Behind the Scenes with Percy Jackson
Kid Reporter talks to actors, director on set in Canada
The movie Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief opens on Friday after more than a year in the making. On the set in British Columbia, Canada, actors, directors, and crew worked around the clock to the create Camp Half Blood where demigods train.
When Percy discovers he is half human, half god, he is sent to Camp Half Blood to prepare himself for an important and dangerous quest. Zeus has accused him of stealing his lightning bolt and Percy has to find the real thief.
The Scholastic Kids Press Corps visited the set in Golden Ears Park to talk with the actors and director Chris Columbus.
Camp Half Blood included tents dedicated to each Greek God, an infirmary (fully equipped with cots and fly nets), a blacksmith's shop, leather and woodwork tents, archery targets, and wooden and acrobatic structures where the demigods train.
More than 200 extras and stunts were on the set the day of the Scholastic visit. Most were locals from Vancouver acting as extras. They were playing other demigods in training, practicing sword fighting, horse riding (11 horses were also on set), archery, and javelin throwing.
Columbus, who also directed Home Alone and the first two Harry Potter movies, said if he could be any Greek god he would choose Percy.
"You get the best of both worlds," he said. "You don't have the responsibility of being a god, yet at the same time you can live part of you life as a human being and have the powers of a god."
Actor Jake Abel, who plays Luke, the son of Hermes, said he would pick Hermes "for the flying shoes."
"And to be able to go wherever you want," he said. "I think it'd be a privilege."
Logan Lerman, who plays the part of Percy Jackson, talked about the most exciting shoot he was in so far—a fighting scene.
"Four sons of Ares come and pretty much just beat me to a pulp," he said. "It's awesome!"
In the story, Percy discovers that his best friend, Grover, is a satyr (half goat, half human). Brandon T. Jackson plays Grover. He told the Kids Press Corps about his character.
"I'm fun, I'm very protective over my little brothers and sisters, so it's kind of like Percy's my little brother," he said. "It's fun to portray it in the film."
Another good Percy friend, Annabeth, is played by Alexandra Daddario. Annabeth is the daughter of Athena. She discussed her favorite and least favorite things about being on a movie set.
"The sets on the movie are incredible, the people in the movie are incredible, and you learn so much everyday," she said. "My least favorite thing is waiting around on movie sets."
Every second of a movie takes hours to film. The day of the Scholastic visit, the entire 10-hour workday was spent on one scene. That scene, when Grover tells Percy he is a satyr, is only about two minutes long in the movie.
The crew had to get five different angles of the scene, and since the actors would forget lines or the lighting wasn't always perfect, it took the whole day just to get it right—a process that can be tedious and tiring, Daddario said.
The end result however, is exciting!
You can read more about Kid Reporter Grace Choi's behind-the-scenes look at the set on the Scholastic Kids Press Corps Blog. And be sure to check out Kid Reporter Gowtham Balaji's review of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and his report from the red carpet premiere of Percy Jackson on the Scholastic Kids Press Corps Blog.
Grace Choi is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.