News articles tagged 'Harry Potter Fan Zone'
By Andy on 6 October 2015 at 12:00 GMT
Harry Potter Fan Zone recently had the chance to participate in a group interview with Jim Kay, the artist behind the gorgeous Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone illustrated edition, released today.
Jim is currently at work illustrating Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but took some time out to talk about bringing J.K. Rowling's words to life.
Always J.K. Rowling (AJKR): Were you influenced by previous Harry Potter illustrators/the films or did you veer away from both?
I’m a huge fan of both the books and the films. I thought the screen adaptations were a wonderful showcase of the best set design, product design, costume, casting, directing and acting their disciplines had to offer. I knew from the start that I’m competing to some degree with the hundreds of people involved in the visuals of the film. I remember watching the extras that come with the movie DVDs a few years back, and wondering how on earth you’d get to be lucky enough to work on the visuals for such a great project. To be offered the opportunity to design the whole world again from scratch was fantastic, but very daunting. I’d like to think that over the years lots of illustrators will have a crack at Potter, in the same way that Alice in Wonderland has seen generations of artists offer their own take on Lewis Carroll’s novel. I had to make it my version though, and so from the start I needed to set it apart from the films. I’ll be honest I’ve only seen a few illustrations from other Potter books, so that’s not been so much of a problem. I love Jonny Duddle’s covers, and everyone should see Andrew Davidson’s engravings — they are incredible!
Magical Menagerie (MM): What was the most important detail for you to get right with your illustrations?
To try and stay faithful to the book. It’s very easy when you are scribbling away to start wandering off in different directions, so you must remind yourself to keep reading Jo’s text. Technically speaking though, I think composition is important — the way the movement and characters arrange themselves on the page — this dictates the feel of the book.
SnitchSeeker (SS): What medium do you use to create your illustrations?
I use anything that makes a mark — I am not fussy. So I don’t rely on expensive watercolour or paints, although I do occasionally use them – I like to mix them up with cheap house paint, or wax crayons. Sometimes in a local DIY store I’ll see those small tester pots of wall paint going cheap in a clear-out sale, and I’ll buy stacks of them, and experiment with painting in layers and sanding the paint back to get nice textures. The line is almost always pencil, 4B or darker, but the colour can be a mixture of any old paint, watercolour, acrylic, and oil. Diagon Alley was unusual in that I digitally coloured the whole illustration in order to preserve the pencil line drawing. I’d recommend experimenting; there is no right or wrong way to make an illustration, just do what works for you!
The Daily Snitcher (TDS): Because each book is so rich in detail, what is your personal process when choosing specific images?
I read the book, then read it again and again, making notes. You start off with lots of little ideas, and draw a tiny thumbnail illustration, about the size of a postage stamp, to remind you of the idea for an illustration you had while reading the book. I then start to draw them a little bigger, about postcard size, and show them to Bloomsbury [UK publisher]. We then think about how many illustrations will appear in each chapter, and try to get the balance of the book right by moving pictures around, dropping or adding these rough drawings as we go. With Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Bloomsbury were great in that they let me try all sorts of things out, different styles, concepts. Some I didn’t think would get into the final book, but everyone was very open to new ideas. There was no definite plan with regards to how the book would look; we just experimented and let it evolve.
MuggleNet (MN): Given the distinct split of younger vs. more mature readers of the series, how do you construct your illustrations so that they can appeal to both audiences at once?
The simple answer is I don’t try. I think only about the author and myself. You can’t please everyone, particularly when you know how many people have read the book. I don’t think good books are made by trying to appeal to a wide audience. You just try to do the best work you can in the time given, and respect the author’s work. Most illustrators are never happy with their own work. You always feel you want to try more combinations or alternative compositions. You are forever in search of that golden illustration that just ‘works’, but of course it’s impossible to achieve — there will always be another way of representing the text. Effectively you chase rainbows until you run out of time! You get a gut feeling if an image is working. I remember what I liked as a child (Richard Scarry books!). Detail and humour grabbed me as a nipper, and it’s the same now I’m in my forties.
The Leaky Cauldron (TLC): Did you base any characters or items in the book on real people or things?
Lots of the book is based on real places, people and experiences. It helps to make the book personal to me, and therefore important. The main characters of the books are based on real people, partly for practical reasons, because I need to see how the pupils age over seven years. In Diagon Alley in particular, some of the shop names are personal to me. As a child we had a toad in the garden called Bufo (from the latin Bufo bufo), Noltie’s Botanical Novelties is named after a very clever friend of mine who works at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. The shop called ‘Tut’s Nuts’ is a little joke from my days working at Kew Gardens; they had in their collections some seeds from the tomb of Tutankhamun, which were affectionately known as ‘Tut’s Nuts’. The imprisoned boy reaching for an apple in Brigg’s Brooms is from a drawing my friend did when we were about 9 years old — that’s thirty two years ago!
Harry Potter's Page (HPP): Which character was the most difficult to draw?
Harry, without a doubt. Children are difficult to draw because you can’t use too many lines around the eyes and face, otherwise they look old. One misplaced pencil line can age a child by years, so you have to get it just right. Also Harry’s glasses are supposed to look repaired and bent out of shape, which I’ve found tricky to get right.
AJKR: What is your favourite scene you have illustrated?
That’s a difficult one. I’m fond of the ghosts. I paint them in reverse (almost like a photographic negative) and layer several paintings to make them translucent. I enjoyed Nearly Headless Nick. I really enjoyed illustrating the trolls too. Your favourite illustrations tend to be the ones that gave you the least amount of difficulties and I think Diagon Alley was nice for this reason. It was more like a brainstorming exercise, slowly working from left to right. My favourite character to illustrate is Hagrid — I love big things!
MM: Are there any hidden messages/items in your drawings for the Harry Potter series?
There are, but they are little things that relate to my life, so I’m not sure how much sense they’d make to other people. I like to include my dog in illustrations if I can (he’s in Diagon Alley). I also put a hare in my work, for good luck. There’s a hare in A Monster Calls, and in Harry Potter. My friends appear as models for the characters in book one, and some of their names too can be seen carved on a door, and on Diagon Alley. There are little references to later books too, such as on the wrought-iron sign of the Leaky Cauldron. I do it to keep things interesting for me while I’m drawing.
Harry Potter Fan Zone (HPFZ): How did you approach illustrating the Hogwarts Castle and grounds?
I really enjoyed doing this. You have to go through all seven books looking for mentions of the individual rooms, turrets, doors and walls of the castle, and make lots of notes. Then you check for mentions of its position, for example if you can see the sun set from a certain window, to find out which way the castle is facing. I then built a small model out of scrap card and Plasticine and tried lighting it from different directions. It was important to see how it would look in full light, or as a silhouette. Then it was a long process of designing the Great Hall, and individual towers. I have a huge number of drawings just experimenting with different doorways, roofs. Some early compositions were quite radical, then I hit upon the idea of trees growing under, through and over the whole castle, as if the castle had grown out of the landscape. This also gives me the opportunity to show trees growing through the inside of some rooms in future illustrations.
TLC: What illustrations in the book are you most proud of?
Usually it’s the ones that took the least amount of effort! It takes me so many attempts to get an illustration to work, that if one works on the second or third attempt, it’s a big relief. There is one illustration in the book that worked first time (a chapter opener of Hogwarts architecture, with birds nesting on the chimney pots). It kind of felt wrong that the illustration was done without agonising over it for days, it didn’t feel real somehow, so I’m proud of that one because it’s so rare that I get an image to work first time! The only other illustration that was relatively straightforward was the Sorting Hat. Illustrations that come a little easier tend to have a freshness about them, and I think those two feel a little bit looser than others in the book.
HPP: Which book do you think will be the most challenging one to illustrate?
At the minute it’s book two! I think book one I was full of adrenaline, driven by sheer terror! Book two I want to have a different feel, and that makes it challenging to start again and rethink the process.
HPFZ: Is there a particular scene in the future Harry Potter books you're excited to illustrate?
I’m really looking forward to painting Aragog in book two. I’m really fond of spiders — there are lots in my studio — so it’s great having reference close to hand! I’m hoping that by the Deathly Hallows we will be fully into a darker and more adult style of illustration, to reflect the perils facing Potter!
SS: How many illustrations did you initially do for the book, and how many of those appeared in the final edition?
There are stacks of concept drawings that no one will ever see, such as the Hogwarts sketches, which I needed to do in order to get my head around the book. Then there are rough drawings, then rough drawings that are worked up a little more, and then it might take five or six attempts for each illustration to get it right.
MN: What house do you think you may have been placed in, aged 11, and would it be the same now?
I’d like to think it was Ravenclaw as a child. I was much more confident back then, and creative, plus they have an interesting house ghost in the form of the Grey Lady. These days I work hard and am loyal, so probably Hufflepuff.
TDS: Illustrating aside, what is one thing that you love doing to express your creativity?
It’s difficult to say because for the past 5 years I have worked on illustration seven days a week, every hour of the day. A few years back I started to write, and I really enjoyed that, it’s far more intimate than illustrating, and I love going over the same line and trying to hone it down to the core of what you are trying to express. My partner makes hats, and I’m very envious. It looks like wonderful fun. We have lots of designs for hats in sketchbooks. I really want to get some time to make some. I’ve always been slightly torn that I didn’t go into fashion, but my sewing is terrible. I used to play guitar a lot and write little bits of music, but that’s difficult now because my hand gets very stiff from drawing all day! The funny thing is, if I did ever get a day off, I’d just want to draw!
Tags: Exclusives, Harry Potter Fan Zone, Illustrated editions, Jim Kay, Philosopher's Stone Book - Comments Off on Jim Kay on designing the Harry Potter illustrated editions, Hogwarts castle, and scenes he's looking forward to - Permanent Link
By Andy on 22 December 2013 at 12:56 GMT
On 22 December 2003, ten years ago to the day, Harry Potter Fan Zone came online. It looked a little something (actually, a lot something) like this.
I was – at the time – a bored fourteen year–old looking for something to do over the Australian summer holiday break. And here we are today: two books, six movies, and a decade of digging up Harry Potter news and rumours later.
I never imagined that a little pet-project conceived in my bedroom would lead to such awesome opportunities: being featured on the front–page of my local paper, attending the Goblet of Fire premiere in New York City and the Order of the Phoenix premiere in Los Angeles at the invitation of Warner Bros. and twice visiting Leavesden Studios to watch filming on movies six and seven while interviewing the cast and crew.
Plus a bunch more cool stuff (I won't forget eating lunch opposite Alan Rickman in full Snape get–up anytime soon).
Of course, my highlight of this whole little adventure was hearing that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was a fan of the website and reading the lovely thank–you she gave us on her official website.
So thank you to everyone who's contributed to this website over the past ten years and, of course, to everyone who's given it a visit. I hope you've had as much fun following Harry Potter Fan Zone (yes, I do wish I'd come up with a better name all those years ago) as I've had running it.
By Andy on 22 August 2012 at 12:15 GMT
HPFZ's David and Toni Gras recently attended LeakyCon 2012 in Chicago where, among many Potter festivities, they caught up with actress Evanna Lynch — Luna Lovegood in the 'Potter' films (check out her fantastic choice of shirt!). Their report follows:
Potter Passion Prevails! That is the thought of these three reporters from Harry Potter Fan Zone, as we observed and participated in The Leaky Cauldron's third conference, LeakyCon 2012, at the Hilton Towers in Chicago on famed Michigan Avenue from Thursday, August 9 – Sunday, August 12, 2012. The 3800+ fans overtook the Hilton hotel as they roamed the hallways and lobbies dressed in both normal and Potter gear. Huge LEAKYCON banners draped the inner lobby of the Hilton and a Hogwarts castle-like backdrop was displayed on the main stage area to help get us in the mood. The number of attendees was overwhelming, this being the largest LeakyCon conference, beating last year's conference in attendance by approximately 800. This itself says something about the excitement that LeakyCon permeates as Chicago boasts no Potter-themed attractions – which means that all 3800 people came for the conference itself.
As conferences go, we can honestly say that we have never experienced the immense amount of passion and excitement from attendees that we witnessed here. Harry Potter brought together all the attendees in friendship and The Leaky Cauldron web site has helped to cultivate and grow Potter Passion which J.K. Rowling started over 15 years ago – for some of the fans present, they were just barely born but yet they mingled with other Potter fans from near and far at this conference. We could sense the feelings of bonding and closeness with those who feel as passionate about the Potter saga as we do.
Our first day, Thursday, August 9, we had the wonderful opportunity to sit in on two press-only conferences, first with some of the actors from the famed "Star Kid" troupe and secondly with the Harry Potter movie actors that were present at the conference which included Robbie Jarvis (the young James Potter), William Melling (Nigel Wolpert), and the ever-friendly, bubbly and lovely Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood). Our HPFZ reporter sat with Evanna for several minutes asking her various questions and Evanna's sweet and humble nature came forth as she talked about her identification with the character of Luna and what Luna has done for her personally.
By Andy on 18 November 2011 at 11:50 GMT
I had the pleasure of attending the event, as well as a media preview earlier in the day, which was hosted at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum. James and Oliver, along with creative wizards Eddie Newquist and Robin Stapley, shared a number of interesting facts about the exhibition.
Notably, they spoke about the logistics of bringing such a large exhibition to Australia and some of the more recent props and costumes on show for the first time.
Here are some of the most interesting facts that were shared.
- It took 23 shipping containers and 40 days to bring Harry Potter: The Exhibition to Sydney.
- At one point, James and Oliver had to have their wands shipped back to Leavesden Studios for 'Deathly Hallows' filming.
- There's a mark on one of the Bludgers where it was dropped on set.
- There's authentic James and Oliver Phelps graffiti carvings on the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall.
- There are new props and costumes on show for the first time in Sydney, including the Hallows and Horcruxes (photos below).
- Bellatrix's costume is a new edition to the Sydney display (photo below).
Harry Potter: The Exhibition runs through until 18 March 2012 at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Tickets are now on sale.
Tags: Exclusives, Harry Potter Fan Zone, Harry Potter: The Exhibition, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps - Comments Off on James and Oliver Phelps launch 'Harry Potter: The Exhibition' in Sydney - Permanent Link
By Andy on 10 July 2011 at 11:38 GMT
Harry Potter Fan Zone attended the London premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 last Thursday. We saw the film which was both amazing and a fitting end to the series.
Here are some of our photos from the event.
By Andy on 6 July 2011 at 14:25 GMT
The world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in London is tomorrow!
Live stream of the premiere event:
Stay tuned for photos and videos form the event. We'll also be updating our Twitter account with live updates from the red carpet.
By Andy on 6 July 2011 at 13:51 GMT
Recently, Harry Potter Fan Zone, along with a number of other fan sites, spoke with composer Alexandre Desplat.
Desplat recently scored Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (he also scored part one last year).
Alexandre Desplat: You know these films are such huge machines–there’s such a huge expectation and so much pressure from the past because its the biggest series of the last 10 years–that you have to be very careful and double-check, triple-check that every note you write is accurate and fine, and you want to challenge yourself to be, if not as good, to approach the talent of the master that John Williams is, so it requires a little bit of attention. You can’t write a score of that kind in a short amount of time so you need to really try things over and over again. Also on these big machines now, the editing keeps changing and you have to adapt to that, so you need that time to be able to write properly and accurately.
Did you compose the soundtrack for Part 2 as a follow up for Part 1 or did you treat them as separate projects?
When I first was asked to write Part 1, it was not yet signed that I would write Part 2, so, unfortunately, I could not write thinking of the two episodes at the same time. However, there are still some themes of Part 1 which continue in Part 2 like what I call the “Band of Brothers” theme when all the friends reunite at the beginning of Part 1. We hear this theme again in Part 2 and also some of the themes and motifs of “Obliviate,” the thing that opens Part 2, that comes back also in Part 2, so there is some continuity.
Did you get to see the first half of the final film with your score added to it, and how did you feel about seeing everything put together?
I saw Part 1 finished a long time again, and it was great. I think the essence of what it portrayed–the sense of loneliness and a loss of childhood–were very strong, and I think it was a great first part.
Since Deathly Hallows – Part 2 was filmed way before it normally would be, did you got more time to score the film, and if so, did that affect your scoring process at all?
I think I had a lot of time to write, a very comfortable amount of time to write, because all together writing it and composing took about three and a half to four months for each episode. When you're filming on set, you can decide on shooting all the scenes that belong to this set and then you can still change them. It's very different with the score. I had to wait until I saw Part 2 edited to be able to start putting ideas together and try to find a sense of an arc and a dramatic sense for the film. There was enough time, and it was hard work for many months but also still very inspiring.
There are quite a few deaths in this film. Which was the most difficult to write, for and were there any that hit you harder than the others?
Death is very present in the Harry Potter story from the beginning because it starts with an orphan who lost his parents, and, actually, the theme of death is very present in this episode, since Lily, Harry's mother, is the lead character of this episode. We start the film with hearing Lily’s theme, which will kind of ghost the film all along and be the music thread that will take us from the beginning to the end of the film. So that's one element of death, the people that you miss, the people that you long for, the sorrow, and the question about death and the resurrection stone and how you cope with the death of the people you love. That’s very present in the themes that are used and you see it when you see the film and hear the soundtrack that I’ve tried to be very sensitive and emotional on these matters. The other side of death is, of course, also the battles, the duels, the final battle between Harry and Voldemort, and they are both fighting for death, and there’s no mercy. So I wrote some epic and lyrical pieces for these battle moments.
Desplat conducts the score to Deathly Hallows: Part 2
By Andy on 4 May 2011 at 17:05 GMT
Last year Harry Potter Fan Zone visited Leavesden Studios where cast and production crew were busy at work on both instalments of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
We posted a report detailing everything we saw relating to Deathly Hallows: Part 1 last October, but much of the trip was spent looking at many of the juicy photos, props and sets designed for Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
While we can't share the full report just yet, we can offer a few teasers today. There's much more to come leading up to July, including details of our experience watching Alan Rickman (Snape) and the cast hard at work filming a climactic scene during the Battle of Hogwarts.
What's to come?
- We revisit the Chamber of Secrets where Ron and Hermione share an intimate moment. You'll actually see the Chamber in the film. The Basilisk is also back, this time as a decaying skeleton.
- Gringotts has been greatly expanded too. Production staff are hard at work on building the giant dragon which dwells below the bank and, on our visit, we're given a look at the motion control rig that Dan, Emma and Rupert will ride.
- "Harry Potter will never set foot in this castle again" utters Alan Rickman during the filming of a scene in the Great Hall. There are shouts. Statues come alive. We watch numerous takes as the actors perfect this climactic moment.
- Of course, we have much to report on the King's Cross scene (there's a really cool Voldemort doll), the epilogue, the Battle, a certain death scene and many other action packed and emotional moments in Deathly Hallows: Part 2, but that will have to wait for now.
Tags: Deathly Hallows Movies, Harry Potter Fan Zone, Leavesden Studios, Set Reports - Comments Off on Exclusive preview of our 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2' set report - Permanent Link
By Andy on 31 December 2010 at 22:37 GMT
To all our readers, a happy new year! There are now only 195 days until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is released.
By Andy on 21 November 2010 at 05:04 GMT
If you're both a Harry Potter fan and a Twitter user then there are plenty of actors, actresses, organisations and miscellaneous folk to follow on Twitter who'll keep you informed about all things 'Potter'.
We've compiled the following list (we'll update it as more people join), as well as created a Twitter list, to make that job a little easier for you.
As of April 2011, our list of people to follow includes:
Harry Potter Fan Zone (@HPFZ)
That's us! Follow us for all the latest Harry Potter news and media coverage.
J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling)
J.K. Rowling is the author of the Harry Potter books and this is her only official Twitter account.
Tom Felton (@TomFelton)
Tom Felton plays Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films.
Emma Watson (@EmWatson)
Emma Watson plays Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films.
Matthew Lewis (@Mattdavelewis)
Matthew Lewis plays Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films.
James Phelps (@James_Phelps)
James Phelps plays Fred Weasley in the Harry Potter films.
Oliver Phelps (@OliverPhelps)
Oliver Phelps plays George Weasley in the Harry Potter films.
Freddie Stroma (@freddiestroma)
Freddie Stroma plays Cormac McLaggen in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Warwick Davis (@WarwickADavis)
Warwick Davis plays Professor Flitwick and Griphook the goblin in the Harry Potter films.
Chris Rankin (@chrisrankin)
Chris Rankin plays Percy Weasley in the Harry Potter films.
Evanna Lynch (@Evy_Lynch)
Evanna Lynch plays Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films.
Katie Leung (@Kt_Leung)
Katie Leung plays Cho Chang in the Harry Potter films.
Devon Murray (@DevonMMurray)
Devon Murray plays Seamus Finnigan in the Harry Potter films.
Jamie Campbell Bower (@Jamiebower)
Jamie Campbell Bower plays Gellert Grindelwald in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Arthur Bowen (@abowen1998)
Arthur Bowen plays Albus Severus Potter in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Ryan Turner (@ryanturner2)
Ryan Turner plays Hugo Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Will Dunn (@WillDxnnPFC)
Will Dunn plays James Sirius Potter in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Angelica Mandy (@angelicajmandy)
Angelica Mandy plays Gabrielle Delacour in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Simon McBurney (@SimonMcBurney)
Simon McBurney provides the voice of Kreacher in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
John Cleese (@JohnCleese)
John Cleese played Nearly Headless Nick in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Stephen Fry (@stephenfry)
Stephen Fry narrates the UK Harry Potter audiobooks.
Harry Potter Film (@HarryPotterFilm)
The official Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows film Twitter feed.
Warner Bros. (@WarnerBrosEnt)
Warner Bros. are the studio behind the Harry Potter films.
Bloomsbury are the UK publishers of the Harry Potter books.
Scholastic are the US publishers of the Harry Potter books.
Raincoast Books (@RaincoastBooks)
Raincoast Books are the Canadian publishers of the Harry Potter books.
The Dark Lord (@Lord_Voldemort7)
The Dark Lord himself.
You can follow or learn more about all of the above profiles through our Twitter list.
By Andy on 21 November 2010 at 02:40 GMT
Check out Harry Potter Fan Zone's photos from the New York City premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 below.
Tags: Dan Radcliffe, David Barron, David Heyman, David Yates, Deathly Hallows Movies, Emma Watson, Harry Potter Fan Zone, Pictures, Premieres, Ralph Fiennes, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton - Comments Off on Photos from the New York City 'Deathly Hallows: Part 1' premiere - Permanent Link
By Andy on 19 November 2010 at 10:56 GMT
Harry Potter Fan Zone caught up with Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) at the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 press junket in London last week, where they told us about some of their most memorable Harry Potter experiences.
Tom Felton: Not really, it kind of all blurs into one. I don't really remember saying goodbye and then coming back six months later. I just kind of remember it blending into one. Obviously, yeah, there are slightly different experiences. More to do with my age I guess. We were so young on the first ones. You don't really question anything when you're twelve or thirteen, you just get on with it and then kind of look back and think, "oh that was bizarre". Certainly around that time that I mentioned this infatuation with filmmaking. It was that film, the sixth one, that really embedded that. Just being on set a lot more and working a lot closer with [David] Yates made it a lot more fun.
Rupert Grint told us about some of his favourite 'Potter' memories, including the infamous slug sequence in Chamber of Secrets.
Rupert Grint: I'll never forget [the slugs]. I can still taste them!
By Andy on 19 November 2010 at 08:35 GMT
Harry Potter Fan Zone, along with a number of other fan websites, recently caught up with composer Alexandre Desplat to talk about his music for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
Harry Potter Fan Zone: What was the first piece of music or melody that you wrote for this film and how did the rest of the music evolve from that idea?
Alexandre Desplat (AD): I worked many bits and pieces, that's always the way I build my soundtracks. I take a lot of notes on a music pad, on a music writing little book. And so I take notes from these. And, and it's many of them, it's not just one. One of the ideas was the opening titles, the theme of "Obliviation", and most of the "Ministry of Magic". These three were the three I started to play around with, which means trying different ideas. But I can't say that one was leading the others. 'Cause at the same time I was also playing around with "Hedwig's Theme", making many questions of how I could twist the neck of this theme and make it different and bring it into my own little world of music. Except that at the end it did not happen because there was not enough room for the scene to be in the version that I'd written. So it's really a complex process, it's not just one theme, it's many, many ideas and themes. I just record 'cause I know I'm going to use a rhythm pattern that I'm going to use and reuse and display here and there.
Question: "Obliviate" seems to be a reoccurring theme in the film. It's somewhat of a much darker version to "Hedwig's Theme" in a sense that the track has a sense of flight to it. Could you talk about that track, and how you came up with it?
AD: Well, first of all it, has nothing to do with "Hedwig's Theme". It's completely away from the "Hedwig's Theme". There's not any combinations of notes that sound like "Hedwig's Theme". That's important to state. And if I may add to that statement that I loved the "Hedwig's Theme" and I was actually impatient to write a version of the theme. But unfortunately, the movie was repelling, it was not. Because of the nature of the film, this theme, didn't match. So, that's the first thing. Now "Obliviate", it is the seeds of the score. Actually this piece is the most important piece. That's the piece around which the whole score was built. The idea was to find a theme that had a sense of sorrow, loss of innocence, but still with a propelling motor, and also a sense of wide sound to deliver an epic kind of feeling to it. Actually, this piece opens the movie. It's the first melody that you'll hear. And it's music that goes with the theme where the three heroes leave their families, their homes to go to the unknown. They go on the road to fight the dark forces and it captures their anxiety, their fears, their sadness. And that's why this theme will be recurring in various shades all over the film.
Question: Fans really love "Hedwig's Theme". How did you go about choosing which scenes would feature it?
AD: Well, it's very easy to understand that. The movie being so different from the previous ones because it's the first time our heroes are away from Hogwarts. They're not children anymore. They're young adults. And the theme of Hedwig is really related to the early days of Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione. We tried really hard with David Yates to use it at very specific moments. Some of them did not make it until the end of the process, unfortunately, because they were kind of bringing the children to childhood while the movie was doing exactly the opposite, bringing the children into adulthood. So it's only a few moments when he's leaving his house, we see Hedwig go in the sky, away from Harry's hand, when Hedwig is killed, also, by one of the Death Eaters. We're not related anymore, neither to Hedwig, neither to the childhood of these heroes. That's why and how the theme is not recurring more than that, sadly, because it's a fantastic melody. Fantastic.
By Andy on 16 November 2010 at 15:33 GMT
Earlier this month Harry Potter Fan Zone spoke with the cast and crew of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as part of the London press junket.
Below you can read our interviews about the music of the final two films, including producers David Heyman and David Barron commenting on the possibility of John Williams scoring the final Potter film.
Harry Potter Fan Zone (HPFZ): Was John Williams ever asked to score Deathly Hallows: Part 2? Did he decline?
David Heyman (DH): Yes, he was. We wanted to make it work with John but John's schedule didn't permit.
David Barron (DB): He was just unavailable unfortunately.
HPFZ: He wanted to do it?
Both: He did, very much so.
DH: We asked him around the time of [movie] six. Actually, we talked to him all the way along [about coming back for the end] but his schedule didn't permit.
DB: It's incredible for a man of advancing years who you think might be taking it easy, we spoke to him almost two years before the scoring sessions for this film and already then he had schedule issues.
DH: And then he tried to work his schedule to try and accommodate it but it just wasn't possible.
HPFZ: Alexandre Desplat mentioned that you picked very specific moments for "Hedwig's Theme". What was so significant about those moments?
David Yates (DY): Anything that felt like we were being nostalgic or in a way reflective of the past. That's when we used it.
HPFZ: Was it a conscious decision for him to play with the melody?
DY: Yeah, we wanted it to feel like it was all getting a bit distressed. We wanted to sort of [mess] it up a bit.
We'll have more, including an interview with Alexandre Desplat, the composer for the Deathly Hallows films, later this week.
Tags: Alexandre Desplat, David Barron, David Heyman, David Yates, Deathly Hallows Movies, Harry Potter Fan Zone, John Williams - Comments Off on David Heyman, David Yates on Alexandre Desplat's 'Deathly Hallows' music, John Williams returning - Permanent Link
By Andy on 16 November 2010 at 13:49 GMT
Check out some of our photos from the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 world premiere in London below.