Interview with Brian Selznick

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By Huw Thomasheadteacher and writer

Exclusive interview with author Brian Selznick – author of The invention of Hugo Cabret

Brian Selznick

Aurhor, Brian Selznick, reveals his inspiration for Hugo Cabret

How did the ideas for Hugo grow into this book?

Well, it all started with A Trip to the Moon, the first science fiction movie, made in 1902 by a former French magician named Georges Melies. I saw this movie about 15 years ago and I always thought it would be interesting to one day write a story about a kid who gets to meet Melies, but I never knew what the plot would be. Then, about three years ago, I read a book called Edison’s Eve by Gaby Wood which was about the history of automata, or mechanical figures that often seem to be alive, like robots. There was a chapter about Melies which said he had a collection of automata that were eventually destroyed and thrown away. I immediately imagined a boy climbing through the garbage and finding one of these complicated machines and trying to fix it. That’s how the story began. Then I watched many early French movies as research for the story, since I knew it would have much to do with the history of cinema and I eventually decided to try to use the illustrations narratively, almost like miniature silent movies throughout the story.

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