Three Great Places to Shoot The Silver Chair’s Underground World

by Oresen

One of my favorite parts about The Silver Chair is Jill, Eustace, and Puddleglum’s foray into the underground realm. Half the action in the book takes place beneath the earth, and Lewis’ crafted descriptions of that unseen world will have to be one of the many things to look out for on the big screen when the upcoming film is released.

The three ways the crew might shoot these underground scenes are by building a set to look like the underground, shooting using motion capture and converting it into CG, or finding a cave somewhere in the world that would mirror what Jill and her friends saw underground.

Here are three government-owned “show caves” that would be great places to film the various underground scenes:

1) Grottes de Han Caves

Grottes de Han Cave

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Location: Belgium

Why they would be great:

  • Half a million people visit these caves annually, so safety-issues are most likely not a concern
  • The caves aren’t near any major cities, but there is the village of Han-Sur-Lesse nearby, which could offer the crew food and housing during their shoot in the caves
  • The largest chamber of the cave is noted for having great acoustics, which wouldn’t hurt filming

2) Ohio Caverns

Seneca Cave

Source: Photo by and ©2007 Dustin M. Ramsey. Wikimedia Commons.

Location: United States of America

Why they would be great:

  • These caverns are known for having giant stalagmites and stalactites, which in the right lighting could appear very frightening, and present physical obstacles for Jill and her friends to have to pass through
  • They are overseen by the National Caving Association of America, so setting up logistical details would be simple and straightforward
  • There are full-time tour guides able to assist the film crew with setting up a scene, or just general navigation
  • Ohio’s geographical location gives it mostly favorable weather; it is not in the East Coast so that hurricanes hit it, or in the South so that searing heat and humidity affects it, or too far north to receive feet of snow like the Northeastern U.S.

3) Jenolan Caves

Seneca Cave

Source: Toby Hudson. Wikimedia Commons.

Location: Australia

Why they would be great:

  • The caves that make up the Jenolan are known to have layers – the depths can reach the equivalence of three-to-five story buildings. These layers could be very useful in shooting the character’s dreary and lengthy trek downwards.
  • Australia is quite generous in giving tax exemptions for film projects due to the economic boost the film shoot’s region will gain. (One recent film that was shot there due to tax benefits is Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.) The savings from the budget can then be implemented in marketing or set design or some other field.
  • Although they are several kilometers long, they are lit well by the lights built and scattered throughout. Shooting could commence at any time of the day.

There are, of course, other numerous, wonderful locations The Silver Chair could use to shoot. If you know of a place that would be perfect to shoot the above or underground sequences, leave a comment below.

4 thoughts on “Three Great Places to Shoot The Silver Chair’s Underground World

  1. Ajnos GamgeeAjnos

    There’s this lovely place in Namibia called “Giant’s Playground” that I think would be awesome for filming the journey between the Marshes and Harfang. North-Western South Africa and South-Eastern Namibia in general (what’s called the Karoo) would be great for much of the Wild Lands journey. We also have a beautiful limestone caves system (called Cango Caves) which could work for the underground journeys. (Completely unbiased opinions there 😉 )

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