British director Rupert Sanders has made the jump from television commercials and shorts to feature films. And what a jump! Snow White And The Huntsman, his first feature film, has swiftly become one of 2012s must-see flicks – grossing $270 million at the box in mere weeks. A true labour of love, Rupert is unsurprisingly thrilled with the reception.
“Getting people’s approval and seeing them excited over a film and getting them inspired – it’s why we do what we do!“ said Sanders.
“I can’t imagine what would have happened had it been a disaster… Having to go through all the press and promotions and premieres, it would have been horrendous,” Rupert laughs.
“It’s wonderful to have something you’ve planned meticulously and laboured over for a couple of years so well received,” he says.
Not planned however was the early interest in the film from Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron, who both shines and frightens as the evil queen Ravenna. A pleasant surprise, nonetheless.
“It’s funny, you begin making a film, going through the motions and then someone like Charlize Theron says ‘Yes, I’d love to be in this!’. But sometimes those strange things just kind of happen to you, where you have to pinch yourself and say ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe I’m working with Charlize’, not to mention the everything else that came by surprise. That’s the beauty of working on something of this scale.”
Punctuating the story's ebbs and flows is a brooding score by James Newton Howard, recorded with a 110 piece orchestra, and climaxing with Florence + the Machine's 'Breath of Life'. Working with Florence Welch and her 'machine' on the song was everything Rupert could have hoped for, and more.
“Everyone involved with the film felt that hers [Florence Welch] was one of those voices that just demands attention and encompasses all the qualities in the film,” Sanders says.
“We didn’t just want to put a random rock song at the end of the film – we wanted a song that was part of it. It really does feel like a part of the film and not just something that was tacked on at the end. Her voice does to the film what Kristen [Stewart] does for Snow White or Charlize does for Ravenna.”
And I couldn’t help but wonder, a dark, graphic retelling of one of the world's most cherished fairytales? Quite a tall order. Surely Rupert had second thoughts half-way through?
“We had everything we needed. We had a complicated storyline and very complex effects. We had magic to make, armies to build, there were never any easy days but that was why I threw myself into it. If you don’t challenge yourself and don’t go all out, you don’t cross that next step. I wanted to move forward in my career, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to accelerate that.”
Snow White And The Huntsman is in cinemas now
Check Glam Adelaide for Gianni Borrelli’s review of Snow White And The Huntsman