War Horse – It’s a Wrap!



Film Editor Michael Kahn, speaking of his work on the film: “We have some shots in War Horse that are fantastic! We shot it in Devon and you know it’s gorgeous down there, and the horses are beautiful and the farms are beautiful. There is spectacular scenery and every shot is gorgeous, then you eventually get to the war part of it and it’s really, really something.” Kahn had a special editing trailer on the set and he actually edited the movie during filming. Kahn and Spielberg cut the film digitally, rather than on film, which was a first for Spielberg.

Further editing took place in the UK at Twinckenham Film Studios after filming, before the production moved back to the U.S. in Nov. 2010. It was put together here in Hollywood and Khan stated, “It worked well. The English actors are extremely good and so were the beautifully trained horses. For an editor, there were a lot of match frame problems with the horses, but the shooting was so good I got everything I needed.”

The Music

Now it was time for John Williams to score the film and it was recorded in March/April 2011. Spielberg is quoted as saying, “I feel that John has made a special gift to me of this music, which was inspired not only by my film but also by many of the picturesque settings of the poet William Wadsworth, whose vivid descriptions of the British landscape inspire much of what you are going to hear.”

Visual effects for the movie were undertaken by Framestore, a London-based company. According to Spielberg, the only digital effects in the movie are three shots lasting three seconds, which were undertaken to ensure the safety of the horse involved. “That’s the thing I’m most proud of. Everything you see on screen really happened.”

“It’s a moving and powerful story you can taken children to see, but it is still very upsetting … people die and it is war,” co-producer Kathleen Kennedy stated.

Many of you who have already seen the movie War Horse have been moved and touched much in the same way as me and the many actors and contributors to the film. Michael Morpurgo, who wrote the book, said, “The movie feels like a Christmas present … one I desperately want to open but am not allowed to yet. If that sounds almost childlike, so does the quality of my anticipation. I know I’ve built up my hopes considerably. I want it to live on and on in people’s minds.” And it will!

Save the date, UK: Jan. 13 marks the premiere for our friends in the United Kingdom.

War Horse – a movie not to be missed!

If you care to comment about this column, please email me at pattebarham@hotmail.com.

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