John Carter Sequel Talk: Fan-Filmmaker Communication Still Going Strong With John Carter

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One of the aspects of the John Carter Facebook Group that gave it a boost when it first got started was the fact that it began as an alliance between filmmakers who worked on the film, and fans who liked it — and felt that the film had gotten a raw deal on a number of levels.  The origins of the Facebook group are recounted in John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood — here’s the passage dealing with it:

On the morning of March 14, Jessen [Erik Jessen, one of the editors on the John Carter team] started a Facebook group with the long and grassroots sounding name: Take me Back to Barsoom! I Want a JohnCarterSequel! HeaddedfellowcrewmemberSarahSmithasafellow administrator, then sent an email to me via The John Carter Files “Contact Us” feature:

Would you mind mentioning a Facebook group that I started? It’s called Take Me Back to Barsoom! I Want John Carter to Have a Sequel! People can just enter Barsoom or John Carter, and it should pop up. Most of the Emeryville crew are members already. THANKS!

When I received the email, I was intrigued. “Emeryville Crew” referred to Pixar and the production crew of the movie, and in reflecting on it, this seemed like a further evolution of the fan/film-maker alliance that had started with Stanton tweeting about the fan trailer.

Could this amount to something?

I checked out the group on Facebook and joined.299 There were 60 members, and as Jessen had said, most were from the films‘ “working level” production team. I announced it on The John Carter Files.

It did amount to something — as has been pretty well established by now.  The group remains quite active, most recently sponsoring a special benefit screening of the film on December 1, and continuing to bring in about 50 new members a week with total membership of 11,500.

Anyway — today on the group I came across this exchange between Sue Rowe and Daniel Presnell on the public wall of the group — and exchange which illustrates this kind of relationship.

John Carter made it into the Top 10 best VFX films of 2012! The bake-offs were last week…Will it make it to the top 5 and get to the Oscars??? Hope so!

Unlike ·  ·  · 6 hours ago

  • Joey T. Del Rosario It totally deserves a shot! I mean, I enjoyed all the tentpole superhero and/or sci-fi flicks of last summer, but JOHN CARTER offered something newer to see on the big screen effects-wise…
    5 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Daniel Presnell Sue who put the clip real together?
  • Sue Rowe I believe it was done by the exec producer – Peter Chaing was the speaker…did you see it? I wasn’t there due to family commitments….
  • Daniel Presnell No I’m in Virginia Sue. But while on Twitter patrol I saw David Cohen from Variety tweet that he thought it was a bad reel for John Carter. Made me a bit curious as to who put it together. With the choice of so many excellent shots, hearing the response wasn’t great is a bit disheartening
  • Sue Rowe Ah thats a shame, I haven’t seen it but it could just be another kick at John Carter?
  • Daniel Presnell That’s what I’m hoping Sue. I spent a few hours searching Twitter to see what anyone else said about the bake off but came up empty.
    I think that kind of sane and casual interaction between the fans and filmmakers on the one hand — and fans an, for example, ERB Inc on the other hand, is part of what gives this particular fan movement ‘legs’.

Here is a Youtube interview of Sue Rowe.


  • I thought the Tharks were great but I missed the alienness that Burroughs was able to infuse in them. They are way more weird-looking than what appears in the movie. It’s an artistic choice I understand, but do not agree with 100%. Humanizing them takes away some of the uniqueness that are represented in Tars and Sola. The animation itself I found flawless, I would love to really see the work of the actors beneath and compare it with the final result. I love the moment when Tars and Tal Hajus lock tusks in defiance, very genuine-looking. The baby Tharks were very well animated too.

    Woola is a blast, yes, a little cuter then described, but in fact I was even more impressed by the head puppet they had on the set for reference, with its three big rows of teeth! I don’t think it’s that apparent in any scene involving him.

    The Warhoons were impressive-looking, you can even see when they charge some of them running on four legs.

    The Thoats were another seemless effect, I could believe these were real beasts. That’s one of those effects that doesn’t necessarily attract the attention to itself, but which adds to the “reality” of the setting.

    The White Apes were impressive too, very fierce, and they seemed to behave like animals would, especially when they fight each other at one point.

    Frankly I have no complaint about the quality of the effects themselves, more in some artistic choices, but again, whose rationales I can understand though.

  • I know that this will be an easy target for the hard-core contrarians, but let me make a suggestions. We know, a thousand times over, about the beefs with the story and characters . . . . Sue Rowe was the overall head of VFX so if swipes are going to be taken at the movie, hopefully we can keep on topic and discuss the VFX which are highly regarded among Hollywood professionals in the VFX world — but have been criticized from some quarters.

    What did you really think of them?

    I pseronally thought the Tharks were excellent and pretty close to the way Burrough described them. It’s particularly difficult to animate characters and have them share the screen with humans . . . . . and this was done repeatedly and seamlessly throughout John Carter. Woola was great . . . . I would have liked a touch more ferocity but no real complaints. . . . and the white apes were wonderful, just over-exposed in the marketing.

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