BEOWULF: FROM C GRADE CLASS assignment TO TWICE EMMY NOMINATED FILM
A hallway in Hrothgar's castle is the only full sized set Wegener conceived of for the Production Plan, even though other sets were required. This was mostly caused by the tight deadline to turn the Plan in.
My first introduction to Beowulf was in a Film Finance class at the San Francisco State University Cinema Department. While we were assigned to devise a budget for a film, there wasn't much direction given as to what film we should analyze.
For me, it was an opportunity to write a script with the intention of shooting it, and use the assignment to figure out what it would cost.
I didn't have a lot of cash (my parents would send me $20 a month for expenses.), so the only way I could conceive of making the film was in Super 8, and building the sets myself.
While the professor thought the script was adequate, he found my budgeting skills very lacking, as most of the line items were listed as "donated."
I lost interest when I received my grade of a "C" and the idea of filming the Norse hero would languish for 30 years.
Concept art for King Hrothgar's castle in Denmark. Wegener enjoyed all aspects of the creative process, including concept art for the script. The brevity of the script seemed to make it impractical to build more detailed miniatures.
Title page of Wegener's Production Plan for Beowulf. The professor, was not impressed.
Concept art of Hrothgar's gifts to Beowulf after the slaying of Grendel.While the dagger, helmet and shield were well researched, the chain mail tank top and armored shorts were complete figments of fantasy.
Concept art of a matte needed for Grendel's underground lair. Each illustration in the plan represented a distinct aspect of the production, Miniatures, Wardrobe, full sized sets and matte paintings.
A page from the original Beowulf script, April 1974.