Monthly Archives: September 2015

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Prince Caspian

by Always Narnian

You may recall that several articles back I discussed certain facts behind the making of Walden’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In this one, I will do much the same thing with the second film of the series, Prince Caspian. I hope you will enjoy the facts listed below and that they will continue to build your curiosity about what goes into making films and what happens behind-the-scenes.

Locations and Sets

  • This film was shot mainly on location. While 40% of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was shot on location, Prince Caspian surpassed it with 60-65% of the film being shot on location.
  • The few shots of the street scenes in the beginning of Prince Caspian of Lucy and Susan were actually filmed in Prague, though it was meant to resemble London in the movie. The lion statue that is shown was already there on the street and fit perfectly into the film.
  • Trufflehunter’s home is a tight squeeze, especially for actor Ben Barnes. When they went to rehearse the scene, Ben was almost too tall for the badger’s cave which required the film crew to shave off 3-4 inches from the ceiling. After that, he was able to stand more easily inside the set.
  • There was a forest in Poland covered with ferns that Andrew Adamson wanted to film in. However, due to the price of traveling to that location, they brought around 5,000 potted ferns into a forest near Prague to make it resemble the one in Poland instead. This was a cheaper option for them.
  • So many different techniques can be used in filming, even a change of location for the same setting in a movie. For example, the gorge the Pevensies are standing by at the scene where Lucy sees Aslan was a gorge in Poland— when they finally believe Lucy and go down the gorge and cross the water at its bottom, the gorge they are traveling through was in New Zealand.

How Did They Do It?

  • The scene where the Telmarine soldiers attempt to kill Prince Caspian after Miraz’s son is born is a very intense moment. To achieve the visual of Caspian’s curtained bed being fired at by crossbows, there were small explosives set up in the bed to make the feathers of the mattress fly into the air. There were also small threads in the curtains that could be pulled on so that the tears would be in the correct spots.
  • You remember the scene where Caspian is dragged through the woods by his horse? This scene was achieved by Ben laying atop a metal plate, his foot fastened to a cart that would then pull him along the ground.
  • In the scene with the river god, you may remember that when the Telmarines are in the water the river starts to empty. Instead of using the complicated hydraulics they had specifically created for this scene, they asked the actors to crouch down and then stand up again, making it appear as if the river was vanishing just as you see it in the finished film.

Did You Notice?

  • Remember when Edmund stands up for Lucy at the gorge when she sees Aslan? Before the shooting of a close-up for this scene, Skandar Keynes had just banged his lip on a bar while walking around set. You can see him tucking in his lip in an attempt to make it unnoticeable on screen.
  • Prosthetics can be deceiving. Peter Dinklage, the actor for Trumpkin, had a very large prosthetic brow while in costume, which they described as having “the frown built in.” During the first stages of filming, this prosthetic made it seem as if Peter was glaring at Andrew. Andrew would ask Peter if he was okay, to which he would reply, “It’s the makeup!”
  • Did you ever consider minotaurs as being good? There is a scene in Prince Caspian where Peter sees a minotaur walking by and prepares to attack it. As you may remember, there were no good minotaurs in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and this shot in Prince Caspian was supposed to be the first minotaur to be seen in this film. Andrew Adamson believed he muffed the suspense because he had put these creatures in a previous scene with Caspian and the Narnians instead of waiting for this moment to reveal minotaurs could be evil or good.

Cameras and Action!

  • In one scene of the Night Raid on Miraz’s castle, Edmund slides down a roof and onto an archer on the top of the wall. There is a brief shot of Edmund’s feet, with the soldier beyond them. This shot was actually achieved by strapping a camera onto Skandar, who then did the stunt while filming it.
  • Peter’s running mount onto his horse during the night raid scene was actually performed by William Moseley, not a stunt double.
  • Imagine having to film a fight scene on a hill and having to accurately swing your sword at a small plasticine area of tree so you don’t damage the actual tree itself. This is what William Moseley had to do when they were filming the fight between Caspian and Peter when they first meet.
  • Peter and Miraz’s duel near the end of the film was choreographed as a 110-beat fight. William was taught this impressive fight within about three days.

Funny Incidents

  • The scene where the Pevensies are camping around the fire was shot in a huge studio that they said “had its own climate.” Bugs began to be seen on set and during the conversation between Lucy and Susan, Andrew had to digitally remove ants that had gotten onto Georgie’s and Anna’s arms.
  • Pierfrancesco Favino, the actor for Glozelle, has played in a few other movies with actor Sergio Castellitto (Miraz). Prince Caspian was the third film that required Sergio to slap Pierfrancesco.
  • The talented animator of Reepicheep got to have a small part in the film— a soldier that was slain by Reepicheep’s own hand. Andrew joked that “Reepicheep gets to kill his creator.”

Did You Know?

  • The Pevensie’s Treasure Chamber set had lots of small things on the floor, such as rocks. You may remember that the Pevensies are barefoot during this scene, having come from the beach. Anna had to wear moleskin on her feet to go across this set, due to her feet being sensitive.
  • During the night meeting where Caspian gives a speech to the Narnians, a small squirrel moves along the tree branch and asks a question. This squirrel was voiced by Harry Gregson-Williams, the composer of the scores for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian.
  • At the part where the Pevensies first enter Aslan’s How, centaurs on either side of them raise their swords in salute. You get a quick look at a small centaur, who is holding his sword too low. This centaur was played by Gomez Sandoval, the son of Isis Mussenden (the costume designer). They asked him what he wanted his character’s name to be and he chose “Lightning Bolt.” Andrew included the name in the credits of the film.
  • Excluding the actors for the Pevensie children (since they were cast in the previous film), Peter Dinklage was practically the first person to be cast for his role as Trumpkin the dwarf in Prince Caspian. Andrew said they created Trumpkin’s part in the movie specifically for Peter Dinklage.
  • In the very dramatic scene of Prince Caspian escaping from Miraz’s castle, a Telmarine caller is announcing the birth of Miraz and Prunaprismia’s son. His voice was played by Douglas Gresham. It was commented that the Telmarine accent was taught to Douglas in 6-and-a-half minutes by the dialect coach working on the movie.
  • During a brief scene at the end of the film, Caspian and the Pevensies ride through the streets in a type of parade. Many of the film crew’s families were there as extras. Andrew Adamson’s parents can be seen in a window, waving to those going by.

Though there are so many more facts that could be shared, I will leave that to you. What are other facts you may remember from having watched the behind-the-scenes? Share them below!