September 24, 2010

Kathryn Lasky Talks Ga’Hoole

Posted by at 1:45 am in Authors, Book to Big Screen | Permalink

Gahoole_130x130 Today is the day that Ga’Hoole fans have been waiting for! Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (rated PG) is hitting theaters today, and we have an exclusive interview with Kathryn Lasky, the author of the Ga’Hoole series, to talk about what it was like making her books into a movie.

Q: What surprised you the most about making your books into a movie?
Lasky:
What surprised me the most is how complex and difficult it is to do an animated film as opposed to a live action one. So complex that it is really beyond me to explain but I’ll try to a little bit. Animal Logic, the animation company in Australia (creators of Happy Feet), already had one of the most powerful super computers in the world, but they had to upgrade it just to deal with the animation of feathers which is about the most extraordinary thing I have ever seen. But it’s not just the feathers—the facial expressions they capture are amazing. I have been told that they film the actors’ faces as they are speaking and then somehow make a digital map of their faces and transfer them on the real owl faces. This gives an emotional depth to the film that is profoundly stirring—or at least I think so. To sum it all up I imagined a universe and they brought it to life in a way that is simply mind blowing. Believe me, writing a book was easy compared to what these artists did.

Q: What was the hardest part?
Lasky:
Without a doubt the hardest part was the waiting. Everything takes forever with a movie like this. This whole adventure began five years ago when I signed a contract for an option. That was the quickest part. Then Warner Bros. had to assemble a team and they did gather a fantastic array of talent. First the director Zack Snyder and his wife Debra Snyder, his producing partner, were chosen. Then they got John Orloff, the writer, and of course all the stars—Helen Mirren , Sam Neill, Geoffrey Rush, Ryan Kwanten, Hugo Weaving, Abbie Cornish. There were also the Animal Logic people headed by Zareh Nalbandian and his battalion of wizards. To make a film of the quality of Legend of the Guardians takes time and I am not the most patient person in the world, so waiting was hard.

Q: How will the movie compare with the books?
Lasky:
A book is not a movie, so naturally there are some changes. But the most important thing is that Warner Bros. has remained faithful to the spirit and the basic plot line of the books. The characterizations of the owls are sheer genius. I know audiences will be soaring with Soren and the band! The best surprise of all was Eglantine. Honestly she nearly steals the show. I keep asking myself why didn’t I make her more adorable in the books? Maybe this is where the limitations of a writer versus a filmmaker come in. I could go on forever about the brilliant treatment of the owl eyes by the animators but Eglantine is a case in point. Create_a_caption_baby
I think it’s the addition of eyelashes that does it. My husband and I both think she looks like our two year old granddaughter Lulu. So the film in truth exceeds my expectations. There were actually things that I wished I had figured out how to do in the books what the writers, animators and directors accomplished in the film.

Q: What is your favorite part of the movie?
Lasky:
Well, I have many favorite parts, but without a doubt the scene where Soren first flies with the weather chaw under the guidance of Ezylryb is one of the most breathtaking moments I have ever seen on a movie screen. He is flying through this torrential rainstorm. In 3D the raindrops are splattering you right in the face. You are totally with him as he seeks the air currents, the passages through this incredible weather. Obviously I am not a bird but I’ve done a great deal of ocean sailing in my life—twice across the Atlantic and once across the Pacific. I know weather and what it feels like even if I can’t fly.

Ooh, that sounds so cool! Let me know what you think in the Comments!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

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  1. brock

    i am in love with ur books i cried when ezlryb died it made me so sad i wish u would write more books like where some one tries to assasinate soren that would be cool i pickedup the book one day in the library and was like eh what the heck after the first chapter i was hooked read all 15 and the other 2 and the lone wolf u are the best athuor ever

    Reply
  2. vvsoftball

    I read all 15 books and loved them all. I even read the Wolves of the Beyond the first 2 books and the 3rd just came out, can’t wait to read it. I absolutely recommend these 2 series.

    Reply
  3. Justin

    I’ve heard some pretty bad things said about the movie.
    I’ve never actually watched it, but I think I agree. Considering that the movie changes vital parts of the book for the movie, such as Kludd and Soren getting kidnapped by the Pure Ones instead of Soren getting kicked out by Kludd and kidnapped to St. Aggies, you don’t get that same feel.

    Reply
  4. puppylover101

    I just saw the movie it was AWESOME!!!! I haven’t read the bookes, but I’m going to on Monday because that is when the libray opens.

    Reply
  5. Natnay J

    I think the Ga’hoole books are a great serios But Are you going to keep writing thenm?
    Plus others for us to read I also like it how Soren and his band of owls win the battle to save the great tree.

    Reply
  6. Lucas

    Well, I thought this was an amazing movie! One of my favorites! It was decent to the books, which I found surprising! Percy Jackson was horrible to the books. Well, I think everyone should see this movie! Kathryn Lasky should be proud to see her books come to life! =) Love the books and love love the movie!

    Reply
  7. SamPD

    I have to say the movie would recive a 7 or an 8 from me.
    Personally, I am glad they didn’t butchur it like usual.
    The video game is also actually “good”. Which I should say that is rare, since usually from what I seen, books to movies to games and vice versa tend to end up as carnage. I should know, since I have experience with this type of subject for at least seven years.
    If anything, it has set itself up for a sequel and thank goodness Uwn Boll did not direct this.
    Glauxspeed everyone.

    Reply
  8. Kyndall

    that movie was like james camerons Avatar for me. Like earth-shatteringly epic. Dude, i cant even describe it. And those books were like 10 times better than that. Epic

    Reply
  9. girliegirl

    I heard stuff on the movie on STACKS and just saw it on Friday…it was soooooooooo good!! The 3D was the best part!!!!!!

    Reply
  10. gylfie97

    KR: Miranda, I know it’s a little bit… abridged, but do you seriously want them to make 15 movies? It would take a lifetime, with that kind of animation… but no hard feelings.

    Reply
  11. GuardiansofGa'hoole

    I saw the movie. It is great but quite different from the books (I don’t want to give anything away) Kludd is awesome!

    Reply
  12. KR: Miranda

    Sorry, gilfie97, but I think 3 books crammed into a 1hr 40min movie will not be like the books. Lord of the Rings was like the books. Most of the Harry Potters are like the books. But I doubt Guardians is. Faithful to spirt and “basic” plot, but the movie is supposed to leave out some important plot points.

    Reply
  13. guardianofgahoole

    (you can probably tell I like them from my username)
    I LOVE THE GA’HOOLE BOOKS!!!I read the series long before the movie came out, and they are awesome!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  14. gylfie97

    This could be a first… A movie that is actually like the book(s)!!!!!! I have read all 15 books, plus both guide book thingies, and This was one of my favorite books of ALL TIME (just in case you can’t tell from my username)!!!!!! I totally need to see this movie…

    Reply
  15. Marytonga

    Whoa… I’ll probably watch it when it comes out on Netflix on my Wii, it’s just to special for me to watch with my parents. I have to be alone, like when I’m reading. I just hope Twilight’s fans and chants don’t leave and not stay the same… I’m on the 4th book to. I love it so far

    Reply
  16. Marytonga

    Whoa… I’ll probably watch it when it comes out on Netflix, it’s just too special for me to watch with my parents. I have to be alone, like when I’m reading. I just hope Twilight’s chants stay the same…

    Reply
  17. Katherine

    I love Guardians of Ga’Hoole! I can’t wait to see the movie. It’s going to be awesome. Still reading 2nd and 3rd though……..

    Reply