"The Princess and the Pea"
a dramatic IMAX fairy tale by Curtis Linton

First things first. Let's clear up any possible confusion. There are two films with the same title ("The Princess and the Pea") being completed and released in the year 2001. Both are being made partially in Utah by Latter-day Saint and non-LDS filmmakers. Both feature scores by Latter-day Saint composers. And, yes, both are based on the same classic Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale.

Other than that, these two films are completely different.

It's easy to tell these films apart. One (directed by Mark Swan) is a full-length animated feature film. The other (directed by Curtis Linton) is a 6-minute, live action, large format (70mm/IMAX) dramatic short. Also, Linton's version is set in the Old West, while Swan's retains its classic European/Arthurian trappings.

Due to a quirk of fate by which Linton chose a title which was already being used, his film will forever be known as "The Princess and the Pea (IMAX)", to distinguish it from the animated feature-length film. But that's okay. Linton plans to start his career by working exclusively on large format films. The IMAX format is becoming something of a specialty for him. It is believed that "The Princess and the Pea" is the first-ever student film ever completed in this format. It is one of the first-ever dramatic shorts produced in this format, which has been used primarily for filming documentaries.

Writer/director Curtis Linton is also the producer of "Half-Brother." Notes from the Spring 2001 First Look Film Festival at USC (where Linton studied film) describe the film:

"Half-Brother"... Written by Rebecca Borawski Directed by J. Todd Baker Produced by Curtis Linton and Lefred Wilson Jr.
Weird dark comedy/drama about Siamese twins who are forced to face life and the world after the death of their mother. Great, quirky cinematography adds credibility to this very bizarre film, which is worthwhile mostly because they tried something different and succeeded fairly well.

The cast of "The Princess and the Pea" (IMAX) includes Bruce Bohne ("Patch Adams", "Jingle All the Way", "Fargo"); Rusty Schwimmer ("The Perfect Storm", "Ed TV", "Amistad", "Twister"); Hamilton von Watts ("3000 Miles to Graceland"; "Cowboys and Angels", "The Nutty Professor"); and Kirsten Moore.

The composer for "The Princess and the Pea" (IMAX) is Sam Cardon, whose best known work is in the IMAX film. His top-grossing film (over $50 million worldwide) is the IMAX film "Mysteries of Egypt" (1998). Other IMAX films that Cardon has scored include "Whales" (1997), "Hearst Castle: Building the Dream" (1996) and "Zion Canyon: Treasure of the Gods" (1996). Cardon's most popular non-IMAX, feature film to date has been the Utah murder mystery "Brigham City", directed by Richard Dutcher. He also scored the 1997 PBS documentary "Trail of Hope: The Story of the Mormon Trail."

Like "Zion Canyon", "Brigham City" and other Cardon films, "The Princess and the Pea" is yet another "Utah film" in a way, as it was filmed in Goblin Valley State Park, Utah. The other filming location was Yucaipa, California.

In May 2001, Linton's "Princess and the Pea" was shown at the Large Format Cinema Association's 5th annual conference and film festival (LCFA Film Festival).

More recently, "Princess and the Pea" (IMAX) was shown in August 2001 at the Vision Film Festival, a major Los Angeles film festival that "recognizes and showcases moving images of high artistic merit that uplift the heart, inspire hope and exalt the human soul." Board members of the festival included Glen Larson (producer of "Battlestar Galactica", "Magnum, P.I.", "Quincy", etc.), David Howard (screenwriter of "Galaxy Quest"), and Academy Award-winning producer Gerald Molen ("Schindler's List", "Jurassic Park", "Twister", "The Other Side of Heaven", etc.).

Article from Film and Video magazine:

URL: http://www.filmandvideomagazine.com/2001/06_jun/features/ShortTakes/ShortTakes2.htm
Date: 6 June 2001

Los Angeles— In film school, the most successful students find a niche to develop — some type of content or technology that will set them apart. Unlike most who delve further and further into smaller areas of interest or become adept in the use of experimental tools, Curtis Linton went large — really large. Not only did this University of Southern California graduating senior choose a content area with an enormous wealth of stories to cull from — that of fairy tales — he decided to shoot 70mm.

Said Linton, "Two years ago I got involved with the Large Format Cinema Association. I already had a love for IMAX when I found out that there had never been a student film completed in large format." He also discovered that there have been few 70mm pictures with narrative storylines — thus was born his seven and a half minute version of The Princess and the Pea. Uniquely set in the Old West, this rendition of the classic was filmed on location in Goblin Valley State Park, Utah and Yucaipa, Calif. and was produced in part through donations from such vendors as IMAX and Kodak.

Along with DP Jim Matlosz, Linton found that the most difficult part of production was the inability to capture traditional coverage. "You can’t just pop in for a close-up," explained Linton.

"The whole film is in wide master shots which means as an editor, you have to restrain yourself from making quick cuts."

The IMAX version of The Princess and the Pea is expected to travel on this year’s festival circuit.

After graduating, writer/director/producer Linton hopes to create a series of feature-length IMAX fairy tales.

Web page created 10 August 2001. Last modified 10 August 2001.