Tuesday, 12 June 2012

BEHIND THE SCENES ON THE FROSTFIRE TRAILER

Hellooo, Dear Readers! Today I'm taking you on a journey behind the scenes of the making of the FrostFire trailer which, with any luck, will be released sometime before the book's 5th of July publication date. They're still working on cutting it all together and making the best of the amazing footage they got. I've had a sneak preview (yep, author's privilege!) and it looks *stunning*. I can't wait to share!

Now some of you might remember the post I did for the Shadows on the Moon trailer here. Watching that take shape was loads of fun, but I honestly didn't have all that much involvement in the process. I sent them a list of possible shooting locations early on, and then they consulted me on a few key points later, but mostly my involvement was skipping and flailing in the background and badgering people until they let me see photos/early footage.

The FrostFire trailer is different because I - gulp - co-wrote the script. The other writer was Lovely Lass (whom I introduced here). I haven't done anything like that since I left college, so it was pretty nerve-wracking, and the requirement to keep the whole thing down to as short a length as possible was a real challenge for me. As my Dear Readers know, I do have a slight problem with keeping anything I write to a reasonable length...*cough* fourthousandwordblogposts *cough*

Once we'd gone back and forth over the writing of the script for a while we sent it to Lovely Lass's boss, who sent it to the company who actually shoots the trailers. They OK'ed it provisionally. Basically, they were willing to give it a go, but reserved the right to tweak, cut, or downright change anything that they thought could work better (which they definitely did, based on the sneak peek I got, so bear that in mind when you see the finished article - it's not a product solely of my genius!).

A little while later I was sent a storyboard for the way they intended to produce the trailer. I can't share the whole thing with you, but I snipped a tiny part of it so you can see that it's pretty rough and ready and leaves a lot of room for artistic interpretation:

At this point they were hunting for possible shooting locations - not as easy as it sounds, since the book's setting, Ruan, is based on Northern India and Tibet and much of the story takes place in dense forest. But that paled in comparison to the hunt for the right actors.

There are three main characters in FrostFire and they are each very different. Without giving too much away (well, this is mostly on the cover copy) there's Luca, the charismatic and handsome captain of a crack team of mountain soldiers, defending a troubled border against ruthless bandits. There's Arian, his dark and tortured second-in-command and adopted brother, who would do anything to keep Luca safe. And there's Frost, the heroine of the story and it's POV character, whose entry into the boy's lives is a catalyst for huge change for both of them, and who is herself on an epic journey to find a cure for her berserker rages.

Relatively early into the casting process I was sent the images for the boys and did a genuine MUPPET FLAIL (with credit to Laura :) because they looked soooo good. First, the actor playing Luca: Ian James


I love him because he has a deceptively frail quality, as Luca does in the book - the heroine thinks he's like a bird of prey, fierce and silent. He's also got a very pretty face and long hair, which I was hoping for.

Next, meet of Ben Wiggins, taking on the role of Arian:


I was SO happy when I saw Ben. He's got the beautiful curly hair Arian's described as having in the book - and get a load of those eyes! Arian's pale eyes are vital in the book, and I was a little doubtful we'd get them for the trailer.

So far, so squeeful. But then, as I mentioned before, we hit a bit of a snag. In the book Frost is described as being tall  - as tall as Arian - and very strong and tough. She has dark skin and in my head I've always thought she looked like a younger version of Julia Jones, from the Twilight films, only with long hair. This is the sketch I did of Frost when I was writing the book:


Having had so little trouble finding the two guys, I was - well - let's stay stunned when Lovely Lass told me that she was being sent actresses who were completely wrong for Frost.

I mean WRONG.

Not just a little wrong.

Like, tiny petite white girls did-you-even-read-the-character-description wrong.

Why it would be so hard to find an althetic looking, dark-skinned young actress, I can't really understand. They're out there. They are ready for action. Just look at the cast of the British film FAST GIRLS! But for some reason we were not seeing them.

We did some anxious nail-nibbling. But then, at least, we were sent...Sophia Leonie (and what a gorgeous name that is, too):


Go ahead and take another look at my sketch. I don't want to say that the resemblance is uncanny but...it's totally uncanny, right? Eeee!

The only thing the lovely Sophia doesn't have that Frost does is grey eyes. But since she's tall and athletic and perfect in every other other way, I was happy to let that one go. We had a Frost!

Within about a day, I was told that shooting was going ahead in order to take advantage of the fine weather. And lucky you! I have some stills from the filming.

Frost flees in the darkness
Luca and Frost meet
Frost and Arian confront each other
Frost stares into the shadows
Supremely cool, right? I'm so impressed with the setting, as well. I thought I might get some fake connifers against a painted background. All in all I am over the moon with how it seems to be turning out - and you guys will be the first to know as soon as I'm allowed to set it free on the internet, I promise :)

What do you think of the actors and the film stills? Are you looking forward to seeing this? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Today's second post will be on Friday rather than Thursday this week, peeps. See you then!

24 comments:

Emma Pass said...

Wow, I can't wait to see this trailer! The actors look perfect and the stills are great too. And it's fantastic that you got to have so much input. Congratulations!

Zoë Marriott said...

Emma: Thanks! I'm really excited too. The version I saw was a very rough, early version, so I still don't really know exactly how it will turn out. Eeee!

Vivienne said...

OMG! I can't wait to see the trailer now! I didn't realise so much thought and effort went into making a trailer!!!

Zoë Marriott said...

Viv: Blimey, yes - can you imagine what a film's like?

SisterSpooky said...

MUPPET FLAIL!!!!

Zoë Marriott said...

Laura: *ZOLAH MUPPET FLAIL!*

Clover said...

Wow, it looks amazing already! Can't wait to see it.

And holy crap, the actor who plays Arian has the most gorgeous eyes ever!

Zoë Marriott said...

Clover: Right?! I was so thrilled! And I was thrilled with his hair too because so many young men with that lovely hair shave it all off. I thought there was no way they would find someone with the hair AND the eyes. But they did!

amycelestia said...

This looks awesome, I'm looking forward to seeing it and reading FrostFire even more now! The actors look great! :D

Zoë Marriott said...

Amy: Whee! That's the effect we were going for :D

Rachel Balcombe said...

Yay, so excited for both the trailer and the book! I'm planning on buying it as a congrats-you-survived-A-levels reward for myself, so I can't wait!! XD

Zoë Marriott said...

Rachel: Oh Lord - it had better be good then, right? Good luck good luck good luck with your exams!

batgirl said...

Those are some amazing faces - they have real character. The trailer is going to be great.

Zoë Marriott said...

Thanks, B.! I'm glad you saw this; now you'll finally know for sure what gender everyone is :)

Jenni said...

This is such an interesting post, so good to find out more about the trailer making process. I can't wait to see it, and I really can't wait to read the book :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Jenni: Thanks! Apparently I should be getting a look at a more finished version of the trailer soon, and I'm really keen for that :)

Rebecca Lindsay said...

I can't wait to see it! The backgroud in the stills is so atmospheric, especially the one where Frost is staring into the shadows.

Zoë Marriott said...

Rebecca: Isn't it great? And when you read the book it will aaaall make sense, too :)

Isabel said...

The resemblance IS uncanny! I'm so glad you're happy with the actors. The trailer looks amazing so far!

Zoë Marriott said...

Isabel: It *is* isn't it? I was so impressed. Cross your fingers that the trailer will be ready soon and I can share it.

Phoenixgirl said...

Gorgeous!

Zoë Marriott said...

Phoenix: Thank you! I think so :)

Eleanor said...

I really cannot wait to read FrostFire, it sounds so good and the trailer looks amazing as well.

Zoë Marriott said...

Eleanor: Thank you! I really hope people enjoy it :)

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