His new film, "The BFG," based on Roald Dahl's classic children's book about a Big Friendly Giant, will be released July 1st. The legendary director is featured in the summer issue of "Disney twenty-three" magazine, the quarterly publication of Disney's D23 fan club, and we've got an exclusive sneak peek. In an interview with the magazine, Spielberg shares details on making "The BFG," working with the brilliant composer John Williams, his favorite Disney movie, and his excitement at finally collaborating with the Mouse House.
"I have directed films at every studio except [The] Walt Disney [Studios]," Spielberg said, in an exclusive excerpt. "This was the first time that I got to make a picture that has Sleeping Beauty's castle -- and has Disney embossed on the beginning and the end of the picture -- and I'm really proud of that."
Like a lot of us, Spielberg's connection to Disney started in childhood, and never went away. "'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' has always been my favorite Disney movie," he says of the 1937 classic. "I saw it in a movie theater during its ninth revival, when I was only probably 7 or 8 years old. And it stuck with me. And it's with me today, remembering it as vividly now and being so frightened and terrified as I was when I was a little kid, and at the same time so filled with the feeling of satisfaction at that amazing ending and pride in 'Snow White.'"
Spielberg now has grown children of his own, and because of them he was familiar with Dahl's 1982 book. "I've spent all my years as a father reading great children's books to my kids and 'The BFG' was one of them."
The main character, besides a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), is the Big Friendly Giant, played by Mark Rylance, who just won an Oscar for Spielberg's "Bridge of Spies." To bring the world of giants to life, Spielberg used motion capture technology. As he explains in the magazine, "Motion capture allowed us to plan scene by scene and then have the visual effects team bring them to life as living, breathing characters. Hopefully, you're going to forget that there's any special effects in 'The BFG,' because it's invisible. You will just believe they exist in the same world."
In terms of the movie's music, it's no surprise that Spielberg would turn to his longtime collaborator John Williams, a five-time Oscar winner who has scored most of Spielberg's films since 1974. "I will tell John my story by showing him my cut and he goes away and eight weeks later, he tells a story musically," Spielberg explains. "He has done this brilliantly with 'The BFG.' Every moment is accompanied by a little bit of a musical reminder that there is another layer of story being told."
Fans can watch the story as it unfolds this July, and read more from Spielberg in the summer edition of "Disney twenty-three."
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