Big Miracle: The Whales

During my roundtable interviews with the Big Miracle cast, it because clear that those whale puppets made QUITE an impression.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Earlier this week, I shared some of my interview with the cast of Big Miracle and their thoughts on the story, location and time period that the film is set (the 80’s—Woo!)

Today I want to share a bit about the real stars of the movie—the Whales!

Film Title: Big Miracle

In a time when most of the fantastic images that flicker across the movie screen are computer generated, Big Miracle Director Ken Kwapis pushed to have animatronic whales created.

“We needed the wales to look perfectly real,” said the director “and I wanted to give the actors something tangible to interact with. We studied archival footage of the trapped whales to understand how they moved.”

Director Ken Kwapis and Drew Barrymore

Director Ken Kwapis and Drew Barrymore

The New Zeland based Glasshammer Visual Effects meticulously created the trio of very valuable California gray whale puppets the screenwriters had christened Fred, Wilma, and Bamm-Bamm.

During my roundtable interviews with the Big Miracle cast, it because clear that those whale puppets made quite an impression.

What was it like to work with the animatronic whales?

Kristen Bell:  They were more real than some actors I know. Not in this movie, but they were so well made from their scarring to their barnacles. From action to cut, you genuinely felt connected, as if they were animals. At least that's how I felt.

So, it was comedic when they'd raise them up, and you'd realize there was some New Zealander with a joystick, but it was a really unique situation, because you were able to sort of disregard the fact that they weren't real.

Film Title: Big Miracle

John Krasinski: It was kind of insane because you really did not believe that they were robots. It was very overwhelming to see one of these things pop out. And while you were acting, to have these things continuously coming out of the water was phenomenal.

And it adds a whole other element to the set. I mean, usually, it's a tennis ball coming out and they say, “We're going put the whales in later.” You're like that doesn't really help us when I'm saying goodbye to a tennis ball. Although I have had some great scenes with tennis balls.

Drew Barrymore: And they've put them on these sticks, and sometimes, I've even had someone put a smiley face on it, which makes you get out there and you're like--?

I feel a little bit silly. I'm not a very good pretender. I like to really just get lost in it and believe in all of it. And I know that sounds like an insane person, but then I guess I'm a little insane.

Big Miracle Poster

Brush up on your whale facts by visiting this wonderful Big Miracle Infographic (kids will love it). Plus check out the very special Twitter Sweepstakesfeatured within where 100 randomly selected Twitterers who follow @UniversalPics and include the hashtag #everybodyloveswhales will win a Big Miracle T-shirt!

On Friday I’ll have one last post about my Big Miracle cast interviews and it will include all of the funny and sweet random tidbits that surfaced throughout our discussions. I may or may not have inquired about Ten Danson’s conjugal visits. I know. My parents are going to be so proud. 

*Thanks to Universal for sending me to LA to screen Big Miracle and visit with the cast. They paid the bill, but my opinions are my own. 

Related

Film Title: Big Miracle

Big Miracle—Amazing Story, Amazing Location, and the Amazing 80’s

Great elements come together in Big Miracle to craft an endearing film, but the three most important are the story, the location, and the 80’s!

DSC01816

Big Girl Camera: January in Photos

The baby's crazy hair. A rare still moment for the girl. A trip to sunny LA. Average days at home. Here is my month in photos.

MP_8

Big Girl Camera: March in Photos

March was a big photo month for Erin—she shot all of these in MANUAL.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Giveaway

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Giveaway

It’s time for a Girl’s Movie Night Out! I love, love, LOVED “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” when it came out in 2002...and apparently so did all of your since it holds the record for the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time.

february in photos_instagram collage_2

Big Girl Camera: February in Photos

Here's how we spent February. We were sick and then we partied.

EO_011212_2

Big Girl Camera: DSLR Photography Tips

I’ve been squirreling away these links to DSLR photography tips for awhile...waiting for the day when I would need them.

photo

Erin’s 2011 Recap

I feel like I just lived the last year on fast-forward. It was a darn good year thought...here are some highlights.