Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

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How should Puddleglum be Portrayed?

Actor only (with makeup & costume)
8
25%
CGI Creation a la Gollum (LOTR)
0
No votes
Actor with CGI Enhancement
24
75%
Other?
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 32

Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby narnia fan 7 » Aug 14, 2016 11:55 am

That's great that he's already looking in to the role! He certainly looks the vary Marsh-wiggle like,and after watching some interviews and clips of him and seems like he'd bring a lot of energy and physicality to the part, the only drawback for my would be whether he can do a british accent.
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Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby fantasia_kitty » Aug 14, 2016 3:18 pm

Indeed narnia fan 7. :D Haha Rose, I see David West beat you to it. ;)) That's cool though. Good luck to him!
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Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby David West » Aug 14, 2016 7:18 pm

Woah, I didn't even know about that tweet he made from 2011! I tweeted him the other day and was pretty excited to see his response! That's insane that he actually tweeted YEARS ago hinting at exactly this. There's no way the role he's talking about campaigning for in The Silver Chair ISN'T Puddleglum! Dude has to get the role! He wants it, he's a Christian, AND he'd be perfect!

I'm revising my vote to "actor only." If they cast Doug Jones, I don't think any effects beyond makeup and prosthetics would be necessary. This would also be a GREAT way for the film to shave a few million off the visual effects budget, which is important because I'm hoping they cut the budget to a more reasonable level to insure the survival of the series.

My absolute dream is to direct The Horse and His Boy (and The Last Battle) in a few years, and I've been actively working towards a career that could hopefully make that a reality. I've been very, very strongly considering shooting a trailer for The Silver Chair this fall when I wrap post-production on a feature-length Pilgrim's Progress adaptation that I'm working on for my church. I just might have to see if there's someway I could convince Doug Jones to let me film a Silver Chair short film/trailer starring him as Puddleglum to help get him cast in this role and get me some kind of job working on the film.

Who knows? It's an idea so crazy it just might work...

EDIT:
Wow... sorry to double post, but I found ANOTHER tweet Doug Jones made about Narnia. This dude is an *actual* fan of Narnia. Now I really, REALLY want him to be Puddleglum!

https://twitter.com/actordougjones/stat ... 3418535936
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Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Aug 15, 2016 5:57 pm

David West wrote:I'm revising my vote to "actor only." If they cast Doug Jones, I don't think any effects beyond makeup and prosthetics would be necessary. This would also be a GREAT way for the film to shave a few million off the visual effects budget, which is important because I'm hoping they cut the budget to a more reasonable level to insure the survival of the series.


That's a very good point about the visual effects budget... when you think about how often Puddleglum will be on screen with Silver Chair, making huge adjustments to his appearance with computer generated effects could become extremely costly! I don't think it's worth it, either, especially since you run the risk of it being "bad CGI" that distracts from the film. While CGI was necessary with a character like Tumnus, Puddleglum's unique features are really just a small torso, extremely gangly limbs and webbed digits. There are actors that already have that body type and the webbed hands and feet are easy enough to create with prosthetics. It would definitely seem that the money could be better spent elsewhere, especially if it's a smaller-budget film.

I'm sure everyone here on NarniaWeb would be very interested in seeing a fanmade SC trailer, whether Doug Jones is in it or not! Definitely post it on the forum if you end up making it. :)
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Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby David West » Aug 15, 2016 9:17 pm

Oh I will be sharing it everywhere, believe me! I'm almost positive I'm going to do it at this point. I just picked up a used $2 copy of the book for me to mark up and take notes in over the next few weeks (didn't want to ruin any of my nice sets, hehe). Doug Jones' agent emailed me back and informed me that he's out of the country until early next year, so it won't fit into his schedule. I already knew from his Twitter page that he's in Toronto shooting Guillermo Del Toro's new movie "The Shape of Water," but Doug did "like" a bunch of my Twitter posts about this and even a few of my Instagram photos after I followed him, so who knows? I guess there's a chance he'd still consider it. At the very least I should be able to get him to share it!

In the mean time as I work towards putting together my own Silver Chair trailer/proof-of-concept video, I've got a friend I'm planning on tapping to play Puddleglum (The lead in this short film of mine). He's a fairly tall, thin dude, and a fantastic actor with a lot of experience doing accents for plays. He'll definitely do good in the role, and we work well together.

Now I just need to finish up my current project so I can move on to this!
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Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby Anfinwen » Aug 16, 2016 8:06 am

Oh my word, Doug Jones looks so perfect for Puddleglum! I watched a few of the interviews too, and his features are just perfect! He reminds me a bit of Benedict Cumberbatch. I really hope they discuss this in the podcast if they haven't already recorded it. It's just so exciting to have an inside scoop on someone who's already interested in the part.
David West wrote:My absolute dream is to direct The Horse and His Boy (and The Last Battle) in a few years, and I've been actively working towards a career that could hopefully make that a reality.

That's awesome! I considered studying performing arts, but I had too many doubts as to how the film industry would fit my lifestyle. Just for fun I played around with the Pages screenplay template and started on HHB. I never finished it though. I'm glad to see someone else pursuing their dream.
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Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Aug 16, 2016 8:58 am

Ditto, Anfinwen! I can't imagine how amazing it would be to actually work on a Narnia film instead of just speculating about what the real filmmakers are going to do all day long. ;)) David West, you should consider starting a thread on Narnian Fan Art about your project! (I'm pretty sure that's the right subforum for a fan-made trailer.) I'd definitely be interested in following your progress with it!

I ran across something else in my research on Doug Jones... in this interview, he had this to say about the voices he did for Hellboy:

Doug Jones wrote:I did the voices for Abe Sapien and for the Angel of Death. The Chamberlain is a voice over, but it was only about three lines. Guillermo wanted a very specific British accent with a certain prissiness to it that I did do on set, but he did most of the ADR looping in England, so he could find the authentic thing there. With only three lines of dialog, that wasn’t a big heartache for me to watch that go. It was just easier to have it done there. That was fine.


So while those three lines with the very specific British accent were cut, I find it very encouraging that he doesn't say that he struggled with doing the accent. It doesn't sound like that particular British accent would fit for Puddleglum, but it's good to hear that he seems capable of doing a British accent in general.
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Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby David West » Aug 16, 2016 9:59 am

Thanks for the suggestion, Rose! I'll definitely do that in the coming weeks!

One thing I would note about Puddleglum's accent is that while it certainly needs to be consistent and sound good, it doesn't necessarily have to be a particularly authentic British accent of some sort. It would be OK if it's a bit more exaggerated or theatrical, because Puddleglum isn't a human from England; he's a Marshwiggle from the northernmost border regions of Narnia who is some 2,000 years removed from the actual British accent of King Frank.
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Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Aug 16, 2016 9:33 pm

David West wrote:One thing I would note about Puddleglum's accent is that while it certainly needs to be consistent and sound good, it doesn't necessarily have to be a particularly authentic British accent of some sort. It would be OK if it's a bit more exaggerated or theatrical, because Puddleglum isn't a human from England; he's a Marshwiggle from the northernmost border regions of Narnia who is some 2,000 years removed from the actual British accent of King Frank.


I'd agree with that. Honestly, it might be a little jarring if his voice sounded as though it came from a specific borough of England. Given that Marshwiggles are pretty much the only creatures in CoN that are fully native to Narnia (all the other animals and mythological creatures/beings have roots on this planet), I don't think you would want him to sound as though he came from our world. At least, I don't think I'd want him to have an accent that sounds like something you might hear on a British chat show. :P So hopefully the casting director will focus more on making sure the voice sounds as though it belongs to Puddleglum rather than whether or not it's a perfect, authentic British accent.
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Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby Anfinwen » Aug 17, 2016 8:40 am

David West wrote:One thing I would note about Puddleglum's accent is that while it certainly needs to be consistent and sound good, it doesn't necessarily have to be a particularly authentic British accent of some sort. It would be OK if it's a bit more exaggerated or theatrical, because Puddleglum isn't a human from England; he's a Marshwiggle from the northernmost border regions of Narnia who is some 2,000 years removed from the actual British accent of King Frank.

I was thinking the same thing! The only reason he's usually given a specific accent is that the character of Puddleglum was based on C.S. Lewis' gardener, Fred Paxford, who was an Oxfordshire countryman.
This is from the Wikipedia page about Fred.
Douglas Gresham, Lewis's stepson, wrote of Paxford:

“He spoke with a slow burring Cotswold drawl; and if he could find nothing good to say about someone he would say nothing about them at all. . . He drove cars steadily and well and could be trusted with any task to which you put him. He was also a man who had been brought up with strong principles, and honesty and loyalty were two things that he loved and admired and stuck to all his life. . . . Another fact of his personality was that he was always ready to say the most depressing things and apparently to take the gloomiest attitude to everything while at the same time to expect everything to turn out well. I have a sneaking suspicion that he voiced the worst possible thoughts about things to protect himself and others from their actually happening."
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Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby narnia fan 7 » Aug 17, 2016 9:22 am

I wouldn't have any problem with Puddleglum having a more authentic British accent, personally I've always imagined him as having sort of West Country accent,but I do kind of like the idea of maybe giving him of an accent thats uniquely his, though honestly, for me as long as the character is faithful to the book I probably won't care that much about his accent.
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Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Aug 18, 2016 9:07 pm

Thanks for that quote, Anfinwen! I do remember reading that Puddleglum was largely inspired by a gardener, but I don't think I've seen that Gresham quotation before. Fred Paxford sounds like he was a really neat person. Whoever gets the role of Puddleglum, I hope that Gresham talks at length with the actor about his memories of Paxford! Feeling like you're basing your performance after someone that somebody actually knew personally seems like it would add some extra realism to the role.
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Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby Wilhelm Spark » Sep 04, 2016 5:17 pm

My choice for Puddleglum is Burn Gorman. I've only seen him in the BBC adaption of Bleak House and Pacific Rim but he think he's got the voice, appearance and mannerisms all down. He practically IS Puddleglum already, except he's not green!
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Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby Reepicheep775 » Sep 05, 2016 1:28 pm

Ideally, I think he should be be played by an actor with CG arms and legs to make them longer. I think they need to strike a balance between making him human-like enough that we can recognize him as a "person", but I also wouldn't want him to just look like a green, long-limbed man. I think he should also have facial prosthetics similar to what Nikabrik had in PC.
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Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby Wilhelm Spark » Sep 05, 2016 6:32 pm

Reepicheep775 wrote:Ideally, I think he should be be played by an actor with CG arms and legs to make them longer.


I agree. I think the actor could wear little stilts like the actors playing the centaurs did. Then they can digitally extend the legs and feet to make them longer.

I think it could be difficult to get just the right shade of green, because too much green and he will look like an alien.

Also, he could have a prosthetic nose. I mainly think this because my mental image of Puddleglum is exactly based on Pauline Baynes' pictures of him, and she drew him with a really long and pointy nose (actually in the illustrations the size of his nose seems to change but nevermind).
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Re: Puddleglum: Actor, CGI, or Both?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Sep 06, 2016 5:25 pm

So I'm not the only one who imagines Puddleglum's skin as green? :| I always have, but as far as I can tell, Lewis only ever describes his complexion as muddy. I wish I could blame Pauline Baynes's glorious illustrations, but when I look closely ("Enhance!!" :P), his skin is really just a light brown with a little chartreuse mixed in. I think they probably got the hue about right in the BBC version of The Silver Chair, but I wouldn't mind at all of they made him much greener in this upcoming film, as long as he doesn't look like a Martian.

One definite point in favor of using CGI to give the actor the proper Marshwiggle traits and features is that it would allow them to cast anyone, height notwithstanding. While it would be good if they could save some money by casting someone with an unusual body type like Doug Jones, at the end of the day, I want someone who is the best person for bringing Puddleglum's personality to the screen, not just his visual.

I like the looks of Burn Gorman, Wilhelm Spark! I like his voice a lot, too. There's a simplicity to his style of speaking that I think could fit Puddleglum quite well.
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