It was early spring 2015 when we made our way into the forest to film a book trailer to promote Irina: The Trilogy, a golden book that contains all three adventures. It was exciting to be heading towards our deep forest location with a crew, an actor, and a 'wolf.' We'd see what Irina could look like on screen -- a dream realised. The tall trees glittered with bits of shining sunlight.
Brigita was playing the role of Irina. In our makeshift outdoors change-room she put on a simple white dress and a crown of fern fronds, and became: Irina The Wolf Queen. And I felt that thrill of delight when something comes together, and looks right. This was magic.
I'd wanted to make a book trailer that would invite people to see into Ragnor's enchantments and battles; a world that has its roots re-wilding, inspired by the archetypal wisdom of fairytales.
But who could make a trailer that would suggest this world? I approached some film-maker friends, Annika Glac and Marcus Struzina of Glass Kingdom Films, who made the feature films Belladonna, and Bunny (glasskingdom.com.au) When they said they could do it on our budget, I was so excited! They understood the aesthetic -- not too pretty, not too Disney, but rough and beautiful and natural. This is how we once lived and how part of us yearns to live still.
We gathered the elements. A real wolf was out of the question. Could we splice in some footage from somewhere? Hire someone’s husky? A white wolf would be good…
And then we learned that a friend had a stunning white dog who had been rescued, called Apollo. On the day of the shoot, we had to keep Apollo on a lead as he loves to run through the forest, and does not always come back! On the day, he seemed to accept his role by Brigita’s side, and he brought his wonderful, canine presence to the final film.
We had chosen costumes from Rose Chong’s in Fitzroy, and we made a wild crown. We found a magnificent tree to serve as a backdrop, and on our way we passed a patch of blue flowers so beautiful that Annika insisted we add an extra shot to our planned series.
We had our main shot in front of the tree; another where Irina wears a royal cloak, the romantic field of blue flowers, and an image of the cell where Irina is trapped at the beginning of Irina and The Lost Book: Marcus had the inspired thought of shooting it after dusk, next to a small stone wall, lit from above.
And what about the score? The amazingly talented Marcus and Annika composed something of their own, using bagpipes, which I loved for its evocation of an archaic, rustic atmosphere.
My heartfelt thanks goes to Brigita, who plays Irina The Wolf Queen, to Adam -- and his dog, Apollo, for standing in as one of the wolves of Ragnor; to Annika and Marcus for inspiration, understanding and hours of work and their nephew Gulliver; to my friends Tony and Julia, son Amos and husband John, who carried heavy equipment in and out of the forest, and made ‘wind’ by using reflectors as great fans when the wind machine broke down!
Watch the trailer: irinathetrilogy
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