By Andy on 23 April 2009 at 07:06 GMT
Last year I had the privilege of visiting Leavesden Studios, the film set where Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was shot. Whilst at Leavesden, I was given a guided tour of the sets (both new and old), conducted interviews with the cast and crew, and watched filming. Part two of my report (part one available here) follows.
We set ourselves up on a table in the Great Hall and watch as the cast and crew prepare for filming. Again, the attention to detail is paramount. Everything from the cereal boxes to the books on the table are appropriately themed. A "Win Win Slytherin" banner sits in the corner alongside similar Gryffindor paraphernalia. Quiet is called on set, and David Yates shouts action.
You've probably guessed by now, but this morning we're watching the infamous placebo-potion breakfast scene. Dan Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron), Emma Watson (Hermione) and newcomer Jessie Cave (Lavender Brown) all take the stage and the scene begins. On the ninth take I pick up subtle variations in the movement, dialogue and pace. It really emphasises the sheer amount of detail and persistence that goes into achieving a single shot.
It's off to the flight-shed next, a small trip away from the main stages at Leavesden. Giant wooden frames and scaffolding are visible as we enter the stage. Building is still in the very early stages, though we're given a sneak peek at some very detailed blueprints. The rather colossal build is none other than the streets of Diagon and Knockturn Alley. The sentiment is woven throughout my report, but it is only necessary to mention that once again, no detail has been spared. My hat off to production designer Stuart Craig.
A 360 degree look around Leavesden's backlot will reveal an assortment of famous settings from the Harry Potter universe. In front of me are giant Quidditch posts and a huge sandpit sits below. An enormous green screen covers the perimeter of the set. A little further on, construction of the Spinner's End set is well underway. Further on still, the crew are working feverishly on building the large Hogwarts entrance gates.
By Andy on 23 April 2009 at 05:03 GMT
Last month, HPFZ reported that filming for Deathly Hallows's "Shell Cottage" scene would be filmed in west Wales. Specifically, it will be filmed from May 11th to May 15th in Pembrokeshire National Park.
However, some residents have worried that filming would be destructive to the beach, believing it could potentially lead to the beach's temporary closure in mid-May. In response, Warner Bros. has promised a maximum crew of 200 – which isn't a bad promise (the last public Deathly Hallows scene filmed which included over 400 extras).
In addition, Pembrokeshire council cabinet member Rob Lewis insisted that the benefits of filming (mainly tourism in the current economy) would outweigh any temporary disruption.
By Andy on 23 April 2009 at 04:36 GMT
Warner Bros. has passed on to us two new high-resolution photos from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
By Andy on 22 April 2009 at 00:17 GMT
In an interview with Empire magazine, Daniel Radcliffe and David Heyman elaborated about the "split scene" dividing Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Deathly Hallows: Part 2:
"We've played around with a couple of places," said Heyman, "and ultimately settled on a place that we think is very exciting, and I think quite bold, in that it's not necessarily where one might expect. You want to give a sense of completion, on one hand, but a sense that there's another piece, more to come. We tried one and then Steve (Kloves, screenwriter) came up with the idea to try it another way and when we tried that, it felt just right."
Daniel Radcliffe added that the split is "at a very tense cliffhanger," which may be a bigger clue for fans.
Tell us where you think Part 1 will end in the comments!
By Andy on 22 April 2009 at 00:11 GMT
Jessie Cave's agency has recently confirmed that Jessie will reprise her role as 'Lavender Brown' in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
By Andy on 21 April 2009 at 23:44 GMT
Celebuzz has released 92 photos from last night's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow's filming (complete with around 400 extras playing Muggles in the shots). Below are just a few thumbnails, but you can view all 92 photos here.
By Andy on 18 April 2009 at 01:36 GMT
Warner Bros. has kindly passed on a number of new promotional stills from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The photos come from yesterday's theatrical trailer.
By Andy on 17 April 2009 at 09:28 GMT
Remember when J.K. Rowling stepped down as patron of Scotland's MS Society last week? Her actions were a wake-up call for Multiple Sclerosis Society leaders. According to local Scottish journals (The Press and Journal, the Scotsman, and John O'Groat Journal), a campaign has been sparked following her resignation.
Specifically, the Caithness group of Scotland has written to all the other MS Society branches of Scotland requesting an "extraordinary general meeting," proposing that the society in Scotland break away from the UK-wide organization.
Mrs. Patricia Stanley, chairwoman of the Caithness group, suffers from multiple sclerosis herself. She explains she believes J. K. Rowling resigned because of unexplained suspensions of council members, adding:
"…We are as much in the dark as the public as to what exactly has been going on, but note that Ms Rowling has said that she has resigned because of the imposition of decisions upon Scotland by London."
The possibility of the MS Society of Scotland's independence from the UK-wide society may seem promising; the organisation can potentially be an excellent charity. We can only hope that all turns out well.
By Andy on 17 April 2009 at 03:41 GMT
Happy birthday today to David Bradley, who turns sixty-seven. He does a phenomenal job playing Argus Filch in the Harry Potter films. Best wishes!
By Andy on 16 April 2009 at 13:51 GMT
By Andy on 16 April 2009 at 11:40 GMT
MTV News contacted Harry Potter producer David Heyman, who confirmed that the epilogue will be included in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. "We will shoot it," he promised. In his conversation with MTV News, he also stated that the original cast will not be replaced.
By Andy on 15 April 2009 at 22:25 GMT
Emma Watson updated her official blog yesterday, saying "thank you" for her birthday wishes, as well as commenting on her university plans.
"I really can't believe I'll be at University in September. Still haven't decided where to go, it just doesn't seem real. When I do decide you will hear it here first!"
In other words, although rumours have been circulating that Emma has chosen a particular university to attend in the fall, for the record, she's hasn't yet.
By Andy on 15 April 2009 at 19:50 GMT
According to the Associated Press, Warner Bros. head of distribution's Dan Fellman reports that the release date for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was moved to July 15th from July 17th in the US and UK because: "Every day the kids are out of school in summer is just like an extra Saturday."
How very true!
By Andy on 14 April 2009 at 22:52 GMT
Today, both Emma Thompson ("Professor Trelawney") and Emma Watson ("Hermione Granger") celebrate their birthdays. The very best wishes to them!
By Andy on 14 April 2009 at 20:50 GMT
Warner Bros. has confirmed that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will now be released two days early, on July 15th, in the United States and the United Kingdom. If you guys remember, Order of the Phoenix was also released two days early in 2007.