Transcript for Go Behind the Scenes With the Cast of 'Pete's Dragon'
We're now about to take you into the forests of New Zealand. A place ripe for mythical filmmaking. From "Lord of the rings" to "Avatar," now home to a new type of movie creature, "Pete's dragon." Sarah Hayes takes us behind the scenes. Reporter: There's something magical in these woods. Elliot! Reporter: It isn't just a mystical dragon named Elliot. Oh, yeah, Elliot and I are very good friends, yeah. We have really good chemistry. Reporter: Here on the set of the new film "Pete's dragon," the adult cast willfully suspends disbelief. Dragon isn't always there because he can only work a certain amount of hours per day. He really only likes Pete. Really only lets Pete see him for the most part. Reporter: In the same way as their much younger costars. Have you met Elliot? Yes. Yes. He's the nicest guy you'll ever meet. Really? Nicest dragon I've ever met, yeah. Reporter: Maybe it's the whimsical story of a friendship between a boy and his dragon. Or perhaps it's the mythical location. Because if dragons were real, this is where you'd expect to find them. We've come to the remote redwood forest film set in New Zealand. I think they're shooting right now. So come on. For an exclusive behind the scenes peek at the newest summer movie from Disney, ABC's parent company. Follow that dragon! Reporter: "Pete's dragon" was shot entirely on location in new Zealand. The pristine natural landscape and award-winning film industry making it one of the most desirable filming location in the world. Known for "The hobbit" and "Lord of the rings" trilogies and James Cameron's "Avatar." The cast includes Robert Redford and Bryce Dallas Howard. I have never seen a dragon. Reporter: The real stars are oaks Begley as Pete. And his best friend Elliot, who happens to be a giant green magical dragon. Oaks went through weeks of specialized training with a movement coach to convincingly portray an orphan who grows up in the woods. Is that your animal look? That was impressive. You look like my chihuahua. You had to learn to stay low to the ground? Action! Yeah, it was a little hard to learn like how exactly Pete moves. Compared to how I move. Because it's -- there's definitely a difference. But I haven't been out in the forest for six years. Are you guys excited to finally see this movie? You're only shooting in pieces. So excited. Very much. Is Elliot a good actor? Yeah, I think he's probably the best actor I've ever met. Is he cute? I think he looks cute. If you get him angry -- I don't think so. If he starts breathing fire, it's not very cute. Yeah. It's all fun and games until the dragon breathes fire. Yeah. Reporter: Elliot is the cgi creation of New Zealand's own visual effects powerhouse weda digital. I heard there were times where they put a tennis ball on the end of a stick for an actor. That's what's so cool. Because the technology in film has just become beyond our wildest dreams, honestly. And this dragon is like nothing anyone has ever seen before. It's a unique dragon. He's so awesome. Hi, Elliot! Reporter: You may remember the 1977 movie by the same name. The original, a sing-along musical that combined live action with an unmistakably cute animated dragon. ? I look in your eyes and you whisper sweetly ? Do you remember the original "Pete's dragon"? Of course, yeah. It's one of those early films parents allowed their children to watch. It was definitely something that I watched a ton when I was a kid. Reporter: David lowery directs the new film. All you do here is run up the bank and disappear. Wait! Reporter: And set out to completely reimagine the story. We've got this title. The title says that the character is named Pete and he has a dragon. We'll take those facts and run with them and tell a different story. He's bleended realism with magic which is another value I think we've kind of lost in our culture. Just because you don't see something doesn't mean it's not there. That's where she walks through -- Reporter: This is lowery's first big-budget studio film. Having made a name for himself directing independent features are you made small films, this is a big-budget, big opportunity -- Yeah, it's weird. The nuts and bolts of it are still like -- you know, you get a camera and couple of actors and figure out how to shoot a scene and what angles work the best and what the emotion of it is. And then you call action and watch it happen. Action! What are you going to be shooting today? Wait! Today is a really fun scene. This is the scene that leads up to us all seeing and meeting Pete for the first time in the forest. Kind avenue pivotal scene. It's a pivotal scene for sure. Cut. That was great. I am determined to find him. Reporter: Even though I couldn't spot Elliot as I explored the forest set, I did find myself swept up in the imaginative fairy tale world the cast and crew worked so hard to deposit tour. I'm Sarah Haines for "Nightline" in New Zealand.
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