Professor Gray helped to advise the “Snow White and the Huntsman” film, as the University of Chichester reports:
A University of Chichester Professor has acted as a consultant to a major Hollywood blockbuster set to be released on 30th May.
Professor Bill Gray from the University’s English & Creative Writing department provided expert consultancy for the new fantasy film Snow White and the Huntsman, which stars Twilight actress Kristen Stewart.
An expert in fantastical literature and is Director of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy, Bill has written several books around the subject. His books include Fantasy, Myth and the Measure of Truth: Tales of Pullman, Tolkien, Lewis, MacDonald and Hoffmann; Death and Fantasy; and Fantasy, Art and Life.
Bill said: “I was contacted by one of the production team saying that they wanted to meet up. It was the director’s first film and because of the fairy tale material he was aware of the potential for critical backlash, so he wanted to guard against that.”
The director, Rupert Sanders, had apparently read Bill’s book Fantasy, Myth and the Measure of Truth in which he argues the importance of fantasy in literature. The production team therefore saw Bill as the ideal candidate to provide the film with some “symbolic depth”.
Having met the production team at the world famous Soho Hotel, Bill was later taken to Pinewood Studios where he saw the production of the film first-hand.
“It was incredible to be taken inside the world of studio filmmaking and Pinewood was absolutely amazing. I couldn’t believe the sheer amount of space and time it took to make the film.
“They gave me a copy of the script which I came home with and sat in my garden and read. It was interesting, but I saw some areas for improvement. If nothing else, they had some terrible names for the dwarfs.”
Bill cannot say which of his other suggestions have made it into the finished film until he sits down to watch it in the cinema, having had to miss the ‘Cast and Crew’ screening. One his recommendations was to bring out the importance of the interfamilial conflict in the story.
For more about Bill’s work, visit the website: http://sussexfolktalecentre.org. Snow White and the Huntsman is on nationwide release from Wednesday 30th May.