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‘War Horse’ jumps high hurdles

Eye on the Oscars: Best Picture - 'War Horse'

PRODUCERS:
Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg

ORIGINS:
“We were doing the preliminary scoring on ‘The Adventures of Tintin,’ and I mentioned to Steven that I had seen this extraordinary play with my girls,” Kennedy says. “I started to tell him what it was about, and he said, ‘Oh my god, that sounds like a fantastic movie.’?”

FUNDING:
“The financing is through Reliance, which finances DreamWorks. We structured the entire movie out of England because England does offer a very good tax incentive. Consequently, we ended up shooting the entire picture there.”

HIGH HURDLES:
“Putting together an equine department is not something you do in every movie, so that was probably one of the biggest challenges. There is always a safety factor that becomes extremely important in a movie like this because you are taking responsibility for the animals and then at the same time you’re working with a lot of actors who don’t necessarily have a lot of experience around animals.”

DOMINO EFFECT:
“When you are not under the pressure of having to cast big-name stars, you can move more nimbly. We were able to move into pre-production and start shooting within about a six- or seven-month period, which is pretty unusual. Oftentimes a movie is delayed because you are looking at stars’ complicated schedules, and we didn’t have to do that. We also had this huge pool of talent we were able to choose from, (casting) actors out of England, France and Germany.”

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