BE­HIND THE SCENES

Born in China is the first Dis­ney­na­ture co-pro­duc­tion with the na­tion. Bob Thomp­son has more tid­bits about the doc.

Montreal Gazette - - MOVIES -

1. Lo­gis­tics night­mare.

Dis­ney pro­ducer Roy Conli, who has spear­headed pre­vi­ous Mouse House an­i­ma­tions such as Tan­gled and Big Hero 6, says ne­go­ti­at­ing the lo­gis­tics of shoot­ing in iso­lated re­gions of China was com­pli­cated.

So was as­sem­bling a crew from China, the U.K. and the U.S. Conli and his staff also had to work out timeta­bles that saw pro­duc­tion teams film over three-month intervals, and then ro­tate out of the coun­try, which the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment re­quired.

2. Lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion.

The lo­ca­tions were de­mand­ing. Es­pe­cially dif­fi­cult was the snow leop­ard habi­tat 5,000 me­tres above sea level in the Qing­hai prov­ince on the north­east part of the Ti­betan plateau. Oxy­gen tanks were pe­ri­od­i­cally re­quired on that set, Conli says. Crews were more com­fort­able at the Wo­long Na­ture Re­serve in the Si Chuan prov­ince in Cen­tral China, where en­dan­gered gi­ant pan­das live.

3. Pa­tience with pan­das.

Ex­tra ef­fort and lots of pa­tience were re­quired by all of the film crews, but the team shoot­ing the pan­das suf­fered for their art to cap­ture some spe­cial se­quences.

“They wore panda cos­tumes and smeared them­selves with panda scent,” Conli says, “so they could get as close as pos­si­ble.”

4. The voice.

Nar­ra­tor John Krasin­ski is a mas­ter voiceover ac­tor. He’s done TV ads for Ko­dak, Puma, Ap­ple TV and Car­ni­val Cruises. Conli ad­mits he con­sid­ered many voices for the nar­ra­tor job, but set­tled on the The Of­fice ac­tor. “John could do the drama and the hu­mour and he did it with heart.”

5. True to life.

Dis­ney­na­ture has a string of suc­cess­ful na­ture doc­u­men­taries to its credit in­clud­ing Earth, Oceans and African Cats. Born in China con­tin­ues the trend, but the film does con­tain a death se­quence. Conli says they de­cided to in­clude the mo­ment as part of the “true-life ad­ven­tures” man­date.“And I think we un­der­es­ti­mate kids,” he says.

John Krasin­ski

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.