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Production Blog #9 -- Visual influences, Graff/Ender's relationship, and Orci's favorite scene

In last week's production blog post, producer Roberto Orci opened the floor for Ender's Game-related questions -- and I think he got what he asked for! Fans of the upcoming movie flocked to the post and asked tons of great questions, ranging from inquiries about the script, the score, and possible upcoming appearances at Comic-Con (which really needs to happen).

I told you which my favorites were last week. Here are the questions Orci answered yesterday:

The braille is intriguing!
Valentine asks:

As fans of the book, what is your favorite scene from the book? Do you have a different favorite scene from the movie?

I always loved the scenes within the Mind Game that Ender believes he plays for recreation in the orbiting battle school.  Part video game, part psychological test, and if you know the book, part something extraordinary that shouldn't be given away for those who have not read the book.  As for my favorite scene from the movie, we are still filming it so I haven't seen it yet!

Reuben asks:

Question to Mr. Orci — How has this production differed from past (and other current) projects? I'm especially interested to know how you feel about the cast's interactions and your feelings about the script, now that you see it ‘in action'.

Let's see.  Well first, though I have had some experience with bringing beloved stories to the screen that had intelligent and rabid fan bases like MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3, TRANSFORMERS, and STAR TREK, this is the first movie with a pre-existing fan base I have worked on that I didn't write.  This means I that got the chance to evaluate the material merely as a fan.  Gavin's script made me jealous, but it was also a relief that he had satisfied what I would want as a fan from a difficult adaptation.  Also, I have never worked with so many talented young actors who became friends so fast under such amazing circumstances.  Seeing Asa, who plays Ender, and Hailee, who plays Petra, floating high above the set and getting the giggles was amazing and frightening all at once.  They laughed for like twenty minutes, which as a producer on a clock eager to finish your shooting day can give you a heart attack.  But soon we all had the giggles, and the joy of it overcame the panic.

Chris Neumann asks:

What are the visual influences for the movie? Syd Mead or Star Trek? 2001 or Armageddon? Jon Berkey or Michael Bay?

Visual influences?  One thing I can tell you is that Gavin Hood is a gigantic Stanley Kubrick fan, and it shows.  And yet, in some of the Zero G battles, things are going on that Kubrick never had a chance to tackle.  The technology and advancements in film making available to us allowed us to realize a vision that is totally unique and modern while also being, as Harrison Ford calls it, one of the most emotional science fiction movies he has ever seen.

William Harley asks:

How much time is going to be spent on developing Graff's relationship with Ender? To me, those insights into the command level of the school really brought out the meaning of leadership and how to tackle the challenges that come up.

The relationship between Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) and Ender (Asa Butterfield) is key to the movie's success.  Graff would love nothing more than to be Ender's friend, yet Graff can't always show it because he has to make it clear to Ender that in the event of another alien invasion, there will be no one available to help him.  Their relationship is simultenously heartbreaking and fun.

Paul2012 asks:

Is it a movie for adults, about kids, or a kids movie? I hope for the former.

Like the book, the movie Ender's Game is about young protagonists dealing with one of the most adult situations known to man: WAR.  We don't soft peddle it, yet we don't shy away from the fun of being in space and learning amazing new skills that we would all want to learn at any age.   
It pleases me to hear that Graff/Ender's relationship in the film is being protected and developed -- if I had one complaint about the book, it's that there was never really any closure between the two of them, at least not in Ender's Game. And I admit that even after the sequels (specifically Ender in Exile) I wasn't fully satisfied. Hoping to see something fulfilling play out on the screen!

Also, Roberto Orci's favorite scenes from the book are from the Mind Game. Do you think this increases our chances of seeing it appear at least briefly in the movie, or is he just playing mind games with us? :)

One more question: What's up with the braille on the name tags in the photo?  Is this something standard in the military or ... ? Speculate in the comments! :)

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Don't forget: the official production blog is updated every Wednesday (sometimes Thursday!) by Roberto Orci and the team behind Ender's Game, so follow them on Tumblr so you don't miss out!

Ender News is also on Tumblr - it's a great place to stay up-to-date with not only the latest in movie news, but also fan art, Ender's Game book reviews, and what the cast is up to on Twitter.

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