The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe: In a recent interview with The New Zealand Herald, director Andrew Adamson spoke about the big screen version The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe...

Q. How is the other film going? Can we call it the other film?

A. It's going very well. We are days away from shooting or weeks away from shooting, so it's a train that is coming at me definitely. But it's going great. We have a great cast assembled now so it's really coming together. It's exciting. It's terrifying and exciting.

Q. Has the novelty of actually having real-live actors worn off yet?

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A. You have actors in animation - it's just that you work with them separately. Strangely enough it's similar but the process is very different. You are still focusing on all the same things - story and performance. With the actors you have got to work from your gut more. In live action you don't get as many chances.

Having come from live-action visual effects, I like that energy and excitement of making decisions on the spot that you have to stick with. Very often even in animation what I will often do is write down what my initial gut instincts are because a year from then looking at a sequence and wondering why it's not working I'll go back and see what I liked about it at the beginning - it's usually right.

Q. So on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, what's going to be your biggest personal challenge?

A. For me, the film I am working on at the moment is a book that was very important to me as a child and it's another movie that comes with a lot of expectations because it's a book that a lot of people enjoyed as children. And then going back and reading it as an adult I was surprised by how little was there. C.S. Lewis is someone who paints a picture and lets you imagine the rest. To me it's about making a movie which lives up to my memory of my book rather than specifically the book itself.

And it needs to live up to everyone else's memories and that is what my challenge is - to make it accessible and real. You read it and it's a 1940s children's book. I want it to feel real and for kids today to actually relate to the children.

So I've really tried to make the story about a family which is disenfranchised and disempowered in World War II, that on entering Narnia, through their unity as a family become empowered at the end of the story. It's really bringing the humanity of the characters into what is effectively a symbolic story.

Brian B.