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Movie Monday: Bringing the ‘Mortal Instruments’ world to life on the big screen

An early draft of the midnight carriage. Photo: Sony Pictures

Every Monday here at The Mortal Instruments Source is Movie Monday, where we talk about one of the many topics involving the movie adaptation of “City of Bones.”

With books the reader is granted the freedom to create a visual world, with help from the author’s words, for the story they are reading.

With book to movie adaptations, the studio is faced with the daunting task of creating a vision of that world that will satisfy not only their vision, but the visions of readers and moviegoers alike.

Visual effects will no doubt play a big role in the movie and with plans for the movie to be shot in 3D, according to “City of Bones” director Scott Charles Stewart.

“We’re probably shooting in 3D for a number of reasons,” he told Hollywood Crush. “One, these new cameras, the camera systems that they’re using to shoot ‘The Amazing Spider-Man,’ it’s so incredibly sensitive to low light, you can actually see more light than your eyes can, it’s remarkable. They’re small, they’re lightweight, they allow us to make a movie where we can go into nightclubs and dark places and try to capture a level of realism and you-are-there-ness, that would be harder to do [in 2-D].”

New York City plays a big part in "The Mortal Instruments."

Stewart has some experience when it comes to visual design, as he has served the position on several films before taking to the director’s chair.

Preliminary designs for things such as the midnight carriage and vampire motorcyles have surfaced on the web and the crew is hard at work at developing other aspects of visual design.

“We’re in the midst of doing a bunch of designs for the vehicles, the weapons, the creatures and the world,” Stewart told

The subject of filming on-location in New York City is one that has been mentioned numerous times by Stewart. The film is scheduled to shoot primarily in Los Angeles, due to the large role that special effects will play.

“My hope is to shoot as much as I can there,” Stewart told Hollywood Crush in an interview. “I think New York is really a character in the film.”

Stewart is looking to create a visual world that pertains to the realistic New York that we perceive and then transition over into this unique world when the city gets dark.

“It’s going to be the New York of the daytime—the real New York that we all can perceive, at least [what] Clary perceives at the beginning of the film,” he told Hollywood Crush. “It’s going to have a realistic, hopefully naturalistic feel. And when the sun goes down and things change, she’s able to see things that other people can’t. That’s when we’re going to be getting into something that feels dangerous and sensual and exciting.”

Filming for “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” is slated to begin late summer or early fall.

What do you think? Are you confident that Screen Gems can bring the “Mortal Instruments” world to life? What special effects are you most anxious to see?

About Alyssa Barbieri (2800 Articles)
Alyssa is the Managing Editor for Bears Wire. You can reach her at or follow her on Twitter @AlyssaBarbieri

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