Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Peter and the wolf.

While I'm on a roll i might as well put something of use down in here too, don't you agree? Well I'm sure you'd love to hear about 'Peter and the wolf' and the adaption by Susie Templeton...

The folk tale was captured in a musical symphony, intended for children by Sergei Prokofiev. It took him just four days to complete in 1936.
This was an attempt to try and inspire younger children with classical music and the piece was just 40 minuets long to appeal to their shorter attention span. At the time the music did not attract much interest at all unfortunately but as time has passed so many children have loved and appreciated it, whether from the music or the interpration Disney offerd in 1946 with a short film.
In the story each character is portrayed by a different musical instrument;

Peter- String instruments
Duck- Oboe
Bird- Flute
Cat- Clarinet
Grandfather- Bassoon
Wolf- 3 horns
Hunters (gunshots)- timpani and bass drum

In 2006 Susie Templeton directed a beautiful stop motion adaption on the tale, it is as dark as some of her older work in places but not as emotionally disturbing by far. It is for children after all. She kept the original classical music and paced all of her characters in what seems an effortless flow to the music.
The film contained about 420 shots, each lasting an average of 100 frames (about 4 secs.) Each shot took about half a day to set up and a full day to shoot, however some of the more difficult shots took up to a week to shoot! In other words, this took ALOT of careful planning and time to film. The sets were made to allow the camera as much movement as there would be if this was a live action film, therefore the forest was about 22 metres long by 16 metres wide with 360 degree horizons, 1,700 trees and literally thousands of bushes grasses and rocks, as well as overhead skies!! (And don't forget that was just one of the sets.) To help take the pressure off the main set and filming schedule, there were duplicates made of the most used areas of the set.
This all made for an absolutely stunning film though!! :)

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