I just returned from a screening of Disney’s “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” starring Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton perfectly cast as the parents to Timothy Green, delightfully played by C.J. Adams (Dan in Real Life.)
The brightest star of the film is the score by Geoff Zanelli.
From the moment I sat down until the credits rolled, Geoff’s music masterfully painted a tapestry that was as magical as Timothy and the gift he brought his parents. (Soundtrack out August 14th.) See this movie. We all need more of Timothy Green.
Another truly wonderful film and score HERE.
Here are some Odd Life FUN FACTS on the making of the film:
- Academy Award®–nominated writer/director Peter Hedges (“Dan in Real Life,” “About a Boy,” “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”) directed “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” and also penned the script, based on a story from producer Ahmet Zappa. Hedges was drawn to the project because home and family are important themes that resonate with him—plus the story had a magical element, which presented a new experience for him in both writing and directing.
- When Peter Hedges was filming “Dan in Real Life,” in his ensemble cast there was a 6-year-old boy named CJ Adams. CJ’s role was small; he only had a few lines, but he and director Hedges forged a special friendship. Five years later Hedges found himself on a nationwide search for a boy to play the title role of Timothy Green in “The Odd Life of Timothy Green.” Over a thousand boys auditioned, but it was CJ Adams who ultimately won the part and the two were happily reunited on set.
- “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” takes place in Stanleyville, which is a fictitious small town in Anywhere, USA. The generic license plates on the cars read “The Best Place to Live.”
- The set for the Stanleyville Pencil factory, which is the fictitious town’s main employer, was created in Monroe, Georgia, inside an abandoned textile factory warehouse. Production designer Wynn Thomas (“Get Smart,” “A Beautiful Mind”) visited one of the few operating pencil factories in the United States to see pencils actually being manufactured and then duplicated the old-school techniques inside his set, using conveyor belts and mock painting machinery. He even rented a few key pieces of machinery from the General Pencil Factory in Jersey City. A crew also traveled to the Musgrave pencil factory in Shelbyville, Tennessee, where they shot close-ups of the pencil-making equipment for the first shots of the factory in the film.
- Through the windows of the Monroe warehouse turned pencil factory, you can see a huge smoke stack, which, with the help of the visual effects department, was transformed into a large pencil for the film.
- Hundreds of pencils were stamped with the Stanleyville name on their side, a detail you may never see on film, but which added realism to the actors’ performances. Two billion pencils are made in the USA each year, so the special Stanleyville pencils were just a drop in the bucket.
- One of the items prop master Ritchie Kremer had to come up with was the box that Cindy and Jim Green bury in the backyard with their wish-child attributes inside. Kremer had made a box for his dad in his junior high school wood-shop class that he thought might be a good fit for the job and director Peter Hedges agreed.
- The scenes between the Greens and botanist Reggie Marks, played by Lin-Manuel Miranda, took place at a very well-known nursery in Decatur, Georgia. The nursery is the home of world-renowned landscape artist and gardener, Ryan Gainey. From topiaries to cacti, a huge variety of plants and flowers flourish in Gainey’s masterpiece gardens.
- The role of Reggie Marks in “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” is the first feature-film speaking part for award–winning composer/lyricist/actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is most famous for the Broadway musical “In the Heights,” for which he won the Tony Award® for Best Original Score.
- Greensman Daniel J. Gillooly (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “True Grit”) had a huge challenge on “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” to create a look for all seasons, even though filming was happening in the middle of winter. Where existing trees were barren and within shot, Gillooly and his twelve-person team would work their movie magic, but not without some very labor-intensive, handmade efforts. Silk leaves were attached one-by-one to tree branches. So that the existing branches were not damaged, the leaves would be attached using plastic rings and the rings would each be hand-painted to blend in with the color of the tree bark. Some trees had more than 50,000 leaves attached to them by hand.
- In Tucker, Georgia, The Tucker Youth Soccer Association lent some of its young athletes to the cast. They practiced several weeks in advance, training and rehearsing for their scenes.