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It takes nothing short of a miracle to make a movie. There are a vast number of moving targets that have to line up in order to get a film going -- the scheduling, the budget, the multitudes of people involved, the rights, the studio, the cast, the director, the vision. It takes an even bigger miracle to make a good movie.
This is the story of that miracle.
From my point of view, like millions of other children, the story begins in the library. My mother took my sister and me to the library once a week like clockwork, and each week I'd come home with a new book to explore. At first it was Dr. Seuss or the like--picture books, mostly. Then one day my mother handed me a book with more words than pictures.
I looked down at the title: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It was the first book I read that topped a hundred pages, and I was hooked on the story from page one. Narnia, a seemingly endless land where magic prevailed and the good guys vanquished the forces of evil, was a part of me from that moment on. I started dreaming about it then, and to be honest, I've never stopped. It wasn't uncommon for Mom to find me checking the back walls of pantries, linen closets, and dressing rooms, all to no avail. One day, when we went to buy a new couch for the den, I went missing. My parents enlisted the security guards, who finally found me in the warehouse, knocking on the back of a wardrobe. On the way home, I laid my head against the car window and scanned the fields and forest for Centaurs and Fauns and Dwarfs.
A few years went by. School. College and a degree in English literature. Some entry-level jobs in film and television -- some good, some bad. A long, hard haul up the ladder. Then one day I found myself in what I now call "the right place at the right time."
I joined a company called Walden Media, where my job was to find movie projects that fit the company's mandate. The heads of the company, CEO Cary Granat and president Micheal Flaherty, had set up a film studio devoted to making quality films with educational merit. The man who financed our company, Philip Anschutz, was a self-made billionaire from Denver and a man with a mission: he wanted to make quality movies that would inspire viewers to make the world a better place.
An excellent mission by all accounts. I'd made a list of all my favorite books from school reading lists. Though I periodically edited the list, one book always remained in the number-one spot: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Fortunately, I found that I had an ally at the company in Micheal Flaherty, who also shared my love for this property since childhood. In fact, when Micheal and Cary had first approached Phil Anschutz with the idea to invest in their new company the year before, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the most important property they described when they presented him with a vision of the types of films they hoped to create. In my previous job, I'd learned that another Hollywood studio had purchased an option to make the film.
Still, I'm a firm believer in positive thinking. Sometimes you literally have to will a movie into existence. So I called someone I knew at that studio, who had no idea that they even owned the rights to Narnia. Not a great sign that they had any intention of making the movie. I did a little more investigating and found out that there had been plans to update the story, setting it in modern-day Los Angeles after an earthquake rather than in London during the Blitz. The Turkish Delight that I'd found so exotic and intriguing as a child threatened to go out the window in favor of hot dogs and cheeseburgers.
I made a vow then and there: this story had to be done right, and that meant being faithful to the book.
A little more research taught me that it was the C. S. Lewis Company (in effect, Lewis's estate) to whom we should make our pitch. We knew they believed, as did we at Walden Media, that the movie needed to remain faithful to the book.
I'd also learned it's not uncommon for movie rights to revert after a certain period of time if there's no intention of making the movie. Since the studio I'd spoken with didn't even know they owned the book, it seemed likely that the rights would revert one day.
Our pitch to the C. S. Lewis Company had to be inspired, sincere, and responsible. But I knew I loved this book more than anything, and was confident that Walden Media could get it made the right way.
That was the essence of my pitch.
I tracked down the C. S. Lewis Company and sent them a well-intentioned letter that expressed Walden Media's belief in the power of the property and requested an introductory meeting the next time they found themselves in New York. I got an immediate response from Melvin Adams, the organization's managing director, who said he came to New York periodically to meet with their publisher, Harper Collins. As luck would have it, he was going to be in New York in a month, and so we scheduled a breakfast meeting at his hotel.
The day before the meeting, I was printing out my notes, and as I walked by the conference room I bumped into a man strolling down the hallway with Walden Media's Cary Granat and Mike Flaherty.
"Perry, I'd like you to meet Phil Anschutz," Micheal said. "Perry is pursuing a very important property for us."
Phil shook my hand and asked how things were going. It wasn't a perfunctory question. He was genuinely interested.
Excerpted from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by Perry Moore Copyright © 2005 by Perry Moore. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted February 23, 2010
Title of review: another world
Number of stars (1 to 5):*****
Four siblings are taken from there home and put into a new place they barely know. They like there new home but they really want to go home to London but when they discover a new world all they have faced will be put to the test
Description and summary of main points
The four siblings meet aslant and they set off to fight the white witches army and restore Narnia to its original glory
I think this book has great character story line and has very good examples of the old English language.
All the characters in this story were very interesting especially since one of the main characters is a lion that can talk and help the children defeat the white witch and restore Narnia to its original glory. Any one who loves fantasy stories will love this book forever
After defeating the evil witch the four children are crowned kings and queens of the magic land of Narnia. Were they spend the rest of there days living in Narnia and being the best rulers that they have ever had
Your final review
This book is one of the best books I've ever read and is one of the less exiting books you will read but the book is very addictive
Posted March 23, 2009
Posted January 22, 2008
This book The Chronicles of Narnia The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is full of adventure and is very exciting to read. The way that C.S. Lewis describes the world of Narnia makes it almost seem real and it feels like I am actually there with Peter, Lucy, Edmund, and Susan fighting to save Narnia from the evil White Witch. In this story you will find the many wild adventures of four chosen sons and daughters of Adam and Eve and their quest to find Aslan at the Stone Table. The adventure begins when the four children are moving from there home town to a home of an old Professor who lives in the country. When all of the children adventure through the house Lucy, the youngest, tries to hide into a wardrobe. As she enters the wardrobe it takes her into a vast land of white, where she meets a fawn named Mr. Tumnus. Lucy tells the others about the land of Narnia, but no one believes her until they to venture in. Edmund meets the White Witch and thinks she is the Queen of Narnia. She tells him to bring the others. All of the children are met by Mr. and Mrs. Beaver where they take Peter, Susan and Lucy to meet Aslan. Peter is captured and fooled by the White Witch. If this sounds good to you then I would highly recommend this book for you to read for your enjoyment. I am positive that you will not be disappointed. This book is full of excitement. If you would like to find out what happens to Edmund, Lucy, Peter and Susan then you will just have to read this excellent book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 11, 2010
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Posted January 3, 2009
No text was provided for this review.