July 10, 2010


The cast and filmmakers of Walt Disney Studios’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” had a blast creating the fantasy adventure about Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage), a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan who recruits Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé.

Get a load of these fun trivia about the newest Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster:

· The Phantom. Balthazar Blake’s vehicle of choice is very rare 1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom. Its engine, appropriately known as the “Merlin,” helped propel Spitfire aircraft for Britain , which helped win World War II. An exact replica of the real Phantom was created for stunt sequences. During filming in the streets of New York City , the Phantom proved to be a huge tourist attraction.

· The Chrysler Eagle gargoyle comes to life in two varieties: the full-size, motion-base, computer-controlled version constructed by Academy Award®-winning special-effects coordinator John Frazier, and a CG version from visual-effects supervisor John Nelson and Asylum Visual Effects.

· Chinatown. The colorful Chinese festival sequence in which a parade dragon comes to life was filmed over the course of two weeks on Eldridge Street , in the heart of New York ’s Chinatown . More than 2,000 people from the local Chinese communities showed up for an extras casting call for 500 available spots.

· Nikola Tesla. The inventions, philosophy and spirit of controversial and brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla hung over the entire movie, and by an amazing coincidence, the last day of filming fell on what would have been his 153rd birthday. And the company also filmed at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Manhattan ’s 110th Street , where Tesla received a state funeral attended by more than 2000 people.

· The Encantus, the film’s book of spells, weighed a mighty 75 pounds. But there were other versions created, including a 10-pound duplicate and a waterproofed floating version for the so-called “Fantasia” sequence.

· Every single page of the enormous Encantus had to be aged by experts in medieval bookbinding, with methods ranging from sanding the papers to wetting them with tea.

· The seven domains in the Merlin Circle include Space-Time, Motion, Matter, Elements, Transformation, Mind, and in the center, the Forbidden domain—Love. The multi-colored flames that shoot out of the Merlin Circle in the underground lab were created by the special effects team like a gigantic stove-top burner, with fire rods six inches below the deck in a water tank.

· The Coat. Costume designer Michael Kaplan and his team created 10 exact copies of Balthazar Blake’s long leather coat, and all of Balthazar’s rings were custom made as well.

· Arcana Cabana. Set decorator George DeTitta Jr. collected no fewer than half a million objects of escalating weirdness for production designer Naomi Shohan’s Arcana Cabana set, including a prosthetic leg, disembodied doll’s heads, shrunken heads, skeletons and a “unicorn skull.”

(Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, July 15, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International.)

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