I am wowed by Earth to Echo! It was a great film about friendship and respect for others. The feeling of being on an adventure with those kids will stay with me for a long time. I can’t wait to see it again. I loved the way it was filmed, through the camera and virtually the eyes of the characters. It truly felt like being along for the ride. I love the sound track too! It’s an exciting thrill ride. ~Melissa Reyes @MizMeliz
In my last post about the screening of Earth to Echo, I wrote about how excited we were to see the film and how much we loved the bonding experience of seeing it together. Read Our Summer Adventure Begins Here.
Over breakfast my son and I talked about the questions we would ask. Roman was going to interview the stars of the movie, Earth to Echo – Teo Halm, Astro, Reese Hartwig, and Ella Wahlestedt along with a few other jr. interviewers. I was going to sit at a roundtable discussion with Director Dave Green, and Writers and Producers, Henry Gayden and Andrew Panay along with a group of fellow bloggers. We both had some great questions. Roman was interested in the exciting world of the actors experiences on a film set and what is was like working with the “invisible” to be CGI’d character of Echo and how it was witnessing him come to life. I was concerned more with the correlation between this movie and it’s predecessor, E.T. as well as some parenting issues that made me raise an eye during the film.
Roman’s interview went very well and it was a thrill to watch him as it was being filmed for television. Click on the link to see the edited and very cool TV Spot HERE. He seemed comfortable asking his questions and he seemed to fit right in with the actors. Too bad he didn’t get a chance to hang out with them or at least take a time to relax a little before the camera started rolling. I think he is a natural! He had fun!
I was so impressed with the creative team of Director Dave Green, Writer/Producer Andrew Panay and Writer Henry Gayden. Their casting, focus, and attention to detail produced a quality film that we will remember always. I was curious what motivated them to make this film and what was their intention for the movie. I had seen some of the trailers for the film and it had been compared to E.T. The Extraterrestrial, which has always been a favorite of mine. I wondered why they would set the bar so high and if Earth to Echo would measure up. I believe it did!
When asked about how the cast was selected and what qualities they were looking for in the actors Andrew Panay said,
“We believe that we casted these kids because they felt real. The whole point of the movie is to speak to the next generation of kids and for parents like you, and for (people) our age, to hearken back to some of the movies that we used to see when we were growing up. What we wanted to do is create as much an authentic feel as possible (to fit) the style of the movie and how would E.T. or Goonies would be done today.”
It inspired me to know that these filmmakers had a great understanding of what kids need to learn. I loved how they took responsibility for how they would be able to impress on young people about what truly matters in life by making a film like this . They set out to create a film that matched the adventurous spirit and fantasy of E.T. with the heart and impact of Stand By Me. You will find that they accomplished their mission. They “wanted to make kids feel that they can do anything. And at the beginning (of the film,) they don’t think they can do a thing,” said Henry Gayden. This is so true. When you are young, how do you go from thinking… “”I’m just a kid.” to doing something so amazing you want to share it with the world and say,”Yeah! “We just did that.”
“You just can’t fly. But, you can accomplish giant things in your life. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you should aspire for big dreams. And that’s what these kids do.” ~Andrew Panay
When I was watching Earth to Echo, I was seeing through parental eyes at the beginning. I wondered, should kids be shown how easy it is to bend the rules and take risks like they do in this film? By the end of the movie, I had transitioned and was seeing it through my inner child’s eyes. My answer was, yes of course! This is fantasy. This is exhilarating. This is adventure!
Andrew Panay addressed the possibility of parental concerns in the panel discussion. He said, “So, I just want to let you know as parents, one of the things that we tried to accomplish in the movie with the driving (scenes) or anything else that we do (with the kids,) we’re not advocating (kids) getting into (trouble and) stuff. What we were saying is, they were sticking together and they got to save their friend, and they were going to do what they had to do to get there. I think I would tell my kid the same thing. ‘Look, you got to do what you got to do to save this little guy.’ You have to have conviction in your life, you know?”
I believe that is true, too. Some situations call for more risk, helping others sometimes involves going further and deeper in. That is caring. That is conviction. We need to show our kids that sometimes we can and should go the extra mile. It may be inconvenient, it may be a little dangerous, and it may seem wrong. But, superheroes do that, don’t they? What makes them so super? What compels them to help others? What is at the heart of a film that makes kids seem like superheroes?
“Everything that we do comes from a positive place. I think the whole movie has that experience. The whole movie is generated from a very positive place, scene for scene. If you really go back and look, everything is being done for all the right reasons, you know?” ~Andrew Panay
Yes, I know.
The writers were coming from the heart when they made this film. Andrew Panay said that maybe people cannot be the kind of superheroes we see in the movies. We can’t be just like them, “like, flying in the air, but as far as human superheroes, emotional superheroes,(we can) a hundred percent. That’s what the movie is about. The movie’s about (how) it does take superhuman strength to say goodbye or overcome a night like (the kids in the movie had with the alien they called Echo) or know that, if you’re small, you can overcome something so big.”
“And what I mean by small is, I think we all feel small at times. And (kids today,) they feel (small)–they’re very young, and I think kids sometimes don’t feel empowered. And I think what we’re saying is you can be a superhero–.”