MATH in the News
Each week we'll post a math problem based on a current news story. Read the story and solve the problem.
Scholastic MATH: What first appealed to you about the story of Miss Peregrine’s, and about the film?
Asa Butterfield: What immediately jumped out to me was, personally, when you hear Tim Burton mentioned, you're immediately intrigued, because what he does is so great. And I'm a fan of his films and his style, which is kind of specific and quite interesting. He’s an amazing director to work with.
SM: Were you a fan of the Peregrine books before signing on to the film?
AB: I hadn't actually read any of them. I got the script and then I went on to reading the books. And yeah, I do really enjoy them, I've read all three of them now. And I think they get better and better! So I'm hoping that we get to make more movies.
SM: Can you tell us a little bit about the character you play, Jacob Portman?
AB: My character is Jake, who is the outsider in this story. He's the one who we follow—and is the most ordinary, so to speak—so he's the one that the audience kind of relates with the most. It's about his journey and him finding out that he isn't as ordinary as he’d believed.
SM: Do you relate to the character?
AB: Yeah, I mean he is a pretty ordinary 16-year-old guy, he's going through that kind of transition stage from a boy into a man that we all kind of go through. And he is thrown into this insane world, and for a lot of the time he is totally in over his head, and he doesn't know what to do or what's going on. I think we all have that moment where we feel like we're out of our depth or that we're doing something that we really don't know how to do, but you've got to do it anyway.
SM: What was it like to film the magical or surreal moments in the story?
AB: In this story, all of the children all have their own kind of peculiarity, their own abilities. And I don't know whether I'd even call it magic, because some of them are more weird and unusual and not necessarily as immediately helpful as you'd think. Most of it was done with CGI, and we also had bits with lots of harnesses because Emma, a character, floats, so we had lots of harness work with wires so that she'd float above us. And there were various different things and techniques that we used for visual effects and special effects, with real fire and explosions and all of that cool stuff.
SM: What was the most memorable part of filming for you?
AB: We had some scenes that were shot underwater. We spent about a week in one of the underwater tanks, behind the studios. That was a lot of fun, I was shooting with Ella [Purnell], who plays Emma, and we had sort of dive training, and we were working with diving instructors, and we'd practice going down without masks on and then taking out the breathing tube. Keeping your eyes open and doing these things underwater is pretty surreal. And that takes you a real while to get used to—your eyes hurt, your ears hurt because of the pressure. It is hard work, but yeah, it's so different to everything else that you do! So it was a fun end to the shoot, that's for sure.
In the movie, the character Emma can float. At one point in the movie, she floats 25 feet in the air. Later, Emma and Jacob dive 38 feet under the sea (-38 feet). What is the difference in the two measurements?
Check Your Answer
25 feet – (-38) = 63 feet
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