forward to this film in a big way. Have fan blog in place”… He responded @WFEfilm: “Great. I will keep you updated throughout the process. Thanks for the support.”… So as you can see Francis and I have a bit of WFE history before this film even began shooting… Since then he’s been nothing short of amazing with regard to sharing details via Twitter… I sincerely appreciate his openness and willingness to keep us updated with regard to WFE filming details… As production moved on from LA to TN/GA @Hibbits tweeted on July 30th: “Day one in TN finished… Jankowski house is done! Looked beautiful…” The local Tennessee news station @WRCB and their anchors have done a great job covering WFE filming details. On top of their great coverage I was lucky to ‘meet’ three very lovely ladies, one that is local to Georgia and another two that drove up from Alabama and shared their set stories with me. I live in the southeastern US and I appreciate how excited and supportive our states and communities are toward this film… And last but not least WFE news: Jon Weiss, who is one of the Benzini Bros. Clowns, shared his filming experience with my blog… Jon is an accomplished performer and his story is very interesting and heartfelt and I have the utmost respect for him. This has been a busy week with regard to Water for Elephants filming and tomorrow is another day and mere moments to the final wrap on Water for Elephants, the film…More to come!
July 18, 2010 ~ *sigh* Finally over my London jet-lag and have been busy catching up the WFE film blog. London was amazing, a living museum around every corner, fantastic city. Back to business: I added all of the WFE set images from July 7th through July 16th (only three days worth) to the WFE Image Gallery, so if you’ve not seen them already you can catch up too. I also added a new page called~WFE ‘Extras’ Share Their Set Stories~and actor Robert Kestler is my first entry. He’s an amazing person and wrote a very informative and complimentary summary of his WFE filming experience. I cannot say enough good things about all of the ‘extras’ that have taken part in my blog, they’re all wonderful, so please read his story… Since I was away for eight day there is quite a bit of WFE news to catch up on, so I will begin by posting two interview excerpts in which Rob Pattinson mentions WFE. First is an excerpt from The Mirror UK: “Almost every day I’m working with an exotic animal; there are scenes where I’m leading buffalo and elephants into cages. It’s insane, like I got bitten on the arm by a lion with no teeth. They were like, ’It’s fine, he does it all the time.’ And I was like, ’Erm, OK…’ But they had to get him to do it harder, because he was being so gentle and just licking my arm.” And from the German Die Presse interview: You are currently shooting “Water for Elephants” with the Austrian Christoph Waltz. How are you getting along with him? “Christoph is stunning, an insanely nice guy. He is not only a ridiculously good actor, he is also really funny, helpful, and a good colleague. I like his work ethic. I mean, the guy has won an Oscar—and despite that he is receptive, open-minded, and not the least bit snooty. And Reese Witherspoon is the same. It may be the nicest cast that I have worked with yet—a really great experience.” You seem to only work. What would the perfect day look like for you? “Recently I stood in the desert, far outside of L. A., and watched the sun set on a circus tent from 1930. Everywhere stood animals: elephants, tigers that should be loaded into a steam train. 300 extras in costumes raced around, the modern world had disappeared totally. Although that was totally fake, it still happened directly before my eyes! That was my perfect day. I would be gladly experience that every day. It happens continually to me: It calls itself work. That is wonderful and more than enough.” Rob certainly seems to be having a great time on the WFE set and it’s good to know that he and Christoph are getting on so well… Other actors on this film have also mentioned how amazing and funny Christoph is and what a pleasure it is working with him… Continuing on: The Water for Elephants film set had a very special visitor on Wednesday, July 7th, from Sara Gruen, author of WFE! Sara had mentioned in an interview that she and her family would have a ‘cameo’ in the film as ‘rubes’ and so they did! Alright then, no Big Top post is complete without Tweets from the charming and funny WFE ‘extras’; and since I was away for a week here is a week’s worth of Tweets, many of them bid a fond farewell to Water for Elephants so this is an important inclusion:
@Thom_Thumb_ (clown) ~ I pranced around WFE set showing off my Brobdingnagian clown butt today and we shot the scene where the big top falls down on our heads… A fun day!
@BigTopLive (clown) ~ Author of WFE Sara Gruen was on set today!
@codywood (rube) ~ 4:30am wake-up call all worthwhile when C. Waltz took center stage and proclaimed: “Ladies and Gentlemen!…” #wfe
@Thom_Thumb_ (clown) ~ Last day at this set location.. What an amazing experience.. I’m gonna miss it. Looking forward to the parade. Today got to dodge rubes in clown get up, ..while August attacked Jacob during the stampede with a bull hook! An exciting scene.
@thorknai (roustabout) ~ Shooting a scene under an elephant? Check. Close-up during #WFE climax? Check. Action-filled times on set with @kevinketcham and Rosie!
@kevinketcham (roustabout) ~ Got the pleasure of shooting a solo scene with just Rosie, and @thorknai, it was awesome, proud to be a part of the exciting climax!
@BigTopLife (clown) ~ That’s a wrap under the Big Top! What a blast it was, until the Parade…… May all your days be Circus days!
@actorpat (roustabout) ~ w00t! More rousty action tomorrow night! :) Gotta squeeze in as much #WFE time as I can before it wraps!
@kevinketcham (roustabout) ~ Rollin to set with my rousty bros. @thorknai @tlukeaf, it’s going to be a long night! Can’t Wait.
@actorpat (roustabout) ~ Just got home from my last night of #WFE. It’s been an amazing ride. Tons of set soldiers when we left on the bus! You guys are AWESOME! :)
@thorknai (roustabout) ~ Reshoots today, gotta do em! Kudos to all the fans who came out tonight! U guys make it all that much better. ;)
@tlukeaf (roustabout) ~ to the fans of WFE…your great and i want to thank you for all the support you’ve given towards the film.
@actorpat (roustabout) ~ Woo! :) Snuck in one more day on #WFE; back on Monday with a few rousties and a ton of Rubes! Hope you’re all having a great weekend! :)
@kevinketcham (roustabout) ~ Enjoying the weekend, will be back to wfe on monday, the circus train, Hasn’t ended yet for this rousty, have a great weekend wfe fans!
@thorknai (roustabout) ~ Another day of running for our lives over with! Now gonna chill before back again tomorrow.
@tlukeaf (roustabout) ~ @Hibbits and Rodrigo Prieto have such great visions…a pleasure working with them…hopefully the future brings more opportunities.
@kevinketcham (roustabout) ~ Had another great day on set back tom, met cool rube @codywood, tom should be great
@codywood (rube) ~ More fun on set today. Met roustabouts/upcoming stars @kevinketcham and @thorknai Can’t wait to see them on the big screen! #wfe
@Thom_Thumb_ (clown) ~ Shot one scene today walking away from the big top beside Rob and Reese as it collapses behind us all. Last day of shooting in Piru. Sad.. As they collapsed the big tops behind us we signed autographs in copies of WFE. Looking forward to my final shoot date for the parade on Mon
@actorpat (roustabout) ~ Awesome last (?) day for me on set. Stampede, petting llamas, fun stuff with the crew. Great set, crew, & friends!!
@thorknai (roustabout) ~ Probably last day for us Rousties on #WFE! It’s been a great and wonderful experience! Proud to b part of it. :)
@tlukeaf (roustabout) ~ @Hibbits today on set brought a tear to my eye…I’m going to truly miss everyone involved. Thanks, tommy lukasewicz
@kevinketcham (roustabout) ~ On way to set, for another day of wfe, can’t wait, today is the day. today is our last scheduled day:( We have just finished wrapping on the piru location, might have a day or two left, but def a bittersweet moment, u guys, the fans have made Tweeting a meaningful and truly rewarding experience! Thanks for all the love and support.
@jackiezane (Lucinda) ~ The adventure continues! Got called in for an extra day of filming on WFE 2morrow! Now where is that red nail polish?
And last but not least Director Francis Lawrence’s significant Tweet since July 13th marked the ending of one aspect of WFE filming: @Hibbits (Director Francis Lawrence) ~ “Done shooting in the big top. Getting ready to collapse the benzini tents! Not a wrap yet… Just for this location. But still a bit sad. Just picture wrapped Donna Scott (Barbara). Okay… Collapsing our tents was probably one of the coolest things we’ve done.” Water for Elephants continues filming tomorrow, July 19th, with the Circus Parade scene which should be exciting and I am sure that the remaining ‘extras’ will Tweet about their experience… A side note: WFE film blog (me) is dedicated to this film and the people involved and I am grateful for their participation and devotion to this film so you can count on me to keep you informed with regard to all things Water for Elephants, the film… Definitely more to come!
July 3, 2010 ~ *Taking a deep breath*… I am having a bit of a dilemma, as in: I am fighting with my conscience… I began this blog with the intent of celebrating ‘WFE the film’ because I love the book so much and upon learning that it was optioned as a film I dove in head first without a thought about the possible unforeseen consequences… After reading responses on the Internet (not on this blog) with regard to last night’s WFE paparazzi photos and apparently a video of that filming and how invasive and revealing it was has given me pause… The paparazzi and independent photographers (not fans) have come out of the woodwork to claim a piece of this film and it has left me to consider : “Are the paparazzi photos diminishing the mystery of this film, have they revealed too much…” I am not a ‘news’ site, I am not the first to post any and all images from the WFE set, I don’t claim to have ‘hot news’ with regard to WFE or any of the cast, I am not a Rob Pattinson-centric fan site and I don’t exist for the sake of attention or blog hits… I simply want to chronicle the making of Water for Elephants, the film, and now I feel a bit guilty for posting the previous paparazzi set images… I’ve met so many wonderful people since beginning this blog, mainly the background actors, whom without them this film would not be complete… I’ve become friends with them, I respect them and the fact that this film is a job, it’s ‘work’, and they love what they do and are extremely appreciative to be a part of such a major project especially in this negative economic environment … So how shall I proceed? Do I stop posting paparazzi images or do I continue to chronicle the filming of Water for Elephants? Because I feel that it will benefit the greater good I will continue to post the set images to the WFE Image Gallery, but don’t expect me to post the ‘hottest’ news or exploitative info on this film, or slap up the latest paparazzi photos without regard, that’s not how I roll… I regard any information and details about this film be it from the Director or any of the actors involved with the utmost respect and I will not post inferior nonsense… Thank you to everyone that has visited my blog, your comments are very much appreciated and I will continue on with my blogging as things progress with this film… And, yes, I will be adding the images from yesterday’s filming to the gallery to keep the continuity going, they’re already ‘out there’… As you know, if you read my blog, I don’t usually get this personal but I felt it necessary and above all else this is ‘my’ blog supporting the film, so it’s personal… I do want to note that I respect and appreciate the Rob Pattinson blogs that publish Rob related news, they’re usually very respectful and I applaud them for their newsworthiness and speedy reporting… It’s been rumored that filming will end/wrap on Friday, July 9th, but I’ve heard otherwise… However I don’t have a definitive answer either… Let me conclude by saying that I sincerely appreciate every comment that’s been posted here and I will endeavor to personally blog about this film through its promotion and debut in theaters and beyond…
June 28, 2010 ~ Filming on Water for Elephants pushed forward during the week of June 21-25; even though Rob Pattinson took Thursday, June 24, off to appear at the premiere for ‘Eclipse’ the third installment of the Twilight Saga. Monday’s filming included a scene in which Reese/Marlena is riding one of her famous black and white horses. Not sure what scene it was, didn’t recognize it from the book… No set images for Tuesday, but Wednesday’s filming produced quite a few images of Jacob and Rosie! These were the first images of them together and apparently Tai/Rosie is quite smitten with Rob/Jacob because every time he goes near her, she raises her trunk right to his face and he holds it like a vacuum to his nose, it’s really something… Everyone on set is absolutely in love with Tai/Rosie. She was quite the star of last weeks filming as most of the ‘extras’ tweets were about her performing and/or just how amazing she is! All of last weeks set images are located in the WFE Image Gallery. From the tweets below and other sources we can surmise that one of the scenes filmed on Monday was the ‘morning after the speakeasy raid’ scene in which, at breakfast, Jacob and Marlena find themselves in an uncompromising position and August is not pleased (read: infuriated) over the fact that he was separated from Marlena and that he suspects that she and Jacob have formed an alliance behind his back, so he confronts Jacob… I’ve been told that Christoph Waltz is a very funny guy and that he had a lot of fun during this particular scene.
Here are Monday’s tweets~
(Clown 1) ~ On set before sunrise ready to shoot a breakfast scene…
(Clown 2)~ Having breakfast with Marlena, August and Jacob!
‘Lucinda’ ~ Lots of fun at breakfast today.. “gossiping” about Jacob, Marlena, and August! Wait, gossip?? Who me?? Nawwwww :)
(Roustabout 4) ~ Christoph Waltz is amazing…..I am truly inspired by the man.
More tweets about Monday’s filming, apparently Tai/Rosie was quite the star ~
(Circus Band) ~ You think my apartment would allow a pet elephant? Rosie’s freakin amazing-She smarter AND better looking than a lot of people I know #WFE
(Roustabout 1)~ Back to #WFE today! And w00t! It’s the solstice today! A good day to be sure. Happy Summer! :D and* WFE today involved watching a gymnast rehearse riding Tai (Rosie), including Tai standing on her hind legs. She’s such a cool elephant!
(Roustabout 2) ~ Had wonderful day on set Monday. Elephant working on stunts with a gymnast...
(Roustabout 3) ~ Great performances and funny moments on set today! As always, it seems. Ever seen an Elephant do a 3 point handstand? I have. Tai is awesome!!
(Roustabout 5) ~ Lots of great scenes shot today, chalk it up as a successful day! Wait till u see Rosie on the big screen
From Tuesdays tweets we can surmise that filming continued with Rosie and Marlena performing in the Big Top, and the Clowns, Rubes and Roustabouts were on set ~
(Clown 1) ~ First time working with Rosie on Water for Elephants set. Was being silly with a frying pan and juggling a hat in the background and WOW! What an amazing elephant! Potty trained, understands English better than most humans, and has a bushel of tricks up her trunk. A super fun day! And* Was impressed with Reese’s willingness to do stunts on Rosie, (her real name is Tai).
(Rube 1) ~ Totally excited head back to 1931 tomorrow on #WFE I wonder what kind of Rube adventures await.
(Roustabout 5) ~ Finished an exciting action packed day under the big top, as we left were welcomed by some awesome wfe fans!
(Clown 2) ~ having fun in spec, its gonna be spectacular!
Wednesday’s filming included a very key scene, read the tweets below for the clue ~
(Rube 1)~Up early for more #WFE can’t wait for more fun RPatz Reese and Christoph.
(Rube 2) ~ On a bus to a circus. #WFE
(Rube 3) ~ Had a great time Rube’n around set today! Thank you so much for bringing us backgrounders on board! Best set I’ve ever worked on!
(Circus Band) ~ Big Top Band’s coverage was the Martini Shot for today! BAM. Don’t scream too much, girls. It’s just my face. #WFE
(Roustabout 5) ~ Just got done shooting another day under the big top, and it was action packed, going to be awesome on the big screen!
(Clown 1) ~ Been shooting the scene where The elephant freaks out and Marlena swings down from the pole for the last 2 days, I bet it’ll look good!
(Clown 2) ~ Another great day at Benzini Bros! Spec gets a little scary!
(Clown 3) ~ On my way to work on #WFE CAST AND CREW ARE AWESOME.
(Rube 2) ~ Heading back to the 1930’s. #WFE
(Rube 1) ~ Goodbye 2010 hello 1931. #WFE
(Clown 1) ~ Saw Robb get a kiss from Rosie today, and had a photo shoot with world famous photographer Mary Ellen. I hope Fox publishes them! And* 400 and some odd background performers on set tonight! Should be a big one..
(Circus Band) ~ Just found out the Big Top Band is getting stunt doubles for the stampede. I guess avoiding death is probably the best option. #WFE SPLIT day today. It’s gonna be a long one! Good thing my robot body doesn’t need sleep. #WFE
(Roustabout 4) ~ wfe is going to be something special…extremely committed people…A+ cast and crew…i’m happy to be a part of the final product
(Roustabout 5) ~ Heading off to set, got to sleep in, energized for and awesome day on set
(Clown 2) ~ heading back to set for another amazing day!
(Rube 1) ~ Reese’s mom was on set yesterday dressed up for 1931 doing extra work with us. So nice!
(Rube 2) ~ The Rubes worked late night tonight. Just got home! #WFE and* Its FRIDAY in the circus tent. #WFE
(Clown 1) ~ We shot the finale of the circus show tonight on Water For Elephants. Reese rode Rosie while rosie stood on 2 feet on a pedestal, WoW!
(Roustabout 5) ~ Just finished another day night under the big top, rosie :tai doesn’t stop amazing me, having too much fun
‘Lucinda’ ~ Getting ready for some Friday Fun on the set of WFE!!
(Rube 2) ~ That’s a wrap on a week on #WFE.
(Circus Band) ~ Sexy Lion. It’s got both dark and light brown fur. If I could just sit down and watch a romantic comedy with it… Yeah. #WFE
(Roustabout 1) ~ #WFE is a blast! Animals, circus acts, Oscar winners strutting their stuff… We get to study up for when we’re big. :)
(Roustabout 3) ~ Lion is really majestic! I love my job. :)
(Roustabout 4) ~ Wrap to a very productive week on set !
(Roustabout 5) ~ Just wrapped at 3am, tons of amazing acts under the big top, really is looking like the most spectacular show on earth!
(Clown 2) ~ wrapped up another great day being a Benzini Bros clown!
(‘Lucinda’)~ Finally got to see Rosie’s amazing act yesterday. She really is fantastic..Such a fantastic day on set.. with a few surprise visitors!!!!!
To roustabout, clown, male cast/crew that lent a gentleman’s arm as I cross uneven terrain on set, my twisted ankle & I are truly thankful!!
(Roustabout 1) ~ Just finishing up lunch on set, back to more fun with rosie *and later* Just got done shooting exciting action scene. The tension between jacob and august continues! Great onscreen drama unfolds
(Clown 1) ~ The other clowns duck taped me to a pole in the cook tent on WFE today. First of may initiation. ;
(Roustabout 2) ~ Kickoff to another great week on set! Rosie continues to amaze! Very nice day all in all. :) *and* @Hibbits She’s amazing, in still in shock cuz of the headstand! Great working on your set, even 30 days in! :)
(Roustabout 3) ~ I can’t help but smile when I see rosie in action…so beautiful
From all of the great tweets and set images from last week we can safely assume that WFE is going to be visually spectacular and that the performances all around will not disappoint! *And* after not tweeting any set news in over two weeks Director Francis Lawrence tweeted this today @Hibbits “Just shot Rosie drinking the lemonade. This elephant never ceases to amaze me!” Another great scene in the can! Filming continues this week (June 28 – July 2) with many more great scenes, including the ‘Speakeasy Raid’ scene… More to come!
June 20, 2010 ~ Water for Elephants set news and photos were scarce this past week because Rob Pattinson was off doing promotion for his latest Twilight film, Eclipse. However, WFE filming continued on without him at the beginning of the week with night shoots that involved other members of the cast. Rob returned to set midweek to continue filming. Below are some of the ‘extras’ tweets that give a lot of detail about what went on. Director Francis Lawrence tweeted a very revealing bit of shooting info on Monday night. (FYI – I numbered the Rousties tweets to preserve their identities, there are five total that have twitter accounts)
WFE filming week of June 14-18 Tweets ~
On Monday night (June 14) @HibbitsIn the big top about to shoot the spec! If you want to learn what the ‘Spec’ is check out the new WFE Glossary of Circus Slang and Lingo page.
(Rube) ~ Getting ready to get to set to be a fabulous Rube in the 30’s! #WFE
(Roustabout4) ~ Heading to work for an awesome night
(Big Top Band) ~ Shooting the Big Top events on Water for Elephants!
(Roustabout4) ~ Just wrapped night shoot! Great night watching the most spectacular show on earth, (then later) Headed to set, for another great night under the big top
(Roustabout1) ~ Just getting home from set of #WFE. Got to see Reese doing her act, and a tightrope walker. Watching the monitors, the shots look awesome! The film looks incredible, from what stuff I’ve seen so far. Hope all is well! :) t’s been fun. The craziest part is going to be comparing what I saw on set to what the final product looks like. I’m one of the roustabouts; it’s a background thing, but fun! I’m sure all #WFE fans will be thrilled with the film.
(Roustabout2) ~ Yeah!!! Back on WFE tomorrow night!!! Team Roustabout is back
(Roustabout3) ~ Chilling after a full nights shoot, several more nights to come! WFE looks awesome!
(Clown) ~ Two amazing nights of clowning around under the Benzini Bros Big Top! Now time to pop back to the 21 century and Circus Vargas! (more) oh yea, clowns have a lot more shoot dates! I think we are back on Monday.
(Roustabout1) – Another good night of #WFE. Rosie (Tai) is really smart! She can do all sorts of commands. Hope you’re all having a great week! :) And yep, the set’s a blast; where else is it “work” to hang out back in time at the circus? :) Happy Thursday!
(Roustabout2) – Up and moving getting ready for work. WFE Rocks!!!
(Roustabout4) – Off to work with team roustabouts@thorknai@tlukeaf happy early bday! Tommy!
(Roustabout5) – heading to work with my mates @thorknai and @kevinketcham….it’s going to be a good day
(Roustabout1) ~ Last night on #WFE? A dramatic scene where August hurts Marlena, and Jacob steps in to throw down. Oh snap!
(Roustabout2) ~ The last three days on set have been really great. Rosie was on set. She is totally amazing
I’ve also been keeping in touch with a few of the guys in the WFE Circus Band, and they’ve had some really great nights on set. They all agree that the set is incredible and when they’re not shooting, during their down time, they walk around the set, the trains, the tents and the animals and they find it all it bit magical. I also have a special friend that spent all of Friday night (June 18) on set and she relayed that it was amazing and a bit surreal and that everyone was warm and welcoming and that the Director is the king of calm… Another of my extra friends, David, has graciously allowed me to add his set photo to my blog, that’s him above. He’s featured on my WFE Extraordinary Extras page. He’s worked on set as a animal wrangler and Roustabout. Thanks DK!
While Rob was doing press for Eclipse he managed to sneak in a few mentions of his current project. Below are the excerpts that pertain to WFE:
Polish TV interview:
R: He has been learning Polish for three weeks.
R: He says he have to speak Polish in his new film. (He said ‘podnieś nogę’ in Polish – it means ‘lift your leg up’.)
I: It’s quite a weird request.
R He knows and doesn’t mean the interviewer to raise her leg.
I: It’s funny he chose this to tell her.
R: He forgot for a moment what it means in English but now he knows and feels embarrassed. He says it in the scene with an elephant.
I: It explains a lot.
From the Daily Telegraph:
“I remember when I had my hair cut and it was on CNN,” he said. “Have they got nothing better to talk about? It’s quite funny.”
Pattinson cut his locks for his latest movie, Water For Elephants, in which he plays a veterinary student working at a circus who falls for an equestrian rider, played by Reese Witherspoon. “The whole mentality of the character is completely different to Edward and I haven’t really had an enormous amount of time to prepare for it,” he says.
From the New York Times:
“Water for Elephants,” which also stars Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz, is awaiting a release date from 20th Century Fox. It’s the kind of serious literary role that could bring critical attention and stretch minds about Mr. Pattinson’s range. “There is a profound vulnerability about Rob and his mannerisms, and that makes him supremely accessible,” said Elizabeth Gabler, president of Fox 2000, the studio unit making the film. “He also has an innate kindness about him that is wonderful in this role.” Mr. Pattinson has clearly enjoyed working on something else. He lit up when talking about the shoot, mentioning a scene in which a lion had to bite his arm and another where he had to spend hours shoveling horse manure — an unsettling detail given the grimy condition of his fingernails. “It feels like everyone is an Oscar winner except me,” he said of the cast and crew.”
June 14, 2010 ~ Last week’s WFE filming produced a ton of great set images, so it’s time for another WFE Big Top re-cap week in review. Before I get to the review I just want to say thank you to everyone that has left a comment on my blog. I want you to all know how much it truly means to me that people find my blog fun and informative and I appreciate you taking the time to stop over and share your thought with me! On to the review: Monday’s (June 7th) filming was quite special because Christoph Waltz as August was on set! It was the first time he was photographed in wardrobe and I have to say I was quite pleased; Jacqueline’s costumes are amazing, she definitely does her research and period accurate wardrobe is her forte. Christoph looked every bit his character, definitely channeling August. There was also a shot of Rob and Reese, she in a floral dressing gown, he in his muted/dirty shirt and suspenders preparing for a scene. According to Jenn and Lori (read their set adventure!), they were filming at the Fillmore location which involved the train cars… It’s hard to piece together what part of the book they were shooting that day, no matter, I was so happy to finally see August! Only a handful of photos from Tuesday’s (June 8th) shoot, just Rob arriving and leaving, nothing too exciting except more views of Jacob’s wardrobe. His character wears pretty much the same clothing for most of the beginning of the story. Wednesday’s (June 9th) shoot, which also took place in Fillmore, gave us an exciting preview of a very important scene… The particular scene in question involves August and Jacob on the moving Circus train at dusk… Director Francis Lawrence revealed that this was one of the scenes that he was looking forward to filming the most… If you’ve read the book then you know which moment I am referring to… Let’s just say that the set images are all inclusive and we get to see August in another amazing costume! Thursday’s (June 10th ) shoot, again at the Fillmore location, gave us another look at Reese in the same floral dressing gown as Monday, so we can assume that they were shooting more of that same scene or one that revolves around it. Rob was wearing the same costume as Monday and he and Reese could be seen rehearsing. However, the big moment on set that day really took place that night as we saw our first night shoot images of Rob and Reese. They both were in different costumes, she in a long black sleeveless gown (another gem from Jacqueline!) and he in denim pants, leather jacket and tall boots. Reese must have been freezing in only that thin gown and was photographed in a warm coat between takes… Friday’s filming was an interior night shoot, so there aren’t any photographs (a set visitor did take some great photos of the Circus Wagons you can see the images in the Gallery). However, many of the ‘extras’ tweeted about it giving clues as to what scene was shot and one of them got straight to the point and gave it away, lol! We learned that the scene being filmed that night was the one in which Camel takes Jacob to meet August and they basically pass through every train car on their way. They encounter the Roustabouts in their train car, the Clowns, the Tattooed Lady & Lucinda, the Coochie girls (including Nell and Barbara) and a contortionist; plus the entire Circus Band! Here are some of their tweets:
(Roustabout) – “A fun night to be sure; it’s where Camel takes Jacob to meet August, and you get to see the whole inner train on the way
~ and ~ Just got home from a long night of filming on the train for #WFE! Watch out ladies, the roustabouts are in their skivvies.”
(Roustabout) -” I hope all of the fans who came out tonight enjoyed seeing the Manly Roustabouts in their underwear! ~ and ~ Got off set of WFE and home at 4:45 been reading all posts. Tonight was a truly genius scene. I say again WFE=OSCAR”
(Roustabout) – “Just got off set. This scene will look awesome! Heading to sleep now! :)”
(Clown) – “Robert was great last night, clowns were getting him good! lots of fun. Great scene
~ and ~ clowns had a lot of fun with Francis and the crew, thanks guys it was a blast!
~ and ~ clowns are having fun with Jacob tonight!!!! “
(Lucinda) – “Back from WFE shoot at 5am. A night with a bunch of clowns, coochie girls, tattooed girl, contortionist, and others all in our pajamas! Fun!”~ and ~ “Getting ready for a night shoot on WFE.. woot!”
(Tattooed Lady) – “Just made cupcakes and totally messed them up! Now time to clean up, shower and off to WFE!”
~ and ~ “Filming Friday was so fun! Friends this weekend were great too!!”
So, it would seem that Friday’s (June11th) shoot was the first time that Jim Norton was on set as Camel and that Rob, Christoph, Tommy, David, Jon, Jackie, Kelly, Glen and William were also there (among others). Sounds like they all had a great time. One of the guys in the band shared a nice bit with me he said, “Francis is a real gentleman who must like his job ’cause he’s always smiling.” How cool is that, it really tells you a lot about the atmosphere on the set and that everyone is so happy to be working on this film. Another week of filming ahead and I cannot wait to see what it will bring…
June 8, 2010 ~ After a few days of Internet connection woes, I am back to blogging! I thought the best thing to do was to write a Big Top post recapping a few of the events that have taken place last week and this week thus far. It’s hard to believe that WFE has only been filming for 13 days and we have over 250 set imageswith more from yesterday’s (June 7th) filming yet to be added to the WFE Image gallery! I am truly stunned that the set images keep rolling in nearly everyday. They’re mostly of Rob, because his images are the ones that sell, so the paparazzi focus mainly on snapping shots of ‘Jacob’. However, we were very lucky today as we managed to get a few on-set images of Christoph Waltz as August. They are probably from Monday’s (June 7th) filming, as that seems to be the pattern. He looks amazing, more on that in a bit! Since there are photos nearly everyday I have come to rely on the ‘Robert Pattinson Life’ blog, as she is so quick to find all of the latest WFE set photosand for that I am grateful. Last Wednesday’s (June 2nd) set photos of Rob as Jacob clearly showed him wearing a medallion around his neck; I became intrigued as to what it was which prompted me to Tweet WFE Director Francis Lawrence for an answer. This was his reply: “@WFEfilm the medallion is St. Francis… Patron saint of animals” After he Tweeted his answer I thought, “of course, because it is so appropriate for Jacob’s character to wear that specific medal, I should have guessed that…” There is no mention of a medal in the WFE novel, so I was quite pleased with this addition; but given Francis’ attention to detail it comes as no surprise that he chose to add this wonderful bit of personalization to the film. With every new set photo I find more reasons to praise this film and everyone involved in the production. Example A: Jack Fisk’s production design and his art department staff with regard to the color and lettering detail used on the Benzini Bros. Circus train, train cars and Circus wagons; plus the glorious 1914 steam locomotive engine that is the muscle that pulls the Circus train from town to town. The era accurate Big Top Tent and Circus sideshow tent and the brilliant circus banners and circus art. Example B: Jacqueline West’s image perfect wardrobe designs.Her clever use of muted, earth tones and era appropriate fabrics convey the early 1930’s Depression era with exacting precision, yet her designs are organic and character driven. And last, but not least, Director Francis Lawrence for his vision, ability to focus on details and respect for the novel. By all accounts via WFE ‘extras’ and the Director himself, Water for Elephants the film, is quite phenomenal and it isn’t even in the ‘can’ yet… I must say that I am personally pleased that from set images, I can see that Francis & Crew have kept the integrity of the book intact. I love their attention to the tiniest of details, the ones that initially drew me into the novel plus the gritty, dirty realism that is WFE. I also want to mention that I’ve added another ‘Extraordinary Extra’ to the blog: Kelly Erickson has been cast in the role of the Benzini Bros. Circus Sideshow Tattooed Lady. This is her first film, she’s spent one day on set and is totally impressed so far… Well, that ‘wraps’ it up for now… I will add set images from 6/7/10 to the WFE Image Gallery tomorrow…[Edited to add: How could I forget Rosie! We have set images, 6/2/10, of our girl..]
June 1, 2010 ~ Camel is Cast! Check out the WFE Film News page for more info. More Big Top fun later.
May 30, 2010 ~ So much has happened this past week with regard to Water for Elephants filming I figured I’d write a ‘Big Top Week in Review’ post. Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone for their wonderful comments and for visiting my blog! I am happy that you find it entertaining and informative and you can be assured that there will be more blogging ahead as filming progresses. On to the review: Filming continued this past week (5/24 – 5/28) at both the Fillmore and Piru, CA locations. The sets have been plagued with paparazzi and security surrounding the shoot has been tight. Many fans have been visiting the set daily hoping to get a glimpse of any of the film’s stars. A few were successful and managed to snap a photo of Christoph Waltzwho stopped to sign autographs as he was leaving the set. On Wednesday Rob Pattinson won the National Movie Award for Performance of the Year and gave a recorded acceptance speech from the WFE film set thus giving us a good look at his “Jacob” haircut and makeup. Thursday was the first day of filming for Jackie (Lucinda), she Tweeted “My first day of filming on WFE was a long one. Home around 3:00am, but what an awesome day!” Jon (Circus clown), also Tweeted,“I will be one of the clowns in the movie Water for Elephants! Filming for the clowns start Thursday! Can’t wait!!!” and another Circus clown,Eddie, Tweeted, “First day on set with a bunch of clowns!! Soo excited!!” So according to Jackie, Thursday was a long night shoot. Friday was also a late day/overnight shoot beginning at around 5pm continuing thru to 5am. Director Francis Lawrence (@Hibbits) surprised everyone with a Tweet around 8:30pm – “Sitting in Marlenas dressing tent right now looking at the Benzini circus set up for the first time!” Going by what Francis tweeted we can assume that they shot some of the Big Top scenes that involved the clowns and other performers. The overnight shoot also revolved around part of the Menagerie scene, one of my ‘extra’ friends said that he played the llama ‘wrangler’ which he enjoyed and that there were huge camels on set, horses, plus various other exotic animals. He also mentioned that every detail with regard to the set design and decoration (Jack Fisk) has been meticulously researched and is stunningly authentic! He praised Jacqueline West’s wardrobe designs as incredible and that Reese looked awesome as did Rob. Many of the crew members have worked together before and everyone is like a family, which we’ve heard before from my other ‘friends’. The actors in the Circus Band also had their first day/night on set as well. The consensus is that the custom made band uniforms look great and are very comfortable. The band music is all original and they’re learning to play it or get as close as possible for sidelining. They spent all night climbing in and out of the band wagon in preparation for the “show”. The set is great, very authentic looking. Lots of animals on set and all agree that it gets cold at night out in the high California desert – Brrr! To conclude – The atmosphere on set is one of family and camaraderie with everyone working toward a common goal. The production values (set design, wardrobe) are superb and the production company is ‘bringing the book to life’ and for the people that love the book, that’s golden… Will we like the film: We’ll LOVE it… Filming continues on Tuesday…
May 26, 2010 ~ Local California resident and WFE film enthusiast, Kelli, has graciously shared her WFE location images with me! Kelli headed over to the filming location on Friday (May 21st) camera in hand and snapped up a ‘train load’ of images. She discovered all sorts of treasures whilst roaming around Fillmore. She also included a few shots from a previous Fillmore adventure that she had on May 1st. Head over to the WFE ~ “Images” gallery to see what she found… (Thanks Kelli!) (Images my not be copied without permission!)
May 25, 2010 ~ Monday, May 24th, marked the third day of filming on the WFE Fillmore/Piru set. My ‘extraordinary extra’ friend, Kevin, filled me in on his third day on set. Here is what he had to say: “Working with Director Francis Lawrence and next to film greats Robert Pattinson, Christoph Waltz, Reese Witherspoon, James Frain ( Rosie’s caretaker) and of course my favorite and biggest star Rosie, and many others is an experience of a life time. I can’t say enough about the cast, crew, stand-in’s, and background. All very professional, kind, and courteous. Truly “The Most Spectacular Show On Earth!” After 3 wonderful days on Water for Elephants (2 as Rosie the elephants caretaker stand-in) I am wrapped. I’m still on a list of stand-in’s to possibly be called back. What a great experience! One that I will cherish, and have fond memories of for life.” Kevin adds, “I would love to audition for the role of Camel or come back as his stand-in”, and one last personal bit, because Kevin is such an sweet, wonderful person… He writes, “Thank you K.p. for your wonderful blog, (Water for Elephants the film) and your friendship. You are truly amazing! HUGS Kevin” You’re the amazing one, Kevin, so I should be thanking you! I appreciate your friendship and for sharing your WFE filming experiences with me and the folks that visit my blog. I wish Kevin well and hope he does get a chance to audition for the role of Camel. I think he’d be perfect for the role, in fact, while I was reading the novel I pictured Camel as someone with Kevin’s features. I’ll keep you updated as things progress… On another note, according to Kevin’s message above, James Frain, best known for his role as Thomas Cromwell on the HBO series “The Tudors” is cast as Rosie’s caretaker (ghost circus?)… Well that’s a ‘wrap’ for tonight…
May 23, 2010 ~ My weekend recap of the first two days of filming Water for Elephants: Earlier in the week some of the actors cast as circus roustabouts attended “Roustabout Training”. Basically that involved learning how to setup the circus tents, here’s a bit of detail from David, one of the Benzini core roustabouts – “Training was basic but very cool…how to hammer the spikes in that hold the tent, ropes and so on…very interesting. They worked very hard and smart…four guys hammer spikes in a circle sequence…18.104.22.168. 22.214.171.124. 126.96.36.199. Great rhythm…”I have posted a vintage video clip of a 1930’s circus tent setup illustrating exactly what the guys were being taught. I am really impressed with how much attention is being paid to all of the specific details surrounding a real vintage circus and how they’re translating that to modern film. Thursday (May 20th) was full of excitement being that the start of filming had finally arrived. I was eagerly awaiting any filming news and around mid-morning WFE Director Francis Lawrence tweeted this: “1st shot of WFE completed!!”. I find it very generous of Francis to share little bits of filming info with his followers, I feel very privileged! Later on that same day the photographs starting pouring in and, of course, were received with much happiness and delight! As more images became available I began to piece together what scenes may have been filmed that day. Some were pretty obvious, some more of a possibility… One of my ‘extra’ friends had this to say about his first day of filming – Kevin wrote: “I worked 16 hours the first day which was incredible! The Benzini Circus Train was wonderful. It had an early 1900′s steam locomotive and lots of cars with circus wagons on the flat beds. There were some animals: camels, beautiful horses, lamas, Texas Longhorns, donkeys, and zebra…” He also said that he was ‘having a blast’ filming, watched the paparazzi buzz over in a helicopter and noticed the fans outside the gate; one even mistook him for Christoph Waltz! Friday, day two of filming, was much quieter. However, Director Francis Lawrence did tweet a very revealing bit of news: “Just shot Rosies intro!”… With that info and the images from Thursday’s filming one can assume that he was referring to the scene involving the ‘ghost circus’ in Goshen, NY where August purchases Rosie; thus confirming my assumption with regard to what possible scenes where being filmed. Kevin had this to say about day two: “The 2nd day I was upgraded to stand-in for the elephant caretaker and met Rosie. She is beautiful. I’m in love. Sorry Reese, lol …She is so big yet so gentle and smart. She never missed a line! lol…I can’t wait for Monday. I would work on this film all summer if they would let me.” … My final thoughts: Only two days into the 55 day WFE shoot and we’re already privy to loads of wonderful images and details. I highly doubt that the rest of the shoot will keep this pace, but you never know! What I am most pleased about so far, and I mentioned it in the May 21st Big Top post, is the attention to period details that Production Designer Jack Fisk and his department are bringing to this film. We’ve also had a glimpse of Jacqueline West’s wonderful vintage costumes seen on Reese (Marlena), Rob (Jacob), Mark (Kinko) and the circus roustabouts. I also love the fact that Jacob’s wardrobe and Jacob himself are appropriately dirty and disheveled (wondering what he’s wearing around his neck?) Marlena looks smashing in her jodhpurs, riding boots and bangle bracelets. After much speculation we’ve learned that Jacob is not a redhead, that Marlena is a gorgeous platinum blond and that Rosie is making a huge impression on everyone and they’re all falling in love with her, me included… Apparently no one can resist her charms…
May 21, 2010 – Now that the furor over yesterday’s ‘start of filming’ excitement has subsided I am compelled to recap the day and re-locate my center of gravity. Yesterday began full of anticipation and ended up full of surprises. Early in the day WFE Director Francis Lawrence tweeted that he’d just completed the first shot of the day and because his words carry weight his ‘tweet’ subsequently set the pace for the remainder of the day. Later on when the photographs began surfacing the Internet pretty much crashed because everyone was scrambling to get a first look… Which brings me to the subject of ‘professional photographers who are paid to photograph whatever/whomever is the hot topic of the moment’… In the world of Internet blogging/fan sites and the Internet in general we, as consumers, will always have a love/hate relationship with the ‘paparazzi’… They give us what we want, but afterward we feel ‘soiled’ for partaking of their offerings… Personally, I have mixed feelings about the entire practice… The reality of the situation is that ‘it is what is is’ and it’s going to take place regardless of how it makes us, or the actors, or anyone in the line of fire feel. Is it a case of ‘supply and demand’? Perhaps. Or is it symptom of the cyberworld in general…? Well then, on a more positive note: After viewing the set photos from yesterday I have to say that I am overwhelmed with regard for the Crew. Production Designer Jack Fisk and his department have outdone themselves, their attention to period detail is reassuring and exciting (the boxcars, circus wagons, ‘ghost circus’, location). I admire Jack’s ability to capture a specific era and bring it to life, he’s a master. Jacqueline West’s costumes are gorgeously authentic and exactly what I had imagined. Learned that Reese as Marlena is a striking platinum blond, street smart, yet vulnerable woman. Rob as Jacob is earnestly devoted to the Circus menagerie, in love with Marlena and is becoming best friends with Walter/Kinko. Moreover; my hopes for a dirty, gritty realistic adaptation of the novel were realized. Thursday was a wonderful day…
May 19, 2010 – Water for Elephants begins filming tomorrow! After months of pre-production and anticipation and, for me, countless hours of blogging I have to say that I am very excited to finally be able to say those words. I began this blog because I loved the book and when I read that it was going to be filmed I jumped in with both feet and created the Water for Elephants film blog back in late February. I basically started with a blank canvas and over the past couple of months the blog has grown in to something that not only do I find very fulfilling/entertaining, but apparently so do many of you, and for that I am grateful. Through the process of creating this blog I have met some of the nicest and most amazingly talented artists connected with Water for Elephants. I’ve learned more about the actual process of film making than I ever thought possible and I’ve come to have a great deal of respect for the people that are the very foundation of any film, that being the hardworking and talented Crew. I’ve also become friends with a few of the under appreciated, but very essential and talented WFE ‘background actor’ or ‘film extra’. I’ve had a bit of a history lesson researching the Great Depression and specifically 1931 when I became curious as to what the ‘look’ of the film might be and I revisited some of my favorite films and found some new favorites whilst researching info for ‘The Ring’ page. Since the announcement that WFE ‘the book’ was in development to become WFE ‘the film’ there have been countless debates on WHO should play all of the main characters. Needless to say I am very happy with the castand have no doubt that the brilliant actors will bring Jacob, Marlena, August to life. I am especially pleased that Hal Holbrook will be portraying ‘old’ Jacob and that the beautiful Tai will be our beloved Rosie. On that note I will conclude by wishing everyone involved with Water for Elephants ~ “Break a leg”…
May 7, 2010 – I was very pleased to learn this past week that the part of ‘old’ Jacob will be played by the illustrious Hal Holbrook.I have added a special page to the blog honoring him. Check it out here, if you haven’t already… Filming is to begin May 20th, as that is the date that many of the ‘background actors’ are reporting to the set. Not sure yet if they will begin in Santa Paula… It’s more likely to be the Fillmore location since most of their scenes involve setting up and tearing down the Circus tents, plus the train is in Fillmore and that’s a huge part of those scenes as well. Santa Paula will probably be used for some of the exterior ‘town’ scenes, perhaps standing in for Ithaca, NY and Upstate NY… I am willing to bet that most of the exterior ‘circus’ filming will take place in Fillmore, simply because of the availability of the train tracks and open fields that can stand in for New York state. If you’ve read the script then you know that most of the action takes place either on the Circus train, or when the Circus is setting up in the various towns along its route.
April 26, 2010 – What’s keeping Water for Elephants director Francis Lawrence so busy? On Friday (4/23) he Tweeted: “Had a great day casting coochie girls, contortionists, firebreathers, clowns and sword swallowers”. In the final weeks running up to the start of filming WFE on 5/20 there has been a lot of talk about ‘Casting’, from open casting calls to who has been cast in what role to FL’s Tweets on casting; therefore I thought it would be a good idea to explore the actual process of ‘casting’ a film. I learned that casting a film is a lengthy process that involves many steps before any one actor is selected to fill a role.
The exceptions to the casting process explained below are, of course, the major stars of the film (Rob, Reese and Christoph). Based on the actors’ reputation and past films they do not ‘audition’ for their roles; rather their agents send them the script to read at the production company’s request with the hopes that the actor will like the script and agree to take the role. Depending on who has been cast for the roles of Kinko/Walter, Camel and Old Jacob they may have skipped the audition process as well if they are well known, experienced actors. More often then not a director will already have an actor in mind for a particular supporting role and the casting director/production company will directly contact the actor’s agent and send over a script.
This is a breakdown of the typical casting process; actors/performers are rarely ever hired by the production company directly, but are instead hired by a casting company or casting director working for the production company. For example, the WFE Principal Casting Director, Denise Chamian, is responsible for filling all of the speaking roles for the production. The principle casting process for films always begins with the producer and casting director generating a complete list of required talent that is sent to all of the local talent agencies. Agents then compare the needs of the casting director with their current roster of performers and select the best candidates for the auditions. Next the talent agent typically sends the casting director the performers’ portfolio (resume of previous work, photographs, etc.) Once the principle casting director has sorted through all of the submissions and selects their choices, the agent will receive a callback with the audition information and sometimes a small portion of the script that the director wants the actor to read at the audition.
The actual auditioning process for the selected actors typically goes something like this: The actor will often do a ‘cold reading’, a cold reading is a performance based on a non-memorized script, or give a sample performance demonstrating the actor’s level of range. Basically, auditions are ‘job interviews’ for the performing arts. Casting panels are usually comprised of a casting director, the film’s director and producer(s). From these auditions the casting panel selects the actors who made it through the first round of auditions and arrange for ‘callback’ auditions. The selected actors then come back and audition again for further consideration, perhaps having their audition filmed for later review. The audition/callback process may repeat several times before the role is offered to the lucky actor.
Background casting, while not as complex as principal casting still requires attention to detail. Sande Alessi Casting is handling the background or ‘film extra’ casting for Water for Elephants. They’re responsible for filling all of the non-speaking and ‘extra’ roles. Auditions are not usually required for background performers. However, in the case of this film many of the background performers need to be real Circus/Sideshow performers, so assuming from what FL tweeted about they held auditions for these specialized roles. Hopefully, in the next few weeks we’ll finally hear some ‘real’ casting news with regard to who is playing our favorite supporting roles…
April 19, 2010 – Today I learned that Costume Designer Jacqueline West has signed on to Water for Elephants, and that was the virtual “Cherry on Top” of this already fantastic WFE Sundae! Director Francis Lawrence is gathering the best of the best in the industry for this film. The collective credentials of his production team is astounding to say the least; Production Designer Jack Fisk, Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, Costume Designer Jacqueline West and Screenwriter Richard LaGravenese have tons of experience and multiple Academy Award nominations and wins between them. What this means to us, as fans of Water for Elephants, is that the film adaptation of Sara Gruen’s novel will be brought to the screen with the utmost care and attention to detail, it couldn’t be in more capable hands! This fantastic crew coupled with an incredible cast; Robert Pattinson, Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon and Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz and yet to be announced supporting actors will not disappoint us. Filming is set to start in about a month (May 20th) and I cannot wait to see what other treats are in store for us… Please leave your comments below as I would love to hear your thoughts on WFE, the film.
April 10, 2010 – Anxious for Water for Elephants to begin filming? Interested in how the film will look? Consumed by everything WFE? Then check out the newly added blog page WFE ~ The Ring. The suggestions will occupy your time while waiting for WFE film news and images to start rolling in, which hopefully will be soon. Shooting will begin around May 20th and Director Francis Lawrence has promised to keep us updated with news and ‘cool’ stuff with regard to filming etc. In only 42 short days Water for Elephants will finally begin filming!
April 3, 2010 – How Circus Elephants are Trained an article published in Modern Mechanics, July 1931. I found this vintage article incredibly entertaining not only for the elephant training techniques, but it’s an excellent source of reference for WFE. The date is accurate and gives us some insight and visuals of circus life during that time. It’s also a great costume resource for many of the characters in WFE. Click on the thumbnails below for the full pages. Enjoy!
March 31, 2010 – While surfing the Internet I came across this article where the author discusses the history of the traveling circus during the Great Depression and references Water for Elephants several times. It’s quite an interesting read, here is the link – “The Struggling Circus”
March 28, 2010 – Social Networking… aka – Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Blogs, etc., etc. are a glorious (albeit invasive) invention… Because of ‘Social Networking’ I have been able to reach out to every corner of the world… Twitter, the current phenomenon, is by far the most instantaneous means of communication. In closing, I just want to thank my Twitter followers and hope that you’ll pay it forward…
March 27, 2010 – There are two very simple reasons that I began this fan blog… First reason: I love Sara Gruen’s novel… Second reason: I love the WFE cast and film making in general. Two very good reasons to fan blog about the upcoming film. This portion of the blog, The Big Top, is reserved for my random thoughts on the book, the film and the cast. I am a bookseller (movies and music too) for one of America’s largest book stores and have been hand selling Water for Elephants to customers asking for a great book. Sara Gruen’s historical novel has been a perennial bestseller since it hit the shelves May 2006. The story line is so captivating that you cannot call this book ‘a story about the circus’, because it’s so much more than that. The subtext and underlying themes are quite deep and each reader will draw their own experiences from the book. When I first read Water for Elephants I immediately thought that it was very cinematic and hoped that it would be optioned for a film. When I learned that it had been optioned and was finally in pre-production I became very interested in the film and the cast. I was very surprised and pleased that the role of Jacob had been offered to Robert Pattinson and that he’d signed on. Rob is a diamond in the rough, he has so many facets that have yet to be reveled. I think that he’s perfect for Jacob and will bring many nuances to the role. Reese Witherspoon was the first to sign on and I think that she is going to be wonderful as Marlena. Reese has the ability to make us believe that she is the character she’s portraying, plus she has the proper ‘look’ for the time period. The role of August had been offered to Sean Penn, but for whatever reasons he did not accept and Christoph Waltz was signed instead. I think Christoph will bring the necessary charm and evil that is August; he will captivate us, no doubt about that. The story takes place during the Great Depression, specifically 1931, and obviously portrays the hardscrabble existence of circus life. My hope is that director Frances Lawrence will accurately depict the gritty, dirty and baser aspects of the storyline. Suffice it to say that I am very passionate about this film and will strive to bring you all of the latest news, images and updates in the coming months. The director of Water for Elephants has been very kind and forthcoming with me on twitter and I hope to keep up a respectful exchange with him during the filming. Thanks for visiting my blog and please leave your comments as I’d like this page to be a dialogue between fans.