Case Study of existing films: Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)



Through initial research, I came to learn of an ‘sequel’ film  to the film Elizabeth (1998), which is about Elizabeth’s later years as Queen:


And the first film Elizabeth (1998):

With in mind the two films, the visual representations of all that is involved in this version of the story telling of Elizabeth during her reign, with the events, people and objects of significance involved in her life is very striking. When reading through the accounts of IMDb, the sheer expanse of effort, time and money is highly commendable. With a big budget , $30 million for Elizabeth (1998) and $55 million for Elizabeth: the Golden age (2007), teams and sub teams of people, 9 years between the two films however, the deadlines for each of the two films are unknown.

Gloriana as an animated, musical production, will focus on story telling the such historical epic through an emphasis of music and sound, with the visuals (animations) as a simple ‘vehicle’ to support the music and make the leitmotifs work. Also,historically unlike the film, will be four songs to represent the major points in Elizabeth’s reign due to enormous scale that would befall on me if I was to follow the same scale as the film, in comparison to the given time and number of people available.

From a research of a historical perspective, the film captures the huge complexity of Elizabeth’s reign, thanks to the time, budget and workforce behind the scenes, Perhaps due to having a number of people specialising in each of the many aspects that went into this films, it is unknown to me the extent of research that went into informing the director (Shekhar Kapur) and his team. However, compared to the process I am going through with Gloriana’s research, the method of reading, generalised (overall accounts) reliable sources first, then specialized (specific) reliable sources, and log a bibliography into a dissertation or research type report. It is essential for this to be done and to allow the team to justify any creative decisions made, whether for pure accuracy to what actually happened, or ways to bend the truth for either to make the story to make more sense, due to limitations, or simply because it is high in debate, and therefore free to interpret the story or something or someone as you wish for creative purposes.

The music in film from learning about the behind the scenes part of the music for the film, there was a collaboration of two composers, Craig Armstrong ( and A.R. Rahman (, both highly acclaimed composers with different musical styles and a wealth of experience to there names, The type of music they created together for the two films was more western classical in style, using influences from contemporary composers at the time such as William Byrd, incorporating orchestras, bells, and Latin choirs, with support of synthesised percussion and some Indian influences. The score is very rich, and dramatic, blending seamlessly with the visuals.

The Sound (foley and background sounds) world is vibrant, it does sounds as if the sound department used the sounds of actual cannon and pistol fire. Many of  the sounds might have been captured from very accurate replications.

In comparison to my musical Gloriana, as director to my own musical, I am not restricted in my creative decisions to another person as I work for myself. The musical pallete for Gloriana will be stylistically more radical to the films, using heavy metal instruments and ska influences for me to give the story more emotional representation of the atmosphere at hand, which are found in ‘To marry or not to marry’, and ‘Bull versus Lioness’, I do take more similar styles to the films with regards to ‘Ascension Complete’ and ‘Cousin under the Axe’. However, reasons to be being that I intend to makes different moods and musical genres, and do to what is available to me in terms of the musicians I find willing to to take part. Also I will be using Dialogue to support what is going on at times were there needs to be a explanation, with Narration and leitmotifs/themes will be key to gluing Gloriana together.

Gloriana’s foley and backgrounds sounds will be much less, and more replicated sounds due keeping costs down. This will encourage me to develop my own sounds to fill a library of sounds of my own.

Visually, the live-action films are beautiful, the Actress and actors are very believe-able, landscapes sets are awe inspiring, The props are great and the fashion are certainly fabulous. All aspects appear to be picked carefully, which whatever time was taken to achieve the standards the films set out, it was certainly achieved.

Gloriana’s visuals, will be different as it is animated, due to the struggles of collaboration without financial support, a sort of ‘D.I.Y’ drawn and ‘photoshoped’ artwork created by my parents and I will created, and use stop motion animation styles to help out. Using story boards will guide the direction visual of the project too. The animation is meant not to be perfect, but provide a quirky element to the story especially if drawn like the style of stain glass windows.


Overall, from my perspective, the films existing to tell the story of Elizabeth’s reign make great guides to support the visual aspects of Gloriana.

As far as Audio is concerned, musically I may not achieve the same standards of professionalism fully for having fully performed parts to my songs. The films do make good references to check when making my own sounds to replicate important sounds.

The historically stories used are naturally up to the director to how he or she interprets, much like as historians do to make a claim of something they believe has happened, so it is important really to justify such claims, well evidenced features of history like for example Elizabeth’s entourage, or something it is open for debate, like Elizabeth’s feelings towards Mary queen of Scots or William Byrd’s Origins.

This therefore, is matter of own research that leads directors or project managers to unique ways of telling a story through any creative medium, whether due to limitations, creative and personal choices to simply the sources of information you have to base your work on.

Although Gloriana’s purpose is to entertain, but also to educate a balanced perspective.

It is worth noting that the films do appear to show a element of bias-ness, with regards to the way the Philip II is portrayed and his relationship to Elizabeth directly, due to the fact he appears to wanting to kill Elizabeth, and viewed as being evil, through with my research, I want to portray Philip to be forced to act to try and defeat Elizabeth. The conflict will occur due to extrinsic events with both sides hand’s are forced.


Click ——-> Case Study background research for about Elizabeth Films of 1998 and 2007






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