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August 1, 2007

Tippett Brings Spiderwick Critters To Life

"...Plus, I hired a bad-ass crew. - It was like, 'Let me kind of learn while we're doing this and let's just make the (biggest), fantastic version of this movie we can.' And now I'm looking at the effects shots as they come in final and I'm like, 'Wow, I can't believe I shot that!' It seems so easy now and I forget the struggle it was to get it in the can." said director Mark Waters.

And that's where visual effects legend Phil Tippett came in. With films like Star Wars and Jurassic Park on his resume, Tippett certainly had the know-how needed to bring Spiderwick's critters to life.

"All of this is going to be digital work," explains Tippett. "All of the visual effects work is split between Tippett Studio and ILM. That was our intention going in to the shoot, because a great deal of these characters have extended dialogue and that's a very, very tricky thing to get with a puppet or an animatronic. And we definitely didn't want to have people in outfits or suits. We wanted to create the world that Holly and Tony had created and depict that, so the best way of going about that was doing it all digitally. Stop-motion would've been fine, but we don't do that anymore!"

The authors say that their inspiration for the books came from the old fairy tales, like the original Grimm Brothers stories, but also from specific folklore involving Faeries.

"People would go out into towns and talk to people about their real experiences with Faeries," explains Black of such folklore. "And they have really fascinating stories about how the Faeries would interact with people quite commonly and very organically. They were just out there. And if you stumbled on them, then you could be in trouble. And that's the thing that Spiderwick is about to me."

In response to Black's comment, Tippett jokes that "our job was to make the Faeries organic!" He says that what he and his team are doing conceptually is create the world that "Arthur Spiderwick" -- the character who did all of the illustrations in the field guide in the stories -- actually observed in the field.

"That's what we're cooking right now," says Tippett. "So these are invisible characters that Arthur has actually been able to see by the use of special Faerie accoutrements that he buys. He's able to actually become a witness for this hidden world. So he chronicles the characters or the creatures just like a normal naturalist would out in the field, (and) we're just trying to bring those characters to life and make them feel as if they actually belong in that environment."

Look for Tippett's Faeries and more this coming February...

complete article-SDCC 07: Exclusive: The Spiderwick Chronicles Interviews @ IGN.com


Posted by dschnee at August 1, 2007 11:03 PM