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The Fleet

Wanting to give audiences the impression that the Formic invasion is something that will happen to Earth soon, they designed the older ships that Mazer commands to be much closer to the kind of ships we see today, though slightly more advanced. We’re shown photos of cargo ships that transport fighters with the fleet.

As for the commander himself, Mazer Rackham, we were introduced to his Maori tattoos during the presentation. Ever the jokester, Orci remarked that the photo was taken before he had his makeup put on.

I learned quite a few movie terms during the presentation, one of which was “pre-vis”, which is what they call animations that they do to help the director figure out which shots he will need which in turn helps them to avoid shooting things they won’t need at all. They showed us pre-vis for Rackham’s final battle during the Formic invasion and then a pre-vis scene from the Battle Room, which featured a scene where Bean and Ender practice shooting each other, which in the book is actually Alai.

Eros and the Formics

Since we were more or less progressing linearly through the storyline, we eventually came to Eros, which I suspect will be either a moon or a small planet instead of an asteroid. They didn’t want to portray the Formics as a monstrous race, rather one that had a sort of beauty to it in contrast with the stark steel structures of mankind.


“Gavin was very much inspired by the giant ant holes of South Africa which is his home country,” said McDonough. “[It] complements the design of the film in creating gorgeous visual tapestry.”

They showed us concept art of Ender’s simulator on Eros and it was exceptionally grand in scale. In the book Ender is kept separate from the others and isolated with Mazer, but it won’t be so in the film. Ender will have to lead in person, which given the set they designed will make for an incredible finale, like a conductor with his orchestra all around him. “It’s not just a simulation on the screen, it’s all around them as if they were there,” said Orci.

And while I’m told that we were shown what the Formics look like, I’m sad to say I don’t remember them. I’ll get to see them for the “first” time again along with everyone else!

The Giant’s Drink

Orci confirmed with us that the mind game will be in the movie and that it would be a mixture of live action and motion capture. “It’ll have elements of his performance within the artistry of the game. [I]n order to contrast it with the technology and the sci-fi, this is more sort of beautiful and impressionistic and just fantasy-like.”

The mind game will be featured in small pieces during the entirety of the film, with the shattered mirror hopefully making it to the end, as we saw an early still of that scene. A castle, a giant skull, and a ruined Formic colony were shown as well, but who knows what will be cut in the end for the sake of time and story flow.

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  1. Wendy Clare says:

    THANK YOU!! I don’t mind the length…all your words are a banquet to our starving fan souls, and It only increases my excitement for this film. My gratitude for the wealth of details knows no bounds. 😀 <

  2. Bruna Figueiroa says:

    Awesome!! Can’t wait to read the rest

  3. […] behind-the-scenes looks at the movie! Check out posts from the folks at io9, Slash Film, Collider, EnderWiggin.net, and Ender’s Ansible, to name just a […]

  4. […] Wiggin: Straight from the Set Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.2, Part […]

  5. […] Wiggin: Straight from the Set Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.2, Part […]

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