Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children in theaters September 30, 2016
Twentieth Century Fox brings the much loved and anticipated world of Miss Peregrine to theaters this September. Contributing blogger, Marcia Kellogg had the amazing opportunity to preview the film and sit down with author Ransom Riggs, legendary costume designer Colleen Atwood, and stars of the film Asa Butterfield, Ella Purnell, Laura McCrostie, Finlay MacMillan
Take a Peek at the Trailer:
From visionary director Tim Burton, and based upon the best-selling novel, comes an unforgettable motion picture experience. When Jake discovers clues to a mystery that spans alternate realities and times, he uncovers a secret refuge known as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As he learns about the residents and their unusual abilities, Jake realizes that safety is an illusion, and danger lurks in the form of powerful, hidden enemies. Jake must figure out who is real, who can be trusted, and who he really is.
Having just finished the first novel in the series, I was excited to see the amazing adaptation on the big screen. Following the film, I enjoyed talking with some of the people instrumental in its creation. A love for this film and for fantastic peculiarities from us all was clear! Here are some highlights from our chat:
Although being the creator of the world of Miss Peregrine and her children and being emotionally invested in the story, Ransom Riggs is excited to see his vision in the more-than-capable hands of director Tim Burton.
MK: My biggest question is how do you feel when your baby has to be changed, details changed, for a screenplay? I mean is there anything that was missing or changed that you really felt strongly about?
Ransom Riggs: Well, it helps when the person changing it is a director you’ve looked up to for 25 years. So, you know, if it had been anyone else, I might have been more nervous. But, I think also, I went to grad film school and I’m a total film nerd, and I’ve written screenplays that no one is going to buy or anything like that.
But I’ve dabbled enough to–I think to have a good perspective on how much work needs to be done and adaptation to make it a genuinely satisfying cinema experience that stands alone as a movie. So, I totally respect that. And, yes, I don’t watch the movie and go what about this? What about that? I just try and remove myself as the author and say, “Am I enjoying this as a movie?” And, yes, absolutely, I think it works so well.
Mr. Riggs wants viewers and lovers of the book series to feel how he feels, which is that even though Tim and Jane Goldman (screenwriter) elaborated on the story, that they feel that the added parts and the parts that have been changed a bit are still in keeping with the spirit of the book. He feels that they do. “When it comes to the third act, which almost covers what’s in my book, and then it keeps going, I feel like I would have written that.”
Costume Designer Colleen Atwood has a work history with Tim Burton that spans more than two decades. She is responsible for many iconic looks in some of his films, such as “Edward Scissorhands”. As the book is full of photographs of the characters, she had some inspiration, but not necessarily limits, to creating costumes for the film.
MK: With all the photographs that are straight from the story, how did you try to exude more creativity in costuming since there were some, sort of, very set parameters?
Colleen Atwood: Well, both Tim [Burton] and I wanted to embrace what’s cool about those photographs and what’s unique in the fact that they’re photographs of real things, but they don’t look real. So, we wanted to take the essence of those and sort of translate them into a way, as opposed to just copying them.
And, also, the photographs are quite, like, they’re not really necessarily, twins aside, exactly the same as the people in our stories. So, we – luckily, we, we have that. So, we didn’t get nailed to, like, somebody saying, “Well, we want just like this.” It never happened.
In hearing Colleen’s description of creating a unique and definite look for Miss Peregrine, it was easy to understand why her creations have led to an amazing and successful career. In an effort to pay homage to Miss Peregrine’s bird-like nature, without being overly literal, Colleen worked with title character actor Eva Green. She avoided a flat black by choosing a navy blue wool crepe fabric and sponging in green and other colors to reflect light as feathers do in nature. To add even more subtle character inspired details, Colleen added a metallic thread feather and V-shaped back piece.
Film stars Asa Butterfield, Ella Purnell, Laura McCrostie, Finlay MacMillan
The actors entered the room together, and it’s very evident that they enjoy working and being with each other, a point they stated very clearly. They had common takeaway that was very meaningful. Friendship.
“You make a lot of good friends in a film, with every film you do, because you’re working so closely with people for a long amount of time. You get close, and you’ve made these friends, and you probably, hopefully, going to know for the rest of your life.” – Asa Butterfield
To hear that the actors were able to understand the themes of the story and truly feel them while filming helped me connect to the characters more myself. I love watching “behind-the-scenes” documentaries on film making, and one thing I am always interested in hearing about, especially from child or young adult actors, is their favorite scenes.
MK: What were you favorite scenes to film and then see on screen?
Ms. Ella Purnell: I loved Blackpool Tower. I love that part where the kids are just going off at the hollows. That was so good. I love that. Really, that’s my favorite scene.
Ms. Lauren McCrostie: –Where you throw all the gummies and–.
Mr. Asa Butterfield: –Yes, that, the carnival–.
Ms. Ella Purnell: –No, that one. That one’s cool–.
Ms. Lauren McCrostie: –Ghost train–.
Ms. Ella Purnell: –Yes. I love that part.
Ms. Lauren McCrostie: Yes, no that, that one’s pretty cool.
Mr. Asa Butterfield: My favorite scene is a scene with Finn actually, in Enoch’s room with the dolls.
Mr. Finlay MacMillan: That was great because I got to sit down through the whole thing. He was standing there for five days, and I was just sitting playing dolls. Boy, the one where he’s escaping the house in the rain, I keep talking about that one, because that was just fun. This is my first film, you know. So, CBN, a studio where this fake rain, you’re like, whoa, I’ve seen this, but I’ve never actually seen it in the flesh.
So, you know, it’s raining but it’s warm. And, you’re like, I like that. And, then we had seen wet harnesses on, and we were jumping over these roofs and stuff on this house that they’d built. That was probably when it just hit me that how, like, that this film is–.
Ms. Ella Purnell: –The scale, yes, the scale.
Mr. Finlay MacMillan: Yes. Yes, how much thought’s gone into it.
Ms. Lauren McCrostie: And detailed, the detail of a Tim Burton set. He knew everything.
Ms. Ella Purnell: He knew what was going to happen, every second, he was like, he planned it all out, you know?
I know I’ll see this film again. I truly loved every minute of it. Tim Burton and Jane Goldman have created a movie that lovers of the series will delight in and those new to the story will becomes quick fans of. While my nine-year-old is not quite ready for the nightmarish creatures and their appetite of peculiar children, I know he will enjoy the film and book in a few years.
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Disclosure: This press event was hosted by 20thCentury Fox. All thoughts belong to me and have not been influenced.
About Marcia Kellogg:
I am a mama living in the Hudson Valley of New York with my wonderful husband, two gorgeous children, and furry and finned pets. Aside from my family, my life revolves around FOOD–creating it, reading about it, sharing it, and eating it!! After getting a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts at The Culinary Institute of America, I realized cooking is really the area I love more, so I have taking part-time jobs as personal chef and culinary skills instructor. But even more than food, I love spending time with my family, whether it’s on the football field, baking cookies at home or going to mommy and me class. We adore traveling to see our relatives around the country, especially in Montana and Hawaii. I will make it to Europe one of these days, and I consider my only regret in life that I don’t have more stamps in my passport~