The Shape Of Water took home top honors at the 90th Academy Awards
and with Pacific Rim Uprising just about to hit theaters,
the time feels right for a Guillermo del Toro deep dive.
And with no wet suit needed here are seven things
you didn’t know about Pan’s Labyrinth, probably.
(Sound)Back in 2004, with the success of Hellboy,
the offers came pouring in for Guillermo del Toro
to direct another superhero movie.
But no one wanted to finance Pan’s Labyrinth.
He shelved it indefinitely
after the suits just wouldn’t pony up a proper budget
for a violent fairytale that wasn’tkid friendly or easily marketable.
But oddly enough what brought him back to the project
was accidentally leaving his production notebook in the back of a taxi.
He had the notebook for years and it was filled with drawings
and notes on what would become Pan’ Labyrith
Guillermo saw the event as cosmic punishment
for considering a big budget payday
over committing to his passion project.
Then minutes after his epiphany,
he got a call from the taxi driver to return the notebook.
A clear case of karma at work.
Or was it Guillermo’s contact info and
the promise of the $ 500 reward on the inside cover,
When Guillermo sat down to write Pan’s Labyrinth,
he drew from several inspirations,including Alice in Wonderland,
David Copperfield and The Wizard of Oz.
But the character of the faun isn’t meant to be the Greek god Pan,
or Peter Pan, obviously.
The character is never referred to as Pan and
the film’s literal translation is The Labyrinth of The Faun.
The idea actually came to Guillermo as a vision when he was very young.
At around midnight, a faun would appear to him
from behind a wardrobe in his grandmother’s house,
which is freaky enough on its own.
But even more so, when you consider that to work on Pan’s Labyrinth,
he turned down the opportunity todirect The Chronicles of Narnia,
which straight up has a faun anda wardrobe in it.
But Guillermo has also reported two real life ghost encounters,
as well as seeing a UFO, so maybe this is all
just par for the course in Del Toro world.
(Sound)On the subject of Guillermo’s dark past,
some of the most gruesome scenes of violence in the film
actually stem from his first hand experiences.
Guillermo drew inspiration forthis scene,
where Captain Vidal brutally beats a man with a bottle from a real street brawl
where Guillermo and his friend got their asses kicked.
While Guillermo was getting whipped by a chain,
he looked up for a moment and
saw his friend being beaten with a glass bottle.
Though contrary to many Hollywood bar fights,
this bottle never broke
and the image always stuck with him.
Also this scene where the tablesturn on Captain Vidal is
based on his days volunteering at a mental hospital.
Guillermo would eat his lunch every day at the cemetery next door
but the quickest route was through the morgue,
which is pretty typical teenager stuff, I guess.
One day Guillermo walked past a man in the morgue
who had died from, you guessed it,
a bullet to the face which caused the man’s eye to roll back,
and then he ate his lunch.
Next thing, I gotta move on.
(Sound)The Faun is certainly a very iconic movie character
but the process of bringing him to the screen was far from effortless.
With a very slim budget,Guillermo and producer Alfonso Cuaron
put up $100,000 of their own moneyto get preproduction started.
To make the very detailed costume,
DDT effects were able to cut costs
by making the legs a physical part of the suit
instead of making them completely CGI.
This meant it not only took actor Doug Jones five hours every day
to get inside the suit, he also stood on top of the faun’s legs like stilts,
so hey could just remove his legs in post.
The very loud mechanics inside the faun’s head
also made it very difficult for Doug
to hear co-star Ivana Baqueroduring their scenes,
not to mention that Doug was the only one
on set who didn’t speak any Spanish.
So a linguist taught him all of his lines as well
as Ophelia’s, so
he would know when to respond. Ultimately,
the lines were overdubbed
but Doug was determined to make sure
the Faun’s dialogue didn’t looklike a bad Godzilla movie.
>> They got, they got my friends.
(Sound)>> The practical creature effects and
elaborate sets certainlytake center stage.
But the CGI also deserves a big shout out,
even if just for the low carbon foot print.
While filming this shootout in the mountains of Madrid,
they were unable to use any real explosions
or even blank cartridges for the gunshots
because the area was experiencing itsworst drought in 30 years.
In fact, this explosion towards the end
is the only real one they did
And they made sure it was the last shot for that location
so they could pack up and
leave before getting intotrouble with the park ranger.
And honorable mention goes to the CGI patch job here,
where the actor looked directly into the camera
before leaving frame which is boom, a rookie move, dude.
(Sound) WC Fields famously said tonever work with animals or children.
>> Get out of here. Get out of here.
>> And while Guillermo was veryenthusiastic about working with Ivana,
he would have to agreewith the animals part.
Guillermo credits this scenewith his hatred of horses. Apparently,
they were very nasty anddangerous and
almost crushed this actor’spelvis by stomping on him.
He said the actor was lucky to be
alive and called the horses psychotic animals,
regretting he had ever put his actors in the same scene with them.
Guillermo also hates cows, but no clear reason was given on that one.
So we can move on.
We’ve only got one more.
(Sound)Guillermo eventually gave up his entire
salary to get Pan’s Labyrinth finished,
including any points on the back end.
But he says the experience was all worth it,
thanks largely to Stephen King.
At an early screening of the movie,
Guillermo sat next to the famous horror writer and
during the pale man scene, Stephen King started squirming in his seat.
Guillermo said King’s reaction wastantamount to winning an Oscar.
But maybe winning two real Oscars
has lessened his pleasure of someone fearfully
squirming in a dark theater because that’s kind
of a weird thing to be into, Guillermo.
That’s going to do it for us.
Hit the thumbs up if you we’re also scarred
for life by the pale man scene and
let us know
in the comments what your favorite Del Torro movie is and
we might just have someknowledge to drop on you.
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